Department of Classics


The Classics curriculum at Amherst College offers a wide range of courses on the languages, history, archaeology, literature, social practices, and religious beliefs of ancient Greece and Italy. The major program is designed to give a comprehensive exposure to the languages and literatures of ancient Greece and Rome as well as to provide a broad perspective of life in the ancient Mediterranean.


Alfred F. Havighurst Prize in History

The Alfred F. Havighurst Prize in History, established in June, 1970, and intended for the purchase of books, is awarded to that student, a major in the Department of History, who in the opinion of the faculty in History, has, in his or her four years at Amherst College, best fulfilled the standards of excellence and humane scholarship exemplified by Alfred F. Havighurst during the many years of his teaching career at Amherst College.

Contact Information

Department of History
AC# 2254
Amherst College
Amherst, MA 01002-5000

Rhea Cabin
Assistant to the Chair
Chapin 11
(413) 542-2229 (phone)
(413) 542-2727 (fax)

Honors Requirements

The Department recommends Latin Honors for seniors who have achieved distinction in their course work and who have completed a thesis of Honors quality. Students who are candidates for Latin Honors will normally take two courses, History 498 and History 499, in addition to the courses required of all majors. With the approval of the thesis advisor, a student may take either History 498 or History 499 as a double course. In special cases, and with the approval of the entire Department, a student may be permitted to devote more than three courses to his or her thesis.

Major Program

Goals for the History Major

Students who complete the major in History will be able to

•  Think critically about the relationship between historical evidence and arguments.

•  Challenge and revise existing narratives of the past, both to comprehend the events they describe and to shed light on society’s evolving needs and concerns.

•  Question their own ideas and assumptions, and reflect on the often hidden relationships between ideas and social institutions, and between individuals and their cultures.

The History Department






History Major Monday Nights