The Program

The Ancient and Classical Studies major examines the language, literature, art, history, and culture of ancient societies, particularly those of ancient Greece and Rome. We do not merely study the relics of peoples and ideas long dead, for to a deep degree we have inherited from these ancient peoples the living, nourishing roots of the cultures we today claim as our own. As Bernard Knox, a contemporary classicist, has recently remarked, "We do not neglect the present, but realize that our main emphasis must fall on the great traditions of art, thought, and literature which have formed the minds and hearts of predecessors, and which, interpreted afresh in each generation, can bring us new understanding of ourselves and the world we live in."

In addition to introductory and intermediate language courses in both Ancient Greek and Classical Latin, we offer many courses in the literature, art, and culture of Greece, Rome, and other ancient societies. Our courses range from historical surveys of the ancient Mediterranean world and cross-cultural overviews of particular modes of thought and expression (such as Ancient Myths/Modern Meanings or Gender and Sexuality in the Ancient World) to very specific topics (such as Erotic Roman poetry, Greek Art History, or Pompeii). Most courses are available to students who have not studied Greek or Latin, but students of the languages are encouraged to find ways to bring their linguistic skills to course assignments.

In alternate years the Department offers a May Term in Greece. On this engaging program students study the art and archaeology of Greece at some of the most important historical sites of the region as they travel throughout the Greek mainland, the Peloponnese, and surrounding islands.

General Education Requirements

The Department offers four courses that fulfill the Language component of the Perspectives on Diversity Requirement, ANCS 101, 102, 112 and 113; two courses that fulfill the International component of the Perspectives on Diversity requirement, ANCS 241 and 245; ten courses that fulfill the Writing Intensive Requirement, ANCS 155, 241, 350, 351, 356, 357, 358, 359, 360 and 482; and three courses that meet the Theoretical/Historical component of The Arts Requirement, ANCS 350, 351 and 358. The Department also offers Earlham Seminars.

The Major

The Ancient and Classical Studies major consists of five requirements:

  1. a set of two approved literature courses,
  2. a set of two approved culture courses,
  3. language instruction in either ancient Greek or Latin,
  4. additional courses in an area of specialization, and
  5. the senior capstone experience.

Each of these requirements is discussed in greater depth below.

Literature Courses

Literature courses (ANCS 300-339) focus on specific topics pertaining to the literature of Greece, Rome or other ancient societies. Majors must select two courses of those numbered 300-339.

Culture Courses

Culture courses (ANCS 350-399) focus on specific topics pertaining to the archaeology, art, history or cultural studies of the ancient world. Majors must select two courses of those numbered 350-399.

Language Courses

All majors are required to take 10 credit hours of beginning language instruction and one 300-level reading course in either Greek or Latin. Note: students may not use a combination of Greek and Latin to fulfill this requirement, but must become proficient in one language by choosing to follow one of the two paths listed below:

  • Greek language:

    • ANCS 101 and 102 Introduction to Ancient Greek I and II
    • ANCS 341 Reading Greek
  • Latin language:

    • ANCS 112 and ANCS 113 Introduction to Classical Latin I and II
    • ANCS 342 Reading Latin

Additional Courses in a Particular Focus

Majors will choose a particular focus in either cultural studies or language studies and complete additional coursework in that area of focus:

  • Literature and culture studies: Students who choose this focus are required to take four additional courses drawn from any combination of literature courses (ANCS 300-339) or culture courses (ANCS 350-399).
  • Language studies: Students who focus on language are required to take three courses in the Classical language (either Greek or Latin) that they did not study for the language requirement listed above. Thus, a student who has already completed Latin would take ANCS 101 and 102 (Introduction to Ancient Greek I and II) and ANCS 341 (Reading Greek). A student who has completed Greek would take ANCS 112 and 113 (Introduction to Classical Latin I and II) and ANCS 342 (Reading Latin).

Senior Capstone Courses

The Senior Capstone Experience in Ancient and Classical Studies is designed to further hone the essential skills of scholars of the ancient world: thoughtful analysis of evidence, careful and thorough research, and the ability to write a substantial piece of scholarship. To this end, all majors are required to take each of the following senior capstone courses:

  • ANCS 486 Student Research
  • ANCS 488 Senior Capstone Experience

The Minor

The minor must take one year of either Greek (ANCS 101 and 102) or Latin (ANCS 112 and 113) and three additional upper level Ancient and Classical Studies courses, at least one of which is a literature focus (ANCS 300-339) and one of which is a culture focus (ANCS 350-399).

