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Welcome to Classics

Courses in Classical Humanities (190)

Note:  Courses in classical humanities (190) are open to students with or without a knowledge of the Greek or Latin language.  Some pre-requisites apply, see below.

pdf Click here to download all course descriptions.

01:190:101 Word Power (3) Systematic study of the basic Greek and Latin derivatives in English. Emphasis is on Greek and Latin elements in current scientific and literary use.

01:190:102 Medical Terminology (3) Systematic study of scientific terminology based on ancient Greek and Latin elements, with emphasis on the field of medicine. May be taken concurrently with 01:190:101.

01:190:201 Ancient Greece (3) Civilization of the eastern Mediterranean world in ancient times, with emphasis on the origins of Western civilization and the Greek contribution to Western culture. Credit not given for both this course and 01:510:201.

01:190:205 Greek Civilization (3) Survey of Greek thought and literature. Readings include Homer, the lyric poets, the Athenian dramatists, and selected readings from historians and philosophers. Artistic material may be included.

01:190:206 Roman Civilization (3) Surveys Roman thought and literature. Readings include Virgil, Ovid, Livy, Cicero, Tacitus, and Petronius. Artistic material may be included.

01:190:207 Greek and Roman Mythology (3) Examination of the nature, meaning, and continued vitality of the principal classical myths through reading, lectures, and slide presentations.

01:190:208 Philosophy of the Greeks (3) Introduction to the major philosophical thinkers of the ancient Greek world with special emphasis on Plato and Aristotle. Credit not given for both this course and 01:730:208.

01:190:209 Ancient Rome (3) The Roman Republic and the empire, with emphasis on the rise and decline of a Mediterranean world civilization under Roman leadership. Credit not given for both this course and 01:510:202.

01:190:211 Greek and Roman Religion (3) Study of pagan gods and goddesses, and cults and practices of the classical Greek world, Roman Republic, and Roman Empire.

01:190:212 Classical World in Film (3) Survey of film depictions of the classical world of Greece and Rome, with readings from literary, historical, and critical sources. Topics include "sword and sandals" genre and its history; parallels between America and Greece/Rome; spectacle and empire; and the uses of history in popular historical films.

01:190:213 Science and Technology in Ancient Greece and Rome (3) Explores the nature and development of science and technology in ancient Greece and Rome, focusing on medicine, physics, mathematics and engineering.

01:190:214 Sexuality in Ancient Greece and Rome (3) Investigates how the ancient Greeks and Romans categorized, depicted, and reacted to different sexual behaviors and identities through the study of visual and literary sources ranging from Homeric Greece to Imperial Rome.

01:190:215 Intro to Greek and Roman Archaeology (3)  This course is an introductory survey of the archaeology, architecture and material culture of the Mediterranean world from the Bronze Age throughout the transformation of the Roman Empire following the reign of Constantine. While we consider chronological developments, we will also place Greek and Roman artistic production into its social and cultural settings. Along the way we will think about approaches and methodologies for the study of Classical Art, and how these may tell us more about ourselves than the ancient Greeks and Romans.

01:190:300 Greek and Roman Slavery (3) Social, economic, legal, and political aspects of slavery in ancient Greece and Rome. The sources and numbers of slaves, forms of servitude, manumission, and slave labor.

01:190:301 Food and Drink in the Ancient World (3) Social history of the ancient Mediterranean world through an exploration of the production, preparation and consumption of food and drink and (re)presentations of them in word and image.

01:190:303 Hellenistic World (3) Expansion and development of Greek culture from Alexander through the successor kingdoms in Greece, Egypt, Syria-Palestine, and Asia Minor. Credit not given for both this course and 01:510:303.

01:190:306 Roman Empire (3) Political, social, and intellectual developments of the imperial period until the age of Constantine, with emphasis on the first two centuries AD. Credit not given for both this course and 01:510:306.

01:190:309 Greek and Roman Athletics (3) Examines the ideology and cultural context of ancient athletic competition. Topics include the Olympic and other Panhellenic games, Roman chariot racing and gladiator combat, and women athletes. Credit not given for both this course and the corresponding course under subject number 510.

