Stoicism: Classics 196/Philosophy 196

Professor: Jacques Bailly
office hours: M and T 9:30-10:30

Attendance: Daily comments
provide a record of attendance. Up to three absences are excused. Any more will start to hurt your grade (see Grades). Hand in a question or comment about the class material every class day on which there is not a midterm. Comments can be brief, but should be genuine and important questions or comments (not just "Kilroy was here"). They are not just attendance: they are a way for me to keep the pulse of the class and I appreciate them greatly even though I don't have time to respond to them individually.

Assignments are to be handed in HARDCOPY ONLY, with the sole exception of the "final drafts" which allow you to make appointments with Bronwen (see written assignments link below).
Daily Comments are handed in in class in person on the day due: no other times or ways. I will drop three of these.
Letters are to be brought to class in hard copy the day they are due: late letters will be docked 10% per class session.
Formal writing assignments are to be handed in hard copy on the day they are due: late papers will be docked 7% per day.

91-100%=A, 81-90%=B, 71-80%=C, 61-70%=D, 60% or lower fails.
Plus and minus will be given for the top three and bottom three points of each range respectively.
Midterm and Final
22.5% each
Daily Comments
5% down to negative 10%
Explanatory Paper and
Report (and accompanying presentations)
20% each

Written Assignments


Two texts were ordered and are at the bookstore.

Additional Resources:
My lecture notes will be based largely on the structure of three additional books. There is a copy of each on 2-hour Reserve in the library. They are not required, however. If you want to own them, order them wherever books are sold.
Ancient Primary Source reading: I have made a conscious decision in this class to assign ancient sources, but that is difficult, because so much of our primary source material for Stoicism consists of a paragraph here, a page there, bits and pieces of a long treatise on something else, etc. There are, however, a few mostly complete works that survive, and I have assigned much of them. Our three main authors, Marcus Aurelius, Epictetus, and Seneca, wrote in a non-systematic way, and so reading them is not the best way to get an idea of the whole of Stoicism. Cicero, who was not a Stoic, has overviews of Stoicism, which give us some systematic material, and so I have assigned some of his work (but remember, he is not a Stoic). Diogenes Laertius is often a nincompoop, but he's all we have for much of the biography of Stoics, and so I have assigned a chunk of him.

If you wish to have a hardcopy edition of specific ancient writers, there are many good translations available of the ancient texts which are assigned in this course. For my money, however, Hackett Publishers, Oxford, and Cambridge offer consistent high quality. Hackett is often inexpensive too. A good translation gives the illusion of being as good as the original. Translations are always second-best. There is no real replacement for reading it in the original.