Program Description

The field of Classics is by its very nature interdisciplinary, consisting of multiple interrelated sub-disciplines. This department offers study in two ancient languages (Greek; Latin), as well as courses covering the histories, mythologies, several genres of literature, and material cultures of the ancient Mediterranean world.

The study of language not only is a necessary foundation for erudition in this field but also is valuable in and of itself. The systematic acquisition of grammar and syntax and of the ability to read texts in an ancient language is not equaled or paralleled by any other educational experience, and students of Classics greatly improve their vocabulary skills, broaden their understanding of English grammar, and enhance their ability to communicate effectively in both speech and writing.

Through in-depth examination of classical literature students grapple with such issues as socio-political privileges, duties, and ethics on a public level and such weighty concepts as death, love, and morality on a personal one. The conflicting views of life and reality espoused by the works of ancient authors provoke close reconsideration of students’ own lives, cultures, and personal ideals.

History, mythology, and archaeology all combine the examination of texts with the consideration of material culture, thus providing a variety of approaches for studying the ancient Mediterranean world. Because the available source material is selectively preserved and incomplete, students engaged in these subfields by necessity exercise and improve their analytical reading, critical thinking, and creative problem-solving skills.

Program Requirements

Classics Major

Classics Major Check Sheet - Effective with the Class of 2014
Classics Major Check Sheet - Effective with the Class of 2016

Effective for class entering Fall 2012

Eleven courses to be distributed as indicated below. Students majoring in Classics are not permitted to earn a minor in Greek or Latin. All Classics students should consider Study Abroad and consult with their advisors about appropriate course work while abroad.

TWO courses of Introductory Survey                

  • CLA-121 Survey of Greek Civilization
  • CLA-122 Survey of Roman Civilization
  • CLA-125 Archaeology of the Mediterranean World

FOUR courses of Intermediate Analysis at the 200-level

  • Any 4 courses in Classics, Greek, or Latin, at least ONE of which must be in CLA/History (CLA 235 with permission, 251, 252) and ONE in CLA/Literature (CLA 230, 235 with permission, 262, 264, 266, 270).

ONE course considering an Extra-disciplinary Approach

  • ANTH-106 Introduction to Archaeology and Physical Anthropology
  • ANTH-221 Language and Culture
  • ANTH-235 Early Civilizations in Cross-Cultural Perspective
  • ANTH-300 History of Anthropological Theory
  • ENG-298 Critical Methods: History of Literary Criticism
  • ENG-299 Critical Methods
  • ES-230 Introduction to Geographic Information Systems
  • ES-263 Remote Sensing
  • HIST-300 Historical Method
  • PHIL-205 Ancient Philosophy
  • POL-102 Intro to Political Thought
  • THA-203 History of the Theatre
  • VAH-201 Arts of Ancient Greece and Rome

FOUR courses at the Advanced Seminar level

  • Any four courses in Classics, Greek, or Latin at the 300 or 400 level, at least ONE of which must be in Greek (GRK) or Latin (LAT), and at least ONE of which must be the Capstone experience.  For the Capstone, students must have departmental permission to select CLA 464 or a 300-level course.

Classics Minor

Classics Minor Check Sheet - Effective with the Class of 2014

TWO courses of Introductory Survey

  • CLA-121, CLA-122, or CLA-125

FOUR courses of Advanced Study

  • Any Classics courses beyond the 100-level, or any Greek and/or Latin courses at any level; at least TWO of the four courses must be at the 300-level.

Greek Minor 
Any six courses in Greek (GRK) at any level; OR any five courses in Greek (GRK) at any level, plus one course in Classics (CLA) at any level. (See course offerings under "Greek.")

Latin Minor
Any six courses in Latin (LAT) at any level; OR any five courses in Latin (LAT) at any level, plus one course in Classics (CLA) at any level. (See course offerings under "Latin.")

