Swamped with your writing assignments? Take the weight off your shoulder!
Format – your name, title (Final Essay), typed, Times New Roman, 12-point font, normal (1-inch) margins, no header or footer, minimum length of 500 words.
Submission – PDF file uploaded to the submission folder in the Assignments tool (chances are that a Word file may also do just fine, but any other file, such as a .pages file, I will probably not be able to open or grade on the course website).
Instructions – please write a combined total of at least 500 words, in response to all three of the following essay prompts:
Synthesis: Pick two of the ancient social positions or groups you’ve learned about in the course. It may be easiest if you select a conventional pairing (e.g., men and women; the ‘believer’ and the skeptic; et cetera), but you are not limited to sets or binaries. Connect, compare, and contrast those ancient view points and experiences of Greek and Roman religions with one another. For example, you might write about the roles, privileges, hopes, concerns, vulnerabilities, and fears of each group that you’ve selected; you might also write about whether or not they were treated equally within Greco-Roman religious and social systems.
Relevance: Relate some of the realities of religious life in the ancient Mediterranean to the modern society and culture that you are most familiar with today, be it the United States or another part of the world. For example, you might write about the extent to which the concerns and vulnerabilities of certain social groups have changed or maybe persisted across the time and space that separate us moderns from the ancient Greeks and Romans; if you detect inequities then and now, you might also comment on whether progress has been made and what more you think could be done to solve such problems.
Reflection: At the start of the course, in the Diagnostic you jotted down your initial characterization of the traditional religions of the ancient Greeks and Romans. Re-read what you wrote there, reflect on your subsequent coursework, and then answer these questions: How did your own background impact your perceptions of Greek and Roman religions when you began the course, and how has your understanding evolved during our collaborative, online-intensive session?
So the essay is divided into three prompts — Synthesis, Relevance, and Reflection. But you can and should type the essay as a single document with a single title. Your responses to each prompt do not have to be the same length; they can vary. Together they just need to add up to 500 words.
Course Title, Session, Description; and about the Gen Ed refresh
CLAS / RELI 305
Greek and Roman Religions
Legacy Gen Ed, Tier Two, Individuals and Societies
Gen Ed Refresh: Building Connections; World Cultures and Societies; Writing
Spring 7wk1, 2022; icourse // Arizona Online
Description: Religious beliefs and cult (i.e. worship) practices in ancient Greece and Rome. All readings in English.
You do not need any prior knowledge of Classics or Religious Studies.
About the Gen Ed Refresh and Building Connections between ancient social positions: This course satisfies requirements for the legacy Gen Ed and for the Gen Ed Refresh — as well as for the majors/minors in Religious Studies and Classics. If you matriculated before Spring 2022, you’re under the legacy Gen Ed. If you matriculated in Spring 2022 or later, you’re under the Gen Ed Refresh.
Whatever the requirements of your Gen Ed program, you’ll all be expected to do the same work in this course, which means everyone gets some of the benefits of the Gen Ed Refresh, as the University transitions from the legacy Gen Ed to the new Gen Ed over the next few years.
One of the curriculum categories of the Gen Ed Refresh is called Building Connections. In this course, we will look at religion in the Greco-Roman world from the view point of many ancient social positions. You’ll be able to build connections between them as you discuss the reading and especially as you write your Final Essay.
In Modules 2-3-4, the textbook by Dr Rebecca Denova outlines the ancient social positions and religious lives of:
rulers and their subordinates
men and women
the wealthy and the indigent
the citizen and the non-citizen
the free and the enslaved
In Module 3.1, I have also posted some supplemental TED-Ed videos on what daily life was like for:
elite men in Athens
daughters of elites in Rome, including the Vestal Virgins
middle-class teens in Rome
the common Roman soldier
Then in Modules 5-6-7, there are two case studies, one in religion and Greek drama and another in religion and Roman philosophy, namely Aristophanes’ Clouds, from the 400s BCE, and Cicero’s On the Nature of the Gods, from nearly half a millennium later. The Athenian Aristophanes and the Roman Cicero were male elites, but they also occupied other social positions:
the comedian-satirist (Aristophanes)
the philosopher-statesman (Cicero)
the theist or ‘believer’ (Aristophanes contra his character Socrates)
the skeptic (Cicero himself, to one extent or another)
Tip for the Final: If you keep an eye out for these and yet other social positions all along the way, you will be well prepared for the Final Essay, which constitutes the Signature Assignment for this course in the Gen Ed Refresh.