Classical Studies

 greek inscription carved into stone
 roman inscription carved into stone
 medieval latin text  medieval latin text
 parthenon
 colloseum  colloseum

What is Classical Studies?

Classicsal Studies is primarily concerned with the teaching of undergraduate students in the areas of Greek, Latin, and Classical Humanities. In our original language courses we give students the grasp of fundamental grammar, syntax and the artistic resources of inflected ancient languages which will enable them to appreciate fully and critically the literary, historical and philosophic remains of ancient Greece and Rome. In our language courses beyond the first year and in all our translation courses we encourage critical thinking and critical writing through use of essay exams and, wherever feasible, oral presentations in class.

Besides providing instruction for majors and minors, the department is committed to contributing to the general liberal education of students enrolled in its courses at all levels. The department's commitment to non-majors is reflected in its substantial contribution to the Miami Plan for Liberal Education. We offer numerous sections of three foundation courses in addition to two thematic sequences for non-majors. Moreover, courses in the department emphasize the development of informed, critical thinking; practice in the written expression of ideas; exposure to the variety of human experience and values in different times and places; confrontation with basic questions of value, meaning and symbolic expression; interpretation of texts and other artifacts; and an underlying concern for the fundamental questions in these acts of interpretation.

We seek to introduce students to the interrelationships of the literary, historical and visual evidence for ancient civilization, to the range of contemporary critical discourses and interpretations of ancient culture, and to explore the continuing process by which the ancient cultural traditions have been incorporated into later historical eras. Furthermore, the department acknowledges and encourages a commitment to support and to cooperate with elementary and secondary schools through teacher preparation and by providing educational and cultural enrichment.

When Miami University was founded in 1809 the study of the Greek and Latin classics was a centerpiece of the curriculum. The classical humanities make up one of the few subjects taught continuously at Miami University since its inception, and this continuity typifies Miami's long-standing commitment to the humanities and to liberal education. Numerous distinguished scholars and teachers have been members of the Miami Classics program, including Robert Hamilton Bishop, Jr., son of Miami’s first President and Professor of Latin for over 50 years, Charles Elliott, Professor of Greek and University Librarian until 1870, and William Holmes McGuffey, the Professor of Greek and Latin best known for his elementary English reader. Henry Montgomery and Frank L. Clark are among the many well-known teacher/scholars of the twentieth Century. Miami has long been recognized as a center for the study of the classics by its involvement with the American Classical League, the national organization for the promotion of the study of Latin and Greek.

What Can I Do With a Major in Classical Humanities?

A graduate of classics can offer an employer the ability to read, write, and think analytically about a broad range of human concerns. Potential career areas include law, journalism, library science, publishing, and teaching. With an additional proficiency in a modern language, a classics major would be a strong candidate for positions in international business and diplomacy.

Many classics graduates decide to continue their education. While Miami does not offer a graduate program in classics, the department does provide a solid foundation for advanced work in the ancient languages and literature, comparative literature, archaeology, religion, history, creative writing, business, mythology, philosophy, and the sciences. Professional schools of law and medicine are also options.

What courses would I take?

In addition to Global Miami Plan Foundation courses, Classical Humanities majors are required to take classes such as Greek Civilization in its Mediterranean Context, Introduction to Roman Civilization, and Classical Mythology. You also choose remaining hours from areas like art, history, language, literature, philosophy, and religion to make up an integrated study plan. Knowledge and course work in at least one ancient language is also recommended. Many classics majors are interested in other subjects and choose double majors.

In your junior and senior years, you'll continue with upper-level classics courses. Your junior and senior years are flexible so you can take related hours in other programs, work on your double major, or pursue a study abroad opportunity.

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