Early Cultures

The Program in Early Cultures (until recently called the Program in Ancient Studies) was founded in the late 1970s, when faculty in various academic units sought new ways to foster collaboration and promote the study of ancient civilizations among Brown’s students. It is a Program of rich collaboration, critical exploration, and truly interdisciplinary scholarship that seeks to bring together all those at Brown (faculty, graduate students, undergraduates, and staff) who are interested in the cultures, religions, and histories of ancient civilizations. Geographically, the “ancient world” represented at Brown comprises early China and India, West Asia (Mesopotamia, Iran, Anatolia, and Israel), Egypt, the Mediterranean (especially Greece and Italy), the early Islamic and Byzantine worlds as well as the Pre-Columbian Mesoamerican civilizations.

For additional information, please visit the department's website: http://www.brown.edu/Departments/Early_Cultures/

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ERLY 0680. Judaism, Christianity, and the Bible (JUDS 0680).

Interested students must register for JUDS 0680.

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ERLY 0990. Concepts of the Self in Classical Indian Literature (CLAS 0990).

Interested students must register for CLAS 0990.

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ERLY 1000A. Writing History in the Ancient World.

The Greeks and Romans created the western tradition of historiography as a genre of literature and historical reflection. The seminar will focus on the great historians from Herodotus to Tacitus and examine what purpose they pursued in writing history, investigate the origins of historical writing, and look at forms of historical reflection and writing in other ancient civilizations. Instructor permission required.

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ERLY 1000B. Geography, Ethnography, and Perceptions of the World in Antiquity.

Curious about the shape and limits of the earth and the variety of cultures, ancient Greeks and Romans explored and described the world, drew maps, and interpreted the customs of others in fascinating ways. We will discuss relevant texts (Homer, Herodotus, Strabo, Tacitus, etc., in translation) and compare the Graeco-Roman world with that of other ancient civilizations (China, Mesopotamia, Aztecs).

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ERLY 1000C. Epic and History in the Ancient and Medieval Worlds.

This seminar will focus on the question of preservation, transformation, and distortion of historical memory in epic poetry from various parts of the ancient (Mesopotamian, Hittite, Greek, and Roman) and medieval (German, French, Hispanic, and Slavic) worlds. Additional issues to be discussed include orality and literacy, cultural memory, and the social function of poetry in changing conditions. Texts in translation.

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ERLY 1000D. Highways and Byways in Antiquity.

No description available.

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ERLY 1000E. The Gift in Antiquity (RELS 1880A).

Interested students must register for RELS 1880A.

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ERLY 1120G. The Idea of Self (CLAS 1120G).

Interested students must register for CLAS 1120G.

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ERLY 1150. Animal Acts.

From the blood-soaked amphitheaters of the Roman Empire to tattooing and other forms of body modification, this course will explore how people, ancient and modern, view animals and what looking at animals reveals about what it means to be human. Examining evidence from a variety of disciplines (archaeology, religious studies, history, philosophy, art, and literature), we will investigate the problematic boundary between “man” and “animal” and challenge the presumed superiority of the “human”. WRIT LILE

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ERLY 1155. Animals in the Ancient City: Interdependence in the Urban Environment.

In the past, as in the present, humans and animals were city dwellers, living side by side in urban environments. This course will focus on five ancient cities – in India, China, Egypt, Italy and Mexico – to examine the places where human and animal lives intersected in these early metropolises. We will explore how these complex relationships had a pervasive influence on nearly every aspect of urban life: from religious practices, to city planning, to entertainment, to health. LILE WRIT

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ERLY 1410. Ancient Egyptian Literature (EGYT 1410).

Interested students must register for EGYT 1410.

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ERLY 1420. Ancient Egyptian Religion and Magic (EGYT 1420).

Interested students must register for EGYT 1420.

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ERLY 1750K. Madwomen and Lovers (CLAS 1750K).

Interested students must register for CLAS 1750K.

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ERLY 1970. Individual Study Project.

Section numbers vary by instructor. Please check Banner for the correct section number and CRN to use when registering for this course.

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ERLY 1990. Thesis Preparation.

Required of seniors in the honors program. Section numbers vary by instructor. Please check Banner for the correct section number and CRN to use when registering for this course.

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ERLY 2110F. Greek Palaeography and Premodern Book Cultures (GREK 2110F).

Interested students must register for GREK 2110F.