01:190:310 Augustan Rome (3) Study of the history and culture of the Augustan period (44 BC-AD 14) including historical and numismatic sources; the poetry of Virgil, Horace, Propertius and Ovid; Augustus' building program and artistic trends. May be jointly taught (in part) with 01:580:310. Students wishing to earn language credit in Latin should enroll in 01:580:310. Credit not given for both this course and 01:580:310.

01:190:312 The Search for the Historical Socrates (3) Portraits of Socrates in Plato, Xenophon, Aeschines of Sphettus, and Aristophanes. Birth of the philosophical dialogue and other genres; life and thought of Socrates; and later Socratic movements. Prerequisite: One course in ancient Greek history, culture, or philosophy; or permission of instructor. May be jointly taught (in part) with 01:490:312. Students wishing to earn language credit in Greek should enroll in 01:490:312. Credit not given for both this course and 01:490:312.

01:190:315 Latin Poets in English (3) Selections from the Augustan poets Horace, Virgil, and Propertius. Translations by Dryden, Ezra Pound, and others, with close reference to the Latin original. Theories of translation.

01:190:318 Cleopatra (3) Examines the historical Cleopatra and the reception of her image from antiquity to the present in literature, art, and film. Issues considered include female power in a man's world, East versus West, and politics and propaganda. Credit not given for this course and 01:510:312.

01:190:320 Women in Antiquity (3) Women in the ancient societies of Greece and Rome. Their roles and images in the social, legal, political, domestic, philosophical, and artistic spheres examined using primary sources. Credit not given for both this course and 01:510:251.

01:190:321 Classical Rhetoric (3) Origins and development of rhetorical theory: persuasive argument, emotional appeal, good style, and delivery.

01:190:323 Criminals and Saints: Power in Greek Political Life and Imagination (3) Unlimited power, tyranny, democracy. Explores the ancient Greeks' ambivalent conceptions and perceptions of autocratic versus collective power through time. Prerequisite: 01:190:205 or permission of instructor.

01:190:324 Race and Ethnicity: Examination of ancient Greek and Roman understanding of physically different and geographically alien individuals. Consideration of the origins of our culture's beliefs about race, ethnicity and human difference in the classical world's views of strangers, foreigners, barbarians and how our ideas about race and difference have evolved. Prerequisite: 01:355:101 Expository Writing

01:190:325 Cults, Magic, and Witchcraft (3) Magic and witchcraft in the everyday life of antiquity, from pagan to Christian times; how individuals tried to control the unknown. Literary and material sources.

01:190:328 Ancient Law in Action (3) Explores Greek and Roman constitutions and legal systems in their social contexts. Illustrates procedural elements of ancient criminal and civil law through mock trials.

01:190:350 Greek Society (3) Social and economic life of the Greeks from the Mycenaean period through the Hellenistic age. Written and material evidence employed. Recommended: 01:510:201. Credit not given for both this course and 01:510:350.

01:190:352 Plato (3) Philosophy of Plato through close reading of selected dialogues, supplemented by relevant readings on other ancient and contemporary philosophers. Prerequisite: One course in ancient Greek history, culture, or philosophy; or permission of instructor. May be jointly taught (in part) with 01:490:352. Students wishing to earn language credit in Greek should enroll in 01:490:352. Credit not given for both this course and 01:490:352 or 01:730:352.

01:190:353 Aristotle (3) Philosophy of Aristotle through his selected works, supplemented by relevant readings in Plato and in modern philosophers. Prerequisite: One course in ancient Greek history, culture, or philosophy; or permission of instructor. May be jointly taught (in part) with 01:490:353. Students wishing to earn language credit in Greek should enroll in 01:490:353. Credit not given for both this course and 01:490:353.

01:190:355 Ancient Mythology and Society (3) Social history and practical utilization of ancient myth (with emphasis on Greek myths), applying historical, religious, sociological, and literary-critical perspectives.

01:190:356 Oedipus: A Survey of the Myth from Antiquity to Freud (3) Survey of the Oedipus myth in earliest, pre-Sophoclean evidence; in Greek and Roman tragedy; in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance; and in the 19th and 20th centuries (with special emphasis on Oedipus in art and music).

