Pavlos Sfyroeras

Professor of Classics; Head, Ross Commons

 on leave for academic year
 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]

CLAS0151 - The Golden Age of Athens      

The Golden Age of Athens: History and Literature
In this course we will trace the unprecedented intellectual innovation that begins with Greece’s triumph over the Persian invasions in 490 and 480-479 BC, continues through the emergence of radical democracy and imperialism at Athens, and culminates in the Peloponnesian War and Athens’ defeat in 404 BC by her former ally, Sparta. Through intensive study of selected works of historiography (Herodotus, Thucydides), tragedy (Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides), comedy (Aristophanes), and philosophy (Plato), we will explore the central concerns of 5th-century Athenians: freedom and power, knowledge and virtue, law and nature, and the place of the divine in the human world. 3 hr. lect., 1 hr. disc. EUR HIS LIT

Fall 2013, Fall 2014

More Information »

CLAS0190 / CMLT0190 - Greek and Roman Comedy      

Greek and Roman Comedy
A survey of the comic playwrights of Greece (Aristophanes and Menander) and Rome (Plautus and Terence) in light of their ancient social, political, and religious contexts as well as modern theoretical approaches to laughter (including psychoanalysis and structural anthropology). We will trace enduring aspects of the comic tradition that can be found in both Greece and Rome and also look forward to Renaissance and modern comedy. These include: the nature of the comic hero; the patterns of comic plots; the dependence of comedy on language; the comic poet's concern with questions of freedom and slavery, desire and repression. 3 hrs. lect., 1 hr. disc. EUR LIT

Spring 2012, Spring 2013

More Information »

CLAS0420 - Seminar in Classical Lit      

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

Spring 2015

More Information »

CLAS0500 - Independent Study      

Independent Study
(Approval required)

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

More Information »

CLAS0505 - Ind Senior Project      

(Approval Required)

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

More Information »

CLAS0700 - Sr Essay Classics/Cy      

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

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

More Information »

FYSE1362 - Sophocles and Athens      

Sophocles and Athens
What can we learn from Sophocles, the tragic playwright whose life spans the Athenian 5th century BCE? Why do his tragedies—composed against the background of Athens’ incredible achievements, its radical democracy, but also its ever more aggressive foreign policy—reflect so poignantly on the human condition? In this seminar we will trace Sophocles’ effort to probe the mysteries of the soul, both of the individual and of the community, and to confront the riddle of human existence. In addition to studying his seven surviving plays in their historical context, we will also consider their profound impact on later thought and art, including opera and film. 3 hrs. sem. CW EUR LIT

Fall 2012, Spring 2014

More Information »

GREK0101 - 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

More Information »

GREK0202 - Intermediate Greek Poetry      

Intermediate Greek: Attic Drama-Sophocles' Tragic Vision
Readings in majors authors. 3 hrs. lect. EUR LNG

Spring 2013, Spring 2015

More Information »

GREK0302 - Readings in Greek Lit II      

Readings in Greek Literature II
Readings in major authors. 3 hrs. lect. LIT LNG

Spring 2014

More Information »

LITS0701 - Independent Reading Course      

Independent Reading Course
Intended for majors in literary studies preparing for the senior comprehensive examinations. At the conclusion of this course, students will take a one-hour oral examination (part of the senior comprehensive examination) in a specialization of their choice. (Approval Required) (Staff)

Fall 2013, Fall 2014

More Information »

Teaching Profile

Primarily a Hellenist, I teach courses intended to introduce students to the authors of a period such as the 5th century BC or to a genre such as comedy or the novel. A central concern of mine is the interface of ancient literature and religion. Consequently, I often venture into the manifestations of the sacred in Greek culture and offer seminars on Greek religion in general or on a specialized topic such as rites of passage. I also enjoy teaching all levels of Greek and Latin; my favorite authors for the more advanced levels include Homer, Pindar, Aristophanes, Thucydides, and Plato on the Greek side, Plautus, Tacitus, and Apuleius on the Latin. In all my teaching, whether in the original languages or in English, I seek to bring students into contact with great minds that, while operating under different circumstances and with different categories from our own, have shaped profoundly the way we think. This combination of the familiar and the foreign is, I believe, a crucial component of a liberal education.

Research Profile

My research focuses on the epic, choral, and dramatic poets of archaic and classical Greece; like my teaching, it tends to explore the mythic and ritual dimensions of literature. In addition to several articles on Aristophanes, Pindar, Bacchylides, Euripides, and Homer, my monograph The Feast of Poetry: Sacrifice and Performance in Aristophanic Comedy is forthcoming from Harvard University Press.I am currently working on two book-length projects, tentatively entitled "Aristophanes Sophos: Comedy and Philosophy in the Late 5th Century" and "Pindar's Epichoric Mythmaking."  Here is a select list of my publications.