Oct 15, 2019  
College Catalog 2019-2020 
    
College Catalog 2019-2020

CLAS 101 - The Classical Mediterranean and Middle East


Why are Arabic, Greek, Hebrew and Latin all taught in the same department at Macalester? Today Islam and the Arab world are often presented in contrast with the West in a sort of timeless and unending ‘clash of civilizations.’ Classics 101 aims to counter this narrative by exploring the multiple deep, long-term connections among the languages, religions and peoples around the Mediterranean Sea. What were the relationships among speakers of these languages in the past? How did Judaism, Christianity and Islam develop among them? Why are Greek and Roman traditions sometimes seen as in tension with Christian or Arab traditions – and has that always been the case? Readings include selections from Genesis, Exodus, Homer, Herodotus, Euripides, Plato, Vergil, the Gospels, Josephus, Imru Al-Qays, the Qur’an and 1,001 Nights. Legendary and historical figures include Moses, Helen of Troy, Cyrus, Darius, Pericles, Alexander, Cleopatra, Jesus, Augustus, Perpetua, Constantine, Muhammad, Fatima, Aisha and Omar. Suggested subtitles for the course include Before East and West, We Hear Dead People, Great Books Reimagined, and Hey, You Should Know This Stuff. Required for all majors in the Classical Mediterranean and Middle East. Spring semester. (4 Credits)