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Ancient and Classical Studies:
Beyond the Relics — Wrestling with Ethical Issues

Overview   |   Our Faculty   |   Plan of Study   |   Courses  


The Ancient and Classical Studies major examines the language, literature, art, history, and culture of ancient societies, particularly those of ancient Greece and Rome. We do not merely study the relics of peoples and ideas long dead, for to a deep degree we have inherited from these ancient peoples the living, nourishing roots of the cultures we today claim as our own. As Bernard Knox, a contemporary classicist, has recently remarked, "We do not neglect the present, but realize that our main emphasis must fall on the great traditions of art, thought, and literature which have formed the minds and hearts of predecessors, and which, interpreted afresh in each generation, can bring us new understanding of ourselves and the world we live in."

In addition to introductory and intermediate language courses in Classical Latin, we offer many courses in the literature, art, and culture of Greece, Rome, and other ancient societies. Our courses range from historical surveys of the ancient Mediterranean world and cross-cultural overviews of particular modes of thought and expression (such as Damn the Gods: Classical Myth in Antiquity, or Gender and Sexuality in the Ancient World) to very specific topics (such as Erotic Roman poetry, the Persian Wars, or Pompeii). The vast majority of courses are available to students who have not studied Latin, but students who have are encouraged to find ways to bring their linguistic skills to course assignments.


Our Ancient and Classical Studies Program helps students dig into the roots of modern cultures as they explore the language, literature, art, history, and culture of ancient societies, particularly in ancient Greece and Rome. Students in this major have a unique opportunity to spend a May term in Greece, where they travel throughout the Greek mainland, the Peloponnese and surrounding islands, studying the art and archaeology of Greece at some of the most important historical sites of the region.

Introductory and intermediate courses in Greek and Latin are also offered by this Department.

The Department offers May Term courses in Roman Warfare and Medical Terminology. Additionally, students have the opportunity to spend a semester abroad in Greece through the Arcadia Athens Center.