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Princeton Classics

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THE PRINCETON CLASSICS DEPARTMENT investigates the history, language, literature, and thought of ancient Greece and Rome. We use the perspectives of multiple disciplines to understand and imagine the diversity of these civilizations over almost two thousand years and to reflect on what the classical past has meant to later ages, and to our own.

Department News and Events

Smelting_CLA247
Featured

A daylong demonstration of medieval-style smelting, the workshop showcased an iron-producing technique that began in the Iron Age, persisted through the Classical World and the Middle Ages to Colonial America. It is also a tradition that has been intentionally preserved by smiths in West Africa, where the unique type of iron it produces holds cultural importance. Dr. Andrew Welton, a medieval archaeologist specializing in early medieval Britain, hazarded the 16-hour drive from the University of Florida, where he teaches, to lead the demonstration. The event, as part of a guest lecture for CLA247 “The Science of Roman History,” was hosted by the Environmental History Lab in Medieval Studies and co-sponsored by the Humanities Council, the Council on Science and Technology, the Department of Art & Archaeology, the Program in Archaeology, and the Department of Classics.

Emma Treadway
Student Voices

Emma Treadway ('22) used her senior thesis to explore how some of the basic tenets of Stoicism — a school of philosophy that dates from 300 BCE — can help address problems in K-12 public education. She examines how an emphasis on social and emotional learning, as opposed to purely academic learning, “when combined with a Stoic twist,” can teach students to engage empathetically with the world and address in the classroom inequalities that disproportionately harm children of color, girls and children with disabilities.

Sebastian Hayden
Student Award

We are pleased to announce that Sebastian Hayden, Class of 2024, is the winner of the Stinnecke Prize in 2022. The Stinnecke Exam Award prize is given to the sophomore or junior who passes the best examination based on the Odes of Horace, Eclogues of Vergil, and the Latin Grammar and Prosody, as well as the Anabasis of Xenophon or Plato’s Euthyphro, Crito, Apology and Phaedo and the Greek Grammar.

Katherine Dennis image
Student Award

Classics graduate student Katherine Dennis has won a teaching award for her significant contribution to undergraduate teaching at Princeton. Each year, the Graduate School honors those graduate students who have gone above and beyond in their teaching work. Congratulations, Katherine!

galen image
Post-Event Reflection

On the evening of Thursday, April 18th, Rebecca Flemming (Cambridge University) delivered the 2022 Prentice Lecture, entitled “Galen on Race, Health and Disease: Medicine and Empire in the Roman World.” This informative and wide-ranging talk, presenting part of Dr. Flemming’s research for a forthcoming book on medicine and empire, engaged issues of relevance to everyone doing work in Classics today.

Kamila Shamsie image
Post-Event Reflection

This year’s annual Fagles Lecture was delivered in conjunction with the English department’s 17th Edward W. Said Memorial Lecture. Award-winning author Kamila Shamsie, a British-Pakistani novelist best-known for Home Fire, her extraordinary retelling of Sophocles’s Antigone, guided a rapt audience of students and professors through an array of topics including art history, ancient India, colonial education and literary fiction as part of a talk titled 'Antigone of Pakistan: Narrative Violence and the Impossibility of Homecoming’.

Dan_El_Headshot_edit
News

The W. E. B. Du Bois Lectures were established in 1981 with funding from the Ford Foundation. These lectures recognize persons of outstanding achievement who have contributed to the understanding of African and African American life, history, and culture. Previous speakers have included Danielle Allen, K. Anthony Appiah, Homi K. Bhabha, Hazel Carby, Stephen L. Carter, Stuart Hall, Michael Hanchard, Judge A. Leon Higginbotham, Glenn C. Loury, Julianne Malveaux, Manning Marable, John McWhorter, Sidney Mintz, Brent Staples, and Cornel West.

Kamila Shamsie
Forthcoming

Award-winning author Kamila Shamsie will deliver Princeton’s 2022 Robert Fagles Lecture for Classics in conjunction with the Department of English's 17th Annual Edward W. Said Memorial Lecture. Shamsie is the author of several novels including Broken Verses (2005), Burnt Shadows (2009) and Home Fire (2017), which was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize. Home Fire won the Women's Prize for Fiction in 2018. 

Selina Jones as Medea, in a golden crown
Post-Event Reflection

Shivaike Shah, founder of Khameleon Productions and Visiting Artist at Brown University, delivered a talk on Princeton’s campus the evening of Thursday, February 24th, as part of his countrywide “Uprooting Medea” tour.

Sophomore Open House
Wednesday, March 16, 2022
Upper Hyphen Chancellor Green - East Pyne
All sophomores are welcome to the annual Department of Classics Sophomore Open House. Come learn about all the department has to offer and meet faculty and current majors. Refreshments will be served.