01:190:372 Cities of the Classical World (3) Study of urban development in antiquity, focusing on Athens and Rome, and synthesizing the evidence of literary, historical, and archaeological sources. Credit not given for both this course and 01:512:311.

01:190:373 Pompeii: The Life and Death of a Roman Town (3) Pompeii and Herculaneum, as laboratories for the study of Roman life: the economy and society; public and private architecture, art, and inscriptions; and the birth of archaeology. Prerequisite: One course in Roman history or culture, Latin or ancient art, or permission of instructor. Credit not given for both this course and 01:510:310.

01:190:375 Masterpieces of Greek and Roman Art (3) Analyses of selected monuments of architecture, sculpture, and painting from 800 BC to AD 500. Emphasis on the development of style and the cultural significance of the monuments. Field trips to museums in the New York area.

01:190:377 The Hero in Ancient Greece and Rome (3) Explores the ancient Greek and Roman hero from literary, religious, mythical, and comparative narrative points of view. Readings drawn mostly from ancient sources.

01:190:381 Greek Drama in Translation (3) Readings in English of the major Greek tragedies and comedies; emphasis on the dramatic structure, literary analysis, and the theatrical conventions of the ancient stage.

01:190:391 Roman Drama in Translation (3) Readings in English of the comedies of Plautus and Terence and the tragedies of Seneca to emphasize the contributions of Latin authors to the dramatic genre and their influence on European and English drama.

01:190:393 Greek and Roman Satire (3) Readings in English of classical satire from its origins in the Greek world through the fourth century AD. Emphasis on the significance of ancient satire for comedy and satire in Western culture.

01:190:395 Transgression in Ancient Greek Society and Culture (3) Violence. Obscenity. Gender roles. Punishment. Violations of cultural norm in ancient Greek practical, civic, religious, and intellectual life, through close critical analysis of their myths, literature, laws, and rituals. Prerequisite: One course in Greek history or culture, Greek or ancient art, or permission of instructor.

01:190:397 The Ancient Novel (3) Readings from Greek and Roman novels of the Imperial period, with attention to their place in the literary and cultural history of the ancient world.

01:190:421 Indo-European Origins of the Classical Languages (3) Comparative survey of Latin and Greek grammar, with historical analysis of those features that the two languages share due to their common origin as Indo-European languages. Reference to the major characteristics of Indo-European languages in general. Open only to advanced undergraduates in classics and linguistics and to graduate students with some knowledge of Latin and/or Greek.

01:190:431 Sanskrit I (4) Introduction to the grammatical system of the classical Sanskrit language; survey of basic features of Indo-European grammar, as manifested in Sanskrit. Open only to upper-level undergraduate and graduate students. Credit not given for both this course and 01:013:180.

01:190:432 Sanskrit II (4) Continuation of 01:190:431; extensive practice in translation and interpretation of texts from various genres and various periods of Old Indic literature. Open only to upper-level undergraduate and graduate students. Credit not given for both this course and 01:013:181.

01:190:491,492 Independent Study in Classics (3,3) Directed reading and research on an assigned topic in classics under the supervision of a member of the department. An extensive essay required, reflecting in-depth research on the assigned topic. Open only to juniors and seniors majoring in classics. Permission of the undergraduate director required.

01:190:493,494 Special Topics Seminar (3,3)
Advanced study of a problem, topic, or theme in Greek and Roman Studies.
Open only to junior or senior majors in Classics or by permission of instructor.

01:190:495,496 Honors Project (4,4) Independent or team projects resulting in a written paper, a performance, or some other appropriate form of public presentation such as drama, poetry, narrative prose, or museum excavation materials. Open only to honors students in one of the fields in classics.

