The ancient Greeks and Romans left a legacy of values and ideas that continue to inform the way we view the changing world around us. The Classical Languages department enables students to go beyond the translations and engage directly with the extant Greek and Roman texts, while at the same time acquiring knowledge about their context. In this way, students can attain a clearer understanding of the Greco-Roman component in modern-day world views as they continue to reflect on the universal human condition.
Whether you major in Classics or not, the linguistic approaches and strategies you will develop with us are highly transferable. Familiarity with the etymology of the Greek and Latin roots in English makes the study of science much more effective. There is no better preparation for the pitfalls of legalese than the meticulous, logical approach to Greek and Latin texts. Students who plan to enter graduate studies in Classics, philosophy, art history, theology, archaeology, etc., will be able to satisfy one or more of the language requirements in those programs. No matter what career you choose, students tell us, the overall cultural enrichment you get along the way is one of the great benefits of Classical Studies.
Classical Languages majors write a Senior Thesis based on one of their upper division courses on a major author.
Michael Riley, PhD, Professor, Chair
Our focus is on your learning. We actively communicate with you in the course of your studies. We rely on your input as you progress toward linguistic proficiency in Greek and/or Latin.
Upon successful completion of the ELEMENTARY LATIN/GREEK SEQUENCES, you will be able to:
- Engage in simple interactions in Latin and/or ancient Greek;
- Read and understand simple texts with the help of dictionaries and textbook materials;
- Translate simple English sentences into idiomatic Latin and/or Greek;
- Develop a stable understanding of grammar as a vehicle for logic;
- Acquire reliable strategies for approaching sentences in both Latin/Greek and English;
- Begin to develop strategies for sight-reading Latin and/or Greek texts (without the help of dictionaries and textbook materials); and
- Understand the basic cultural, historical, political, philosophical and mythological background of the texts you read.
Upon successful completion of the INTERMEDIATE LATIN/GREEK SEQUENCES, you will be able to:
- Engage in more complex interactions in Latin and/or ancient Greek;
- Read relatively complex texts with occasional help from dictionaries and textbook materials;
- Sight-read basic texts;
- Distinguish between writers’ styles and develop specific reading strategies for dealing with each author;
- Translate sentences into idiomatic Latin and/or Greek in a specific writer’s style;
- Appreciate the metric and rhythm of Greek and Roman poetry;
- Discuss the cultural, historical, political, philosophical and mythological background of the texts you read;
- Understand the logical and rhetorical complexities of ancient texts;
- Appreciate the creative distortions inevitable in translation; and
- Perform basic evaluation of selected official translations from Latin and Greek.
UPPER-DIVISION COURSES IN LATIN AND /OR GREEK hone the intermediate skills you’ve acquired:
- Your reactions to the linguistic aspects of the Latin/Greek text should become more or less automatic;
- You will sight-read most Latin and Greek texts;
- You will be able to read some very difficult texts without losing sight of their non-linguistic dimensions; and
- Your proficiency in analyzing the hidden dimensions of any text-English or ancient-will increase dramatically, along with your expanded vocabulary and interpretive sophistication.
The Classical Languages major consists of a combined total of 8 upper-division courses in the Latin and Greek languages. A Senior thesis is required.
Classical Studies Minor Requirements
The Classical Studies minor is an interdisciplinary approach to the study of the literature, history, and art of the ancient Greeks and Romans and their influence from antiquity up to the present. The minor is open to all undergraduates. The minor is rooted in the study of the texts, ranging from the Homeric poems of the archaic Greek period to the works of St. Augustine in the fourth century C.E. Offered by the Classical Languages Department the Minor provides students opportunities to be part of a large and thriving classics community, to conduct collaborative research, and study abroad through the College’s programs in Rome.
- Understanding the basic cultural, historical, political, philosophical and mythological backgrounds of ancient literature
- Capacity for disciplined examination and discussion of fundamental ideas and questions, as treated or suggested by some of the great written texts
- Proficiency in analyzing the hidden dimensions of any text-English or ancient-will increase dramatically, along with expanded vocabulary and interpretive sophistication.
- Ability for close reading and listening, for precise verbal formulations of questions, distinctions, concepts, arguments, and judgments, and facility at addressing and responding to classmates’ like contributions; and
- Well-developed competence in written formulation of questions, distinctions, concepts, arguments, and judgments.
Students must complete 6 courses which may be double-counted towards core curriculum requirements. The lower-division entry course, a comprehensive introduction to the Greek and Roman civilization is required. At least five courses must be upper-division. Students may elect in any order five of these courses. Upper-division Greek and Latin courses can also to meet the minor requirements. Upper-division RILA courses can also be used to fulfill the requirement. Integral students can also use INTEG 113 and INTEG 133 (Ancient mathematics and mathematical cosmology) to meet these requirements. Some listed courses have a prerequisite or require instructor’s permission. January Term courses do not count towards the minor requirements.
Any course listed in this department with a prerequisite assumes a grade of C- or better in the prerequisite course.
CoursesClassical Languages - Lower Division
See Greek and Latin language courses listed under GREEK and LATIN.
Classical Languages - Upper DivisionGreek - Upper DivisionLatin - Lower DivisionLatin - Upper Division