Classical Studies focuses on the ancient Greeks and Romans within the context of the many, diverse civilizations of the ancient Mediterranean, a world rich in opportunities for the study of cross-cultural contact and the expansion of one’s global literacy. The field encompasses all aspects of Greek and Roman civilization and its reception, offering opportunities for interdisciplinary learning, and spans in time from the prehistoric period of the Bronze Age to the end of the Roman empire in the West and the rise of Islam in the East.
Classical Studies also provides a foundation for understanding the civilizations that developed from the Greeks and Romans as well as the cultural and intellectual influence of the Greeks and Romans from antiquity into the modern era both in the United States and elsewhere. The Modern Greek Program, which is a part of the Classical Studies Department, plays an important role in educating students about the relationship between the present and the past.
Study of the Greeks and Romans considers issues that are still debated today, such as identity (race, class, gender, ethnicity), the relationship between the individual and society, the best form of government, the origins and consequences of imperialism, the function of sport and spectacle in society, the definition of heroism, and the nature of good life. It also provides focus and historical perspective for addressing concerns that are particularly pressing today, such as social justice, economic inequality, the environment, and competitive foreign policy.
The Department of Classical Studies offers a wide variety of courses in the languages and culture of both the ancient world and modern Greece. Students may choose a concentration or a minor that emphasizes archaeology, classical civilization, or the language and literature of Latin and/or Greek (ancient or modern). While many of our courses involve language training, others are taught in English translation. We have close ties with other departments, including History, Philosophy, History of Art, and Comparative Literature. We encourage students to participate fully in the life of the Department and to use the Department’s many resources. We also provide many opportunities to pursue research, field work, and study abroad. Courses in Ancient Greek, Latin, and Modern Greek can be used to fulfill the LSA Language Requirement.