Humanities 2: Rome, Christianity, and the Middle Ages

Spring 2018

Course Requirements

Antony Lyon


Office Hours

Wed 12-2 or by appt @ Galbraith 184

Lecture: TuTh, 9:30-10:50 @ Peterson 110

TA & Section Schedule

Course Syllabus (update 4/24)

All information, including lecture slides, handouts, and essay prompts will be posted on TritonEd.

Required Texts

You are required to use the selected translations & editions of the text. Books can be purchased at the PC Bookstore:

  • 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)

  • Humanities Program Writing Handbook

Course Requirements

  • Section/Participation—10%

  • Weekly Assignments—5%

  • Paper 1—15% (Posted 4/5, Due 4/19)

  • Paper 2—20% (Posted 4/24, Due 5/10)

  • Paper 3—20% (Posted 5/15, Due 5/29)

  • Final Exam—30%

    • Exam Essay Questions (Posted 6/5)

Class Policies

  • Technology Policy. The use of laptops, tablets, & smartphones is not permitted in lecture and discussion section. Accommodations can be made on case-by-case basis, please discuss with the professor.

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

Class SchedulE 2018

4/3 — Introduction: Rome, the Eternal City

4/5 — Stoics: The Life of Virtue

  • Seneca, “On the Shortness of Life” (p1-33)

4/10-12 — The Roman Epic

  • Virgil, Aeneid—Bk I, II, III (655-829), IV, V (663-972), VI, VIII (716-858), X (1-138, 516-634, 901-1079), XII

4/17-19 — Epicureans: In a Material 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, 644-660, 1048-1175), Bk3 (31-176, 258-358, 830-1094), Bk4 (1058-1287), Bk5 (925-1457), Bk6 (1-41, 1090-1286)

4/24 — The Historical Jesus

4/26 — Jesus, Teacher & Doer of Wondrous Signs

  • The Gospel of Mark

5/1-3 — A Theological Life of Jesus

  • The Gospel of John

5/8-10 — Paul & the Early Christian Community

  • Acts 1-11.26, 15.1-29, & 17.16-34

  • Galatians & I Corinthians

5/15-17 — Augustine, A Seeker

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

5/22-24 — The Last Hero: An Anglo-Saxon Elegy

  • Beowulf (p3-78)

5/29-6/7 — 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

6/12 — Final Exam: Tuesday 8-11

Complementary Course Materials

On Stoicism

On Epicureanism

The Historical Jesus

On Writing



  • Seamus Heaney reading his translation of Beowulf (Part 1 and Part 2)

  • Benjamin Bagby performs Beowulf in the original (website)


Additional Information

Academic Integrity Policy
TheUCSD 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 explicit acknowledgment of the source. In the Humanities Program, you are to write papers based on your own study of the assigned materials, not on secondary sources.

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 the service is subject to the terms of use agreement posted on its website. 

Inclusion & Accommodation
I value an inclusive classroom environment in which everyone shows respect to each other as persons and scholars. If you need accommodation for disability or religious reasons, please see me as soon as possible so that the appropriate arrangements can be made.

Humanities Program

For information about the Humanities Program at Revelle College, visit the program’s website.