Classical Humanities Courses in Other Departments

01:082:301 Ancient Architecture (3)

01:082:306 Roman Art (3)

01:082:314 Etruscan Art (3)

01:082:317 Ancient Painting (3)

01:082:342 Early Greek Art (3)

01:082:343 Later Greek Art (3)

01:510:201 Ancient Greece (3)

01:510:202 Ancient Rome (3)

01:510:205 Byzantium: The Imperial Age (3)

01:510:207 Byzantium: The Last Centuries (3)

01:510:301 Early Greece (3)

01:510:302 Classical Greece (3)

01:510:303 Hellenistic World (3)

01:510:304 Roman Republic (3)

01:510:305 The Crisis of the Roman Republic (3)

01:510:306 Roman Empire (3)

01:510:307 The Roman World in Late Antiquity (3)

01:510:310 Pompeii (3)

01:510:320 Women in Antiquity (3)

01:510:350 Greek Society (3)

01:510:403 Ancient Warfare and Diplomacy (3)

01:730:208 Philosophy of the Greeks (3)

01:730:301 Socrates and Plato (3)

01:730:302 Plato and Aristotle (3)

01:730:352 Plato (3)

01:730:401 Plato (3)

01:730:402 Aristotle (3)

01:730:403 Ancient Philosophy after Aristotle (3)

Courses in Greek, Ancient (490)

01:490:101 Elementary Greek I (4) Intensive study of Greek grammar in conjunction with readings in simple Greek prose.

01:490:102 Elementary Greek II (4) Continued study of Greek grammar in conjunction with readings. Prerequisite: 01:490:101 or permission of instructor.

01:490:207 Classical Greek Prose (3) Advanced review of Greek grammar through the reading of a work of Plato or several speeches of Lysias. Prerequisite: 01:490:102 or permission of instructor.

01:490:208 Euripides (3) Study of fifth-century Athenian drama through the reading of a play of Euripides. Prerequisite: 01:490:102 or permission of instructor.

01:490:211 Introduction to New Testament Greek (3) Introduction to grammar and syntax of Greek in conjunction with readings from the Gospels, Acts, or Epistles. Prerequisite: 01:490:102 or permission of instructor.

01:490:304 Aristophanes (3) Reading of Clouds and one other comedy; comparison of the Aristophanic with the Platonic Socrates; study of relation of Old Comedy to Athenian life. Prerequisites: 01:490:207, 208, or permission of instructor.

01:490:305 Greek Drama (3) Readings in the works of fifth-century Greek dramatists with special emphasis on Sophocles. Prerequisite: 01:490:207 or 208 or permission of instructor.

01:490:306 From Athens to Alexandria (3) Major works of the literature of Greece from the fourth century BC into the Hellenistic Age. Prerequisite: 01:490:207 or 305 or permission of instructor.

01:490:308 Greek Historical Writings (3) Readings of selected narratives in Herodotus and of main speeches, excursuses, and parts of books six and seven of Thucydides. Comparative study of historical method. Prerequisites: 01:490:207, 208, or permission of instructor.

01:490:309 Lyric Poetry (3) Survey of the main poets of the "lyric age" of Greece (Alcman, Sappho, Alcaeus, Archilochus, Solon, Theognis, and Anacreon); reading of an ode of Pindar. Prerequisites: 01:490:207, 208, or permission of instructor.

01:490:310 Greek Heroic Poetry (3) Studies in the poetry and culture of Homeric Greece. Selections from the Iliad or Odyssey. Prerequisites: 01:490:207, 208, or permission of instructor.

01:490:311 New Testament Greek (3) Selections from the Gospels, Acts, and Epistles, supplemented by a review of grammar and syntax.

01:490:312 Socratic Literature (3) Portraits of Socrates in Plato, Xenophon, Aeschines of Sphettus, and Aristophanes, with emphasis on the reading, in Greek, of selections from the writings of these authors. Prerequisite: 01:490:207 or 208 or permission of instructor. May be jointly taught (in part) with 01:190:312. Students wishing to earn language credit in Greek should enroll in 01:490:312. Credit not given for both this course and 01:190:312.

01:490:315 Menander (3) Study of Dyskolos and Samia as examples of New Comedy; their relation to Athenian life at the end of the fourth century. Prerequisites: 01:490:207, 208, or permission of instructor.

