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Classical Studies

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Classics is an area study that approaches the ancient Mediterranean world from a broad variety of perspectives, including history, art, archaeology, religion, philosophy, literature and language. Thus, majors in classical studies have the opportunity to explore a wide range of humanistic disciplines.

Work with the ancient languages encourages logical and creative thought, provides a sophisticated grasp of the possibilities of language and gives the student the opportunity to study in detail some of the greatest works of the human spirit. A major in Classics is a good foundation for a wide variety of careers. Classics majors have gone on to successful careers in such fields as law, medicine, business, journalism, government, teaching, theatre and the arts. Some of our majors have double majored in fields such as Political Science, Philosophy and Chemistry.

The major in classical studies may be completed in any one of the following areas of concentration: Greek, Latin or classical civilization. Minors are offered in classical civilization, Greek, Latin and classical archaeology.

Students majoring in Classical Studies are usually expected to complete their senior comprehensive requirement through the department's senior seminar. The seminar presents the opportunity for majors in Classical Civilization, Greek, or Latin to address a particular topic at an advanced level. The seminar topics are either thematic (e.g., "Art Inscriptions") or topical (e.g., "Rome in the Age of Augustus"). Within the seminar, each student is expected to complete an independent research project related to the topic of the seminar. In exceptional cases, students may opt to complete the senior comprehensive requirement by completing an independent thesis project. Students interested in this possibility should confer with their departmental advisor about the specific requirements. Students who are double majoring in two Classical Studies disciplines (e.g., Latin and Classical Civilization) must complete a senior comprehensive requirement for both majors. Students pursuing a double major should consult with the chair of the department about the options.

Students are encouraged to participate in Winter Term trips to Italy and Greece (or elsewhere in the Mediterranean) and in semester abroad programs such as the College Year in Athens and the Intercollegiate Center for Classical Studies in Rome or Sicily. In many cases, courses taken in these programs count toward a Classical Studies major or minor. Students interested in Classical Archaeology are also encouraged to participate in summer fieldwork in the Mediterranean.

Students who are interested in teaching Latin in high school should take as much Latin as possible and consult with the Classical Studies and Education departments about certification.

Students planning to attend graduate school in classics should either double major in Greek and Latin or major in one language and minor in the other. Students planning to attend graduate school in classical archaeology should try to major in one language and minor in classical archaeology.

Courses in Classical Studies

CLST 100 Greek and Roman Mythology . (1 course, Arts and Humanities)
The principal myths and legends of the ancient world, with consideration of the nature of myth, the social origin and evolution of myths, their relation to religion and philosophy and their use in literature and art.

CLST 120 The Ancient Mediterranean World. (1 course, Arts and Humanities)
The Mediterranean world from the beginning of civilization to the end of the Roman Empire: Ancient Near East, Classical Greece, Hellenistic Age, Roman Republic, Roman Empire and the Emergence of Christianity.

CLST 263 Greek, Etruscan and Persian Art and Archaeology. (1 course, Arts and Humanities)

This course covers the art and archaeology of the ancient Mediterranean from the end of the Bronze Age (ca. 1100 BC) to the death of Alexander the Great (323 BC). The course examines the major cities, sanctuaries and burial grounds of the Persians, Assyrians, Israelites, Greeks, and Etruscans. Special attention is given to the growth of urbanism and international trade during this period and their effects on material culture. 

Courses in Greek

GRK 101 Elementary Greek I. (1 course)
The essentials of grammar and selections from important authors with reading and lectures on the cultural background.

GRK 205 Greek Prose and Poetry. (1 course, Language)
Review of grammar and reading from representative Greek authors, usually including Homer or Plato. Prerequisite: GRK 101-102. May be repeated for credit.

Courses in Latin

LAT 123 Elementary Latin I. (1 course)
An introduction to Latin grammar with emphasis on the development of reading knowledge. Includes discussions of Roman life and culture.

LAT 223 Introduction to Latin Prose. (1 course, Language)
Combines a thorough review of Latin grammar and the introduction of authentic Latin prose texts. Teaches strategies for translation of Latin prose. Texts may cover a wide range of genres and periods. Prerequisite: LAT 124 or two years of high school Latin (entering students should take the Latin placement exam during orientation) or permission of instructor.