Majors and Minors
The Department of Classics and Ancient Studies offers majors in Greek, Latin, Classics, and Ancient Studies and minors in Classics, Ancient Studies, and Modern Greek. Please consult the relevant category below.
The major in Ancient Studies is explicitly interdisciplinary in outlook. Students interested in focusing on the ancient Mediterranean or the Ancient Near East will normally take classes in a wide range of departments that focus on language, literature, mythology, material culture, history, religion, art history, philosophy, political theory, law, film, comparative literature, medieval studies, and gender studies. Each student will develop a concentration in one geographical area or period but will also develop an appreciation for the cultural development of the region as a whole. Study abroad in Greece, Rome, Egypt, the Middle East, or in European universities with strong programs in their field of interest is encouraged. Students are also encouraged to explore internship opportunities at the Brooklyn Museum and at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
See the list of courses that meet the requirements in Ancient Studies for the current academic year.
Each student, after consultation with the Barnard Chair, chooses an advisor whose field is closely related to her own and with whom she will plan her senior essay.
A total of 36 points are required in the major, including at least four courses in one geographical area or period; courses in at least three departments to ensure proper interdisciplinary training and expertise; the elementary sequence of a relevant ancient language (for students focusing on a culture whose language is not taught on Columbia’s campus this requirement may be waived); the appropriate history course; ANCS V 3995 The Major Seminar, and ANCS V 3998 (senior essay).
Student Learning Objectives in Ancient Studies
- Read, analyze, and write about ancient texts persuasively and locate texts in their historical and cultural contexts.
- Achieve familiarity with the methodologies and critical approaches and research tools deployed in classical scholarship and in related disciplines studied by each individual student that is demonstrated in the successful completion of a senior research project.
- Achieve familiarity with the work of a variety of ancient writers on a range of interdisciplinary topics.
- Engage in detail with the methods needed to analyze the range of fragmentary evidence, both written and material, required in an interdisciplinary study of the ancient Mediterranean world.
- Demonstrate familiarity with one geographical area or period in the Greek, Latin or related ancient Mediterranean worlds.
- Assess differences among and relations between ancient cultures and analyze the use and abuse of evidence about the ancient world by later cultures.
THINKING OF MAJORING IN ANCIENT STUDIES?
Regularly offered classes that count towards Ancient Studies include (but are not limited to) the list below. Be sure to check relevant departments for additional classes.
IN CLASSICS AND ANCIENT STUDIES
CLCV GU4110: GENDER & SEXUALITY IN ANCIENT GREECE
CLCV UN3111: PLATO AND CONFUSCIUS: COMPARATIVE PHILOSOPHIES
CLLT UN3132: CLASSICAL MYTH
CPLS UN3160: TRAGIC BODIES
CLCV UN3059: THE WORLDS OF ALEXANDER THE GREAT
CLCV UN3230: CLASSICS AND FILM
CLCV UN3158: WOMEN IN ANTIQUITY
CLCV UN3244: GLOBAL HISTORIES OF THE BOOK
CLLT GU4115: TRAGEDY AND PERFORMANCE
CLLT UN3132: COMEDY PAST AND PRESENT
CLLT UN3135: THE ANCIENT NOVEL
CLLT GU4300: THE CLASSICAL TRADITION
CLCV GU4190: PHILOSOPHY IN CLASSICAL ROME
CLCV UN3535: IDENTITY AND SOCIETY IN ANCIENT EGYPT
CLCV UN3101: THE ARCHAEOLOGY OF ANCIENT EGYPT AND NUBIA
CLCV GU4411: EGYPT IN THE CLASSICAL WORLD
CLCV UN3992: ARCHAEOLOGY OF THE SOUTHERN LEVANT
HIST UN1004: ANCIENT HISTORY OF EGYPT
HIST UN100?: HISTORY OF ANCIENT MESOPOTAMIA
HIST UN1010: ANCIENT GREEK HISTORY, 800-146 BC
HIST UN2004: THE MEDITERRANEAN WORLD IN THE SECOND CENTURY BC
HIST UN1020: THE ROMANS AND THEIR EMPIRE
IN ART HISTORY
AHIS GU4155: ART & ARCHAEOLOGY OF MESOPOTAMIA
AHIS UN2108: GREEK ART AND ARCHITECTURE
AHIS UN2109: ROMAN ART AND ARCHITECTURE
RELI UN3501: INTRODUCTION TO THE HEBREW BIBLE
RELI UN3340: EARLY CHRISTIANITY
PHIL UN2101: HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY I: PRESOCRATICS TO AUGUSTINE
PHIL UN3121: PLATO
PHIL GR4089: ARISTOTLE
ANTH UN1008: RISE OF CIVILIZATION, Prof. Terrence D’Altroy
The minor in Ancient Studies requires five courses that focus on Ancient Mediterranean or Ancient Near Eastern civilizations. At least one history course is required. Four other courses will compliment that course to provide an interdisciplinary understanding of a specific region and/or time period.
