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Major in Classics

Classics is the oldest and most durable form of area studies. Inherently interdisciplinary, it addresses a time span, pre-Greek to post-Roman, using the tools of the humanities, and occasionally the social sciences to examine antiquity and to explore relationships between then and now. By better understanding the ancient Greeks and Romans, we can better understand ourselves.

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Beloit's Classics Department offers two majors, classical civilization and classical philology (which can focus on either Greek or Latin). In addition, the department offers an interdisciplinary minor, ancient Mediterranean studies. The two majors and the minor incorporate classical languages, literature, history, and culture.


Students who choose to major in classical civilization must complete two semesters of introductory Greek or Latin, four courses in classical civilization and literature, and three supporting courses from outside the department. The civilization and literature classes cover such topics as Greek, Roman, or Egyptian art and archaeology; love and sexuality in the poetry of Sappho; gender roles in ancient Greek tragedy; Ovid's Metamorphoses; and art and architecture at Pompeii. The supporting courses can come from several departments and include Roman or Greek history; classical philosophy; and art history. The classical philology major consists of two semesters of both introductory Greek and Latin, plus three additional years of either Greek or Latin, and three supporting classes from outside the department on such topics as Greek or Roman history and classical philosophy. Advanced Latin classes incorporate a wide range of authors, from Augustan poets Virgil and Ovid, to Silver Age authors Suetonius and Lucan, to medieval Christian writers. Similarly, advanced Greek classes concentrate on a variety of authors, from Homer, to Herodotus, to the tragedians.