Major in Classical Civilizations

Classical Civilizations is an interdisciplinary "area studies" major.  It provides students with the opportunity to explore the rich diversity of classical antiquity in depth, in company with a relatively small cohort of undergraduates.  With ongoing input from our two faculty advisors, each student develops a personalized curriculum within one of four broadly-conceived areas of concentration (see below).  While language study is an option, the major may be completed entirely in English.  The Classical Civilizations major also requires some comparative study of a pre-modern culture other than Greco-Roman (e.g. Chinese, sub-Saharan African, Egyptian, Mayan).

This major serves as excellent preparation for many different careers as well as for graduate study in fields such as Anthropology, Archaeology, Classics, History, and Art History. 

Prospective and current majors are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the learning goals articulated for each major.

Requirements for the Classical Civilizations Major

(1) Prerequisites. (8 units)

  • Classics 10A (Intro. Greek Civilization) or Classics 17A (Intro. Greek Archaeology)
  • Classics 10B (Intro. Roman Civilization) or Classics 17B (Intro. Roman Archaeology)
  • Classics R44 (Roots of Western Civilization) may be substituted for either 10A/17A or 10B/17B

(2) Lower division. (8 units)

Two courses from the following list, one of which must be in the Classics Department:

Classics (CLASSICS)

10A: Intro to Greek Civilization 35: Greek Tragedy
10B: Intro to Roman Civilization 36: Greek Philosophy (Philosophy 25A may not also be counted)
17A: Intro to Greek Archaeology 39A: Freshman-Sophomore Seminar - Cleopatras
17B: Intro to Roman Archaeology 39D: Freshman-Sophomore Seminar - Utopia, Dystopia
28: Classic Myths 39K: Freshman-Sophomore Seminar - Travel and Transport in the Ancient World
N28: Classic Myths R44: Roots of Western Civilizations
29: Greco-Roman Magic 50: Latin and Greek in Antiquity and After
34: Epic Poetry  

Greek (GREEK)

1: Elementary Greek 15: The Greek Workshop
2: Elementary Greek  

Latin (LATIN)

1: Elementary Latin 15: The Latin Workshop
2: Elementary Latin  

History (HISTORY)

4A: Origins of Western Civilization

History of Art (HISTART)

10: History of Western Art 41: Introduction to Greek and Roman Art

Near Eastern Studies (NE STUD)

15: Introduction to Near Eastern Art and Archaeology 25: Ancient Babylonian Legends/Myths
18: Introduction to Ancient Egypt 34: Hebrew Bible in translation

Philosophy (PHILOS)

25A: Ancient Philosophy (Classics 36 may not also be counted)

(3) Area of concentration. (5 courses, 20 units)

Five courses from one concentration: no duplication with courses offered in fulfillment of the other lower or upper division requirements allowed except in the case of Classics 130A - Classics 130N (which is required of all students in the major); other courses may be substituted with the permission of the faculty adviser; at least 3 courses must be in the Classics Department.

(3)-1. Classical Archaeology & Art History.

Five upper division courses from Classics and Art History:

Classics (CLASSIC)

130,130B-N: Topics in Greek and Roman Culture 175A :Topography of Athens
170A: Greek Vase Painting 175D: Pompeii and Herculaneum
170C: Greek Architecture 175E: Western Provinces
170D: Roman Art and Architecture 175F: Roman Wall Painting
172: Art and Archaeology of the Aegean Bronze Age 175G: Ptolemaic & Roman Egypt
N172A: Field School: Nemea 180: Ancient Athletics
N172B: Field School: Mycenae  

History of Art (HISTART)

C140: Minoan and Mycenaean Art 151: Art in Late Antiquity
141A-C: Greek Sculpture/Painting 190B: Topics, ancient
145: Roman Art 192B: Undergraduate Seminar, ancient

Near Eastern Studies (NE STUD)

C129: Minoan and Mycenaean Art

(3)-2. Classical History & Culture.

Five upper division courses from Classics, Anthropology, Art History, History, Philosophy, Political Science, Religious Studies, Rhetoric and Theater Dance Performance Studies.

Greek (GREEK) & Latin (LATIN)

  • All upper division courses in Greek and Latin

Classics (CLASSIC)

121: Ancient Religion 172: Art and Archaeology of the Aegean Bronze Age
124: Classical Poetics N172A: Field School: Nemea
130,130A-N: Topics in Greek and Roman Culture N172B: Field School: Mycenae
161: Gender, Sexuality, and Culture 175A: Topography of Athens
163: Topics in Philosophy 175D: Pompeii and Herculaneum
170C: Greek Architecture 180: Ancient Athletics

Comparative Literature (COM LIT)

151: Ancient Mediterranean World

Dramatic Art 

122: Greek & Roman Theater

History (HISTORY)

101: Historical Research-ancient topic 105A-B: Ancient Greece
101: Historical Research-ancient topic 106A-B: Ancient Rome
103A: Proseminar: Problems in Interpretation 185: History of Christianity to 1250; primarily Late Antiquity

Philosophy (PHILOS)

160: Plato 163: Topics in Greek Philosophy
161: Aristotle  

Political Science (POL SCI)

112A: History of Political Theory

Rhetoric (RHETOR)

166: Rhetoric, Law and Politics - when the subject is Greco-Roman

Theater (THEATER)

126: Performance Literatures: Greek Tragedy, Then and Now

(3)-3. Ancient Greek.

