Due to the early and central position of Greek and Roman
civilization in the development of the western tradition,
acquaintance with classical thought and culture is an important
part of a liberal arts education.
Department offers courses in Classical Civilization covering
aspects of literary creation, historical and social process,
and the Greek and Roman contribution to areas such as philosophy,
religion, and government. No knowledge of Greek or Latin
is required. These courses provide a broad background for
all areas of literary and humanistic study.
Department offers courses in Greek and Latin language and
literature for students who wish to develop a deeper understanding
of the works and the capacity for making independent judgments
about them. Acquisition of the languages is a prerequisite
for advanced work. Elementary courses in the languages are
designed to enable students to approach significant material
as soon as possible.
Placement. Students who have been enrolled in this program
in high school will be assigned advanced placement in accordance
with the results of the qualifying examinations. A grade
of 4 or 5 in the examination is required for the award of
Course Sequence Suggestions. Students just beginning
to approach the classics should begin with Classics 100
(Myth and Hero in the Greek Epic), or with Latin 101 or
Greek 101. Students are encouraged to enroll in any language
course for which they are qualified. All entering students
who have studied Latin or Greek previously should consult
with a member of the Department before enrolling in any
course in Latin or Greek.
with four years of secondary-school Latin (including Vergil)
will ordinarily be eligible for Latin 202 (Catullus and
Horace) offered in the second semester. Such students especially
should consider beginning the study of Greek in the fall
semester. Students with two or three years of secondary-school
Latin will ordinarily be eligible for Latin 201 (Vergil).
whose preparation in Latin is deficient will be advised
to enroll in or audit Latin 101, or to devote a Winter Term
to review in order that they may enroll in Latin 102.
should be noted that well-motivated students have done the
equivalent of Greek 101 or of Latin 101 during a Winter
Term and have then participated successfully in Greek 102
or Latin 102 in the spring.
considering a major in Greek or Latin should include in
their freshman and sophomore programs four semesters of
work in the language, Classics 100, and either Classics
103 (History of Greece) or 104 (History of Rome). Students
who plan to major in Classical Civilization should take
Classics 100, Classics 103 and two semesters of either Greek
or Latin. Early consultation with the Classics Department
concerning proposed plans of study is advisable, particularly
for those who contemplate spending part of the junior or
senior year in Rome or in Athens.
Major. A major in classics can serve as the central
focus of a widely ranging undergraduate curriculum since
it includes many areas of human activity and creativity,
and it has so served for students who have gone on to careers
in medicine, law, writing, etc.
as a major or as a component part of an interdisciplinary
or double major is preprofessional training for those who
intend to engage in research and teaching at the university
or college level in such fields as classics, classical archeology,
comparative literature, religion, linguistics, medieval
studies, philosophy, and many others. An undergraduate major
in classics in whole or in part is also preparation for
those who intend to teach languages, literatures, or humanities
in junior colleges or secondary schools. Interested students
are advised to consult with the chairperson in devising
a major or partial major program which will meet with their
needs and desires. Great flexibility is possible.
Department of Classics offers three majors: Classical Civilization,
Latin Language and Literature, and Greek Language and Literature.
The major in Classical Civilization includes Classical Civilization
100, 103, 104, 206, six more hours in Classical Civilization,
at least two courses in Greek or Latin, and nine hours in
"Related Courses" (see below).
with a preprofessional interest should select one of the
majors below. Work in the other language and literature
is strongly recommended. Attention is called to the possibility
of a minor in the other language and literature (see below).
The major in Latin Language and Literature includes 12 hours
in Latin above Latin 102, plus Classical Civilization 100,
104, 206, and six hours in "Related Courses."
The major in Greek Language and Literature includes 12 hours
in Greek above Greek 102, plus Classical Civilization 100,
103, 206, and six hours in "Related Courses."
the permission of the major advisor, additional work in
Greek or Latin or appropriate courses from other departments
in the College may be substituted for some of the above.
Students may receive a minor in Greek or Latin upon completion
of approved programs of study. Such programs will consist
of at least fifteen hours of courses in Classical Civilization,
Greek Language and Literature, Latin Language and Literature,
ancient philosophy, and classical art and archeology, and
will ordinarily include Greek 202 or the equivalent for
the minor in Greek and Latin 202 or the equivalent for the
minor in Latin. Interested students are advised to consult
To be eligible for admission to the Honors Program, a student
must have completed by the end of the junior year:
Two 300-level courses in either Greek or Latin and at least
the 102-level course in the other classical language; or
one 300-level course in Greek and one 300-level course in
Classical Civilization 103 (Greek History) or 104 (Roman
Two of the following: Classical Civilization 100, 206, 210,
Department may invite qualified students to apply at the
end of their junior year, but would also welcome applications
from interested majors. Admission is based on overall academic
distinction and outstanding work within the Department.
be awarded honors, a student must:
complete a major in Latin or Greek;
complete satisfactorily in the first semester of the senior
year, a reading list devised in consultation with a member
of the Department and approved by the Department which includes
primary (ancient) and secondary (critical, historical) readings;
complete satisfactorily a research project designed in consultation
with members of the Department;
pass an oral examination on the reading list and research
project. (This examination may be conducted by an outside
examiner, who would also pass judgment on the honors project.)
participating in the Honors Program should register for
Greek or Latin 501 and 502 for three units of credit each
Courses. Attention is called to relevant courses in
and Roman Sculpture
Technology of Greek and Roman Architecture
225 Women in Greece and Rome
in Ancient Art
Tradition in the Middle Ages and Renaissance
and Medieval Philosophy
Political Thought: Classical to Early Modern Religion
Judaism from the Exile to the Rise of the Rabbis
New Testament and Christian Origins
in Ancient Mediterranean Religions
Topics in Early Judaism and Christianity
Students interested in classical archeology as a profession
should note the availability of a concentration in Classical
Archeology in Archeological Studies including both the relevant
courses in classical art and archeology and basic training
in the classical languages and literatures. For further
information, see the separate listing under Archeological
Studies above, or consult Ms. Kane in the Art Department.
Abroad. Oberlin College is a participating member of
the Intercollegiate Center for Classical Studies in Rome.
A semester of study in Rome during the junior or senior
year is available for qualified students majoring in the
Department. There is also a program in Athens. Consult the
chairperson for details.
of Credit. No more than half the hours credited toward
the major may be granted for work at other recognized institutions.
Term. The following faculty are particularly interested
in sponsoring Winter Term projects as indicated. Mr.
Helm: intensive beginning Greek; New Testament Greek.
Ms. Lynn: intensive beginning Latin. Many other topics
are also possible.
Martin Classical Lectures are delivered annually at
Oberlin College by an eminent visiting scholar. Thirty-four
volumes in this distinguished series have appeared. The
lecturer for 2001-2002 will be Professor Ian Morris.