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2017-2018 Syllabus for
Classics 220 (01): Daily Life
John Porter, instructor
Term 1
TR: 1:00-2:20
Room: THORV 205A

Purpose of the Course

Study of daily life in ancient Greece (primarily Archaic and Classical Athens) and Roman Italy (especially Rome itself, ca. 100 B.C. to A.D. 150), with an emphasis on the ideological implications of our often limited and problematic sources.

Required Texts


In addition to weekly reading assignments there will be a brief methodological essay, a midterm examination, a term essay, and a final examination required this term.

  1. Methodological essay: you will asked to submit a brief (800-1000 word) essay evaluating the value, advantages, and limitations of a particular class of evidence (literature, archaeological remains, art, myth, ancient historical accounts, inscriptions, oratory, law codes, etc.) for the study of the daily realities of life in ancient Greece and/or Rome — preferably something related specifically to your proposed term essay. (For best results, you should keep the focus of your inquiry very narrow: e.g., ancient tragedy or comedy or satire instead of "literature" in general, funerary inscriptions instead of "inscriptions" more broadly, Attic vase painting in place of "art.") The methodological essay will account for 10% of your mark.

  2. The midterm examination will consist of some combination of: (1) short answer and/or identification, (2) passage(s) for commentary, (3) essay(s). The midterm examination will account for 20% of your mark.

  3. The term essay should be 2500-3000 words in length (not including quotations, footnotes, bibliography, and other scholarly apparatus).
    The term essay should be exactly what the name implies: an essay on which you have worked for a good part of the term. No specific topics will be assigned, but the essay should address some feature of the works and themes examined in class and should entail analysis rather than mere description or background information. (Be forewarned: reports that merely reproduce information compiled from secondary sources will not be deemed acceptable.)

    Your essay should be composed in accordance with the instructions provided by the *Notes on Composing a Term Essay page on this WWW site. (Pay particular attention to the *Check-List of Items to Keep in Mind When Composing Your Essay.) Otherwise, students should follow the guidelines regarding formatting, etc. provided by Mary Lynn Rampolla's widely-available Pocket Guide to Writing in History or in the guidelines presented in the Department of English's Requirements for Essays.

    N.B. You will be required to submit both a hard copy and an electronic copy of your essay. (For particulars re formatting, etc., see below.) Failure to submit an electronic copy of the essay will result in a 5% reduction in your mark for the essay.

    Secondary sources will be necessary, but a mere summary or recapitulation of the views of earlier scholars will not be deemed acceptable. All such secondary sources must be properly documented. (Consult the instructions on *The Use of Secondary Sources on this WWW site; if you are still uncertain concerning just what these conditions mean, see me.)

    Important Note: please be aware that I do not allow the use of non-scholarly, web-based resources (general web pages, blogs, etc.) in my courses without prior approval. Peer-reviewed scholarly works accessed via JSTOR, Project Muse, Chadwyck PAO, etc. are acceptable, but most general web-pages (including my own!) do not meet the standards of a scholarly publication. (The sole exception: film reviews or reviews of other contemporary works such as a modern play or television series.)
    Plagiarism: scholarship is premised on academic honesty and integrity. Authors must properly acknowledge the primary and secondary sources upon which they base their ideas and arguments so that original contributions are readily identifiable. Failure to do so is unethical and constitutes plagiarism.

    History Department Plagiarism Policy

    It is important that students read and understand the University's regulations governing academic misconduct, which apply to all University courses. Plagiarism is one of 23 examples of misconduct that are outlined in these regulations. Because it concerns the use of sources in the production of one's own work (term essays, prepared in-class essays, take-home exams, book reviews, historiographic overviews, artistic or historical reproductions, and any other written requirements), a clear understanding of plagiarism is particularly important in History and CMRS courses, where such work often constitutes an important component of the course. Accordingly, every student must understand the distinction between plagiarism and the legitimate use of external sources. As stated in the University's regulations:
    "Plagiarism is the presentation of the work or idea of another in such a way as to give others the impression that it is the work or idea of the presenter. Adequate attribution is required. What is essential is that another person have no doubt which words or research results are the student's and which are drawn from other sources. Full explicit acknowledgement of the source of the material is required.
    "Examples of Plagiarism are:

    1. The use of material received or purchased from another person or prepared by any person other than the individual claiming to be the author.
    2. The verbatim use of oral or written material without adequate attribution.
    3. The paraphrasing of oral or written material of other persons without adequate attribution."

    It is also unethical to submit the same essay to two different classes, unless you have made a special arrangement with the instructors of both classes.

