Classics Major Program

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The Majors in Classical Languages (Classics, Greek and Latin)

The major program is designed to afford access to the achievements of Greek and Roman antiquity through mastery of the ancient languages. The department offers majors in Greek, in Latin, and in classics, which is a combination of the two languages in any proportion as long as no fewer than two semester courses are taken in either. All three majors consist of eight semester courses, of which seven must be in the ancient languages. The eighth may be a classical civilization course, PHIL 217, or a course in some related field approved in advance by the department. Courses numbered 111 may not be counted toward the major. Latin 202 through 316 will normally be introductory to higher courses in Latin, and Greek 212 through 318 will serve the same function in Greek.

The statement of requisites given in the course descriptions below is intended only to indicate the degree of preparation necessary for each course, and exceptions will be made in special cases. For students beginning the study of Greek the following sequences of courses are normal: 111, 212, 215 or 217, 318; or 111, 215 or 217, 212 or 318.

Comprehensive Requirement for Language Majors 

Majors in Greek, Latin, and classics will fulfill the department’s comprehensive requirement in one of two ways.

1) Students ordinarily complete the requirement through coursework that provides a chronological survey of the cultures of the major.

 —For the Greek major, one course: CLAS 123 (Greek Civilization), CLAS 132 (Greek History), CLAS 134 (Archaeology of Greece), or CLAS 138 (Greek Drama)

 —For the Latin major, one course: CLAS 124 (Roman Civilization), CLAS 133 (History of Rome: Origins and Republic), or CLAS 135 (History of the Roman Empire)

 —For the classics major, two courses: one from the courses fulfilling the Greek major’s requirement, and one from the  courses fulfilling the Latin major’s requirement

2) When circumstances prevent the satisfaction of this requirement through coursework, students may take an examination consisting of essay questions on the literary and historical interpretation of major authors. It will be given in the fifth week of the first semester of the senior year. 

The Major in Classical Civilization   Grosvenor with Students

The major program is designed to afford access to the achievements of at least one of the two primary cultural groups of Greco-Roman antiquity through significant coursework in one language and a core group of courses in classical civilization.

The major in classical civilization consists of eight courses:

Four language courses, all in the same language (either Greek or Latin); one 400-level course or an alternative course that serves as a capstone experience (see below). Latin 202 through 316 will normally be introductory to higher courses in Latin, and Greek 212 through 318 will serve the same function in Greek. Language courses numbered 111 will count toward the major.

Four classical civilization courses, at least one of which must focus primarily on the civilization of the language courses (e.g., Roman History, Roman Civilization, or a similar course if the language is Latin; Greek History, Greek Civilization, or a similar course if the language is Greek). A 400-level course can also fulfill the capstone experience (see above).

It is also possible to fulfill one of the classical civilization course requirements by taking a course in ancient Greek or Latin, whichever is not the language of the four-course language requirement. Students who wish to take additional language courses in the second language are encouraged to consider the major in classics.

Courses that are related or cross-listed with classics and taught in another department will count towards the classical civilization course requirement (e.g., PHIL 217, EUST-121).

Comprehensive Requirement for the Classical Civilization Major 

Majors in classical civilization ordinarily complete one civilization course relating to the language they have studied.

 — For students specializing in Greek: CLAS 123 (Greek Civilization), CLAS 132 (Greek History), CLAS 134 (Archaeology of Greece), or CLAS 138 (Greek Drama)

 — For students specializing in Latin: CLAS 124 (Roman Civilization) or CLAS 135 (History of the Roman Empire), or CLAS 136 (History of Rome)

Departmental Honors Program

The Honors Programs in the Classical Languages 

The program of every honors candidate in Greek, Latin, or classics must include those courses numbered 441 and 442 in either Greek or Latin. It will also include, beyond the eight-course program described above, the courses numbered 498 and 499. The normal expectation will be that in the senior year two courses at the 441/442 level be taken along with the 498/499 sequence. Admission to the 498 course is contingent on approval by the department of a thesis prospectus. Translations of work already translated will not normally be acceptable nor will comparative studies with chief emphasis on modern works. Admission to the 499 course is contingent on the submission of a satisfactory chapter of at least 2,000 words and a detailed prospectus for the remaining sections to be defended at a colloquium within the first week of the second semester with the department and any outside reader chosen.

In addition, honors candidates must in the first semester of their senior year write an examination on a Greek or Latin text of approximately 50 pages (in the Oxford Classical Text or Teubner format) read independently, i.e., not as a part of work in a course, and selected with the approval of the department. The award of honors will be determined by the quality of the candidate’s work in the Senior Departmental Honors courses, thesis, and performance in the comprehensive work and language examination. The department will cooperate with other departments in giving combined majors with honors.

The Honors Program in Classical Civilization 

The requirements for an honors thesis are the same as for classical language majors, except that students need to take only one of the 441/442 level language courses or an equivalent course that would serve as a capstone experience, instead of taking both 441/442 language courses. For the honors thesis students may consider, in addition to the options for the language majors, a project that addresses either the classical tradition more generally or another relevant project.