Classical Civilization is the study of the history and culture of the ancient Greeks and Romans. Course offerings cover every aspect of life in the ancient world, including politics, warfare, law, slavery, gender and sexuality, religion and magic, sports and leisure, death, drama and philosophical thought. These topics are explored through the study of ancient texts in translation and the archaeological record.
Most students choose to concentrate in Classical Civilization because of their fascination with the ancient world. Nevertheless, Classical Civilization is also an excellent educational experience. Study of the ancient past increases understanding of the present because of the great debt of the modern world to the classical past. In addition, the striking differences between ancient civilization and our own help put the modern world into perspective. More practically speaking, courses in Classical Civilization enhance basic skills such as critical thinking and competence in written and oral communication.
Although knowledge of Greek or Latin is not required for this concentration, we encourage concentrators to learn the ancient languages. Concentrators should be aware that graduate programs in Classical Studies and Ancient History usually require at least three years of study of Greek and Latin. If you are interested in applying for graduate school, speak to your advisor as soon as possible.
Requires a minimum of 2 courses from the following choices, for a total of 8 credit hours. One course must emphasize Greek culture and the other course must emphasize Roman culture.
Classical Civilization 101: The Ancient Greek World
Classical Civilization 102: The Ancient Roman World
History 200: Greece to 201 B.C.
History 201: Rome
Great Books 191
A minimum of 9 courses of at least 3 credits each.
5 courses (minimum 15 credits) in Classical Civilization at the 300 or 400 level, with at least two of these at the 400 level. These courses must include at least one course in literature and one course in religion/philosophy. One course in Ancient Greek or Latin may substitute for one of these Classical Civilization courses.
1 course (minimum 3 credits) in Classical Archaeology.
1 course (minimum 3 credits) in Ancient Greek or Roman history. This requirement is separate from any History course that may have been taken as a prerequisite to the concentration.
1 upper-level elective cognate course (minimum 3 credits) outside the division of Classical Civilization. Latin 231 or 232 may also count to meet this requirement.
The "Capstone Seminar", taking either:
Classical Civilization 480: Studying Antiquity
Classical Civilization 481: Classical Tradition
In addition to the concentration requirements stated above (with the exception of the capstone seminar, CLCIV 480/481), Honors candidates must achieve fourth-term proficiency, as defined by the LSA language requirement, in either Ancient Greek or Latin. They must also take two upper-level cognate courses deemed relevant (at the discretion of the thesis advisor) to the subject of the Honors thesis. Honors students receive six credits during their senior year for researching and writing the Honors thesis (CLCIV 495); they must offer an oral defense of this work, in a form to be agreed upon with their thesis advisor. The thesis should be a minimum of 40 pages in length. Interested students who have a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.5 should contact their concentration advisor no later than the winter term of their junior year at the latest.
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The concentration in ancient Greek allows students to pursue their own interests within a wide range of Greek literature, which extends from the Homeric epics to the Byzantine era and includes the archaic, classical, and Hellenistic periods as well as the Koinê Greek of the New Testament. Students begin with Attic Greek, the language of “golden age” (fifth-century B.C.E.) Athens. The Greek language of that time and place represents a cultural and linguistic central point from which students can go on to read works in all genres, including philosophy, oratory, epic, lyric, history, tragedy, comedy, and biblical Greek.
For information about the practical benefits of studying ancient Greek click here.
Greek 102 or placement examination
Minimum of nine courses (at least three credits each) including:
Seven courses in Greek at the 300-level or above (at least four of these must be 400-level or above, usually including 401 and 402).
Two courses selected from Classical Archaeology 221, Classical Civilization 101, or History 200. Three credits of independent study (Greek 499) may be used with written approval of the undergraduate advisor.
Greek 497, the Junior/Senior Seminar, is highly recommended. The concentration in classical Greek should normally begin in the freshman or sophomore year.
In addition to the concentration requirements stated above, Honors candidates must take one course, at or above the 450-level, in Greek. Honors students receive six credits during their senior year for researching and writing an Honors thesis (Greek 495); this thesis must be based upon texts in the original ancient languages; the thesis should be a minimum of 40 pages in length. Candidates must offer an oral defense of this work, in a form to be agreed upon with their thesis advisor. Interested students who have a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.5 should contact their concentration advisor no later than the winter term of their junior year at the latest.
Language, Literature and Culture of Ancient Greece
Prerequisites to the Greek minor
Greek 301 or equivalent, as determined by the departmental placement examination.
Requirements for the Greek minor
At least 16 credits of courses chosen from the following three groups
At least two upper-level courses in Greek language and literature.
At least one broad introductory course in Greek civilization (Classical Civilization 101), Greek archaeology (Classical Archaeology 221), or Greek History (History 200).
At least one upper level (300 or 400-level) in Greek civilization, archaeology, or history.
Download the Checklist for your concentration or minor