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CLASSICS 2K03 Society:Greece&Rome

Academic Year: Spring/Summer 2017

Term: Spring

Day/Evening: D

Instructor: Prof. Kyle McLeister

Email: mcleik@mcmaster.ca

Office: Togo Salmon Hall 715

Phone: 905-525-9140 x 23383


Office Hours: Monday 12:30-1:30 (TSH 709)

Course Objectives:

This course will examine various aspects of the society of Greece and Rome, with emphasis on Athens in the Classical period and Rome in the late Republic and the early imperial period. The topics that will be surveyed include: class and social status, women, slavery, the family, and gladiatorial contests.

Textbooks, Materials & Fees:

K. McLeister, Hoplites and House Parties: Readings in Greek Society and Culture (Radix Antiqua)

K. McLeister, Armies and Aqueducts: Readings in Roman Society and Culture (Radix Antiqua)

Method of Assessment:

1. Online Quizzes 10%
2. Midterm 30%
3. Passage for Comment Test 25%
4. Final Exam 35%

The assessments for this course will consist of Online Quizzes, a Midterm, a Passage for Comment Test, and a Final Exam. The dates for the quizzes, tests, and the final exam are listed on the class schedule below.

There will be 8 online quizzes which will assess your understanding of the readings. Each quiz will remain open until one hour before class; afterwards the quiz will close and you will not be able to complete it. Please ensure that you allow yourself sufficient time to complete each quiz before lecture.

The Midterm will cover material from the beginning of the course until the date of the Midterm. There will be three sections: multiple choice, short answer (Term IDs), and long answer (Passage for Comment). Questions for the first two sections will be drawn from material covered in lecture, while the questions in the Passage for Comment section will be drawn from the material in the Greek textbook (Hoplites and House Parties). Further details will be provided in lecture.

The Passage for Comment Test will consist of long answer questions drawn from the material in the Roman textbook (Armies and Aqueducts). Further details will be provided in lecture. 

The Final Exam will be the same format as the Midterm. It will include lecture material covered since the Midterm, and readings from the textbook covered since the Passage for Comment Test.  Further details will be provided in lecture. 

Policy on Missed Work, Extensions, and Late Penalties:

If you miss a test for a valid reason, then your exam grade will count as your grade for the missed test.

Please Note the Following Policies and Statements:

Academic Dishonesty

You are expected to exhibit honesty and use ethical behaviour in all aspects of the learning process. Academic credentials you earn are rooted in principles of honesty and academic integrity.

Academic dishonesty is to knowingly act or fail to act in a way that results or could result in unearned academic credit or advantage. This behaviour can result in serious consequences, e.g. the grade of zero on an assignment, loss of credit with a notation on the transcript (notation reads: "Grade of F assigned for academic dishonesty"), and/or suspension or expulsion from the university.

It is your responsibility to understand what constitutes academic dishonesty. For information on the various types of academic dishonesty please refer to the Academic Integrity Policy, located at www.mcmaster.ca/academicintegrity

The following illustrates only three forms of academic dishonesty:

  1. Plagiarism, e.g. the submission of work that is not one’s own or for which other credit has been obtained.
  2. Improper collaboration in group work.
  3. Copying or using unauthorized aids in tests and examinations.

Email correspondence policy

It is the policy of the Faculty of Humanities that all email communication sent from students to instructors (including TAs), and from students to staff, must originate from each student’s own McMaster University email account. This policy protects confidentiality and confirms the identity of the student.  Instructors will delete emails that do not originate from a McMaster email account.

Modification of course outlines

The University reserves the right to change dates and/or deadlines etc. for any or all courses in the case of an emergency situation or labour disruption or civil unrest/disobedience, etc. If a modification becomes necessary, reasonable notice and communication with the students will be given with an explanation and the opportunity to comment on changes. Any significant changes should be made in consultation with the Department Chair.

McMaster Student Absence Form (MSAF)

In the event of an absence for medical or other reasons, students should review and follow the Academic Regulation in the Undergraduate Calendar Requests for Relief for Missed Academic Term Work. Please note these regulations have changed beginning Fall 2015. You can find information at mcmaster.ca/msaf/. If you have any questions about the MSAF, please contact your Associate Dean's office.

Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities

Students who require academic accommodation must contact Student Accessibility Services (SAS) to make arrangements with a Program Coordinator. Academic accommodations must be arranged for each term of study. Student Accessibility Services can be contacted by phone 905-525-9140 ext. 28652 or e-mail sas@mcmaster.ca. For further information, consult McMaster University's Policy for Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities.

Academic Accommodation for Religious, Indigenous and Spiritual Observances

Students requiring academic accommodation based on religion and spiritual observances should follow the procedures set out in the Course Calendar or by their respective Faculty. In most cases, the student should contact his or her professor or academic advisor as soon as possible to arrange accommodations for classes, assignments, tests and examinations that might be affected by a religious holiday or spiritual observance.

Topics and Readings:

Week 1 (June 19th – 25th)


Introduction; Greek History Overview; Greek Warfare

Hoplites and House Parties: Chapter 1


Slaves, Metics, and Barbarians; Greek Women; Families and Households

Hoplites and House Parties: Chapter 2, 3, 4

(Quiz on Avenue)

Week 2 (June 26th – July 2nd)


Gods & Myth; The Radical Democracy; The Spartan Exception

Hoplites and House Parties: Chapter 5, 6, 7 (Quiz on Avenue)


Athletics; Theatre; The Problem of Socrates

Hoplites and House Parties: Chapter 8, 9, 10 (Quiz on Avenue)

Week 3 (July 3rd – 9th)


NO CLASS (Canada Day)



Greek Art; The Acropolis Building Programme; Symposium; Conclusions

Hoplites and House Parties: Chapter 11, 12 (Quiz on Avenue)

Week 4 (July 10th – 16th)





Roman History Overview; Class and Social Status; Marriage and Family

Armies and Aqueducts: Chapter 1, 2

Week 5 (July 17th – 23th)


Roman Women; Slavery; Freedmen

Armies and Aqueducts: Chapter 3, 4, 5 (Quiz on Avenue)


Politics and Government; Graecia Capta; Roman Art

Armies and Aqueducts: Chapter 6, 7 (Quiz on Avenue)

Week 6 (July 24th – 30th)


PASSAGE FOR COMMENT TEST; Education; Work and Wealth

Armies and Aqueducts: Chapter 8, 9


Gladiators; Entertainment & Leisure; The Roman Army

Armies and Aqueducts: Chapter 10, 11, 12, 13 (Quiz on Avenue)

Week 7 (July 31st – August 2nd)


Roman Engineering; Roman Religion; Conclusion

Armies and Aqueducts: Chapter 14, 15 (Quiz on Avenue)