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B.A. in Classical Studies

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  • Course description

    The discipline of Classical Studies, as pursued at Villanova University, is concerned first and foremost with the languages of the Greco-Roman world, and thought, as expressed in literature (and art), from Homer in 800 BC to St. Augustine in 400 AD. In so doing we deal with a full range of literary genres: epic, tragedy, comedy, lyric, satire, elegy, epigram, oratory, rhetorical theory, history, philosophical dialogue (or treatise), didactic poetry and prose, bucolic poetry, epistolography, funerary (and other) inscriptions.

    We present in Classics the ultimate in multidisciplinary study, embracing meter, textual criticism, prosopography, lexicography, paleography, the transmission of ancient texts through the Middle Ages to the Renaissance, the reception of ancient literature at different periods (Fortleben, Nachleben), epigraphy, and linguistics, both historical (the development of Latin accidence and syntax) and comparative (Greek, Greek dialects, Latin, Italic dialects, Neo-Latin languages, Indo-European). We make it a point to provide courses relevant to students’ concerns in teaching, stressing the technical side of the Latin language and examining authors, like Catullus, Horace, Vergil, Ovid, and Cicero, that figure in the Advanced Placement Syllabus.


    A major in Classical Studies generally requires:
    • a minimum of 12 courses, a minimum 36 credits in Latin or Greek.
    • 2 Classics courses (taught in English: Archaeology, Mythology, etc.) may be included in the 12 course total.
    • Classics 3001, Independent Study, will be considered a Latin or Greek course when the study is done in these languages.

    Though secondary-school teachers pursue the Villanova M.A. in Classical Studies, the degree is not strictly a degree in teaching, but rather prepares one to practice—or at least to appreciate—scholarship in the field. In addition to courses in the major authors and genres, we offer: Latin Linguistics, embracing phonology, morphology, syntax, as well as epigraphy and paleography; Latin Prose composition, giving appreciation of the finer points of the language and insights into the interpretation of Latin texts; and courses in the history of the late Roman republic and early empire

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