Course Listing

Course level:
100 | 200 | 300 | 400
CLA-103 Classics of Greek and Latin Literature
Exploration of enduring works of ancient Greek and Latin literature, including epic and narrative poetry, drama, philosophical dialogue, and literary criticism. Authors read may include Homer, Sophocles, Aeschylus, Euripides, Aristophanes, Plato, Aristotle, Virgil, Ovid, Cicero, Lucretius, Seneca, and others. Through reading, writing, and discussion, the student is introduced to those humanistic skills and critical methods that have traditionally distinguished the liberally educated person.


CLA-121 Survey of Greek Civilization
Survey of history, literature, art, architecture, etc. of Greece from the 8th century BCE through the death of Alexander the Great, with emphases on material culture and selected literary texts. Normally offered every year. Seniors need permission of instructor.


CLA-122 Survey of Roman Civilization
Survey of history, literature, art, architecture, etc. of Rome from its founding to the Council of Nicaea, with emphasis on the material culture of an empire encompassing the whole Mediterranean world. Normally offered every year. Seniors need permission of instructor.


CLA-125 Archeology of the Ancient Mediterranean World
Survey of various sites and material cultures of the Mediterranean world, from c. 1500 BCE through 500 CE, including some discussion of the goals, methods, and cultural/ legal issues involved in archaeological research. Normally offered every other year.


CLA-125 Archeology of the Ancient Mediterranean World
Survey of various sites and material cultures of the Mediterranean world, from c. 1500 BCE through 500 CE, including some discussion of the goals, methods, and cultural/ legal issues involved in archaeological research. Normally offered every other year.


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CLA-204 History, Literature, and Religion of the Hebrew Scriptures
Study of the history, literature, and religion of the Hebrews, from the time of Abraham to about 500 B.C.E. History and culture of Israel are related to those of surrounding nations, with special emphasis on the relevancy of archeological data.


CLA-205 History, Literature, and Religion of the New Testament
Introduction to writings of the New Testament as they originated in their Greco-Roman milieu. Emphasis is on the distinctive purposes and main content of each writing. Use of source, form, and redaction criticism as tools for the academic study of the New Testament is demonstrated.


CLA-230 Classical Mythology
Survey of classical mythology, with attention to the process of myth-making and the development of religion.


CLA-235 Topics in Classics
Exploration of a special topic in Classics chosen by a faculty member or visiting faculty member. Topic varies with the interest and expertise of the instructor. Recent offerings included the Greco Roman City, Women in the Classical World, and Ancient Technology. Offered occasionally.


CLA-251 Greek History
Survey of Hellenic civilization from the Bronze Age to the Hellenistic period. Offered alternate years. Offered every other year.


CLA-252 Roman History
History of the Republic and Empire. Offered every other year.


CLA-254 History of Roman Literature
A chronological and thematical overview of the literature of the ancient Roman world, Latin and Greek, in English translation. Both major and minor works of Roman literature are considered against the historical background: who was writing what, when, for whom, and why? Selections from representative authors of drama, history, poetry, rhetoric, philosophy, biography, and the distinctly Roman genre of satire are read, from the beginnings in late 3rd/early 2nd century BC to the Christian and pagan polemics of Late Antiquity.


CLA-255 Egypt and the Ancient Near East
Survey of the history and archaeology of the Ancient Near East, c. 3000-300 BCE, including Anatolia, Egypt, and Mesopotamia, with emphasis on international affairs during the Late Bronze Age (c. 1550-1200 BCE) and the subsequent rise of Israel and Judah in the Levant. Normally offered every other year.


CLA-262 Ancient Epic
Study of Homer, Apollonius of Rhodes, Vergil, and Ovid. Normally offered once every three years.


CLA-264 Ancient Tragedy
Study of Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, and Seneca. Class culminates in a public performance of a tragic play. Normally offered once every three years.