 

* Key

Courses that fulfill
General Education Requirements:

  • (A-AP) = Arts - Applied
  • (A-TH) = Arts - Theoretical/Historical
  • (A-AR) = Analytical - Abstract Reasoning
  • (A-QR) = Analytical - Quantitative
  • (D-D) = Diversity - Domestic
  • (D-I) = Diversity - International
  • (D-L) = Diversity - Language
  • (ES) = Earlham Seminar
  • (IE) = Immersive Experience
  • (RCH) = Research
  • (SI) = Scientific Inquiry
  • (W) = Wellness
  • (WI) = Writing Intensive
  • (AY) = Offered in Alternative Year

*ANCS 101 ANCIENT GREEK I (5 credits)
Introduction to ancient Greek, with an emphasis on reading original texts by important Greek authors such as Plato, Euripides, Aristophanes, Sappho. Focuses on the grammar, vocabulary and structure of the Greek language, but also provides a general introduction to Greek history and culture. Occasionally offered in an "intensive" format covering 101 and 102 during a single semester. (D-L)

*ANCS 102 ANCIENT GREEK II (5 credits)
A continuation of Greek I. Prerequisite: ANCS 101 or demonstrated equivalent. (D-L)

*ANCS 112 CLASSICAL LATIN I (5 credits)
Introduction to classical Latin, with an emphasis on reading original texts by important Roman authors such as Cicero, Ovid and Virgil. Focuses on the grammar, vocabulary and structure of the Latin language, but also provides a general introduction to Roman history and culture. Occasionally offered in an "intensive" format covering 112 and 113 during a single semester. (D-L)

*ANCS 113 CLASSICAL LATIN II (5 credits)
A continuation of Latin I. Prerequisite: ANCS 112 or demonstrated equivalent. (D-L)

*ANCS 150 EARLHAM SEMINAR (4 credits)
Offered for first-year students. Topics vary. (ES)

*ANCS 155 ANCIENT GREEK PHILOSOPHY (4 credits)
An examination of Greek philosophy beginning with the Presocratic period and emphasizing the works of Plato and Aristotle. Reading is mainly in the primary sources. Also listed as PHIL 155. (WI)

*ANCS 241 ANCIENT MEDITERRANEAN HISTORY (3 credits)
In antiquity, the Mediterranean Sea united rather than divided cultures. This course surveys ancient civilizations around the Mediterranean basin, paying particular attention to the cultural interactions that shaped and transformed the earliest history of this region. The course focuses upon four key centers of civilization: the kingdoms of the Near East, Egypt, Greece and Rome. Among the topics we will consider: Hittite and Mycenaean relationships during the Bronze Age, Greek colonization and interaction with Egyptians, Phoenicians, Italians, and Near Eastern cultures during the 7th and 6th centuries B.C., the Persian empire and its clash with the Greeks in the 5th century, and Roman expansionism during the Roman Republic. Reading includes primary texts in English. Also listed as HIST 241. (WI, D-I)

*ANCS 245 ANCIENT MYTHS, MODERN MEANINGS (3 credits)
Myths — the stories told repeatedly from one generation to the next — represent one of the most enduring ways that humans have sought to explain themselves and the world around them. This course introduces the student to some ancient myths whose popularity continues into the present day, and explores the meanings that people have discovered in them. Our interest is not just in the importance of the myths for the ancient cultures that created them, but in ways in which these stories continue to help us to understand ourselves. (D-I)

ANCS 315 POMPELI: LIFE & DEATH (3 credits)
On August 24, AD 79, Mt. Vesuvius erupted, burying several Roman towns in the region of Campania, Italy, with a thick layer of volcanic ash and pumice. This event was a great tragedy for the people who lived in the area, causing vast destruction and considerable loss of life. For modern scholars, though, the event has proved an unusual blessing. Encapsulated within the volcanic debris is an unparalleled glimpse into the lives of the ancient inhabitants. This course, will explore the archaeological remains of Pompeii in order to learn about Roman life and culture in the early part of the Roman Empire. Prerequisite: Sophomore standing or above. (D-I, RCH)

ANCS 341 READING GREEK (3 credits)
Students who have completed Greek I and II or the equivalent may take this course to continue language learning. Choice of texts depends on a student's level of proficiency and interest. In years past, students have read works of Homer, Pindar, Euripides, Lysias and Plato. Prerequisites: ANCS 101 and 102 or demonstrated equivalent.

ANCS 342 READING LATIN (3 credits)
Students who have completed Latin I and II or the equivalent may take this course to continue language learning. Choice of texts depends on a student's level of proficiency and interest. In past years, students have read works of Catullus, Cicero, Horace, Virgil and Ovid. Prerequisites: ANCS 112 and 113 or demonstrated equivalent.

ANCS 343 TOPICS IN ANCIENT LITERATURE (3 credits)
Explores specific topics of ancient literature in greater depth. Topic offerings depend upon interest and staff availability. Knowledge of a classical language not required. Prerequisite: An Earlham Seminar or consent of the instructor.