Five courses, including up to 2 lower division.

Greek (GREEK)

1: Elementary Greek 115: Archaic Poetry
2: Elementary Greek 116: Greek Drama
15: The Greek Workshop 117: Hellenistic Poets
100: Plato and Attic Prose 120: Herodotus
101: Homer 121: Thucydides
102: Drama and Society 122: Attic Oratory
105: The Greek New Testament 123: Plato and Aristotle

(3)-4. Latin.

Five courses, including up to 2 lower division.

Latin (LATIN)

1: Elementary Latin 116: Lucretius, Vergil's Georgics
2: Elementary Latin 119: Latin Epic
15: The Latin Workshop 120: Latin Prose to AD 14
100: Republican Prose 121: Tacitus
101: Vergil 122: Post-Augustan Prose
102: Lyric and Society 140: Medieval Latin
115: Roman Drama 155A: Readings in Medieval Latin

(4). Area of breadth. (2 courses, 8 units)

Two courses from any combination of lower or upper division offerings in a non-Greco-Roman, preindustrial culture. Some examples (among many possibilities): Native American, Chinese, sub-Saharan African, European Bronze Age or Medieval. 

Many departments (for example, Anthropology, Near Eastern Studies, History of Art, Linguistics, History) offer courses that may be used to satisfy this requirement, so long as the faculty advisor approves.  The list below offers examples of courses approved by faculty advisors in previous semesters.  Since "topics" courses change from year to year, students should not assume that courses listed under these rubrics/numbers will satisfy the Breadth requirement; this list is meant to help students find courses to bring to the faculty advisor for approval.

Course Examples

Anthropology (ANTHRO)

2/2AC: Introduction to Archaeology 123A: Old World Prehistory
122A: Archaeology of North America 123C: Archaeology of Europe
122C: Archaeology of Central America 123E: Mediterranean Archaeology
122D: World of Ancient Maya 124A: Archaeology of South Pacific
122E: Archaeology of the Americas C125A: Archaeology of East Asia
122F: California Archaeology 162: Topics in Folklore
122G: Archaeology of the American Southwest 162AC: Forms in Folklore

Buddhist Studies (BUDDSTD)

C120: Buddhism on the Silk Road
C135: Tantric Traditions of Asia

Celtic Studies (CELTIC)

70: The World of the Celts 168: Celtic Mythology and Oral Tradition
128: Medieval Celtic Culture  

East Asian Languages (EA LANG)

C135: Tantric Traditions of Asia C175: Archaeology of East Asia

English (ENGLISH)

45A: Literature in English: Through Milton 101: The History of the English Language

History (HISTORY)

6A: History of China: Origins to the Mongol Conquest

History of Art (HISTART)

34: Arts of China 130A: Early Chinese Art, Part 1
C120A: The Art of Ancient Mesopotamia: 3500-1000 BCE 131A: Sacred Arts in China
C120B: The Art of Ancient Mesopotamia: 1000-330 BCE 136A: Promiscuous Gods, Gendered Monsters, and Other Urban Beasts: Art in Early India

Near Eastern Studies (NE STUD)

15: Introduction to Near Eastern Art and Archaeology C120A: The Art of Ancient Mesopotamia: 3500-1000 BCE
18: Introduction to Ancient Egypt C120B: The Art of Ancient Mesopotamia: 1000-330 BCE
101: Women and Gender in Ancient Egypt 122: Iranian Archaeology
102A-B: Archaeology of Ancient Egypt 123: Mesopotamian Archaeology
C104: Babylonian Religion 124: Levantine Archaeology
105A: Ancient Mesopotamian Documents and Literature 126: Silk Road Art and Archaeology
106A-B: Art and Architecture of Ancient Egypt 127: Art and Archaeology of Ancient Syria
109: Mesopotamian History 129: Arts of Iran and Central Asia
110: Digital Humanities and Egyptology C135: Literature and History in the Hebrew Bible
113: Gilgamesh: King, hero, and God  

Scandinavian (SCANDIN)

123: Viking and Medieval Scandinavia 160/C160: Scandinavian Myth and Religion

South and Southeast Asian Studies (SSEASN)

1A: Introduction to the Civilization of Early India 140: Hindu Mythology
127/C127: Religion in Early India 142: India's Great Epics

(5). Upper division. (2 courses, 8 units)

Two courses. All students must take Classics 130. A single 130 counts both in this category, Upper Division, AND in the five course, Upper Division requirement of the (1) the Art and Archeology and (2) the Classical History and Culture options above.