CLA-266 Ancient Comedy
Study of Aristophanes, Plautus, and Terence. Class culminates in a public performance of a comic play. Normally offered once every three years.


CLA-270 Ancient Drama
Study of Ancient Greek and Roman plays, both tragic and comic, by way of reading, writing about, discussing, and performing 10-12 plays. Unlike other ancient drama courses offered in this department, this course permits juxtaposition and comparison of tragic and comic plays. By being less constrained by a narrow (though valuable and ancient) notion of genre, the approach offers richer opportunities for thematic interpretation. Normally offered once every three years.


CLA-275 Warfare in the Ancient Mediterranean World
Examination of the origins, development, and diversity of military strategies, tactics, technologies, and ideologies in the Mediterranean world, c. 1500-150 BCE, with emphasis on the role of warfare in shaping societies. Primarily seminar in format, the course design involves in-class discussion of select ancient texts in translation, together with some of the recent scholarship regarding these sources.


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CLA-320 Imperial Roman and Late Antique Architecture
Study of major examples of public and private architecture in the Roman and Early Byzantine Empire between the first and sixth centuries CE. Attention will be given to the basic forms and techniques of Roman buildings, to differences between architecture in the Hellenistic, urbanized eastern empire and in the less developed western part, and to the transformations from the buildings of the Early Empire to that of Diocletian and Constantine and finally to the Late Antique world with Christian churches.


CLA-330 Classical Mythology
Examination of ancient myth in written and visual media, with special attention to mythic traditions, the development of religion, contexts for the creation and performance of myth, and various critical approaches to mythology.


CLA-335 Topics in Classics
In-depth exploration of a unifying topic in Classics, using appropriate historical, literary, or other analytical frameworks. Topics vary with the interest and expertise of the instructor. Examples of topics: Religions of the Mediterranean World, Warfare in the Ancient Mediterranean World. Prerequisite: One 100 or 200 level Classical Studies course or permission of the instructor.


CLA-337 Death and Burial in the Ancient Mediterranean World
Study of both the attitudes toward death and the practices of disposal of the body, from the end of the Greek Bronze Age through the classical Greek and Roman periods to the end of antiquity. The approach is primarily archaeological and historical, but includes relevant classical literature on the afterlife and on burial customs as well as a look at tomb inscriptions. Prerequisite: One 100 or 200 level Classics course or permission of the instructor.


CLA-341 The City in the Greek and Roman World
Study of plans and monuments of Greek and Roman cities as well as writings of classical authors about cities and urban life. A combined archaeological, historical, and literary approach is used, with an emphasis on how the growth of cities depended on the development of technology for the construction of fortifications, large buildings, aqueducts, and other urban necessities. The course begins with the Mycenaean period in Greece and concludes with Roman cities of the 6th century AD. Prerequisite: One 100 or 200 level Classics course or permission of the instructor.


CLA-350 Democratic Labors in Athens and America
Survey and role-playing simulations of the Athenian democracy in 403 BCE and the Woman’s Suffrage and labor movements in Greenwich Village in 1913. Students research and play roles based on historical individuals and/or principles, exploring the complexities, challenges, and limits of democratic practice. Students test democratic theories in relation to specific historical events and social forces (e.g., class, gender, and race) in a practical environment of negotiation and compromise. Prerequisite: One 100 or 200 level course in Classics, History, Philosophy, Political Science, or Women, Gender, & Sexuality Studies or permission of instructor.


CLA-354 History of Roman Literature
A chronological and thematical overview of the literature of the ancient Roman world, Latin and Greek, in English translation. Both major and minor works of Roman literature are considered against the historical background: who was writing what, when, for whom, and why? Selections from representative authors of drama, history, poetry, rhetoric, philosophy, biography, and the distinctly Roman genre of satire are read, from the beginnings in late 3rd/early 2nd century BC to the Christian and pagan polemics of Late Antiquity.


