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CLAS/ANTH: 3009 (Baxter): Course Information

This guide provides helpful resources to complete the research paper assignment in Professor Baxter's Modern Issues, Ancient Times: Drinking and Dining in the Greco-Roman World course.

Assignment Details

Below are a few major requirements for your research paper. Please see the complete description of the assignment which Professor Baxter has provided for further details.


Research papers are a key requirement of most upper-division humanities courses and this one is designed to fulfill the rigorous requirements for the historical context core-course credit. At the same time, this assignment gives you the chance to follow your own interests and instincts in exploring food and drink in classical antiquity. The goal is to produce a traditional research
paper (ca. 12-15 pages) about an idea, an institution, or an issue that was important in antiquity that we still see in modern society. Your paper should try to connect (or disconnect) the ancient and modern sides of your topic by developing an argument about their relationship. This may take the form of, for example, its historical evolution and factors that influenced it, ancient and 6 modern responses to similar historical, economic or social circumstances, or as reflections of ancient and modern cultural norms.


Your paper should incorporate both primary and secondary sources, as well as integrating those theoretical approaches and perspectives you have found most interesting or useful to your topic in class. Your bibliography should include a minimum of 15 sources, none of which should be a website without the instructor’s permission. If you cite any ancient or modern art or architecture as specific evidence for your argument, you should include those in an appendix. An abstract of 200 words that briefly describes your topic and approach, as well as an annotated bibliography of 4-5 related sources is due before (i.e., on November 10) you hand-in your final product (this is worth 5% of your total grade in the course). The same criteria for grading the short papers will be applied to this research paper.

Possible topics include: soldier diets and army provisions; food ‘doles’ in the ancient world; ancient vegetarianism; aphrodisiacs; the alcoholism of Alexander the Great; the treatment of food and dining by a particular ancient author or authors (Homer, Athenaeus, Aristophanes, Suetonius, Martial); athletes’ diets, … or anything else you find interesting!

Library Class

The library instruction session, taught by Megan Welsh, Classics Librarian, and Juliann Couture, Anthropology Librarian, will help you to find scholarly and supplementary resources to be used for your assignment. It will also help you to be more comfortable finding and using the Libraries' resources and asking for help.

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Megan Welsh's picture
Megan Welsh


Juliann Couture's picture
Juliann Couture