CLASSICAL STUDIES have always been at the heart of a liberal education, because they afford unmatched perspectives from which to understand our own time. We offer courses in the history, religion, art, philosophy, legal systems, literature, mythology, social and cultural developments of antiquity. The curriculum covers 3,500 years of human experience in the Greco-Roman world, from the beginnings of Western civilization through the Christianization of Europe.
Three major programs are available. Students majoring in classical languages approach the ancient world primarily through its literature, read in the original language. Students majoring in classics integrate the ancient texts with other kinds of evidence. Students majoring in classical civilization receive the broadest introduction to the ancient world, and they read the primary sources in translation. Majors are encouraged to spend a semester at the Intercollegiate Center for Classical Studies in Rome or a Maymester session in Greece led by one of our own professors.
Our Department is committed to the interdisciplinary study of Mediterranean antiquity, integrating the ancient texts with material and visual culture, both in our teaching and in our research. Faculty members have recently published books on race and ethnicity in the classical world, the Roman law of obligations, and on Roman and Byzantine graves; they lead summer programs for students overseas; and one colleague directs the Kenchreai Excavations, a long-term archaeological project in southern Greece.
Maymester Courses in Greece
Uncovering Greek Religion: Cults, Festivals, and Sanctuaries in the Ancient World.
Travel to Greece to survey Greek religion: its deities, sanctuaries, and festivals. Examine the wide variety of pagan cults from prehistory to late Antiquity; the roots of early Christianity; and the influence of ancient pagan cults on modern Greece. Related topics include Athenian democracy; the impact of cults and festivals on warfare, the economy, athletics, and literature; and the role of women and other marginalized groups.
Archaeology, History, and Culture in Greece: Kenchreai Field School.
Archaeological field school at the site of Kenchreai with seminars and excursions in southern Greece. Basic techniques in excavation, survey, and the analysis of architecture, artifacts, and bones. Explorations of churches, temples, houses, and tombs. Focus on Greece during the Roman Empire and late antiquity. Landscape settlement, cult practice, cultural and social diversity, and funerary ritual.
History and Art of Ancient Rome: Maymester in Rome and Campania.
Visits to significant archeological sites, monuments and museum collections in Rome and locations throughout southern Italy.
- Max Goldman presented a paper entitled "Aeschylus' Forgotten Pistolero," at the Classical Association of the Middle West and South Conference, in Waco, TX, on April 3, 2014.
- Tom McGinn presented a paper entitled "The Study Abroad Experience: Developing Realistic Expectations," at the Annual Meeting of the American Philological Association: APA Education Panel on Study Abroad and Classics, in Chicago, IL, on January 4, 2014.
- Tom McGinn was invited to give a paper entitled "Cui Bono?: The True Beneficiaries of Roman Private Law," at the University of Michigan.
- Tom McGinn was invited to give a paper entitled "The Expressive Function of Law: An Opportunity for Romanists?," at the University of Salzburg Law School