Courses We Offer

The Department of Classics offers instruction, from the introductory level to advanced Ph.D. research, in subjects concerning the world of ancient Greece and Rome, including archaeology, history, literature, and philosophy. (This page offers a general sense of the variety of courses available in Classics; for a detailed list of all of the courses that Classics is able to offer please see the campus Academic Guide and for information about ongoing or imminent course offerings please see the Courses page on this website.)

Many of the undergraduate courses we offer in the Department require no knowledge of ancient Greek or of Latin. These courses are indicated as “Classics” courses in the schedule of classes and they will be numbered between 1 and 199, for example “Classics 10A: Introduction to Greek Civilization,” “Classics 17B: Introduction to the Archaeology of the Hellenistic and Roman Worlds,” and “Classics 161: Gender, Sexuality, and Culture in the Ancient World.” Generally, at the lower-division level (courses numbered from 1-99) these courses are introductory and broad in scope and so tend to be especially appropriate for students approaching the subject for the first time, while at the upper division level the courses provide a deeper look at a more closely defined topic. Typically, upper-division courses do not have prerequisites but some students may find it helpful to have some prior experience in learning about the ancient world. While some courses at both levels provide training in the same subject matter on a recurring basis, courses offered under the rubric “Classics 130: Topics in Ancient Greek and Roman Culture” change from semester to semester and are taught frequently. Courses recently offered under the 130 designation include “The Roman Economy,” “Greek and Roman Honorific Portraits,” “Etruscan Italy,” “The Origins of Rome,” “The Literature of Everyday Life,” “Violence and the Ancient City,” and “The Trojan War: History or Myth?

In addition to these courses that do not require knowledge of the ancient languages, the Department also offers a full curriculum in Latin and ancient Greek, from the introductory to the advanced levels. Courses are designated as “Greek” or “Latin”: examples are “Latin 1: Elementary Latin,” “Greek 100: Plato and Attic Prose,” and “Latin 115: Roman Drama.” Lower-division courses are almost exclusively introductory: Greek 1 and 2 and Latin 1 and 2 are a two-semester introduction to the language in question, while Greek 10 and Latin 10 cover the material of those two-semester introductions in an intensive, one-semester environment and Greek 15 and Latin 15 cover it in a very intensive pace during the summer. Greek and Latin 1, 10, and 15 are all open to students who have not studied the language before, and Greek and Latin 2 are open to students who have successfully completed Greek 1 or Latin 1, respectively. At the upper-division level, our courses in the languages can be separated into “intermediate” and “advanced” courses. The intermediate courses (Greek 100 and 101 and Latin 100 and 101) introduce students to Greek and Latin literary texts in prose (100) and poetry (101) while solidifying and expanding their command of the language achieved in the introductory courses; at the same time, students begin at this stage to practice developing interpretive arguments on the basis of this reading, both orally and in writing. In the advanced courses (numbered 102-199), there continues to be an emphasis on language learning, but the focus expands further to encompass significant literary, historical, or philosophical interpretation of the text or texts under examination in the course.

Finally, the Department offers courses at the graduate level to students in its Classical Archaeology and Classics Ph.D. programs as well as to students in related Ph.D. programs such as the Graduate Group in Ancient History and Mediterranean Archaeology and the programs of the Departments of Comparative Literature, History, History of Art, and Philosophy. These courses are designated “Classics” and are numbered 200-399. They require prior subject-specific training as well as advanced knowledge of Greek and Latin. They include a proseminar in traditional practices of Classical philology including textual criticism, palaeography, and codicology (Classics 200), a proseminar in critical theory (Classics 203), a proseminar in the study of material culture (Classics 204), a proseminar in teaching methods (Classics 375), year-long surveys of the histories of Greek and Latin literature (Classics 201A-B and 202A-B, respectively), advanced courses in Greek and Latin prose composition (Classics 250 and 260, respectively), and research seminars in a wide variety of special topics.