01:490:335 Greek Prose Composition (3) Review of syntax, composition in Greek, and translation from English to Greek of continuous passages adapted from classical authors. Prerequisite: 01:490:207 or 208.

01:490:352 Readings in Plato (3) Reading of one or more Platonic dialogues (or thematically related selections from several) in the original Greek. Prerequisites: 01:490:207, 208, or permission of instructor. May be jointly taught (in part) with 01:190:352; separate meetings for readings in Greek. Credit not given for both this course and 01:190:352 or 01:730:352.

01:490:353 Readings in Aristotle (3) Reading of one or more treatises by Aristotle (or thematically related selections from several) in the original Greek. Prerequisites: 01:490:207, 208, or permission of instructor. May be jointly taught (in part) with 01:190:353; separate meetings for readings in Greek. Credit not given for both this course and 01:190:353.

01:490:391 Readings in Greek Prose (3) Readings in selected ancient Greek prose authors or genres. Prerequisites: 01:490:305, 306, or permission of instructor.

01:490:392 Readings in Greek Poetry (3) Readings in the works of selected Greek poets or poetic genres. Prerequisites: 01:490:305, 306, or permission of instructor.

01:490:400 Demosthenes (3) Reading of one public and one private oration; study of Demosthenes as orator; as source for Athenian law, commerce, and private life; and as statesman. Prerequisites: 01:490:207, 208, or permission of instructor.

01:490:402 Plato and Aristotle (3) Reading of one Platonic dialogue followed by selected portions of an Aristotelian treatise. Attention to prose style and also to common problems and diverging solutions. Prerequisites: 01:490:207, 208, or permission of instructor.

Courses in Latin (580)

01:580:101 Elementary Latin I (4) Beginning course in Latin, introducing the Latin language and its grammar and syntax.

01:580:102 Elementary Latin II (4) Continued beginning instruction in Latin, introducing Latin language, grammar, and syntax. Prerequisite: 01:580:101 or permission of instructor.

01:580:203 Intermediate Latin Prose (3) Selections from prose authors of the late Republican and/or early empire, e.g., Caesar, Cicero, Livy; development of skill in reading continuous passages of Latin prose. Prerequisite: 01:580:102 or permission of instructor.

01:580:204 Intermediate Latin Poetry (3) Representative poems of Catullus, Horace, and Ovid, read and studied with a view to their style, imagery, and topicality. Introduction to Latin metrics. Prerequisite: 01:580:102 or permission of instructor.

01:580:302 Medieval Latin (3) Readings in major Latin writings and documents of the Middle Ages. Prerequisite: 01:580:203 or 204 or permission of instructor.

01:580:303 Cicero: Philosophical Writings (3) Selected philosophical dialogues and rhetorical treatises of Cicero. Prerequisites: 01:580:203, 204.

01:580:304 Cicero: Orations (3) Selected orations of Cicero, with emphasis on the development of Cicero's style and the significance of historical and biographical background. Prerequisites: 01:580:203, 204.

01:580:310 Prose and Poetry in the Age of Augustus (3) The cultural renaissance under Augustus (44 BC-AD 14), with emphasis on the reading, in Latin, of selections from the writings of Virgil, Horace, Livy, Ovid, and the elegiac poets. Prerequisite: 01:580:203 or 204 or permission of instructor. May be jointly taught (in part) with 01:190:310. Students wishing to earn language credit in Latin should enroll in 01:580:310. Credit not given for both this course and 01:190:310.

01:580:321 Roman Comedy (3) Study of the principal meters, the theater, and the staging of plays through the reading of plays of Plautus and Terence. Prerequisites: 01:580:203, 204.

01:580:323 Lucretius (3) Readings from Lucretius' De Rerum Natura with analysis of its place within the literary and philosophical traditions of Rome and Greece. Prerequisites: 01:580:203, 204.

01:580:324 Sallust (3) Readings from Sallust's Jugurthine War, Histories, and Catiline, with a study of selected problems from the historical periods relevant to those works. Prerequisites: 01:580:203, 204.

01:580:325 The History of Livy (3) Readings from Livy's Ab Urbe Condita with a study of selected problems in Roman Republican history. Prerequisites: 01:580:203, 204.

