Classics Track


To enter this program, a student normally should have completed CLG 108 or LAT 108 or demonstrated intermediate proficiency in Greek or Latin through test scores (SAT, AP), a placement exam, or coursework. A strongly motivated student who has completed CLG 102 or LAT 102 (or CLG 103 or LAT 103) may concentrate, with permission of the departmental representative.


Eight departmental courses are required:

Five must be in the original languages at the 200 level or above, including at least one course at the 300 level.

The combination of LAT 104-108, or CLG/LAT 105-108, may be counted as the equivalent of one 200-level course.

One course in ancient history (CLA 214, 216, 217, 218, or 219, or HIS 343) must also be included among the departmentals.

Students must also take the Junior Seminar in the fall of their junior year.

Students may count, among the eight departmentals, up to two courses not requiring the use of Greek or Latin (in addition to the course in ancient history). These courses may be offered by the department or, with the approval of the departmental representative, they may be courses in other departments that deal with aspects of Greek and Roman civilization (see examples below).

Students are expected to pass a sight translation examination from Greek or Latin. This examination may be taken, by arrangement, at the end of any term in the junior or senior year; it will be graded pass/fail.

Students who are considering further work in the field, either in graduate school or in independent study, should take both Latin and Greek to the 300 level, continuing with both languages in each term of the junior and senior years. Such students are also strongly advised to take at least one course in Greek history and one in Roman history in their underclass years.

Students concentrating in Classics have the opportunity to study in depth one or more of the areas listed below.

Greek or Latin Literature

Literary texts form the core of the study of the classical world, and the majority of concentrators are likely to plan their program of study around literature. In addition to the many courses offered in Greek and Latin, the department offers a number of courses on literature in translation:

CLA 212: Classical Mythology
CLA 323: Self and Society in Classical Greek Drama
COM 205: The Classical Roots of Western Literature also treats many Greco-Roman works.

Ancient History

In addition to survey courses in Greek and Roman history (CLA 216, 217, 218, 219), the department offers courses on the ancient historians in the original language and advanced seminars on selected historical topics (CLA 326, 327). Also available:

CLA 214: The Other Side of Rome
CLA 324: Classical Historians and Their Philosophies of History
CLA 325: Roman Law; CLA 329: Sex and Gender in the Ancient World
NES 220: Jews, Muslims, and Christians in the Middle Ages
NES 331: The Ancient Near East

Classical Philosophy

Courses are offered in both Greek and Latin and in translation:

CLA 205: Introduction to Ancient Philosophy
PHI 300: Plato and His Predecessors
PHI 301: Aristotle and His Successors

Classical Art and Archaeology

ART 202: Greek Art: Ideal Realism
ART 203: Roman Art
ART 300: Greek Archaeology of the Bronze Age
ART 301: The Art of the Iron Age: The Near East and Early Greece
ART 302: Myths in Greek Art
ART 306: Classical Athens: Art and Institutions
ART 308: Roman Cities and Countryside: Republic to Empire.

Medieval Studies

LAT 232: Introduction to Medieval Latin
HIS 343: The Civilization of the Early Middle Ages
HIS 344: The Civilization of the High Middle Ages
MED 227: The World of the Middle Ages
POL 301: Ancient and Medieval Political Theory
ART 205: Medieval Art in Europe.

Studies in the Reception of Classical Antiquity

CLA 334: Modern Transformations of Classical Themes
CLA 335: Studies in the Classical Tradition

Junior Seminar

During the fall of the junior year, all majors must take the Junior Seminar (CLA 340). The course introduces students to different fields of study within the department, including literature, ancient history, ancient culture, linguistics, and reception studies. Students will gain experience in the methods of their chosen of area(s) of study while acquiring an understanding of the history of the discipline and its place in the 21st century. Students will also acquire the skills necessary to pursue junior and senior independent work. Students who are abroad during the fall of their junior year can complete the Junior Seminar during the fall semester of their senior year.

Junior Independent Work

In the fall term, each student researches and writes a paper of 15 to 20 pages on a topic of their choosing under the direction of a faculty adviser. The Junior Seminar will provide guidance in choosing a topic, structuring an outline, writing, and revising.  In the spring term, students undertake a more ambitious research paper of 20 to 25 pages. Each student again works closely with a member of the faculty on the project, meeting regularly over the course of the spring term for discussion and analysis.

Senior Independent Work

At the end of the second term of the junior year, a departmental student is advised to select the subject of the senior thesis after consultation with the departmental representative. The thesis in its final form must be submitted to the department by April 15 of the senior year.

Senior Departmental Examination

Students are expected to pass the senior comprehensive examination on Greek and Roman literature, history, and culture. They will have the opportunity to write on either or both civilizations.

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