Courses of Interest

Fall 2018

Seminar in Roman Art: Greek and Roman Portraits 
ART 513 / CLA 518  

The seminar focuses on the portraits in the collection of the PUAM, the department's cast collection, and works in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. All discussions depend on the three-dimension presence of sculptures, either the originals or casts. The emphasis is on changes of style and technique, together with the contexts in which such changes occur.  
Michael Koortbojian

Problems in Ancient History: Introduction to Ancient and Medieval Numismatics 
CLA 548 / HLS 548 / PAW 548 / ART 532

A seminar covering the basic methodology of numismatics, including die, hoard and archaeological analysis as well as a survey of pre-modern coinages. The Western coinage tradition is covered, from its origins in the Greco-Persian world through classical and Hellenistic Greek coinage, Roman imperial and provincial issues, Parthian and Sasanian issues, the coinage of Byzantium, the Islamic world, and medieval and renaissance Europe. Students research and report on problems involving coinages related to their own areas of specialization. Open to undergraduates by permission of the instructor.
Alan M. Stahl

Cross-Cultural Encounters in the Medieval Mediterranean 
HIS 536 / HLS 536/ MED 536 

The littoral of the Great Sea has long been viewed as a major place of contact, conflict and exchange for groups belonging to the three Abrahamic religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. This course approaches the encounters of different religions and ethnicities in such a manner as to introduce students not only to the classic historiography on the subject, but also to the main controversies and debates now current in scholarship. Our analysis and evaluation of the connections that developed between individuals and communities will focus on the High Middle Ages.
Teresa Shawcross

The Origins of the Middle Ages 
HIS 543 / HLS 543

This seminar explores the transition from the late ancient to the medieval world through the lens of law and legal practice from the late Roman to the Carolingian empire. We look at how the different codifications built on earlier legal models and traditions but adopted and adapted them in their respective circumstances. We explore these processes until the ninth century when the Carolingian rulers came to rule an Empire which comprised a variety of different Roman and post Roman legal traditions and laws and were confronted with the challenge to find new ways and strategies for their coexistence, compatibility and convergence. 
Helmut Reimitz

Intro to the Islamic Scholarly Tradition 
NES 502 / MED 502 

The course offers a hands-on introduction to such basic genres of medieval scholarship as biography, history, tradition, and Koranic exegesis, taught through the intensive reading of texts, mostly in Arabic. The syllabus varies according to the interests of the students and the instructor. 
Michael A. Cook

Introduction to Syriac 
NES 511 

A systematic introduction to Syriac language. Close reading of selected passages of Syriac texts.

Introduction to Arabic Documents 
NES 547 / HIS 546 

An introduction to hands-on work with medieval Arabic documentary sources in their original manuscript form. Between 100,000 and 200,000 such documents have survived, making this an exciting new area of research with plenty of discoveries still to be made. Students learn how to handle the existing repertory of editions, documentary hands, Middle Arabic, transcription, digital resources and original manuscripts, including Geniza texts currently on loan to Firestone from the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York. The syllabus varies according to the interests of the students and the instructor.
Marina Rustow

Special Topics in History of Philosophy – Plotinus’ Psychology 
PHI 515 / CLA 550 

The course is an intensive study of Plotinus' conception of the soul, focusing on treatises from his fourth Ennead. The seminar studies Plotinus' conception of the soul in its own right, but also places his thinking about the soul in the larger context of his conception of reality.

Studies in Greco-Roman Religions – Antioch from the Seleucids to Late Antiquity
REL 504 / HLS 525 

In this cross-disciplinary course about ancient Antioch students learn about religious and ethnic diversity, imperial power, and domestic life in antiquity and communicate their knowledge clearly through creating virtual exhibits that draw on objects in collections at Princeton and Harvard. The seminar focuses on literary, archaeological, and art historical materials. This course is parallel-taught at Harvard Divinity School by Prof. Laura Nasrallah. Participants travel to collections at Dumbarton Oaks, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, the Worcester Art Museum, and Harvard University.
AnneMarie Luijendijk