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Greek, Latin and Classical Studies

Students may complete a major in Greek, Latin, classical languages or classical culture and society. Students may complete a minor in Greek, Latin or classical culture and society. Students may complete an M.A. in Latin in the combined A.B./M.A. program.


Dobrinka Chiekova, Lecturer
Catherine Conybeare, Associate Professor (on leave 2005-06)
Radcliffe Edmonds, Assistant Professor and Greek Major Adviser
Julia H. Gaisser, Professor (on leave semester II)
Richard Hamilton, Professor
Russell T. Scott, Professor, Chair and Latin Major Adviser
Bryce Walker, Instructor

In collaboration with the Department of Classics at Haverford College, the department offers four concentrations in classics: Greek, Latin, classical languages, and classical culture and society. In addition to the sequence of courses specified for each concentration, all students must participate in the Senior Conference, a full-year course. In the first term students study various fields in classics (e.g., law, literary history, philosophy, religion, social history), while in the second term they write a long research paper and present their findings to the group. Senior essays of exceptionally high quality may be awarded departmental honors at commencement.

Students, according to their concentrations, are encouraged to consider a term of study during junior year at the College Year in Athens or the Intercollegiate Center for Classical Studies in Rome.


The sequence of courses in the ancient Greek language is designed to acquaint the students with the various aspects of Greek culture through a mastery of the language and a comprehension of Greek history, mythology, religion and the other basic forms of expression through which the culture developed. The works of poets, philosophers and historians are studied both in their historical context and in relation to subsequent Western thought. In addition, the department regularly offers one or more courses on Greek history, myth, literature or religion for which knowledge of the Greek language is not required.

Major Requirements

Requirements in the major are, in addition to the classics Senior Conference: 016, 017, 101, 104, 201, 202 and either 305 or 306. Also required are three courses to be distributed as follows: one in Greek history, one in Greek archaeology and one in Greek philosophy. The major is completed with a comprehensive sight translation of Greek to English.

Prospective majors in Greek are advised to take Greek 016 and 017 in the first year. For students entering with Greek there is the possibility of completing the requirements for both A.B. and M.A. degrees in four years. Those interested in pursuing advanced degrees are advised to have a firm grounding in Latin.

Minor Requirements

Requirements for a minor in Greek are: 016, 017, 101, 104, 201 and 202.

Courses for which a knowledge of Greek is not required are listed under Classical Culture and Society.

GREK B010, B011 Traditional and New Testament Greek

The first part of this year-long course will focus on introducing standard (Classical) Greek grammar through the fall semester. Early in the spring semester the class will split into two sections, with one section reading classical Greek authors such as Xenophon and Plato, and the other reading sections of the New Testament. (Hamilton)

GREK B016, B017 Reading Greek for the Golden Age

A grammar-based, "bottom-up" introduction to classical Greek, emphasizing mastery of individual letters, nouns and verbs, and finally single sentences supplemented by readings each week from a "top-down" introduction focusing on the paragraph, comprehension of context and Greek idiom, with the goal of reading a dialogue of Plato and a speech by Lysias. This is a year-long course; both semesters are required for credit. (Hamilton) Not offered in 2005-06.

GREK B101 Herodotus

Book I of Herodotus' History and weekly prose composition. (Edmonds, Division III)

GREK B104 Homer

Several books of the Odyssey are read and verse composition is attempted. A short essay is required. (Chiekova, Division III) Not offered in 2005-06.

GREK B201 Plato and Thucydides

The Symposium and the history of the Sicilian Expedition. (Edmonds, Division III)

GREK B202 The Form of Tragedy

(staff, Division III) Not offered in 2005-06.

GREK B398, B399 Senior Conference

(Scott, staff)

GREK B403 Supervised Work


The major in Latin is designed to acquaint the student with Roman literature and culture, which are examined both in their classical context and as influences on the medieval and modern world.

Major Requirements

Requirements for the major are 10 courses: Latin 101, 102, two literature courses at the 200 level, two literature courses at the 300 level, History 207 or 208, Senior Conference, and two courses to be selected from the following: Latin 205; classical archaeology or Greek at the 100 level or above; French, Italian or Spanish at the 200 level or above. Courses taken at the Intercollegiate Center for Classical Studies in Rome are accepted as part of the major. Latin 205 is required for those who plan to teach. By the end of the senior year, majors will be required to have completed a senior essay and a sight translation from Latin to English.

Minor Requirements

Requirements for the minor are normally six courses, including one at the 300 level. For nonmajors, two literature courses at the 200 level must be taken as a prerequisite for admission to a 300-level course. Students who place into 200-level courses in their first year may be eligible to participate in the A.B./M.A. program. Those interested should consult the department as soon as possible.

