Middlebury

 

Christopher Star

Associate Professor of Classics

Email: 
Phone: work802.443.5910
Office Hours: Tuesday 2:00-3:00, Wednesday 11:00-12:00 & Thursday 10:00-11:00, and by appointment
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I received degrees in Classics from Bates College (BA), the University of Cambridge (MPhil) and the University of Chicago (PhD). I also studied at the Humboldt University in Berlin. My teaching and research focus on the late Roman Republic and early Roman Empire. Specifically, my interests lie in considering how the Romans came to grips with the transition from freedom to autocracy, how this transition shaped their concept of the self, and how their ideas continue to inform modern debates. My book, The Empire of the Self, looks at the relationship between two of the emperor Nero’s advisors, the Stoic philosopher and dramatist Lucius Annaeus Seneca, and Petronius, the author of the proto-novel the Satyricon. I am also writing an introduction to the life and works of Seneca as well as other pieces on drama and philosophy.

You can listen to a recent interview I gave to VPR on Ceres, the Roman goddess of agriculture, and her newly renovated statue atop the Vermont State House. http://digital.vpr.net/post/getting-know-our-statehouse-goddess

 
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Courses

Courses offered in the past four years.
indicates offered in the current term
indicates offered in the upcoming term[s]

CLAS 0143 - Rise & Fall of Roman Republic      

The Rise and Fall of the Roman Republic
This course is an introduction to the literature, politics, culture and history of the Roman Republic (c.509-31BCE) - a period which saw Rome grow from a small city on the Tiber to the supreme power in the Mediterranean, and also saw the development of Latin literature. Our readings cover a broad variety of literary genres and authors: comedy (Plautus and Terence), lyric (Catullus), epic (Ennius), political speeches and letters (Cicero), history (Caesar, Sallust, Polybius), and didactic philosophy (Lucretius). As we read we will be careful to investigate how these texts present different and often conflicting ideas of what it means to be Roman, as well as how different ideologies of Rome compete throughout each work. 3 hrs. lect. 1hr. disc.

EUR HIS LIT

Spring 2012, Fall 2014

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CLAS 0144 - Literature of the Roman Empire      

Literature of the Roman Empire
In this course we will investigate the literature, culture, and history of the Roman Empire, focusing on how Romans sought, often at the cost of their own lives, to define the role and powers of the emperor and their place as subjects to this new, autocratic power. Texts we will read include: epic (Lucan), tragedy (Seneca), history (Tacitus), biography (Suetonius), prose fiction (Petronius), as well as early Christian literature. As we read we will seek to answer questions about the nature of freedom and empire, what is gained and lost by replacing a republican with an autocratic political system, and whether literature in this period can offer an accurate reflection of reality, function as an instrument of change and protest, or of fearful praise and flattery. 3 hrs lect. 1 hr. disc.

EUR HIS LIT

Fall 2012

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CLAS 0276 / PHIL 0276 - Roman Philosophy      

Roman Philosophy
In this course we will seek to answer the question of what is Roman philosophy - philosophia togata. Is it simply Greek philosophy in Roman dress? Or, while based in its Greek origins, does it grow to have a distinctive and rigorous character of its own, designed and developed to focus on uniquely "Roman" questions and problems, in particular, ethical, social, and political questions? We will investigate how some of the main schools of Hellenistic Greek thought came to be developed in Latin: Epicureanism (Lucretius), Academic Skepticism (Cicero), and Stoicism (Seneca). As we read we will investigate how each school offers different answers to crucial questions such as what is the goal of life? What is the highest good? Should one take part in politics or not? What is the nature of the soul? What is the nature of Nature itself? Is there an afterlife? Can we ever have a certain answer to any of these questions? 3hrs. lect./1 hr. disc.

EUR PHL

Fall 2011, Spring 2014

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CLAS 0420 - Seminar in Classical Lit      

Seminar in Classical Literature:
Topic is determined by the instructor - refer to section for the course description.

Spring 2011

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CLAS 0500 - Independent Study      

Independent Study
(Approval required)

Fall 2010, Winter 2011, Spring 2011, Fall 2011, Winter 2012, Spring 2012, Fall 2012, Winter 2013, Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Winter 2014, Spring 2014, Fall 2014

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CLAS 0505 - Ind Senior Project      

(Approval Required)

Fall 2010, Winter 2011, Spring 2011, Fall 2011, Winter 2012, Spring 2012, Fall 2012, Winter 2013, Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Winter 2014, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Spring 2015

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CLAS 0700 - Sr Essay Classics/Cy      

Senior Essay for Classics/Classical Studies Majors
(Approval required)

Fall 2010, Winter 2011, Spring 2011, Fall 2011, Winter 2012, Spring 2012, Fall 2012, Winter 2013, Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Winter 2014, Spring 2014, Fall 2014

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FYSE 1301 - Rome on Stage and Screen      

Ancient Rome on the Stage and Screen
In this seminar we will investigate the long history of Roman drama, from the ancient world to Shakespeare’s plays and contemporary films. As we explore the representation and reception of ancient Rome, we will address the following questions: What is the relationship between drama and history? To what political purposes can drama and film be used? How does the representation of characters change over time? How are women portrayed? Why does Rome continue to influence the modern world? Texts will include Octavia and the Satyricon; Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar and Antony and Cleopatra; films will include Quo Vadis? and I, Claudius.

CW EUR LIT

Fall 2010, Fall 2013

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GREK 0101 - Beginning Greek      

Beginning Greek I
This course is a rapid and intensive introduction to classical Greek for beginners. The aim of the course is to prepare students to read the major authors of Greek literature. In addition to a systematic study of grammar and syntax, we will also read excerpts from a variety of ancient authors.

LNG WTR

Winter 2014

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GREK 0201 - Intermediate Greek: Prose      

Intermediate Greek: Attic Prose-Lysias & Plato *
Readings in major authors. 3 hrs. lect.

EUR LNG

Fall 2010, Fall 2012, Fall 2014

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LATN 0101 - Beginning Latin      

Beginning Latin I
The course offers an intensive introduction to the Latin language that prepares students to read the major authors of ancient Roman literature. In addition to their systematic study of grammar and syntax, students translate excerpts from Vergil, Seneca and the Vulgate Bible. This course is designed for students who have had no previous experience with Latin, as well as those who have had some Latin but want to review the fundamentals of grammar.

LNG

Winter 2011

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LATN 0102 - Beginning Latin II      

Beginning Latin II
This course is a continuation of the introductory winter term course (LATN 0101). After completing the fundamentals of Latin grammar, students translate selections from authors such as Cicero and Ovid. 6 hrs. lect.

LNG

Spring 2011

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LATN 0202 - Intermediate Latin: Poetry      

Intermediate Latin: Poetry
Readings in major authors. 3 hrs. lect.

EUR LNG

Spring 2012, Spring 2014

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LATN 0401 - Advanced Readings in Latin I      

Advanced Readings in Latin I
Readings in major authors. 3 hrs. lect.

Fall 2011, Fall 2013

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LATN 0402 - Advanced Readings in Latin II      

Advanced Readings in Latin II
Readings in major authors. 3 hrs. lect.

Spring 2012

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