Due to the early and central position of Greek and Roman civilization in the development of the western tradition, acquaintance with classical thought and culture is an important part of a liberal arts education.
The department offers courses in Classical Civilization covering aspects of literary creation, historical and social process, and the Greek and Roman contribution to areas such as philosophy, religion, and government. No knowledge of Greek or Latin is required. These courses provide a broad background for all areas of literary and humanistic study.
The department offers courses in Greek and Latin language and literature for students who wish to develop a deeper understanding of the works and the capacity for making independent judgments about them. Acquisition of the languages is a prerequisite for advanced work. Elementary courses in the languages are designed to enable students to approach significant material as soon as possible.
Students who have been enrolled in this program in high school will be assigned advanced placement in accordance with the results of the qualifying examinations. A score of 4 or 5 in the examination is required for the award of college credit.
Entry-Level Course Sequence Suggestions.
Students just beginning to approach the classics should begin with Classics 101 (Homer’s Iliad and the Myths of Tragedy), or Classics 102 (Homer’s Odyssey and the Myths of Comedy), or with Latin 101 or Greek 101. Students are encouraged to enroll in any language course for which they are qualified. All entering students who have studied Latin or Greek previously should consult with a member of the department before enrolling in any course in Latin or Greek.
Students with four years of secondary-school Latin (including Vergil) will ordinarily be eligible for Latin 202 (Cicero) offered in the second semester. Such students especially should consider beginning the study of Greek in the fall semester. Students with two or three years of secondary-school Latin will ordinarily be eligible for Latin 201 (Vergil).
Students whose preparation in Latin is deficient will be advised to enroll in or audit Latin 101, or to devote a Winter Term to review in order that they may enroll in Latin 102.
It should be noted that well-motivated students have done the equivalent of Greek 101 or of Latin 101 during a Winter Term and have then participated successfully in Greek 102 or Latin 102 in the spring.
Students considering a major in Greek or Latin should include in their freshman and sophomore programs four semesters of work in the language, Classics 101 or Classics 102, and either Classics 103 (History of Greece) or 104 (History of Rome). Students who plan to major in Classical Civilization should take Classics 101, Classics 103 and two semesters of either Greek or Latin. Early consultation with the Classics Department concerning proposed plans of study is advisable, particularly for those who contemplate spending part of the junior or senior year in Rome or in Athens.