Classics (CLASSIC)

121: Ancient Religion 170D: Roman Art and Architecture
124: Classical Poetics 175A: Topography of Athens
130,130A-N: Topics in Greek and Roman Culture 175D: Pompeii and Herculaneum
161: Gender, Sexuality, and Culture 175F: Roman Wall Painting
163: Topics in Philosophy 175G: Ptolemaic and Roman Egypt
170A: Greek Vase Painting 180: Ancient Athletics
170C: Greek Architecture  

Greek (GREEK)

100: Plato and Attic Prose 117: Hellenistic Poets
101: Homer 120: Herodotus
102: Drama and Society 121: Thucydides
105: The Greek New Testament 122: Attic Oratory
115: Archaic Poetry 123: Plato and Aristotle
116: Greek Drama  

Latin (LATIN)

100: Republican Prose 119: Latin Epic
101: Vergil 120: Latin Prose
102: Lyric and Society 121: Tacitus
115: Roman Drama 140: Medieval Latin
116: Lucretius, Vergil's Georgics  

Anthropology (ANTHRO)

123C: Archaeology of Europe 123E: Mediterranean Archaeology

Comparative Literature (COM LIT)

151: Ancient Mediterranean World

Cuneiform (CUNEIF)

100A-B: Elementary Akkadian 103A-B: Selected Readings in Sumerian
101A-B: Selected Readings in Akkadian 106A-B: Elementary Hittite
102A-B: Elementary Sumerian  

Egyptian (EGYPT)

100A-B: Elementary Egyptian 102A-B: Elementary Coptic
101A-B: Intermediate Egyptian  

Hebrew (HEBREW)

106A-B: Elementary Biblical Hebrew 107A-B: Biblical Hebrew Texts

History (HISTORY)

100AP: Special Topics in Ancient History 106A-B: Ancient Rome
105A-B: Ancient Greece  

History of Art (HISTART)

C120A-B: The Art of Ancient Mesopotamia 141A,C: Greek Sculpture & Painting
C140: Minoan and Mycenaean Art 145: Roman Art

Iranian (IRANIAN)

110A-B: Middle Persian 111A-B: Old Iranian

Near Eastern Studies (NE STUD)

102A-B: Archaeology of Ancient Egypt 123: Mesopotamian Archaeology
103: Religion of Ancient Egypt 126: Silk Road Art and Archaeology
C104: Babylonian religion C129: Minoan and Mycenaean Art
105A: Ancient Mesopotamian Lit 130A-B: History of Ancient Israel
106A-B: Art & Architecture Egypt 131: Aspects of Biblical Religion
108: Topics in Ancient Mediterranean World 132: Biblical Poetry
109: Mesopotamian History C133: Judaism in Late Antiquity
110: Art and Archaeology of Ancient Egypt First Millennium BC 136: History and Historiography in the Hebrew Bible
113: Gilgamesh: King, Hero and God 138: The Hero in the Bible and the Ancient Near East
C119: Disciplining Near Eastern Archaeology 160: Religions of Ancient Iran
C120A-B: Art of Ancient Mesopotamia 190A-B: Special Topics in Fields of Near Eastern Studies, ancient only
122: Iranian archaeology 1962A-C: Undergraduate Seminar: Problems and Research in Near Eastern Studies

Philosophy (PHILOS)

161: Plato 163: Special Topics in Greek Philosophy

Political Science (POL SCI)

112A: History of Political Theory-ancient

Rhetoric (RHETOR)

103A: Approaches and Paradigms in the History of Rhetorical Theory 166: Rhetoric, Law and Politics - when the subject is Greco-Roman

Sanskrit (SANSKR)

100A-B: Elementary Sanskrit 101A-B: Intermediate Sanskrit

Semitics (SEMITIC)

100A-B: Aramaic

Theater (THEATER)

126: Greek Tragedy, Then and Now

Total units: 52 (lower division 16; upper division 28: additional lower or upper division 8; at least 26 must be in the Classics Department)

Classics 130 and 130 Series

130: Topics in Ancient Greek and Roman 130H: Religion & Literature in the Graeco-Roman World
130A: Epic and Saga 130I:Classical Greek Rhetoric: Evolution or Revolution?
130C: The Origins of Rome 130J: Graeco-Roman Egypt: Society and Economy
130C: Ancient Greek Political Thought 130K:Music and Difference in Ancient Greece
130D: The Roman Economy 130L: Introduction to Graeco-Roman Magic
130E: The Trojan War: History or Myth? 130M: Slavery & Literature in the Graeco-Roman World
130F: The History of Hell 130N: Ancient Portraiture & Biography
130G: The Literature of Everyday Life  

Honors

Classical Civilizations majors with an overall University GPA of at least 3.6 and a GPA of at least 3.6 in the major are eligible. Honors requirements: (a) completion of the major program, (b) one semester of Classics H195. H195 consists of largely independent study, including the writing of a thesis, which is usually an outgrowth of work done previously in a senior-level course, which will be evaluated by an Honors Committee of three members. The student forms the Honors Committee, with one member as Chair. The written thesis is due on Monday of the 13th week of the semester. The Committee will agree upon the level of Honors (Honors, High Honors, or Highest Honors), and the grade to be awarded no later than the Monday of examination week.

Read a full description of Honors requirements.

More Information

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