College may be the first chance you have to study Classical Greek or Latin, both of which will provide you with a window to many exciting opportunities.

Image from 2008-2009 Study Abroad Photo ContestGreek and Latin are critical to the study of law, along with the life, natural, and social sciences. In fact, for each additional year of language studies, research shows a wide range of benefits, including improved verbal scores on graduate and professional school entrance exams (GREs, MCATs, LSATs). In addition to Greek and Latin, Lafayette offers an interdisciplinary minor in Classical Civilization, which provides a strong foundation in Mediterranean history and cultures, particularly the glories that were Greece and the grandeur that was Rome.

The Minor in Classical Civilization

Six approved courses including Comparative Literature 121, and 225, and electives from the following list: Classical Studies 103: Classical Mythology; Classical Studies 220: Greek Tragedy and Beyond; Latin 111, 112: Intermediate Latin (and/or Advanced Latin); Greek 111, 112: Intermediate Greek (and/or Advanced Greek); Art 221: Ancient Art; Philosophy 214: The First Philosophers; Religion 202: Christian Scriptures.

Courses in Classical Studies

The following courses are offered:

CLSS 103: Classical Mythology

Definitions, sources, and interpretations of myth as a cognitive system in ancient and modern culture. Survey of major divinities, mortals, myths, hero-legends, and cycles of saga, chiefly Greek. Their function in Greco-Roman civilization, their enduring power in Western culture, and their influence upon Western intellectual and artistic achievement. Open to all students. [H]

CLSS 220: Greek Tragedy and Beyond: From Aeschylus to Woody Allen

European theater arrives with a bang: with Greek tragedy, one of the most powerful, complex, and influential literary forms of all times. The objectives of this course are: (1) to introduce the Athenian institutional framework that made Greek tragedy possible; (2) to thoroughly familiarize students with representative works of the three eminent Athenian playwrights, Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides; (3) to trace how Greek tragedy has inspired later dramatists and filmmakers in their work; and (4) to enhance “deep learning” by providing the opportunity to stage and direct select scenes from Greek tragedy. [H]

CLSS 230: Life in the Roman City

An investigation of how ancient Romans experienced life in their great, sprawling city: how was their society organized, how did people of different statuses and backgrounds interrelate, how did the city change, how did public institutions and government shape the public’s experience, what were their passions and preoccupations in public and private? An interdisciplinary approach to reconstructing what Romans made of their urban civilization. [H]

CLSS 320: Greeks and Barbarians

In the Persian Wars, Greek city-states twice defended themselves against the invading ‘Barbarian’ forces of the Persian Empire (490 and 480/79). Students in this course will be introduced to ancient Near Eastern politics and culture from a Persian (not Greek!) perspective, will analyze Western literary and filmic representations of the Persian Wars, and will acquire critical awareness of the cognitive and psychological processes (beneficial or harmful) behind formations of collective identity, stereotypes, and Us vs. Them world views. [H, GM1, V]
Prerequisite: At lease one CLSS, HIST, or LAT course, or permission of instructor

CLSS 330: Virgilian Myth and Roman Culture

This course explores Virgil’s Aeneid, and Odyssey and Iliad combined, to explain how it provides a mythic history of the ancient Roman-Italian world. Study of that epic and that world reveals that the former reflected, embodied, defined, and shaped the latter, powerfully promoting the Augustan consolidation of an ideologically and politically unified Italian state stretching from the Alps to the Strait of Messina. Other assigned readings will illuminate the cultural context. [H]
Prerequisite: CLSS 103 or any Latin course

Courses in Greek

The following courses are available and will be offered provided sufficient student interest exists:

GRK 101, 102: Elementary Greek I & II

Emphasis on achieving skills necessary for sustained reading of Attic Greek texts. Inductive system of continuous reading complemented by deductive study and exercises in grammar, syntax, vocabulary, and composition. Recitation.

GRK 111, 112: Intermediate Greek I & II

A close reading of at least one major dialogue of Plato with attention to the intellectual, moral, and cultural climate of classical Greece. Spring: A close reading of at least one tragedy of Sophocles or of Euripides with attention to its dramatic art and intellectual and moral content. Recitation.

Courses in Latin

The following courses are available and will be offered provided sufficient student interest exists:

LAT 101, 102: Elementary Latin I & II

Emphasis on achieving skills necessary for sustained reading of classical Latin texts. Fundamentals and exercises in grammar, syntax, and development of vocabulary. Some work on Latin roots for vocabulary building in English and enhancement of knowledge of European languages. Recitation.

LAT 111, 112: Intermediate Latin I & II

Reading of short selections in prose and in the poetry of Catullus with attention to the political, moral, and cultural climate of the late Roman Republic. Spring: reading of at least one book of Tusculan Disputations of Cicero and of selections from the Satyricon of Petronius against the background of the early Roman Empire. Recitation.

LAT 211: Advanced Latin

Courses such as: Latin Lyric Poetry, Latin Elegy, Latin Prose of the Early Empire, Latin Satire, Medieval Latin, Latin Philosophy, Lucretius, and Cicero.

Please see the Lafayette Course Catalog for official descriptions of the Greek and Latin courses and other subjects offered by the Department of Foreign Languages & Literatures.

Please see the Course and Exam Schedule for a current list of courses and times, including special-topics courses not listed in the permanent Course Catalog.