The Department of Classics introduces students to the culture, life, and legacy of ancient Greece and Rome through courses in the Greek and Latin languages and literatures, in ancient history and archaeology, and in the visual and material cultures of the ancient Mediterranean world. When justified by enrollment, the department offers courses in Sanskrit and in ancient Indian religious texts. A relatively recent development is a focus on the classical tradition in Europe and beyond. The department faculty represents a range of academic disciplines and is committed, where appropriate, to an interdisciplinary approach in teaching and research.
The core purpose of the department is to offer the opportunity for study of the ancient classical languages, as a crucial point of entry into the conceptual worlds of Greece and Rome. Students are also exposed to the various facets of antiquity that made the ancient Mediterranean world the progenitor of the modern West, not least in its mingling of cultures and belief systems. The different sub-disciplines and methodologies represented in the department involve multiple ways of exploring and understanding antiquity. Our students explore the philological, literary, and philosophical dimensions of ancient texts, and they engage with material and visual culture and city form through archaeology, epigraphy, and art and architectural history. Further, they study major moments of the revival of antiquity and the various lenses through which subsequent eras understood or appropriated the past.
Knowledge of classical antiquity constitutes the backbone of a liberal education. It also provides an excellent basis for further professional training in whatever field a student may ultimately pursue; for informed engagement with the political, social, and cultural issues of our turbulent times; and for the appreciation and enjoyment of artistic and cultural achievement. A major in Classics, or even a minor, may be (as it often has been) profitably combined with programs aimed toward law, medicine, management, diplomatic service, banking, journalism, library science, or politics; religious, philosophic, literary, or historical studies; careers in the fine arts (visual or performing); or museum or archival work.
The Major (New Requirements starting Fall 2012)
The core of the Classics major is the study of the languages and literatures of ancient Greece and Rome and the societies that spoke Greek and Latin until the end of the ancient world (usually taken as the 5th century of the Common Era). The major uniquely offers exposure to a range of approaches: literary, philological, historical, archaeological, art historical, philosophical, and anthropological. Further, the scope of the department has expanded to embrace the classical tradition in and even beyond Europe, with courses on literature and art and architecture up to the 20th century.
There are three separate concentrations in the Classics major. Philology (Concentration A) is devoted to ancient languages and their associated literatures in the original languages (Greek, Latin, or Greek and Latin). Classical Civilization (Concentration B) focuses on ancient history, literature in translation, and archaeology. Classical Tradition (Concentration C) explores the legacy of antiquity from the European Middle Ages to the contemporary world. The relevant courses examine the various ways that subsequent civilizations and movements have drawn on the classical world, for a wide range of purposes (some good, some nefarious), and with an equally wide range of effects. Please note that for Concentrations B and C, students must complete study of either Greek or Latin to at least the intermediate level.
Each Concentration requires 10 courses (30 hours), and at least two of these courses must be at the 300 level. For students who elect to complete their junior and senior year SAGES requirements in Classics, two additional courses (6 hours) are required, CLSC 320 (Departmental Seminar: Alexander the Great) and CLSC 381 (Classics Senior Capstone). Note that CLSC 320 may count as one of the Classics 300-level courses, provided the student takes his or her junior SAGES requirements outside of Classics.
In the Philology Concentration (A) , students can earn one of three degrees: BA in Classics: Greek; BA in Classics: Latin; or BA in Classics: Greek and Latin. Students in Track A are required to take CLSC 231 (Greek Civilization), CLSC 232 (Roman Civilization), and any combination of eight GREK or LATN courses, at least two of which (6 hours) must be at the 300-level. To receive the BA in Classics: Greek and Latin, students must complete at least one year of their second language.
In the Classical Civilization Concentration (B) , students are required to take CLSC 231 (Greek Civilization), CLSC 232 (Roman Civilization), at least one 200-level or higher GREK or LATN course (for most students, this will mean taking GREK or LATN 101, 102 and 201), and any combination of GREK, LATN, or CLSC courses to bring their course total to 10 (30 hours), at least two of which must be at the 300 level. The elective CLSC courses should consist of courses that focus on the period before the 6th century of the Common Era and not the Classical Tradition (Track C).
In the Classical Tradition Concentration (C) , students are required to take CLSC 231 (Greek Civilization), CLSC 232 (Roman Civilization), and at least one course in Greek or Latin at the intermediate level or higher (students who enter the program without any Greek or Latin are required to take the introductory sequence before the intermediate course in either language). The department offers four 200-level courses in Classical Tradition, focusing respectively on the Renaissance and Baroque, the Enlightenment, Architecture and Urbanism from the Renaissance to the 20th Century, and Classics in Film (see list below). Students are required to take at least two of these courses.
|Students in the Classical Tradition Concentration must take two of the following four 200-level courses:||6|
|CLSC/WLIT 220||Art & Literature in the Classical Tradition, Pt 1: Renaissance and Baroque (14th to 17th centuries)|
|CLSC/ARTH 221||Building on Antiquity|
|CLSC/WLIT 222||Classical Tradition 2: Birth of Archaeology|
|CLSC/WLIT 224||Sword and Sandal: The Classics in Film|
|Students must take at least one course at the 300 level from the following list:||3|
|CLSC/ARTH 311||Rome: City and Image|
|CLSC 315/WLIT 317||Erotic Literature Ancient to Modern|
|CLSC 317/WLIT 319||Inspiration: The Topic of Creativity in Art and Literature–Ancient to Medieval|
|CLSC 319/WLIT 320||Epic: The Sublime and Terrible in Literature|
|CLSC/COGS 340||Seminar in Enlightenment Art and Literature: Piranesi and Vico|
Keeping in mind that the student should have at least two 300-level courses out of ten, the remaining courses (two to four, depending on whether the student is required to take the beginning language sequence) may be chosen from the above lists or, subject to advisor’s approval, from the Classics (CLSC), Greek (GREK), or Latin (LATN) courses in general.
For students who intend to pursue Classics on a professional basis in graduate school, we recommend a balance of three years in one language and two in the other, plus four to six additional courses (this could be satisfied by a minor in one of the other Track or a related field such as Art History), and our Honors Program.
Study in Related Fields
Each student completing the Classics major is strongly advised to choose a related minor, selected in consultation with and approved by the departmental advisor, in such closely related fields as anthropology, art history, philosophy, comparative literature, history, theater, or English. The association between the department and the World Literature Program is especially close.
Departmental honors are given to students who earn the grade of A for their senior thesis in CLSC 382 (Senior Honors Thesis) and maintain a GPA in the major of 3.5.
A minor in Classics is designed to acquaint the student with aspects of the ancient civilizations of Greece and Rome by means of 15 hours of course work. These 15 hours may be any combination of Greek, Latin, and Classics courses, at least 3 hours of which must be at or above the 300 level. While the study of either Greek or Latin is encouraged, neither is required for the minor.
What Courses are Recommended for First-Year Students?
All first-year students interested in Classics are strongly recommended to take CLSC 231 (Greek Civilization) and CLSC 232 (Roman Civilization) and to start the GREK 101-102 and/or Latin 101-102 sequence. Students may then chose from any of the other courses that look interesting.
The department is about to launch a Classics Post-Bac program in which existing courses will be offered at the 400 level. Interested, qualified students should contact the chair.
World Literature MA: Classics Track
Qualified students may pursue graduate work in Classics through the MA in the World Literature Program (WLIT). Classics courses at the 300 level may be taken for graduate credit in this way.