2018 - 2019
Departmental Guidelines and Goals
The Department of Classical Studies offers courses in the languages and culture of ancient Greece and Rome. Students are introduced to the intellectual, social, and cultural achievements of classical antiquity that are the foundation for the formation and identity of modern western society. It is a curriculum that engenders both interdisciplinary approaches to knowledge and the development of analytical skills. The major and minor in Classical Studies entails an education focusing on the history and culture of classical antiquity. Whether through courses focused on classical languages, ancient history, the rhetoric of politics, the logic of philosophy, or the art of poetry, the study of classical civilization inculcates a lucidity of expression and a predilection for reason, as it inspires creativity, civic awareness, ethical behavior, and critical inquiry. The minor in Greek focuses on the language and culture of ancient Greece from the Mycenaean world of Olympian gods, kings and heroes, through the cultural and intellectual domination of the democracy of fifth century Athens, to the Hellenistic empire and legacy of Alexander the Great. The study of Greek enables students to read the original works that have defined western literature and philosophy, from the epics of Homer to the dialogues of Plato. The minor in Latin focuses on the language and culture of ancient Rome from its origins as a small village in central Italy, through its transformation into the capital of a Mediterranean and European empire, to its identity as the "eternal city" and center of Christendom. The study of Latin enables students to read and comprehend a language that has defined a literate and educated citizen of western society since the Roman Empire of the Caesars.
Classical Studies Major
Students majoring in Classical Studies must complete a minimum of nine courses or 36 credits, including courses in Classical Studies (CLAS), in either Ancient Greek (GRK) or Latin (LAT), and in other departments or programs. Specific requirements within the department include:
- three courses from 200-level CLAS courses;
- one course from the 300-level CLAS courses;
- two courses in either Ancient Greek (GRK) or Latin (LAT);
- and one semester of CLAS 451 - Senior Research or CLAS 452 - Senior Research.
For the two courses outside of the department, students must select courses that contain a significant component related to the history, culture, or influences and traditions of classical antiquity; the Chair of the department must approve any course selected to meet this requirement.
Classical Studies Minor
For the minor in Classical Studies, students must complete a minimum of six courses or 24 credits.
- Within the department students must take:
- two courses from 200-level CLAS courses,
- and one course from the 300-level CLAS courses;
- and two courses in either Ancient Greek (GRK) or Latin (LAT).
- Outside of the department, students must select one course that contains a significant component related to the history, culture, or influences and traditions of classical antiquity; the Chair of the department must approve any course selected to meet this requirement.
Ancient Greek Minor
For the minor in Ancient Greek,
- students must complete a minimum of four courses in the language (GRK) or 16 credits.
- In addition, students must take CLAS 201 - Ancient Greece and CLAS 211 - Ancient Greek Literature and Society or 8 credits.
Students may substitute another language course (GRK) for the CLAS 211 - Ancient Greek Literature and Society requirement.
For the minor in Latin,
- students must complete a minimum of four courses in the language (LAT) or 16 credits.
- In addition, students must take CLAS 202 - Ancient Rome and CLAS 212 - Latin Literature and Society or 8 credits;
Students may substitute another language course (LAT) for the CLAS 212 - Latin Literature and Society requirement.
Additional Points of Interest
Students interested in pursuing graduate study in Classics should understand that such programs normally focus on the languages. Therefore, in addition to majoring in Classical Studies, students should also minor in both Ancient Greek and Latin, preferably taking a language course every semester as an undergraduate. A Ph.D. in Classics is the terminal degree for a combination of Ancient Greek and Latin. However, it is also possible to earn a Master’s degree in only Ancient Greek or only Latin, in which case a Classical Studies major may minor in either Ancient Greek or Latin. Students should consult with a member of the department as early as possible if they are interested in graduate school in Classics or related fields, such as Classical Archaeology.
Eta Sigma Phi
Classical Studies sponsors a chapter of the national honorary society in Classics, Eta Sigma Phi. Membership in our local chapter requires the completion of a minimum of two courses in either Ancient Greek or Latin, a declared major or minor in the department (CLAS, GRK, or LAT), and a minimum GPA of 3.0 in the department.
Majors in Classical Studies are eligible for Departmental Recognition of Senior Research, according to guidelines established by the college, including the completion of a yearlong senior research project (CLAS 451 - Senior Research and CLAS 452 - Senior Research). Students should consult with the Chair of the department and the Registrar for specific requirements and acknowledgments.
Our current curriculum includes the possibility of a minor in Ancient Greek and/or Latin. For students finishing the 111-112 sequence of a classical language at Denison, or for those beyond the 111-112 sequence, the department offers a 211 level course in the fall semester only, followed by CLAS 361 - Directed Study - CLAS 362 - Directed Study or CLAS 363 - Independent Study - CLAS 364 - Independent Study. Faculty members in the department supervise Directed or Independent Studies, following a "tutorial" model. There is a syllabus for these courses (361-362-363-364) based on the author, topic, or genre being studied; to qualify as a course toward the minor, it must be taken for 4 credits. For Directed or Independent Studies in Ancient Greek or Latin, students must work with a faculty member in the department and receive permission from the department Chair, completing the appropriate form available from the Registrar's Office.