CLA-355 Egypt & the Ancient Near East
Survey of the history and archaeology of the Ancient Near East, c. 3000-300 BCE, including Anatolia, Egypt, and Mesopotamia, with emphasis on international affairs during the Late Bronze Age (c. 1550-1200 BCE) and the subsequent rise of Israel and Judah in the Levant. Normally offered every other year.


CLA-375 Warfare in the Ancient Mediterranean World
Examination of the origins, development, and diversity of military strategies, tactics, technologies, and ideologies in the Mediterranean world, c. 1500-150 BCE, with emphasis on the role of warfare in shaping societies. Primarily seminar in format, the course design involves in-class discussion of select ancient texts in translation, together with some of the recent scholarship regarding these sources.


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CLA-420 Imperial Roman and Late Antique Architecture
Study of major examples of public and private architecture in the Roman and Early Byzantine Empire between the first and sixth centuries CE. Attention will be given to the basic forms and techniques of Roman buildings, to differences between architecture in the Hellenistic, urbanized eastern empire and in the less developed western part, and to the transformations from the buildings of the Early Empire to that of Diocletian and Constantine and finally to the Late Antique world with Christian churches.


CLA-435 Topics in Classics
In-depth exploration of a unifying topic in Classics, using appropriate historical, literary, or other analytical frameworks. Topics vary with the interest and expertise of the instructor. Examples of topics: Religions of the Mediterranean World, Warfare in the Ancient Mediterranean World. Prerequisite: One 100 or 200 level Classical Studies course or permission of the instructor.


CLA-441 The City in the Greek and Roman World
Study of plans and monuments of Greek and Roman cities as well as writings of classical authors about cities and urban life. A combined archaeological, historical, and literary approach is used, with an emphasis on how the growth of cities depended on the development of technology for the construction of fortifications, large buildings, aqueducts, and other urban necessities. The course begins with the Mycenaean period in Greece and concludes with Roman cities of the 6th century AD. Prerequisite: One 100 or 200 level Classics course or permission of the instructor.


CLA-450 Individualized Study-Tutorial
Individualized tutorial counting toward the minimum requirements in a major or minor, graded A-F


CLA-451 Individualized Study-Tutorial
Individualized tutorial counting toward the minimum requirements in a major or minor, graded S/U


CLA-452 Individualized Study-Tutorial
Individualized tutorial not counting in the minimum requirements in a major or minor, graded A-F


CLA-453 Individualized Study-Tutorial
Individualized tutorial not counting in the minimum requirements in a major or minor, graded S/U


CLA-455 Egypt & the Ancient Near East
Survey of the history and archaeology of the Ancient Near East, c. 3000-300 BCE, including Anatolia, Egypt, and Mesopotamia, with emphasis on international affairs during the Late Bronze Age (c. 1550-1200 BCE) and the subsequent rise of Israel and Judah in the Levant. Normally offered every other year.


CLA-460 Individualized Study-Research
Individualized research counting toward the minimum requirements in a major or minor, graded A-F


CLA-461 Individualized Study-Research
Individualized research counting toward the minimum requirements in a major or minor, graded S/U


CLA-462 Individualized Study-Research
Individualized research not counting in the minimum requirements in a major or minor, graded A-F


CLA-463 Individualized Study-Research
Individualized research not counting in the minimum requirements in a major or minor graded S/U


CLA-464 Senior Capstone



CLA-470 Individualized Study-Internship
Internship counting toward the minimum requirements in a major or minor, graded A-F


CLA-471 Individualized Study-Internship
Internship counting toward the minimum requirements in a major or minor, graded S/U


CLA-472 Individualized Study-Internship
Internship not counting in the minimum requirements in a major or minor, graded A-F


CLA-473 Individualized Study-Internship
Internship not counting in the minimum requirements in a major or minor, graded S/U


CLA-474 Summer Internship
Summer Internship graded A-F, counting in the minimum requirements for a major or minor only with written permission filed in the Registrar's Office.


