Classical Studies students seek to understand the ancient Mediterranean world, especially Greece and Rome, both on its own terms and as part of a larger nexus of ancient cultures that laid much of the groundwork for the ideas of the city, the nation, and the role of the individual within a civic and national context. The literature, art, and history of the ancient world all contribute to our understanding of these foundational cultures. Majors follow one of three focuses: 1) philological, consisting of intensive work in the ancient languages (Greek, Latin, and Sanskrit) and elective courses on ancient civilization, history, art history, philosophy, religion, rhetoric, and ancient literature in English translation; 2) classical studies, focusing on the civilizations of ancient Greece and Rome and their influence on later Western culture; or 3) ancient studies, combining ancient Greece and Rome with the ancient Middle East, India, and/or China.
Moderation into any focus requires four courses representing two or more disciplines (literature; history and culture; philosophy, religion, and thought; and art and architecture), while graduation requires an additional four courses—for a total of eight, usually representing all four areas—plus the Senior Project. In philology, the four courses for Moderation must include at least one year of Greek or Latin, while the four additional courses for graduation must include at least a second year of Greek or Latin and at least one year of the other language. (For more details, including sample curricula, see the Classical Studies Program website
Recent Senior Projects in Classical Studies
- “‘Achilles’s Women,’ an Examination of the Nature of Achilles’s Character Using the Women of the Iliad as the Medium through which to View Him”
- “Carmina Gallo: Intertextual Metapoetics in Virgil’s Eclogues”
- “Imperial Indications: An Iconographic Comparison of Hadrian’s Mausoleum and New St. Peter’s Basilica”
Recent electives have included Survey of Linguistics; Comedy and Its Problems; Rhetoric and Public Speaking; Self and Society in Classical Greek Drama
(in the Division of Languages and Literature); Ancient History; Greek History; The Rise and Fall of Ancient Rome; Archaic Greece; The Athenian Century; Gender and Sexuality in the Ancient World; Greek Religion: Magic, Mysteries, and Cult; Alexander the Great and the Problem of Empire; Hinduism in the Epics; History of Philosophy; Confucius and Socrates; Socrates: Man, Myth, Monster; Buddhist Thought and Practice; Theology of Judaism; Dialogue and Dialectic in Plato’s Writing; Euripides and Nietzsche
(in the Division of Social Studies); and Greek Art and Architecture; Arts of India; Roman Art and Architecture; Roman Urbanism; Roma in Situ
(in the Division of the Arts).