[CLAS 0150]
Greek and Roman Epic Poetry

Rate This Class

Professor: Witkin M

Value of Course / Overall Score

Not Much (0%
Average (9.1%)
Valuable (90.9%)


Friendly (18.2%)
Average (27.3%)
Competitive (54.5%)

Class Atmosphere

Boring (81.8%)
Average (9.1%)
Fascinating (9.1%)

Prep Time Needed

1-2hr (9.1%)
3-5hr (63.6%)
6-8hr (27.3%)
9-11hr (0%)
12+ hr (0%)

Grade Weighting

Harder (0%)
Average (18.2%)
Easier (81.8%)

Adequate Assistance

Yes (90.9%)
No (9.1%)

Would Recommend Class

Yes (72.7%)
No (27.3%)

Evaluation Comments for Witkin M

  1. No Comment
  2. Witkin is so all over the place - I love the Epics we're going over, but we never meet the schedule we need to, and I always feel like we're hacking away at certain points and completely ignoring others!
  3. The most important thing for getting a lot out of this class for me was talking to Witkin outside of class. His lectures tend to get a little confusing as he bogs down in the details without really explaining their overall significance. Asking lots of questions is the key to enjoying and understanding this class. You'll come out of it with really thorough knowledge of Homer and Virgil.
  4. This was definitely one of the coolest classes I've ever taken. Witkin is so enthusiastic about the subject matter, and just watching him get excited about something was great. At times his points could be really confusing, but once you had time to digest all of the information he throws out in his frenetic fashion, everything falls into place so perfectly, which is an incredible feeling. I don't plan on being a classics major, but I have always been interested in Greek mythology, Homer in particular, and this was a great way to study him in depth and learn things I may never again have the chance to study. I really enjoyed the lectures and discussion sections in this class, and I absolutely recommend it to anyone the slightest bit interested or even to someone who just wants to try something a bit different.
  5. Witkin's lectures are disorganized. He has a hard time expressing his ideas clearly. Therefore, much of the class is boring. If you do the reading and especially read his essays, you will find what he is trying to communicate interesting. He is very knowledgeable about the topic.
  6. If you want to really understand the works of Homer and Vergil, this is a great class. Sometimes the lectures can get bogged down, and he has a tendency to go off on tangents and run out of time, but you end of learning a lot throughout the semester. He's a very fair grader and the reading isn't overwhelming, so you'll come out of this class both perfectly sane and a lot more knowledgeable about the classical epics. An added bonus of the course is that every so often Witkin will stumble upon a little Homeric joke or irony in the text that he thinks is hilarious but nobody else seems to get.
  7. Having never read any of the three texts we read in this course, I think it was certainly a great introduction! I can understand some of the previous posts about Professor Witkin being confusing, but I also agree that once you can wrap your mind around what his proposals and arguments are hinged on, everything starts to make a lot more sense. Very interesting class!
  8. Witkin is such a nice guy and is super passionate about the works we read. If your interested in the the Classical Epics, take the class. Overall very friendly atmosphere. Drawbacks: Witkin is all over the place, like you've never seen before. Lectures got pretty boring just because they are super hard to follow. take the class, but you have to try hard to keep the lectures on focus.
  9. As has mentioned before, Witkin is confusing as hell. Still, if you take time to talk to him outside of class, he can be pretty cool and a much more sensible/understandable person. Just one recommendation: watch the Wishbone episode or read the Sparknotes of the book before you start actually reading it because he WILL mention/refer to things that ya'll haven't gone over yet.
  10. Witkin is like a bottle of shampoo; you squeeze him and nothing comes out and you squeeze a little harder and you have too much to deal with on your hands. The entirety of the class from the assignments to the readings are difficult but thought provoking.
  11. First off you need to realize that Witkin confuses everybody, it isn't just you. That said once you understand the main idea in his argument everything falls into place. The reading load for this class is extremely light. We were assigned only 3.5 books, but, due to the prof. falling behind in lectures, we only read 3 of them. This is just one of the many changes to the syllabus. The midterm was made into a take-home exam, as was the final, and the final paper was cut out altogether. The books themselves are standrads of the genre and interesting, though Witkin's painfully in depth lectures often can suck the life out of them. If you go to class and take good notes, however, getting a good grade shouldn't be an issue.

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