Marc Witkin

Eve Adler Professor of Classics

 work(802) 443-5664
 by appointment
 on leave academic year



Course List: 

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

CLAS 0150 / CMLT 0150 - Greek and Roman Epic Poetry      

Greek and Roman Epic Poetry
Would Achilles and Hector have risked their lives and sacred honor had they understood human life and the Olympian gods as Homer portrays them in the Iliad? Why do those gods decide to withdraw from men altogether following the Trojan War, and why is Odysseus the man Athena chooses to help her carry out that project? And why, according to the Roman poet Vergil, do these gods command Aeneas, a defeated Trojan, to found an Italian town that will ultimately conquer the Greek cities that conquered Troy, replacing the Greek polis with a universal empire that will end all wars of human freedom? Through close study of Homer's Iliad and Odyssey, and Vergil's Aeneid, we explore how the epic tradition helped shape Greece and Rome, and define their contributions to European civilization. 3 hrs. lect., 1 hr. disc. CMP EUR LIT PHL

Fall 2015, Fall 2018, Fall 2019

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CLAS 0420 - Seminar in Classical Lit      

Seminar in Classical Lit: Medea: 2,500 Years of a Tragic Heroine
From Euripides’s play to the contemporary films of Pier Paolo Pasolini and Lars von Trier, Medea’s story has been retold for two and a half millennia. In this course we will investigate some of the avatars of Medea, from drama (Euripides and Seneca), to epic (Apollonius and Ovid), to philosophical discussions of her plight (Epictetus). We will also consider her role in early modern drama (Macbeth) and modern film. What does Medea represent? The overwhelming power of love and madness? The triumph of barbarism over civilization? A critique of cultural superiority and enlightenment? How can we explain her continued presence through the centuries? 3 hrs. sem. EUR LIT

Spring 2016, Spring 2018

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CLAS 0500 - Independent Study      

Independent Study
(Approval required)

Fall 2015, Winter 2016, Spring 2016, Fall 2017, Winter 2018, Spring 2018, Fall 2018, Winter 2019, Fall 2019, Winter 2020

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CLAS 0505 - Ind Senior Project      

(Approval Required)

Winter 2016, Spring 2016, Fall 2017, Winter 2018, Spring 2018, Fall 2018, Winter 2019, Fall 2019, Winter 2020

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CLAS 0700 - Sr Essay Classics/Cy      

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

Fall 2015, Winter 2016, Spring 2016, Fall 2017, Winter 2018, Spring 2018, Fall 2018, Winter 2019, Fall 2019, Winter 2020

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CLAS 1001 - Thucydides' Peloponnesian War      

Thucydides’ /Peloponnesian War/: History, Poetry, and Philosophy in Fifth-Century Athens
Athens and Sparta fought a fratricidal war during the last quarter of the fifth century B.C., and Thucydides’ account of it is our most important source for knowledge about Greece during that period. While Thucydides emphasizes his concern for facts, he admits he invented all of the speeches he attributes to historical persons in his narrative; he never calls himself an “historian” in our sense of the term.  He compares himself favorably to the poet Homer, while making a claim that is arguably philosophic: no one need write up any future human event, Thucydides says, because his account of the Peloponnesian War reveals what will happen everywhere and always, as long as human nature remains the same.  Through a close reading of Thucydides’ text, we will examine the interrelation of history, poetry, and philosophy in the ancient Greek setting in which these disciplines first came to be distinguished in the West.  EUR HIS PHL WTR

Winter 2016

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FYSE 1552 - Greek Tragedy & Politics      

Greek Tragedy and Athenian Democracy
In this survey of selected dramas by Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides, we explore tragedy’s relation to political freedom and empire in fifth century B.C. Athens. The Athenian tragic poets used traditional Greek myths, especially Homer’s depiction of the Trojan War, paradoxically: to question the morality and wisdom of contemporary Athenian imperialism; to expose the conflict between the individual’s civic and familial obligations; to highlight the tension between men’s presumptive self-government and their belief in the active power of gods. We ask how the tragedians managed to raise publicly, in the solemn religious setting of Athens’ dramatic festivals, the kind of questions for which the people of Athens later put the philosopher Socrates to death on charges of corruption and impiety. The course culminates in a reading of Aristotle's study of tragedy, the Poetics. 3 hrs. sem CW EUR LIT

Fall 2019

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GREK 0102 - Beginning Greek II      

Beginning Greek II
This course completes the introductory course offered in Winter Term and will conclude with a reading of Plato's dialogue, Ion. 6 hrs. lect. LNG

Spring 2016

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GREK 0201 - Intermediate Greek: Prose      

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

Fall 2018

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GREK 0301 - Readings in Greek Literature I      

Readings in Greek Literature I
Readings in major authors. Students should have had some formal study of Greek and should consult with the instructor during the first week of classes to determine whether or not the class is at the appropriate level. 3 hrs. lect. LIT LNG

Fall 2015

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Eve Adler Department of Classics

Twilight Hall
50 Franklin Street
Middlebury College
Middlebury, VT 05753

fax 802-443-2077