The classical period in Western history, defined as the period from the Bronze Age to the fall of the Roman Empire in the 5th century CE, comprises the “roots” of modern society. In order to understand where we are and where we are going, it is necessary to know where we have been. European and American literature, philosophy, law, religion, politics, language, and art have all been either directly or indirectly formed in reaction to Classical culture. By examination and study of classical civilization, the student will develop a sense of how the ancients responded to the universal questions of human experience. Through an implicit comparison of the cultures of ancient Greece and Rome to our own, the student will also come to have a fuller understanding of the humanist and cultural impulses which have formed and which continue to form our own experience. This curriculum is particularly useful to the student with interests in ancient history, philosophy, art history, anthropology, literature and political science. It will also prove useful to the student preparing for a career in law.
A minimum of 18 credits or 6 courses is required. The student who elects this curriculum normally chooses Latin as a fulfillment of the language requirement. The advanced student may choose ancient Greek rather than Latin (as available), with permission of the instructor. The student will take either two semesters of Latin beyond the elementary level or two semesters of Greek at elementary level or above. In addition, the student will take HTY 401, History of Greece or HTY 402, Roman History, and the remaining 3 courses in one or two areas in the following listing. The list is flexible; new courses, special seminars, pertinent readings in upper level Honors courses, and independent study may be approved for Classical Studies.