General honors (GH) classes

Previously Offered general honors (GH) classes

General Honors (GH) courses are the heart of the University Honors Program curriculum and feature small class sizes, dedicated faculty members, interdisciplinary perspectives, active learning and an exciting array of topics. These classes can be accessed by searching under University Honors in the catalog. The following is an example of a General Honors (GH) course that has been offered in the past. This course may or may not be offered again.

GH301: fall of the Roman Republic


course description

From 510 to 27 BC, ancient Rome enjoyed a representative, Republican government, ostensibly “of the people, by the people, for the people” and not entirely unlike our own: A grand experiment, but one that ultimately failed. Our course examines the reasons for that failure, with special attention to contributing factors still present in the modern world: in particular, economic disparity, ethnocentricity, slavery, misogyny, apathy, and terrorism.

Our interdisciplinary study focuses on the lives and writings of three men – Catullus (poet, playboy, pop star), Julius Caesar (general, politician, historian) and Cicero (orator, statesman, philosopher) – their families, friends, and enemies. Rarely has the world seen three such important contemporaries more different in character and motive with lives more intertwined. Each man had great ambition, each achieved great fame, each met an untimely death. None lived to see Rome transformed from Republic into Empire, but all played a part in that pivotal change.

The Fall of the Roman Republic is preparatory for an optional Honors Classical study-abroad tour of Italy and Sicily, May 9-24, 2011. For more information on the tour, please contact

 Course texts include:

Thorton Wilder’s epistolary novel The Ides of March, 2003 ed., with “Foreword” by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., (ISBN 978-0060088903);  

Catullus: The Complete Poems, edited and translated by Guy Lee, (ISBN 978-0199537570);

Rubicon: The Last Years of the Roman Republic by Tom Holland, (ISBN 978-1400078974);

Cicero: The Life and Times of Rome’s Greatest Politician by Anthony Everitt, (ISBN 978-0375758959).

Instructor: Professor marilyn bisch