01:580:327 Latin Elegy (3) Survey of Latin poetry written in elegiac meter, with selections from Catullus, Tibullus, Sulpicia, Propertius, and/or Ovid. Prerequisites: 01:580:203, 204.

01:580:328 Roman Satire (3) Selected poems of Horace, Martial, and Juvenal and a study of their interrelationship. Prerequisites: 01:580:203, 204.

01:580:329 Tacitus (3) Reading of a minor work of Tacitus and/or selections from the Annals of Tacitus with an investigation of their value as sources for Imperial history in the first century AD. Prerequisites: 01:580:203, 204.

01:580:335 Latin Prose Composition (3) Review of syntax and prose style; composition in Latin and translation into Latin of continuous passages of prose. Prerequisites: 01:580:203, 204.

01:580:369,370 The Seminar in Latin (3,3) Extensive and rapid reading in Latin literature from the early Roman Republic to the empire. Primarily for juniors and seniors majoring in classical humanities; open to others with permission of instructor. SP'18: A close reading of selections from Ovid's Heroides with special attention to the influence of the poets of ancient Alexandria on Ovid.

01:580:401 Advanced Study of the Poetry of Ovid (3) Readings and interpretation of selected works of Ovid. A study of the poet's contribution to Roman literature and his importance in the Western literary tradition. Prerequisites: 01:580:203, 204.

01:580:402 Advanced Study of Vergil's Aeneid (3) Readings of Vergil's Aeneid with an analysis of selected problems in its interpretation. Prerequisites: 01:580:203, 204.

01:580:403 Readings in Latin Literature I: Literature of the Republic (3) Prose and poetry of Rome from its beginnings in the third century BC to the end of the republic in the first century BC. Extensive selections from epic, drama, lyric, elegy, pastoral, and other poetry and from history, rhetoric, and oratory. Prerequisites: 01:580:203, 204.

01:580:404 Readings in Latin Literature II: Literature of the Empire (3) Prose and poetry of imperial Rome. Extensive selections from epic, history, satire, the novel, and other genres, with emphasis on writers of the Augustan and Neronian ages. Prerequisites: 01:580:203, 204.

01:580:407 Advanced Study of the Poetry of Horace (3) Intensive reading of Horace's poems with emphasis on the variety of style and content. Prerequisites: 01:580:203, 204.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is Classics?

Classics is the study of ancient Greece and Rome and may include the study of other civilizations, for example, Mesopotamia, Egypt, Israel, and the New Testament world. The historical timeframe is roughly 1000 BCE to 600 CE and beyond, for example, looking at the influence of antiquity on the Byzantine Empire, Medieval Europe, and the modern world today. Classics is an interdisciplinary field that includes literature, philosophy, art, architecture, history, women's and gender studies, and cultural studies.

How can I find out what books will be required for a certain course?

Books for our courses are ordered through the Rutgers University Bookstore, located in Ferren Mall in New Brunswick. To find out what books are required, please go to the University Bookstore website. Once you’re there, select textbooks, and then put in the course information. It will then provide a list of the books.

Can I get the syllabus for a course?

Please see our syllabi archive on the course offerings page of this website.

AP Credit

Students who have earned a 4 or a 5 on a Latin AP test will receive 4 credits in Latin (580) at the 100 level. The student should still take the Latin placement exam. Based on the results, she or he will be placed into the appropriate level of Latin.

Seton Hall Project Acceleration

Students who have earned college credit by taking Latin AP courses through the Seton Hall Project Acceleration program can earn up to 8 department credits at the 100 level. However, if the student wishes to continue to take Latin courses in the department, she or he still needs to take the Latin placement exam. Based on the results, she or he will be placed into the appropriate level of Latin.

I want to study Latin or ancient Greek. How do I know the level at which I should start? 

To study Latin, you must take a placement exam. Your score on the placement exam will determine at what level you should begin. If you have any questions, please contact our director of undergraduate studies.

There is no placement examination for Ancient Greek. Students typically begin with first-year Elementary Greek.