*ANCS 350 WORDS AND WORKS IN ROME (3 credits)
In the last decade or so, scholars of Classical Greece and Rome have begun to recognize the importance of integrating both literary and artistic evidence in order to gain a clearer picture of the ancient past. Drawing upon this understanding, this course focuses on the literary and artistic works from successive periods in the history of ancient Rome in an attempt to discover the character or spirit of each age. Our sources include a wide range of texts (epic and lyric poetry, drama, history) and artifacts (architecture, sculpture, painting, daily objects). As we examine these "words" and "works" we seek to uncover the attitudes, values, and ways of seeing and thinking about the world that make each period of Roman history unique. Knowledge of a classical language not required. Prerequisite: An Earlham Seminar or consent of the instructor. Also listed as HIST 350. (A-TH, RCH, WI)

*ANCS 351 WORDS AND WORKS IN ANCIENT GREECE (3 credits)
Examines works of art, including archaeological evidence, and artful words of poets, dramatists and historians to discover the spirit of various periods in ancient Greece. Explores such "works" as the sculptures at Olympia and Delphi, and the temples on the Acropolis, and the "words" of such important authors as Pindar, Euripides, Thucydides and Plato, paying particular attention to how these cultural achievements reflect changing contemporary historical and intellectual trends. Knowledge of a classical language not required. Prerequisite: An Earlham Seminar or consent of the instructor. (A-TH, RCH, WI)

*ANCS 356 HOMERIC BANQUET (3 credits)
A study of the three epic masterpieces of Greek and Roman antiquity: Homer's Iliad and Odyssey and Virgil's Aeneid. Focuses primarily on interpretation of the three texts with videotapes and occasional lectures to supply background materials and context. Knowledge of a classical language is not required. Prerequisite: An Earlham Seminar, an Interpretive Practices course or consent of the instructor. (WI)

*ANCS 357 GENDER AND SEXUALITY IN THE ANCIENT WORLD (3 credits)
This course explores ways in which the ancient Greeks constructed notions of gender and sexuality. Students examine a wide range of primary evidence (such as drama, poetry, philosophy, scientific or medical treatises, court documents, art, architecture, and daily artifacts) in order to uncover Greek attitudes and practices. By confronting the assumptions of a culture that was in many ways radically different from our own, we address some of the fundamental ways that ideas about gender and sexuality inform and shape societal expectations and institutions, from personal identity and forms of self expression to the legal, medical, and political mechanisms that govern society. Knowledge of a classical language not required. Also listed as WGSS 357. (WI)

*ANCS 358 GREEK AND ROMAN DRAMA (3 credits)
A study of tragedies and comedies from the Greek and Roman traditions. A typical reading list would include such works as Aeschylus' Oresteia, Sophocles' Oedipus Tyrannus, Euripides' Medea, Aristophanes' Frogs, Plautus' Menaechmi, and Seneca's Medea and Oedipus. Also studies the staging of drama and considers works of criticism including Aristotle's Poetics. Knowledge of a classical language not required. Prerequisite: An Earlham Seminar or consent of the instructor. (A-TH, RCH, WI)

*ANCS 360 WORDS AND WORKS IN ROME (3 credits)
In the last decade or so, scholars of Classical Greece and Rome have begun to recognize the importance of integrating both literary and artistic evidence in order to gain a clearer picture of the ancient past. Drawing upon this understanding, this course focuses on the literary and artistic works from successive periods in the history of ancient Rome in an attempt to discover the character or spirit of each age. Our sources include a wide range of texts (epic and lyric poetry, drama, history) and artifacts (architecture, sculpture, painting, daily objects). As we examine these "words" and "works" we seek to uncover the attitudes, values, and ways of seeing and thinking about the world that make each period of Roman history unique. Knowledge of a classical language not required. Prerequisite: An Earlham Seminar or consent of the instructor. Also listed as HIST 350. (A-TH, WI)

ANCS 399 TOPICS IN ANCIENT CULTURE (3 credits)
Explores specific topics of ancient culture in greater depth. Topic offerings depend upon interest and staff availability. Knowledge of a classical language not required. Prerequisite: An Earlham Seminar or consent of the instructor.

ANCS 481 INTERNSHIPS, FIELD STUDIES AND OTHER FIELD EXPERIENCES (1-3 credits)

*ANCS 482 SPECIAL TOPICS (3 credits)
Selected topics determined by the instructor for upper-level study. Topic offerings depend upon interest and staff availability. Past topics have included the Peloponnesian War, Greek Art History and Ancient Pompeii. Knowledge of a classical language not required. Prerequisite: An Earlham Seminar or consent of the instructor. (WI)

ANCS 483 TEACHING ASSISTANTS (1-3 credits)

ANCS 484 FORD/KNIGHT RESEARCH PROJECT (1-4 credits)
Collaborative research with faculty funded by the Ford/Knight Program.

ANCS 485 INDEPENDENT STUDY (1-3 credits)
Investigation of a specific topic conceived and planned by the student in consultation with a faculty supervisor. Culminates in a comprehensive report prepared in the style of a thesis or research paper.

ANCS 486 SENIOR RESEARCH (1 credit)
Ancient and Classical Studies majors are required to enroll in this course in the fall of their Senior year. Students identify a topic and conduct extensive research in preparation for writing their senior thesis.

ANCS 488 SENIOR CAPSTONE EXPERIENCE (3 credits)
Senior thesis writing and revision.

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Earlham College, an independent, residential college, aspires to provide the highest-quality undergraduate education in the liberal arts, including the sciences, shaped by the distinctive perspectives of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers).

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