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Bachelor of Arts in Classics

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  • Objectives
    CLASSICS HAS TRADITIONALLY BEEN THE STUDY OF LANGUAGES and societies of ancient Greece and Rome. At Hamilton, the Classics Department reflects this tradition, while offering a broader view of the ancient world and its relation to our own time. The study of classics in this wider sense offers a variety of benefits: It enables students to perceive the continuing influence of Greek and Roman literature and culture on the art, literature and thought of our own time; it improves students' communication skills by giving them a deeper understanding of how language works; it provides a foundation for learning other languages, in particular romance languages; and it leads to an increased mastery of English.
  • Course description
    The department offers courses in ancient Greek and Latin and also in classical studies, where no knowledge of Latin or Greek is required. Students wishing to concentrate or minor in classics may take one of two directions.

    A concentration in classical languages, which emphasizes work in Latin and Greek as keys to understanding the ancient world, requires a minimum of eleven full-credit courses. Four of those courses, at least two of which must be numbered 300 or above, should be in one of the two languages; and three of them, at least one of which must be numbered 300 or above, should be in the other. Two courses in classical studies, in addition to Classical Studies 550, the Senior Project, are also required. (With the approval of the department, exemptions to these requirements may be made for students who come to Hamilton with substantial preparation in Latin or Greek.) Students concentrating in classical languages are also required to complete at least one course each year in Greek or Latin. Because the language concentration requires substantial accomplishment in both Greek and Latin, prospective concentrators entering the College with no knowledge of those languages should make an immediate start with the prerequisite 100- and 200-level courses.

    A concentration in classical studies, which offers a study of ancient Greece and Rome with emphasis on only one of the languages, requires a minimum of eight full-credit courses. Six of those courses should be in classical studies, at least four of them numbered 200 or above and at least one numbered 300 or above. One course numbered 300 or above in either Latin or Greek is also required, along with Classical Studies 550, the Senior Project. (With the approval of the department, certain courses in Greek or Latin may be substituted for classical studies courses). In addition, students concentrating in classical studies must complete at least one course each year in classical studies, Greek or Latin.

    Hamilton College is a member of the Intercollegiate Center for Classical Studies in Rome (the Centro) and of the American School of Classical Studies in Athens. Many students have also attended other programs in Rome and Athens. Concentrators and other students trained in Latin or Greek are encouraged to spend one or two semesters of their junior year in a program in Greece or Rome or in another suitable program abroad. Interested students should note that admission to the Intercollegiate Center and the American School is competitive and that preparation in Latin or Greek, and sometimes both, is an important factor in determining admission.

    Students who have earned an A- (90) average in the concentration may receive honors by earning a grade of A- in the Senior Seminar. A description of the program may be obtained from any member of the classics faculty.

    A minor in classical languages requires at least two courses numbered 300 or above in Latin or Greek, as well as two courses in classical studies, one of which must be numbered 200 or above. Because the language minor requires advanced work in either Latin or Greek, interested students entering the College without either of those languages should make an early start with the prerequisite 100- and 200-level courses.

    A minor in classical studies requires a minimum of five classical studies courses, three of which must be numbered 200 or above, with at least one numbered 300 or above and one year of college Latin or Greek or a grade of B or higher in a 200- or 300-level course in Latin or Greek.

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