Do any Classics courses count for the SAS distribution requirements? 

Yes, all courses in our department count towards the Humanities requirement. In addition, the following courses count towards the Writing requirement: 
190:310 Literature and Culture in Augustan Rome 
190:312 The Search for the Historical Socrates 
190:315 Latin Poets in English 
190:320 Women in Antiquity 
190:322 Greek Political Philosophy 
190:350 Greek Society 
190:353 Aristotle 
190:381 Greek Drama in Translation 
190:391 Roman Drama in TranslationThe following courses count towards the Diversity requirement:
190:300 Greek and Roman slavery 
190:318 Cleopatra 
190:320 Women in Antiquity 
190:325 Cults, Magic, and Witchcraft 
190:326 Greek and Roman Religion

Are there courses in other departments that count towards Classics?

Yes, the following courses in other departments all count as Classical humanities courses: 
01:082:301 Ancient Architecture (3) 
01:082:306 Roman Art (3) 
01:082:342 Early Greek Art (3) 
01:082:343 Later Greek Art (3) 
01:510:201 Ancient Greece (3) 
01:510:202 Ancient Rome (3) 
01:510:205 Byzantium: The Imperial Age (3) 
01:510:207 Byzantium: The Last Centuries (3) 
01:510:301 Early Greece (3) 
01:510:302 Classical Greece (3) 
01:510:303 Hellenistic World (3) 
01:510:304 The Rise of the Roman Republic (3) 
01:510:305 The Crisis of the Roman Republic (3) 
01:510:306 Roman Empire (3) 
01:510:307 The Roman World in Late Antiquity (3) 
01:510:308 Ancient Cultural and Intellectual History (3) 
01:510:320 Women in Antiquity (3) 
01:510:350 Greek Society (3) 
01:510:403 Ancient Warfare and Diplomacy (3) 
01:730:208 Philosophy of the Greeks (3) 
01:730:301 Socrates and Plato (3) 
01:730:302 Plato and Aristotle (3) 
01:730:352 Plato (3) 
01:730:401 Plato (3) 
01:730:402 Aristotle (3) 
01:730:403 Ancient Philosophy after Aristotle (3)

Learning Goals for Classics Majors

  • Classics is a broad discipline, characterized by its interdisciplinary nature. Pursuing Classics means acquiring fundamental language skills in ancient classical languages (Greek, Latin, and, to a lesser degree, Sanskrit), along with a wide-ranging knowledge of the ancient world.
  • Studying Classics involves coming to grips with the ancient Greek and Roman civilizations: their myths and literature; their social, military, political and cultural history; their philosophy; and aspects of their material culture. At every stage, students are led to reflect on the many connections of Classics to the modern world, and how these ancient civilizations contributed to shape it.
  • As many other Humanities disciplines do, Classics combines language study with the exploration of questions central to many social sciences. Classics students are led to ponder the mechanisms of human psychology, social organization, and historical evolution, and given an opportunity to appreciate the ways in which the individual and the community relate to, shape, and affect one another.

The Classics learning goals form the basis for the structure and requirements that constitute a Classicist’s curriculum. Individual courses within Classics may also have more specific learning goals, but the goals indicated here apply to the entire range of departmental offerings, in conjunction with the goals specified for individual courses. 

To better understand what studying Classics entails, students are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the core learning goals that motivate the teaching of Classics (below), and to contact the Classics undergraduate director with any questions. 

The department’s broad goals can be divided into two categories: conceptual learning goals that delineate the principles of the discipline, and practical learning goals that define important skills that students can expect to develop by taking courses in Classics.

