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.
Associate Professor Garrett Jacobsen, Chair
Professor Timothy P. Hofmeister; Associate Professor Garrett Jacobsen; Associate Professor Rebecca Kennedy; Visiting Assistant Professors Max Goldman and Vicky Kostopoulou; Academic Administrative Assistant Deborah Riley
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.
CLAS 101 - Classical Culture (4 Credit Hours)
This is an introductory course in the history and culture of ancient Greece and Rome, focusing on particular topics relating to classical culture, and emphasizing the analysis of textual and material evidence.
CLAS 201 - Ancient Greece (4 Credit Hours)
An overview of Ancient Greek civilization from the Bronze Age to the period following the death of Alexander the Great. Greek culture was a Mediterranean phenomenon that spread in antiquity from the Aegean through Egypt and central Asia to India and became the core of education for European and American students during the 18th and 19th centuries. The course focuses on the major social and political institutions (such as the creation of the first democracy) as well as the intellectual and artistic achievements of the Greeks.
CLAS 202 - Ancient Rome (4 Credit Hours)
A survey of Roman civilization from both an historical and cultural perspective. Chronologically, the course traces the development of the "eternal city" from a tiny village of mud and straw along the banks of the Tiber River in central Italy to the city of marble and bronze dominating the Mediterranean world and beyond. Culturally, we consider Rome's legacy to the western world in terms of its social and political institutions, as well as its intellectual and artistic achievements.
CLAS 211 - Ancient Greek Literature and Society (4 Credit Hours)
This course is an introduction to Ancient Greek literature from the Homeric world to the Hellenistic era. Students will read the works of major authors representing a variety of genres from epic poetry to philosophical dialogues, considered in the contexts of both ancient culture and contemporary society.
CLAS 212 - Latin Literature and Society (4 Credit Hours)
In this course students will study the literature of ancient Rome, analyzing texts not only for their importance to the development of Latin literature but also for their subsequent influence on later authors, from the Renaissance to the modern world. Readings will include selections from the genres of comic drama, lyric, elegy, epic and satire.
CLAS 221 - Classical Mythology (4 Credit Hours)
This course is a study of the mythology of classical antiquity, with an emphasis on its representations in literature and art, and its relationship to the practice and rituals of Greek and Roman religion.
CLAS 301 - Topics in Classical Studies (4 Credit Hours)
This is a seminar course on a particular historical, social or cultural topic related to classical antiquity.
CLAS 311 - Gender and Sexuality in Antiquity (4 Credit Hours)
This course explores how power and status worked in the family, in politics, in labor practices, and in religious institutions during classical antiquity, focusing on the intersections of gender, class, ethnicity, and sexuality.
CLAS 312 - Ancient Identities (4 Credit Hours)
This course considers the various ways the Greeks and Romans speculated about and defined human differences, as well as exploring the ways in which the ancients theorized about and manipulated their environments to achieve a desired identity. Attention is also given to how these theories were received from medieval to modern times.
CLAS 321 - The Classical Tradition (4 Credit Hours)
This course focuses on the canon of ancient classical literature, both Greek and Roman, examining the tradition and reception of literary genres within classical antiquity, and considering what influences classical literature may have had on the development of later western thought and literature.
CLAS 322 - Classical Drama (4 Credit Hours)
This course focuses on the dramatic arts as practiced in Ancient Greece and Rome. Students will read selected plays, tragic or comic, by the major playwrights of classical antiquity, giving attention to dramaturgy, societal contexts, and influences on the development of western theater.
CLAS 331 - Alexander the Great (4 Credit Hours)
This course focuses on the study of the historical record of the life and times of Alexander the Great, examining primary and secondary sources, and placing the career and accomplishments of Alexander in the contemporary social and cultural context of Macedonia, Greece, and the Near East, as well as Alexander’s influence on the Hellenistic era of classical antiquity.
CLAS 332 - Imperial Rome (4 Credit Hours)
This course focuses on the decline and fall of the Roman Republic and the establishment of the Roman Principate. Students will examine the political, social, and cultural contexts for the creation of an empire that dominated the Mediterranean world, encompassing an area stretching from Britain to Egypt.
CLAS 361 - Directed Study (1-4 Credit Hours)
CLAS 362 - Directed Study (1-4 Credit Hours)
CLAS 363 - Independent Study (1-4 Credit Hours)
CLAS 364 - Independent Study (1-4 Credit Hours)
CLAS 451 - Senior Research (4 Credit Hours)
CLAS 452 - Senior Research (4 Credit Hours)
GRK 111 - Elementary Greek (4 Credit Hours)
An introduction to the fundamental morphology and syntax of ancient Greek. Exercises in grammar and translation are based primarily upon quotations from Greek literature and the New Testament.
GRK 112 - Intermediate Greek (4 Credit Hours)
Advanced study of ancient Greek grammar and language. Emphasis is given to the development of translation skills by reading extended passages of Greek.
Prerequisite(s): GRK 111.
GRK 199 - Introductory Topics in Greek (1-4 Credit Hours)
A general category used only in the evaluation of transfer credit.
GRK 211 - Greek Prose & Poetry (4 Credit Hours)
Readings from ancient Greek. Selections range from Homer to the New Testament.
Prerequisite(s): GRK 112 or consent of instructor.
GRK 361 - Directed Study (1-4 Credit Hours)
GRK 362 - Directed Study (1-4 Credit Hours)
GRK 363 - Independent Study (1-4 Credit Hours)
GRK 364 - Independent Study (1-4 Credit Hours)
LAT 111 - Elementary Latin (4 Credit Hours)
An introduction to the fundamental morphology and syntax of Latin. Exercises in grammar and translation are based primarily upon quotations from Latin literature.
LAT 112 - Intermediate Latin (4 Credit Hours)
An introduction to advanced grammar and the idiomatic language of Latin. Emphasis is given to the development of translation skills by reading extended passages of Latin prose and poetry.
Prerequisite(s): LAT 111 or consent.
LAT 199 - Introductory Topics in Latin (1-4 Credit Hours)
A general category used only in the evaluation of transfer credit.
LAT 211 - Latin Prose and Poetry (4 Credit Hours)
Readings from ancient and medieval Latin. Selections range from Cicero's philosophical works to the Aeneid of Vergil and some attention is given to the literature's relationship to cultural milieu.
Prerequisite(s): LAT 112 or consent.
LAT 361 - Directed Study (1-4 Credit Hours)
LAT 362 - Directed Study (1-4 Credit Hours)
LAT 363 - Independent Study (1-4 Credit Hours)
LAT 364 - Independent Study (1-4 Credit Hours)