The Department of Classics offers instruction in subjects concerning the world of ancient Greece and Rome, including archaeology, history, literature, and philosophy. (For instruction in modern Greek, please visit the Department of Comparative Literature.) This page provides a general sense our offerings; for detailed information about current course offerings, please see the Courses page on this website. A list of all our courses we teach is available in the Academic Guide under the course designations Classics, Greek, and Latin.
Many of our undergraduate courses require no knowledge of ancient Greek or of Latin. These are our “Classics” courses, 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, lower-division courses (numbered from 1-99) are introductory and broad in scope and so tend to be especially appropriate for students approaching the subject for the first time, while upper division courses (100 and above) provide a deeper look at a more closely defined topic. Typically, these upper-division courses do not have prerequisites. While some courses have fixed topics ("Introduction to Greek Civilization"), courses offered under the rubric “Classics 130: Topics in Ancient Greek and Roman Culture” change from semester to semester. Recent examples 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 our Classics courses, the Department offers a full curriculum in Latin and ancient Greek. These courses are designated as “Greek” or “Latin”—for example, “Latin 1: Elementary Latin,” “Greek 100: Plato and Attic Prose,” and “Latin 115: Roman Drama.” Greek 1 and 2 and Latin 1 and 2 provide a two-semester introduction to the language in question, while Greek 15 and Latin 15 cover it at a very intensive pace during the summer. Greek and Latin 1 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.