Courses for which a knowledge of Latin is not required are listed under Classical Culture and Society.

LATN B001, B002 Elementary Latin

Basic grammar, composition and Latin readings, including classical prose and poetry. (Scott, Walker)

LATN B003 Intermediate Latin

Intensive review of grammar, reading in classical prose and poetry. For students who have had the equivalent of two years of high school Latin or are not adequately prepared to take Latin 101. This course meets three times a week with a required fourth hour to be arranged. (Gaisser)

LATN B102 Latin Literature: Livy and Horace

Prerequisite: Latin 101 or placement by the department. (Walker, Division III)

LATN B201 Advanced Latin Literature: Roman Comedy

(Gaisser, Division III) Not offered in 2005-06.

LATN B202 Advanced Latin Literature: The Silver Age

Readings from major authors of the first and second centuries C.E. (Scott, Division III)

LATN B203 Medieval Latin Literature

Selected works of Latin prose and poetry from the late Roman Empire through the Carolingian Renaissance. (Walker, Division III)

LATN B205 Latin Style

A study of Latin prose style based on readings and exercises in composition. Offered to students wishing to fulfill the requirements for teacher certification in Latin or to fulfill one of the requirements in the major. Not offered in 2005-06.

LATN B301 Vergil's Aeneid

(Gaisser, Division III)

LATN B302 Tacitus

(Scott, Division III) Not offered in 2005-06.

LATN B303 Lucretius

(Conybeare, Division III) Not offered in 2005-06.

LATN B304 Cicero and Caesar

(staff, Division III) Not offered in 2005-06.

LATN B312 Roman Satire

(Walker, Division III)

LATN B398, B399 Senior Conference (Scott, staff)

LATN B403 Supervised Work

Classical Languages

The major in classical languages is designed for the student who wishes to divide her time between the two languages and literatures.

Major Requirements

In addition to the Senior Conference in classical culture and society, the requirements for the major are eight courses in Greek and Latin, including at least two at the 200 level in one language and two at the 300 level in the other, and two courses in ancient history and/or classical archaeology. There are two final examinations: sight translation from Greek to English, and sight translation from Latin to English.

Classical Culture and Society

The major provides a broad yet individually structured background for students whose interest in the ancient classical world is general and who wish to pursue more specialized work in one or more particular areas.

Major Requirements

The requirements for the major, in addition to the Senior Conference, are 10 courses distributed as follows:

  • two courses in either Latin or Greek beyond the elementary level
  • two courses in Greek and/or Roman history
  • three courses, at least two of which are at the 200 level or higher, in one of the following concentrations — archaeology and art history, philosophy and religion, literature and the classical tradition, or history and society
  • three electives, at least one of which is at the 200 level or higher, drawn from any course listed in or cross-listed with classical culture and society
  • Senior Conference (Classical Culture and Society 398-399).

Minor Requirements

For the minor, six courses drawn from the range of courses counted toward the major are required. Of these, two must be in Greek or Latin at the 100 level and at least one must be in classical culture and society at the 200 level.

CSTS B110 The World Through Classical Eyes

A survey of the ways in which the ancient Greeks and Romans perceived and constructed their physical and social world. The evidence of ancient texts and monuments will form the basis for exploring such subjects as cosmology, geography, travel and commerce, ancient ethnography and anthropology, the idea of natural and artificial wonders, and the self-definition of the classical cultures in the context of the oikoumene, the "inhabited world." (Donohue, Division III) Not offered in 2005-06.

CSTS B150 Scapegoats, Outlaws and Sinners in Fifth-Century Athens

A study of marginal figures in Athenian literature, religion and politics, emphasizing the context, causes and effects of the profanation of the Eleusinian mysteries in 415 B.C.E. and the trials for impiety of Androcles and Socrates in 400 and 399 B.C.E., and including a survey of the dramatic literature of the period. Topics include the "holy man," once polluted, now powerful; impiety trials; ostracism; beggars and exiles; pollution; sycophants and the court system. Authors include Andocides, Aristophanes, Euripides, Lysias, Sophocles, Thucydides and Xenophon. (Hamilton, Division III) Not offered in 2005-06.

CSTS B156 Roman Law in Action

(Scott, Division III)

CSTS B191 The World of the Greek Heroes: Icon and Narrative

An introduction to Greek mythology comparing the literary and visual representations of the major gods and heroes in terms of content, context, function and syntax. (Hamilton, Division III) Not offered in 2005-06.

