Bard College Catalogue

The Bard College Catalogue contains detailed descriptions of the College's undergraduate programs and courses, curriculum, admission and financial aid procedures, student activities and services, history, campus facilities, affiliated institutions including graduate programs, and faculty and administration.

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Bard College Catalogue 2013-14

Bard College Catalogue 2013-14

Classical Studies


James Romm (director), Thomas Bartscherer, Robert L. Cioffi, Lauren Curtis, Richard H. Davis, Diana H. DePardo-Minsky, Carolyn Dewald, Daniel Mendelsohn, William Mullen


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

  • Agricola incurvo terram molitus aratro: Virgil’s Italian Farmer and the Augustan Golden Age”
  • “Dying Gods and Immortal Men,” a study of three Indo-European myths of cosmic succession
  • “Laughter Carries a Long Way: Elements of Comedy in the Sumerian Descent of Inanna


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).