St. Andrew's Department of Classical Languages aims to develop in students a fascination with the ancient world and with language in general—its roots, forms, structure and literary nuance—as students work to understand the unfamiliar world and world views of antiquity, while reading works foundational to Western literature. From the earliest levels, the study of classics cultivates inquiring and independent minds, as students are challenged to think precisely about language—both the ancient, and their own. Students become better readers and writers by growing attuned to the structure and tone of a different language, and by understanding language not simply as a tool for communication but as a vehicle in itself for meaning and interpretation.
We offer courses in both Latin and Greek, and all members of the Classics Department teach both languages.
At the intermediate and advanced levels, students develop a discerning eye for linguistic detail through reading a variety of genres, including historical narratives, classical rhetoric, epic and lyric poetry, tragedy, and comedy. They do the work of budding classicists, reading texts in both Latin and Greek, consulting and distilling secondary literature, and writing their own. Advanced students often supplement their study of Latin with Greek, beginning with a half-credit introductory course in the IV or V Form year and continuing quickly toward advanced literary study. Students of modern languages or Western Civilization who wish to pursue an interest in the ancient world or profit from the discipline of classical languages may also take courses in Greek.
The skills of close reading and writing carry over into other disciplines in the humanities: Latin certainly provides a strong foundation for learning Romance languages and, in fact, the learning of any language, because of its attention to detail and structure. Care for language in general animates students' approach to studying all literature and cultivates similar precision in other disciplines. Classics faculty demonstrate the breadth of a classical education by teaching across the humanities curriculum, offering courses and tutorials in history, English, creative writing, and music.
In the end, it is our hope that students grow into a love of language and literature that well extends into their collegiate studies and their lives, however they continue to pursue their interest in the ancient world. We hope students come to see classics as a wellspring for other disciplines and a foundation for the modern world as well as a fascinating object of inquiry in its own right.
- Latin 1
- Latin 2
- Latin 3
- Advanced Study in Latin: Vergil
- Advanced Study in Latin: Lyric Poetry
- Advanced Topics Tutorial in Latin
Open to III, IV, V Form Students
Latin 1 provides an introduction to the forms and syntax of the Latin language. Students begin to develop their ability to 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.
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. Texts: Minkova and Tunberg, Latin for the New Millennium, Levels 1 and 2.
Open to all forms
Students learn 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).
Open to IV, V, VI Form Students
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.
Open to V & VI Form Students
PREREQUISITE: ADVANCED STUDY IN LATIN: VERGIL
Students read the lyric poetry of Catullus and Horace and gain an understanding and appreciation of poetic structure, versification, and literary criticism. Students read and write extensively, presenting their readings to class and responding to secondary criticism. They begin to gain a sense of the breadth of Latin literature, as they read theses authors as a counterweight to Vergil and consider how each poet approaches similar thematic material. Texts include: Garrison, ed., The Student's Catullus; and Garrison, ed., Horace: Epodes and Odes.
Open to V & VI Form Students
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 Roman comedy (Plautus and Terence); orations of Cicero; and histories (Livy, Sallust, and Tacitus).
Open to IV, V, VI Forms
Semester-long 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.
Open to V & VI Forms
Prerequisite: Greek 1
semester-long Half-credit course
Greek 2 continues the grammatical and rhetorical study of Attic Greek, and introduces 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.
Open to VI Form
PREREQUISITE: GREEK 2
Semester-Long Half-credit Course
This individualized course allows dedicated 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).