Humanities 2: Rome, Christianity, and the Middle Ages

Spring 2018

Course Requirements

Antony Lyon


Office Hours: forthcoming, or by appt @ Galbraith 184

Lecture: TuTh, 930-1050 @ ____________

TA & Section Schedule

Course Syllabus forthcoming

Required Texts (2015 Version, update soon)

  • Seneca, On the Shortness of Life, trans. Costa (Penguin Great Ideas)
  • Virgil, Aeneid, trans. Fagles (Penguin)
  • Lucretius, On the Nature of the Universe, trans. Melville (Oxford)
  • The New Oxford Annotated Bible [or any New Revised Standard Translation]
  • Augustine, The Confessions, trans. Boulding (Vintage)
  • Beowulf: A Verse Translation, trans. Heaney (Norton Critical Edition)
  • Dante, The Portable Dante, trans. Musa (Penguin)

Course Requirements

  • Section/Participation—10%
  • Quizzes/Writing Exercises—5%
  • Paper 1—10% (Posted X/X, Due X/X)
  • Paper 2—20% (Posted X/X, Due X/X)
  • Paper 3—25% (Posted X/X, Due X/X)
  • Final Exam—30%
    • Exam Essay Questions (Posted X/X)

Students must fulfill all course requirements in order to pass the course.

Class SchedulE 2015 (updated version forthcoming)

3/31 — Introduction: How the West Was Won (And Where It Got Us)

4/2 — How to Be a Stoic

  • Seneca, “On the Shortness of Life” (p1-33) or “On Tranquility of Mind” (p68-105)
  • (*) Massimo Pigliucci, “How to Be a Stoic,” New York Times, February 2, 2015

4/7-9 — Rome’s Epic: Founding the City of Man

  • Virgil, Aeneid—Bk I-IIIII (350-422, 655-829), IVV (337-402, 663-972), VIVII(473-556), VIII (411-858), X (1-138, 516-634, 715-814, 901-1079), XII

4/14-16 — Epicureans: A Materialist Account of the World

  • Lucretius, On the Nature of the UniverseBk1 (1-172, 215-249, 265-345, 418-502, 599-614, 921-1040), Bk2 (1-141, 216-263, 644-60, 1048-1175), Bk3 (31-176, 258-358, 830-1094),  Bk4 (1058-1287), Bk5 (925-1457), Bk6 (1-41, 1090-1286)

4/21 — The Historical Jesus

4/23 — Jesus, Teacher and Doer of Wondrous Signs

  • The Gospel of Mark

4/28-30 — A Theological Life of Jesus

  • The Gospel of John

5/5-7 — After Jesus: Paul and the Early Christian Community

  • Acts 1-11:26, 15:1-29, 17:16-34
  • Galatians & I Corinthians

5/12-14 — Spiritual Salvation as Rome Falls

  • Augustine, Confessions—Bk I-VII, VIII (p153-69), IX (p187-96), X (p223-35)

5/19-21 — The Last Hero: An Anglo-Saxon Elegy

  • Beowulf (p3-78)

5/26-6/3 — The love that moves the sun and the other stars

  • Dante, Inferno—Cantos I-XIX
  • Inferno—Cantos XXVI-XXXIV
  • Purgatory—Cantos I-III, XVII, XXVI-XXXI
  • Paradise—Cantos XVII, XXIV-XXVI, XXX-XXXIII

6/9 — Final Exam: Tuesday 8-11

Complementary Course Materials

Roman History

On Stoicism

Virgil’s Aeneid

Lucretius’s On the Nature of the Universe

  • On the rediscovery of Lucretius in the Renaissance: Stephen Greenblatt, The Swerve: How the World Became Modern (Amazon)

The Historical Jesus

  • As mentioned in lecture, there are over 90 known writings from the first two centuries of Christianity. Not all of them belong to the canon (New Testament). Here are two of the more famous examples: Gospel of Thomas and Gospel of Mary

Augustine’s The Confessions


Dante’s Comedy

Additional Information

Academic Integrity Policy
The UCSD Policy on Integrity of Scholarship must be observed for this course. Examples of plagiarism include, but are not limited to the following: turning in another student’s paper as if it was your own; collaboration with another student in writing the paper; quoting, paraphrasing, or borrowing ideas from published or unpublished material written by someone other than yourself, without specific acknowledgment of the source. In the Humanities Program, you are to write papers entirely on your own study of the assigned materials, NOT on secondary sources of any kind.

Students agree that by taking this course all required essays will be subject to text-similarity review on for the detection of plagiarism. All submitted essays will be included as source documents in the reference database solely for the purpose of detecting plagiarism of essays. Use of is subject to the terms of use agreement posted on its website.

Additional Information
If you need accommodation for disability or religious reasons, please see me as soon as possible so that the appropriate arrangements can be made.

For information about Revelle College’s Humanities Program, including help with writing, administrative information, and schedules, please visit the program’s website.