May 08, 2021
CLAS 2360 - Food, Drink and Identity in the Ancient World
Through myth, literature, religion, art and archaeology, this course investigates different kinds of evidence for the food cultures of the ancient Near East, the Greek world and the Roman Empire. Specific types of food and drink and occasions at which they were shared formed the social and religious ties at the heart of these civilizations, and helped shape modern Western values concerning food production and consumption. Food security, human fertility, sense of community, relation to the gods and proper social order are all themes that reappear in the myths, literature and art of these major civilizations.
Credit Hours: 3
General Education Code: 2HL
Repeat/Retake Information: May be retaken two times excluding withdrawals, but only last course taken counts.
Lecture/Lab Hours: 3.0 lecture
Grades: Eligible Grades: A-F,WP,WF,WN,FN,AU,I
- Students will be able to identify the main crops and domesticated animals in Mediterranean agriculture.
- Students will be able to explain what factors were involved in the shift from foraging to agriculture in the Near East.
- Students will be able to identify the roles of food and drink in religious ritual.
- Students will be able to analyze the wider cultural contexts of myths connected with agriculture, food and drink.
- Students will be able to compare the ways that food and drink are used in different cultures to establish status.
- Students will be able to evaluate the ambivalent role of alcohol in different literary genres and assess types of intoxicated behavior in regard to class, ethnicity and gender.
- Students will be able to analyze similarities and differences in the unifying or transgressive ways the different genres of Greek and Roman literature represent eating and drinking.
- Students will be able to compare the themes of women and their connection to food and drink in wisdom literature and law codes from Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece and Rome.
- Students will be able to evaluate the use of the theme of forbidden foods to subordinate or exclude individuals or groups from the community or define others as uncivilized.
- Students will be able to become familiar with digital databases of images and texts from the Classical world such as the Perseus Digital Library, and print sources in Classical and Near Eastern literature, ancient history, archaeology and food studies.
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