CLA-475 Summer Internship
Summer Internship graded S/U, counting in the minimum requirements for a major or minor only with written permission filed in the Registrar's Office


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Course level: 100 | 200 | 300 | 400
GRK-101 Ancient and New Testament Greek I
Introduction to ancient Greek in preparation for reading Attic and New Testament texts, with emphasis on vocabulary, pronunciation, morphology, and syntax. Offered every fall.


GRK-102 Ancient & New Testament Greek II
Continuation of Greek I, introduction to ancient Greek in preparation for reading Attic and New Testament texts, with emphasis on vocabulary, pronunciation, morphology, and syntax. Offered every spring. Prerequisite: Greek 101 or placement.


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GRK-201 Intermediate Greek I
Designed to increase the student's skill in reading texts. Selections chosen at the discretion of the instructor. Offered every fall. Prerequisite: Greek 102 or placement.


GRK-202 Intermediate Greek II
Designed to increase the student's skill in reading texts. Selections chosen at the discretion of the instructor. Prerequisite: Greek 201 or placement.


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GRK-300 Plato
Select dialogues by Plato, chosen at the discretion of the instructor. Prerequisite: Greek 202 or placement.


GRK-301 Homer
Selections from the Iliad and/or the Odyssey, with attention to Homeric syntax, meter, style, and composition. Prerequisite: Greek 202 or placement.


GRK-302 Greek Historians
Selections from the histories of Herodotus, Thucydides, or other ancient historians. Prerequisite: Greek 202 or placement.


GRK-303 Greek Comedy
Select plays from Aristophanes and/or Menander, with attention to meter and style. Prerequisite: Greek 202 or placement.


GRK-304 Greek Tragedy
Select plays from Aeschylus, Sophocles, and/or Euripides, with attention to meter and style. Prerequisite: Greek 202 or placement.


GRK-306 Greek Oratory
Selected orations of Demosthenes and Lysias. Not offered every year. Prerequisite: Greek 202 or placement.


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GRK-450 Individualized Study-Tutorial
Individualized tutorial counting toward the minimum requirements in a major or minor, graded A-F


GRK-451 Individualized Study-Tutorial
Individualized tutorial counting toward the minimum requirements in a major or minor, graded S/U.


GRK-452 Individualized Study-Tutorial
Individualized tutorial not counting in the minimum requirements in a major or minor, graded A-F.


GRK-453 Individualized Study-Tutorial
Individualized tutorial not counting in the minimum requirements in a major or minor, graded S/U.


GRK-460 Individualized Study-Research
Individualized research counting toward the minimum requirements in a major or minor, graded A-F.


GRK-461 Individualized Study-Research
Individualized research counting toward the minimum requirements in a major or minor, graded S/U.


GRK-462 Individualized Study-Research
Individualized research not counting in the minimum requirements in a major or minor, graded A-F.


GRK-463 Individualized Study-Research
Individualized research not counting in the minimum requirements in a major or minor graded S/U.


GRK-470 Individualized Study-Internship
Internship counting toward the minimum requirements in a major or minor, graded A-F.


GRK-471 Individualized Study-Internship
Internship counting toward the minimum requirements in a major or minor, graded S/U.


GRK-472 Individualized Study-Internship
Internship not counting in the minimum requirements in a major or minor, graded A-F.


GRK-473 Individualized Study-Internship
Internship not counting in the minimum requirements in a major or minor, graded S/U.


GRK-474 Summer Internship
Summer Internship graded A-F, counting in the minimum requirements for a major or minor only with written permission filed in the Registrar's Office.


GRK-475 Summer Internship
Summer Internship graded S/U, counting in the minimum requirements for a major or minor only with written permission filed in the Registrar's Office.


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Course level: 100 | 200 | 300 | 400
LAT-101 Beginning Latin I
Introduction to reading and pronunciation of Latin, with emphasis on vocabulary, morphology, syntax. Offered every fall.