    If your instructor believes that plagiarism or any other type of academic misconduct has occurred, s/he will follow the University regulations governing these matters, which are available at:
    In brief: written assignments are employed to help students develop their knowledge of a particular field — the material with which it deals, the resources and methodologies employed by scholars who study such material — but they also help students to develop their analytical skills, their capacity to express ideas effectively, and their ability to combine those ideas into a coherent and compelling argument. Cutting and pasting material from someone else's work, or merely summarizing material from a secondary source, does little to serve any of these purposes.

    The term essay will account for 30% of your mark. Late essays will be subject to academic penalty, as set out below.

  4. The final examination will consist of some combination of: (1) short answer and/or identification, (2) passages for commentary, (3) essay(s). The final examination will account for 40% of your mark.

Please note:

The term essay, midterm examination, and final examination are essential elements of this course.

Students who fail to complete any of these required elements will receive a mark of no higher than 49% for the course.

Assignments are due at the beginning of class on the day of the stated deadline.

Where they are permitted, late submissions will be subject to academic penalty of 3% per day (including weekends and holidays).

An assignment will be considered to have been submitted once it has been delivered in hard-copy format to the instructor:
e-mail submissions, or assignments that have been given to a third party or slipped under an office door will not be counted.

No outside resources will be permitted in any course examinations.

Lectures may not be recorded without the prior consent of the instructor.

Unless otherwise indicated, course material is to be regarded as the copyrighted property of the instructor
and is not to be reproduced or distributed in any form without express written consent.

UofS Academic Courses Policy on Class Delivery, Examinations, and Assessment of Student Learning

Schedule of Assignments

Formatting and Evaluating Your Written Assignments

See the style guide ("Assessment of Papers") and the sample essay template in the "Bibliographic and Writing Aids" folder on the course PAWS site.

Electronic Submissions

To submit an electronic version of an assignment, please send the file in MS-Word format to The file name should consist of your last name only. Please send a single file (i.e., no separate files for the title page or bibliography).
If you do not use MS-Word, simply copy and paste the text into an email and mail it to me in plain text format. Formatting is not important in the electronic submission: I merely want a copy of your text.
Be sure that your text includes your name, your student number, and the paper title.

Classroom Etiquette

During class, it is expected that students will actively engage with the in-class discussion. Private conversations, texting, checking your Facebook page, etc. are not acceptable activities: they distract other students and the instructor, and generally set a tone that is inappropriate for a university lecture-hall. Individuals who clearly are not paying attention in class will be asked to leave; those who persist in such behavior and compel me to interrupt a lecture on more than one occasion will be assigned a special seat at the front of the room for the duration of the term.

Contacting the Professor

The best way to contact me is to chat with me after class, when we can readily discuss any minor questions or arrange to meet in person at some other time for a more detailed conversation. Or you can visit me during my office hours. (Note: if no one comes by in the first 20 minutes or so, I might run down to grab a coffee, chat with the secretaries, etc., but I always come back.)
I try to answer my email but, to be honest, will not be thrilled when asked to take the time to type out a lengthy message dealing with administrative matters that I have already addressed in class (deadlines, formatting issues, nature of exams, etc.). On the other hand, more abstract questions regarding particular paper topics, ideas that have come up in class that you would like to explore further, and so on, really cannot be addressed effectively in an email.
In general, if the matter is important enough to require a detailed response, it is important enough for you to take the time to talk to me in person.
Another reason to mistrust email is that it allows for errors: a quickly typed note can easily lend itself to typos and omissions. Note: if there is a discrepancy between an email note and the course syllabus, the information on the syllabus should be regarded as taking precedence — unless I have specifically noted the change in class.
Emails should be properly formatted, with a proper salutation and valediction. They should be written in complete, coherent sentences and show some care in their general composition, and they should employ correct spelling.

On-Campus Assistance for Students:

If you have a diagnosed disability (learning, medical, physical, or mental health), you are strongly encouraged to register with Disability Services for Students (DSS). In order to access DSS programs and supports, you must follow DSS policy and procedures.

Those with more general concerns should consult Student Learning Services:

Possible Topics for Course Lectures and/or Student Essays

Resources on the WWW

Subject Bibliographies for Classics 220

Useful Resources for Students of Classics/CMRS

The Perseus Project

Diotima: Women in the Ancient World

Museum of Antiquities (University of Saskatchewan)

Overview of Archaic & Classical Greek History by Thomas Martin (Perseus)

Notes on Composing a Term Essay

Notes on the Use of Secondary Sources

Notes on Composing an In-Class Essay

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These pages were designed by John Porter.
Last Modified: Wednesday, 06-Sep-2017 16:52:23 CST
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