Josephine Shaya, Chair
The Department of Classical Studies provides students with opportunities to explore the ancient Mediterranean world with a special focus on the period from the eighth century BCE through the fifth century CE. Through the comparative study of ancient languages and cultures, Classics students acquire additional cultural literacy, becoming better critical thinkers and more engaged global citizens. Our primary goal is for students to understand and examine critically the ancient beliefs, values, and traditions that have shaped later cultures.
The study of the Ancient Mediterranean is inherently interdisciplinary and intercultural. Students are encouraged to learn Ancient Greek, Latin, Middle Egyptian, and Hebrew. They will study the ancient literature, archaeology, history, religion, philosophy, and art produced in the Near East and Mediterranean basin, including ancient Mesopotamia, Israel, Egypt, Greece, and Rome.
The Department accommodates and encourages a semester’s study abroad in the Mediterranean region. Additionally, the Department offers a program of study in Greece through its Wooster in Greece program. Established in 1973, Wooster in Greece is an on-site program of study and travel in Greece and Turkey and an intensive introduction to ancient Greek culture, from the prehistoric to the Byzantine periods. Open to all students, the program offers a unique opportunity for participants to deepen their knowledge of ancient and modern Greek culture through an integrated program of reading, class work, and visits to sites and museums. The program is interdisciplinary in nature and appropriate for students from a variety of majors and interests, as well as for those with previous experience in Classics.
The concentration in Classical Languages is one of two concentrations within the major of Classical Studies. Students of Classical Languages study ancient Greek, Latin, and/or Hebrew, as well as the rich cultural traditions of Greece, Rome, Israel, ancient Mesopotamia, and Egypt. Through the comparative study of these ancient languages and literatures, students in Classical languages acquire additional cultural literacy as they examine critically the ancient beliefs, values, and traditions that have shaped later cultures.
The concentration in Classical Languages best prepares students for graduate school in the discipline of Classics or the fields of Ancient History and Ancient Philosophy. Students in Classical Languages pursue successfully careers in law, medicine, and publishing, as well as graduate school in Linguistics, Comparative Literature, and Classical Archaeology.