BA in Classics
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Director of Undergraduate Studies
The field of classics encompasses the study of ancient Greek and Roman cultures and their political, social, artistic, and intellectual legacies. With its broadly conceived chronological (the Bronze age through late antiquity) and geographical boundaries (ancient Mediterranean and Near East), the classics program involves the study of cultural contact and hybridization as well as the exploration of the dynamic relationships between past and present.
With its wide range of courses in language, literature, religion, social and political history, as well as art and archaeology, the program enables students to investigate ancient cultures from different perspectives and become acquainted with the aims and methods of several disciplines. Four degree sub-plans are designed to accommodate students' specific interests and needs.
The classical civilization sub-plan offers students the opportunity to explore the art, literature, religion, and social and political history of ancient Greece and Rome from interdisciplinary perspectives with less required work in the ancient languages. This sub-plan is also an attractive option as a double major for students studying in fields engaged with the reception of the classical past, such as English, art history, French, Italian, German, history, and philosophy.
Greek is the Western language with the longest continuous history, from the poetry of Homer in the first millennium BCE to the present. The Greek sub-plan focuses on literature, philosophy, religion, archaeology, and art associated with the Greek language from its earliest appearance through the rise of the Greek city-state in the 5th century BCE and into the Roman Empire.
The Latin sub-plan allows students to explore a large range of literature written over a period of more than 1,500 years. It is concerned with the language and literature of the Roman Republic and Empire and later Latin literature from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance, as well as with Roman religion, history, archaeology, and art. Modern "romance" languages (French, Italian, Spanish, and Portuguese) are derived from Latin.
The Greek and Latin sub-plan offers the most comprehensive and comparative approach to Greco-Roman antiquity with its broad focus on the languages and literatures of both ancient Greece and Rome. Students explore a wide range of ancient texts and gain a heightened awareness of intercultural appropriation and interpretation. Majors interested in graduate work in classics are encouraged to consider this sub-plan as it offers especially strong preparation for advanced academic training in the field.