Classics Faculty

Erin Ferguson

Erin Ferguson

Classics, Cross-Country, Crew
Philip Walsh

Philip Walsh

Chair, Classics Department

Language Requirement

Students are required to complete two credits of the same foreign language (either classical or modern) or through the third level, whichever is more advanced. At least three consecutive years of the same foreign language is strongly recommended.

Classics

The Department of Classics fosters in students a fascination with the ancient Greek and Roman world. We do so primarily through the study of language, and our students develop proficiency in multiple modes of communication: reading, listening, writing, and speaking. They gain an appreciation for the power and beauty of Greek and Latin, as well as insight into how ancient languages work and why they matter.  Our students come to understand how their language studies engage with other disciplines, and they realize that such interdisciplinarity, like the field of classics itself, is collaborative, ever-evolving, and deeply meaningful. 

From the elementary levels, students of ancient Greek and Latin learn how to think both precisely and creatively about language. Our classroom approach cultivates independence and joyful inquiry as students develop interpretive reading skills, build their working vocabulary, and hone their knowledge of grammar. At the intermediate levels, students actively explore texts from a variety of genres, time periods, and geographic spaces. As they encounter ancient words and deeds, they practice the skill of translation, and they expand their cross-cultural awareness through the study of mythology and history. They appreciate how ancient Greece and Rome interacted with other Mediterranean, Near Eastern, and European societies, and they consider how those interactions influenced politics, culture, and national identity. 

At the advanced levels, our students acquire a discerning eye for the details of language and engage intensely with Greek and Latin texts. They read both classical and post-classical authors; they consult scholarly commentaries and distill secondary literature; they interact with college and university professors and other professional classicists; they produce their own critical essays and polished translations. In short, our students do the work of budding humanists. They become judicious readers, incisive writers, and nimble thinkers whose interests range from language and literature to art, religion, philosophy, music, and material culture. Every spring, our advanced students have the opportunity to present their work to an all-school audience at the annual Classics Colloquium. 

The Department of Classics is firmly committed to innovative and inclusive teaching practices. Our small class sizes allow for curricular flexibility, individualized instruction, and small group work. Our home in St. Andrew’s historic student center fittingly reflects how we approach learning: student-focused, cross-disciplinary, and transformative. We are committed to the humanistic experience of study abroad, and we organize short-term educational trips that are open to all St. Andrew’s students. In the end, it is our hope that students of ancient Greek and Latin cultivate a love of learning (φιλοσοφία) that carries them into college and beyond.

Classics Department News


Classics Courses

Latin

Latin 1

Open to III, IV, V Form Students

Latin 1 provides an introduction to the foundational elements of the Latin language, including forms and syntax. Students begin to develop their ability to read, speak, listen, and write in Latin in addition to gaining an introductory history of the ancient Greek and Roman world through the middle stages of the Roman Republic. Readings include passages of historical and mythological interest. Text: Minkova and Tunberg, Latin for the New Millennium, Level 1.

Latin 2

Open to all forms

Latin 2 continues the study of the oral and written components of Latin grammar and sentence structure through close reading and composition. Students are introduced to the prose of Latin authors and begin to encounter unadapted Latin texts, continuing their study of Roman history through the end of the Roman Republic. Text: Minkova and Tunberg, Latin for the New Millennium, Levels 1 and 2.

Latin 3

Open to all forms

The course begins with a fundamental review of grammar and syntax learned in the previous two years of Latin. Emphasis is placed on improving sight translation and reading comprehension. Students read Latin prose through extensive study of the works of classical and neo-Latin authors such as Caesar, Cornelius Nepos, Eutropius, and Columbus. Students continue to develop an appreciation for the Latin language, as well as the skills of linguistic sensitivity and cultural awareness. Through close readings and collaborative in-class activities, students discuss issues of style and rhetoric, and they grapple with questions of history, mythology, and reception. Readings may vary from year to year, depending on the interests of the class and instructor. Text: Francese, Selections from the Gallic War (Dickinson College Commentaries).

Latin 3 Honors

Open to IV, V, and VI Form students

Requires instructor permission

Students begin with an accelerated review of the basics of Latin vocabulary, grammar, and syntax. They then begin to read Latin prose through extensive study of the works of classical and neo-Latin authors such as Caesar, Cornelius Nepos, Eutropius, and Columbus. Students continue to develop an appreciation for the Latin language, as well as the skills of linguistic sensitivity and cultural awareness. Through close readings and collaborative in-class activities, students discuss issues of style and rhetoric, and they grapple with questions of history, mythology, and reception. Readings may vary from year to year, depending on the interests of the class and instructor. Text: Francese, Selections from the Gallic War (Dickinson College Commentaries).

Latin 4

Open to IV, V, VI Form Students

Students learn to read Latin poetry through extensive study of the works of classical and post-classical authors. Through close readings and collaborative in-class activities, students explore how Latin poetry works, building both linguistic sensitivity and an aesthetic appreciation for language. Diving deeply into ancient Greek and Roman culture, they explore mythology, ritual, history, politics, art, and reception. A core text is Ovid’s epic poem, the Metamorphoses, but readings may vary from year to year, depending on the interests of the class and instructor. Text: Ovid: A LEGAMUS Transitional Reader.

Advanced Study in Latin: Vergil

Open to IV, V, VI Form Students

Requires instructor permission

Students read the epic poetry of Vergil's Aeneid, while exploring the historical, social and political background of the Augustan period. This intensive reading and writing course teaches students to read both carefully and closely; students develop skills of close analysis and sensitivity to literary nuance. Students also learn the craft of literary criticism by writing commentaries and short essays and by reading secondary criticism. In its readings in Latin, this course follows generally the syllabus for Advanced Placement Latin: Vergil; students read the entire Aeneid in English. Texts include: LaFleur, Aeneid: Song of War and Vergil (trans. Fagles), The Aeneid, prose translation by David West.

Advanced Topics Tutorial in Latin

Open to V & VI Form Students

PREREQUISITE: ADVANCED STUDY IN LATIN: VERGIL

Requires instructor permission

This individualized course allows the advanced student to explore further literature in Latin according to the interest of the student and instructor. Readings may include selections from lyric poetry and elegy (Catullus, Horace, Tibullus), Roman comedy (Plautus and Terence); orations of Cicero; and histories (Livy, Sallust, and Tacitus).
 

Greek

Greek 1

Open to IV, V, VI Form Students

YearLong Half-credit course

Greek 1 introduces students with backgrounds in both Latin and modern languages to the vocabulary, grammar, and syntax of Attic Greek. Students read passages of historical and mythological interest, continuous narratives, and selections from the New Testament. Texts: Balme and Lawall, Athenaze Book 1; Hansen and Quinn, Greek: An Intensive Course.

Greek 2

Open to V & VI Forms

Prerequisite: Greek 1

Yearlong Half-credit course

Greek 2 continues the grammatical and rhetorical study of Attic Greek, and introducing students to the work of the author Lysias and the literature and philosophy of Plato. Texts include: Balme and Lawall, Athenaze Book 1 and 2; or Hansen and Quinn, Greek: An Intensive Course; Scodel, ed., Lysias, On the Murder of Eratosthenes; and Helm, ed., Plato: Apology.

Greek 3

Open to VI Form

PREREQUISITE: GREEK 2

YearLong Half-credit Course

This individualized course of study allows students to pursue their interest in Greek language and literature by reading Greek texts of different styles, time periods, and dialects. Students explore the genres of Attic oratory (Lysias, On the Murder of Eratosthenes); tragedy (selections from Euripides' Medea); and epic (selections from Homer's Odyssey and Iliad).