The Department of Classics introduces students to the culture, life, and legacy of ancient Greece, Rome, the Ancient Near East, and Egypt through courses in the Greek, Latin, and Akkadian languages and literatures, in ancient history, archaeology, mythology, religion, and medicine, and in the visual and material cultures of the ancient Mediterranean world. 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, Greek and Latin, and Akkadian, as a crucial point of entry into the conceptual worlds of Greece, Rome, the Ancient Near East, and Egypt. Students are also exposed to various facets of antiquity, particularly the blending of its cultures, knowledge, and belief systems that created the ancient Mediterranean world — a world that continues to influence the societies in which we live. The different sub-disciplines and methodologies represented in the department involve multiple ways of exploring and understanding antiquity. Our students explore the philological, literary, historical, social, 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.

Knowledge of antiquity constitutes the backbone of a liberal education and is useful for further professional training in whatever field a student may ultimately pursue. It also provides an excellent basis for informed engagement with the political, social, and cultural issues of our turbulent times, as well as for the appreciation and enjoyment of artistic and cultural achievement. A major or minor in Classics or a minor in the Ancient Near East and Egypt may be profitably combined with programs aimed toward law, medicine, management, diplomatic service, banking, journalism, library science, or politics; religious, philosophical, literary, or historical studies; careers in the fine arts (visual or performing); or museum and archival work.