The Department of Classical Studies believes that the literature, monuments, and social institutions of the ancient world, together with the reflections of the Greek and Roman thinkers about their own cultures, are of unique value in themselves, well worth our contemplation and understanding; and that as we attempt to learn about and appreciate classical civilization, we necessarily learn as well a variety of contemporary methodologies and disciplines.
The department offers three groups of courses for distribution, those in Classical Civilization (introductory courses that require no knowledge of Greek or Latin), courses in Classical Archaeology, and upper-level language courses in Greek and Latin authors or genres. While only a few courses are repeated in yearly or biennial rotation, most courses are offered less regularly. This system guarantees that the instructor approaches the subject each time with fresh impetus. We believe in a healthy change and variation in our course offerings.
Classical Archaeology offerings include the broad surveys of the archaeology and monuments of Greece (CLARCH 221 — offered in the Fall) and Rome (CLARCH 222 — offered in the Winter) and a general introduction to archaeological field methods (CLARCH 323). Other courses use the material remains of specific cultures both to introduce students to the diversity of the ancient world and to demonstrate how, through a variety of multi-disciplinary approaches, the archaeological record can be used to reconstruct the life-ways of past societies.
Classical Civilization offerings include the general surveys of Greek and Roman civilizations (CLCIV 101 and 102), which provide (through readings, lectures, and discussions) a broad understanding of the literatures, thought, and social development of ancient Greece and Rome, and thus provide the student with knowledge of and appreciation for our cultural origins, as well as an acquaintance with modern methods for understanding an ancient culture. These courses are taught each year. CLCIV 101 is offered in the Fall and CLCIV 102 is offered in the Winter. Other courses provide understanding of particular aspects of the ancient world, approached from a variety of disciplines and studies — literary, philosophical, historical, sociological, and so on. Some students (particularly those who have already developed special interests in such disciplines) may wish to explore one of these topics without having had a broader introduction.