LAT-102 Beginning Latin II
Continuation of Latin I, introduction to reading and pronunciation of Latin, with emphasis on vocabulary, morphology, syntax. Offered every spring. Prerequisite: Latin 101 or placement.


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LAT-201 Intermediate Latin I
Designed to increase skill in reading texts. Selections from Latin prose and poetry are read, with continuing grammatical review and analysis. Offered every fall. Prerequisite: Latin 102 or placement.


LAT-202 Intermediate Latin II
Designed to increase skill in reading texts. Selections from Latin prose and poetry are read, with continuing grammatical review and analysis. Prerequisite: Latin 201 or placement.


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LAT-301 Topics in Latin
Exploration of historical, literary, or philosophical topics with special attention to the careful reading of select Latin texts. Prerequisite: Latin 202 or placement.


LAT-303 Cicero
Selected essays of Cicero, with supplemental reading from letters and orations. Supplemental reading in English. Not offered every year. Prerequisite: Latin 202 or placement.


LAT-305 Ovidian Transformations
Readings in Latin in various works of the Augustan poet Ovid, with an emphasis on elegy and epic. The course focuses on technical matters such as grammar, syntax, scansion, rhetorical figures, oral recitation, and on interpretation. Typically, interpretation needs to be distinctly secondary in order to convey the degree to which sophisticated interpretation depends on technical precision as well as on exegetical finesse. Prerequisite: Latin 202 or placement.


LAT-306 St. Augustine
Selections from Confessions, with attention to the differences between Late Latin and Classical Latin. Not offered every year. Prerequisite: Latin 202 or placement.


LAT-308 Roman Satire
Selections from Horace, Martial, and Juvenal, with attention to the changes in language and style from the Classical to the Post Classical period. Not offered every year. Prerequisite: Latin 202 or placement.


LAT-309 Roman Historians
Selections from Livy and Tacitus, with attention to their peculiarities of language and style. Not offered every year. Latin 202 or placement.


LAT-311 Lucretius
Extensive reading in On the Nature Of Things, with attention to Lucretius' metrical forms, science, and philosophy. Not offered every year. Prerequisite: Latin 202 or placement.


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LAT-450 Individualized Study-Tutorial
Individualized tutorial counting toward the minimum requirements in a major or minor, graded A-F


LAT-451 Individualized Study-Tutorial
Individualized tutorial counting toward the minimum requirements in a major or minor, graded S/U


LAT-452 Individualized Study-Tutorial
Individualized tutorial not counting in the minimum requirements in a major or minor, graded A-F


LAT-453 Individualized Study-Tutorial
Individualized tutorial not counting in the minimum requirements in a major or minor, graded S/U


LAT-460 Individualized Study-Research
Individualized research counting toward the minimum requirements in a major or minor, graded A-F


LAT-461 Individualized Study-Research
Individualized research counting toward the minimum requirements in a major or minor, graded S/U


LAT-462 Individualized Study-Research
Individualized research not counting in the minimum requirements in a major or minor, graded A-F


LAT-463 Individualized Study-Research
Individualized research not counting in the minimum requirements in a major or minor graded S/U


LAT-470 Individualized Study-Internship
Internship counting toward the minimum requirements in a major or minor, graded A-F


LAT-471 Individualized Study-Internship
Internship counting toward the minimum requirements in a major or minor, graded S/U


LAT-472 Individualized Study-Internship
Internship not counting in the minimum requirements in a major or minor, graded A-F


LAT-473 Individualized Study-Internship
Internship not counting in the minimum requirements in a major or minor, graded S/U


LAT-474 Summer Internship
Summer Internship graded A-F, counting in the minimum requirements for a major or minor only with written permission filed in the Registrar's Office.


LAT-475 Summer Internship
Summer Internship graded S/U, counting in the minimum requirements for a major or minor only with written permission filed in the Registrar's Office


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