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Department of Classical Studies

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Berstein contestants

On March 24, 2015, our Department  held its Annual Latin  Declamation Competition.

       For more, click here!


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 or Rome 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
and Rome

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.

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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.

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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.

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Recent News

  • November 5, 2015
    Max Goldman gave a paper titled "Orestes and The Forgotten Pistolero (1969): Baldi’s Tragic Western” at the 2015 Film & History Conference in Madison, Wisconsin
  • October 9, 2015
    Joe Rife was invited to give the closing public lecture for a major international colloquium on Emerging Christianities in Greece and Asia Minor at the Humboldt-Universität in Berlin.
  • August 27, 2015
    At Fall Faculty Assembly, Joe Rife was presented with the Chancellor’s Award for Research, which recognizes works of research, scholarship or creative expression presented or published in the preceding three calendar years.
  • April 20, 2015
    J. Campbell Kinnard has been awarded a Littlejohn Summer Research Scholarship to conduct advanced research with Joe Rife in Greece this summer.
  • February 13, 2015
    Joe Rife delivered a lecture entitled "The Quick and the Dead at a Port in Roman Greece" at the University of Vermont as a guest of the Departments of Classics and Anthropology and the Dean of the College
» More News

Lectures and Events

  • There are no upcoming events on the calendar.
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New Publications
by Our Faculty

Thomas McGinn,  Obligations in Roman Law: Past, Present, and Future

McGinn_Obligations This volume investigates in detail the Roman law of obligations—a subset of private law—together with its subordinate fields, contracts and delicts (torts). 

Max Goldman, Race and Ethnicity in the Classical World.  An Anthology of Primary Sources in Translation

Goldman  This volume provides a comprehensive overview of ancient Greek and Roman concepts of "otherness," as well as Greek and Roman views of non-Greeks and non-Romans.

Joseph Rife,  Isthmia IX: The Roman and Byzantine Graves and Human Remains.

Rife_Isthmia This study describes and interprets graves and human remains around the Isthmian Sanctuary, providing important evidence for both death and life in the Greek countryside during the twilight of antiquity.