Classics majors develop a knowledge of Greek and Latin as a gateway to the study of the literature, history, and culture of Greece and Rome. Students can start Greek and Latin at Barnard or build on skills acquired in high school. Second year courses introduce students to original texts in Greek or Latin by authors such as Homer, Plato, Herodotus, or the Greek orators or Vergil, Ovid, Horace, Cicero, Caesar, Livy or Sallust. A range of advanced courses in Greek or Latin focus on prose or poetic texts drawn from ancient epic, lyric poetry, philosophy, drama, history, rhetoric or the novel and introduce critical approaches and literary and historical scholarship. Students are encouraged to take more courses in ancient history and classical literature and civilization than the three required for the major. Students planning to go on to graduate work in Classics and related fields are advised to undertake at least three years in both languages as well as to begin acquiring the ability to read scholarship in French, German, or Italian. Study abroad for one semester in either Greece or Rome is common and encouraged. The major in Greek or Latin requires a minimum of eight courses above the elementary level.
The major in Greek is fulfilled by taking Greek V 3996x Major Seminar, one term of Greek V3996 (senior thesis); either Greek W 4139, Elements of Greek Prose Style or one term of Greek W 4105-6, History of Greek Literature, *as well as five other courses above the elementary level in Ancient Greek.
The major in Latin is fulfilled by taking Latin V 3996x Major Seminar, one term of Latin V3996 (senior thesis), either Latin W 4139 Elements of Latin Prose Style or one term of Latin W 4105-6, History of Latin Literature, * as well as five other courses above the elementary level in Latin.
*Students planning to go on to graduate study in classics are strongly urged to take both semesters of W 4105, W 4106. Majors in Latin, especially those who have begun their study in high school, are strongly advised to take at least two semesters of Greek.
In addition, one semester of ancient history appropriate to the major and two relevant courses in ancient art, classical civilization or literature, ancient philosophy, or religion are required for either the Greek or the Latin major. Students who do not opt to take a term of either Greek or Latin W4105-6 are required to take CLLT W4300, The Classical Tradition, as one of their three required courses in translation.
A student may elect to major in both Greek and Latin by completing the major requirements in one language and five courses above the elementary level in the other.
Student Learning Objectives in Classics
Translate a range of Greek or Latin texts at a moderately advanced level and demonstrate an understanding of the grammar and syntax of ancient languages.
Read, analyze, and write about ancient texts persuasively and locate texts in their historical and cultural contexts.
Achieve familiarity with the methodologies and critical approaches and research tools deployed in classical scholarship that will be demonstrated in the successful completion of a senior research project.
Demonstrate familiarity with the work of a variety of ancient writers, literary styles, genres, and periods and their later influences.
The minor in Greek, Latin, or Modern Greek requires five courses above the elementary level.
The Minor in Modern Greek requires five courses above the elementary level. Modern Greek courses are taught entirely at Columbia. There is currently no Major offered in Modern Greek