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 of Classical Studies is concerned with every aspect of the worlds of the ancient Greeks and Romans – their languages and literatures, art and material cultures, philosophy, history, daily life, law and justice, political theory, and religion. The works and thoughts of the Greeks and Romans provide focus and historical perspective to questions which are heatedly debated in our time, making this field of study exciting and intellectually engaging. An ideal liberal arts education, Classical Studies is an excellent way to develop analytical abilities, to learn to make careful arguments and express them lucidly as well as come to a solid understanding of some of the greatest monuments of human thought and art.
LSA Language Requirement
The LSA language requirement for the A.B./B.S. degree may be satisfied with the successful completion of: MODGREEK 202, both GREEK 301 and 302 (or equivalent); GREEK 307 and 308; GREEK 300 and any upper-level course; LATIN 232 or 295, or any course at the 300- or 400-level which has one of these courses as a prerequisite, or by satisfactory performance on a placement test. The Latin placement test is offered once at the beginning of each term, periodically during each term by arrangement, and throughout the Summer Orientation period. Students are placed into the department’s language sequences according to their demonstrated proficiency.
Intensive Language Courses
The department offers intensive language courses in Latin and Greek which compress the normal two-year sequence required for elementary language proficiency. Intensive courses are available for Latin and Greek, and are offered during Fall and Winter Terms, and during the Spring or Summer Half-Term. For information about intensive Latin and Greek, please contact the department.
Special Departmental Policies
The department requires that a student earn a grade of at least C– in all language courses which are prerequisite for subsequent elections. A student should repeat any language course in which a D+ or lower grade is earned and which serves as a prerequisite to other courses which are to be elected. A grade of D+ signifies some achievement but denotes too weak a foundation for subsequent courses.
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.
Courses Taught in English
The department offers a number of Classical Archaeology and Classical Civilization courses which require no knowledge of Greek or Latin. Through lectures and reading in translation, these courses offer students an opportunity to acquire a general knowledge of Greek and Roman archaeology, literature, mythology, religion, sport and daily life, sexuality, law, philosophy, and institutions.