CSTS B193 The Routes of Comedy

A broad survey, ranging from the pre-history of comedy in such phenomena as monkey laughs and ritual abuse to the ancient comedies of Greece and Rome and their modern descendants, from the Marx Brothers and Monty Python to the Honeymooners and Seinfeld. (Hamilton, Division III) Not offered in 2005-06.

CSTS B205 Greek History

A study of Greece down to the end of the Peloponnesian War (404 B.C.E.), with a focus on constitutional changes from monarchy through aristocracy and tyranny to democracy in various parts of the Greek world. Emphasis on learning to interpret ancient sources, including historians (especially Herodotus and Thucydides), inscriptions, and archaeological and numismatic materials. Particular attention is paid to Greek contacts with the Near East; constitutional developments in various Greek-speaking states; Athenian and Spartan foreign policies; and the "unwritten history" of nonelites. (Edmonds, Division I or III; cross-listed as HIST B205)

CSTS B206 Society, Medicine and Law in Ancient Greece

An introduction to the social context of Greek history in the Classical and Hellenistic periods. Topics include the Greek household, occupations, slavery, literacy and education, sexuality, ancient medical practices, and the working of law in the polis. Ancient sources are emphasized, including orators, technical writers, inscriptions and papyri. (Chiekova, Division III; cross-listed as HIST B206) Not offered in 2005-06.

CSTS B207 Early Rome and the Roman Republic

The history of Rome from its origins to the end of the Republic with special emphasis on the rise of Rome in Italy, the Hellenistic world and the evolution of the Roman state. Ancient sources, literary and archaeological, are emphasized. (Scott, Division III; cross-listed as HIST B207) Not offered in 2005-06.

CSTS B208 The Roman Empire

Imperial history from the principate of Augustus to the House of Constantine with focus on the evolution of Roman culture as presented in the surviving ancient evidence, both literary and archaeological. (Scott, Division I or III; cross-listed as HIST B208) Not offered in 2005-06.

CSTS B209 Eros in Ancient Greek Culture

This course explores the ancient Greeks' ideas of love, from the interpersonal loves between people of the same or different genders to the cosmogonic Eros that creates and holds together the entire world. The course examines how the idea of eros is expressed in poetry, philosophy, history and the romances. (Edmonds)

CSTS B211 Masks, Madness and Mysteries in Greek Religion

A review of ancient evidence, both literary and archaeological, pertaining to the cults of Demeter and Dionysus practiced in ancient Greece, followed by an examination of various modern theories that have been proposed to illuminate the significance of the rites. (Hamilton)

CSTS B212 Ancient Magic

Bindings and curses, love charms and healing potions, amulets and talismans - from the simple spells designed to meet the needs of the poor and desperate to the complex theurgies of the philosophers, the people of the Greco-Roman world made use of magic to try to influence the world around them. This course will examine the magicians of the ancient world and the techniques and devices they used. We shall consider ancient tablets and spell books as well as literary descriptions of magic in the light of theories relating to the religious, political and social contexts in which magic was used. (Edmonds, Division III) Not offered in 2005-06.

CSTS B220 Writing the Self

What leads people to write about their lives? Do women and men present themselves differently? Do they think different issues are important? How do they claim authority for their thoughts and experiences? Readings will include Abelard and Heloise's Letters, Augustine's Confessions, Guibert de Nogent's A Monk's Confession, Patrick's Confession, Perpetua's Passion, Radegund's Fall of Thuringia, and a collection, Medieval Writings on Female Spirituality. (Conybeare, Division III; cross-listed as COML B220) Not offered in 2005-06.

CSTS B236 The Ancient Novel

A survey of the Greek and Roman prose fiction commonly referred to as the ancient novel. Reading these works in translation we will examine issues surrounding the rise of the genre and its cultural context, compare methods of characterization and narrative structure, investigate the relationship between historicity and fictionality, and consider connections between the ancient novel and its successors. Authors include: Apuleius, Chariton, Heliodorus, Longus, Petronius and Achilles Tatius. (Walker; cross-listed as COML B236)

CSTS B270 Classical Heroes and Heroines

(Gaisser, Division III; cross-listed as COML B270) Not offered in 2005-06.

CSTS B275 Interpreting Mythology

(Edmonds, Division III; cross-listed as COML B275) Not offered in 2005-06.

CSTS B324 Roman Architecture

(Scott, Division III; cross-listed as ARCH B324, CITY B324 and HART B324) Not offered in 2005-06.

CSTS B398 Senior Conference


CSTS B403 Supervised Work

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