University of Notre Dame

Ancient Emotions

Course Number: CLAS 13186-1
Instructor: Blake Leyerle

Why do people react as they do? How can feelings be manipulated? And, what is the role of emotion in life and literature? A desire to explore these questions will lead us in this seminar to read and discuss an assortment of ancient texts, ranging from the influential definitions of emotions penned by philosophers (especially Aristotle and the Stoics), to the “case studies” provided by classical drama and epic, to the various therapeutic strategies urged by early Christian preachers (especially John Chrysostom). Throughout the semester, we will bring modern studies of the emotions and current therapeutic approaches into dialogue with these ancient sources.