Conceptual Learning Goals

Students who study Classics at Rutgers University can expect to:

  1. demonstrate substantial expertise in Latin and/or ancient Greek and engage in advanced analysis of ancient texts in the original language(s), and use the study of these ancient Greek and/or Latin languages to better understand their historical, intellectual and material contexts
  2. form, through the study of the ancient languages and of ancient culture and civilization, a broad and critically informed understanding of major events, concepts, documents, and material artifacts of ancient Greece and Rome, and of their continuing influence on and connections to the modern world
  3. produce culturally and historically informed analyses of Roman and /or ancient Greek ideas, texts and artifacts 
  4. acquire a global perspective through in-depth study of ancient cultures in their historical contexts as well as through opportunities to study abroad, including through opportunities given by the Rutgers Study Abroad in Rome program, the ICCS (Intercollegiate Center for Classical Studies in Rome), the CYA (College Year in Athens) program, and the ASCSA summer program (American School of Classical Studies at Athens); see our Classics website for details and links

Honors students will be able to conduct original research and present it to the department and, if applicable, to the Rutgers Aresty Undergraduate Research Symposium.

Practical Learning Goals

Students who study Classics at Rutgers University can expect to:

  • acquire necessary analytical, research and thinking skills to read critically
  • learn to communicate effectively in speaking and in writing;
  • read and understand a variety of literary forms, including primary sources (speeches, plays, novels, histories), as well as secondary sources written in academic prose;
  • construct an original thesis statement and support it with logical evidence using several classical research databases
  • work independently and conduct independent research
  • pursue a wide range of careers (see below)

A Classics major is excellent preparation for the pursuit of a wide range of careers in a large number of fields, including, but not limited to, government, law, education, business, journalism, library science, publishing, foreign service, finance, the entertainment industry, museum and preservation work, pharmaceutical sciences, music and the arts, foundations, technology, web design, and labor relations.

Many Rutgers Classics graduates successfully compete for admission to the best graduate schools in the country. Some Classics majors have gone on to medical school by combining a  Classics major with an appropriate sequence of science courses. Some have earned the state teaching certificate by enrolling in the five-year BA/Master of Education program offered through the Graduate School of Education. Others pursue masters or doctoral degrees to conduct research and teach at the college level, whether in Classics or related fields such as History, Philosophy, Art History, Medieval or Byzantine Studies, English literature, and the Romance languages.

Major Requirements

The Classics Department offers four majors:

(1) Classical Humanities Option (190) 
(2) Greek Option (190 option code B)
(3) Greek and Latin Option (190 option code C)
(4) Latin Option (190 option code D)

The classical humanities option is for those who wish to pursue a general study of the history, literature, and culture of the classical world.  Those who wish to concentrate on one or both ancient languages may choose an option in ancient Greek and Latin, ancient Greek, or Latin.  All courses applied to the major must be completed with a grade of C or better. 

(1) Classical Humanities Option (190) 
The Classical Humanities major is designed to provide students a broad, basic knowledge of the history, literature, and culture of the Classical world. Beginning with the fall semester 2004, a student who pursues the classical humanities option must complete a total of 36 credits in the department.  Credits from approved classical humanities courses in other departments as specified in the undergraduate catalog may be counted among these credits.  Substitutions must be approved by the Director of Undergraduate Studies. 

The following are required of every Classical Humanities major:
a) One course in the Greek (490) or Latin (580) language at the 200-level or above;
b) At least six courses at the 300-level or above.

(2) Greek Option (190 option code B)
A student pursuing the Greek option must take 35 credits in the department, of which 26 must be in the ancient Greek language, and at least six Classics courses at the 300-level or above.

(3) Greek and Latin Option (190 option code C)
The Greek and Latin option requires 35 credits in the department, of which 29 must be in the ancient Greek and Latin languages, and at least six Classics courses at the 300-level or above. The distribution of credits between the two languages may vary, but every major must complete at least 11 credits in each.

(4) Latin Option (190 option code D)
A student who pursues the Latin option must take 35 credits in the department, of which 26 must be in the Latin language, and at least six Classics courses at the 300-level or above.

Minor Requirements

The Classics Department offers three minors:

(1) Classical Humanities Minor (190) 
(2) Latin Minor (580)
(3) Ancient Greek Minor (491)

The classical humanities minor is for those who wish to pursue a general study of the history, literature, and culture of the classical world.  Those who wish to concentrate on one of the ancient languages may choose an ancient Greek or Latin minor.  All courses applied to the minor must be completed with a grade of C or better.

(1) Classical Humanities Minor (190)
The minor in Classical Humanities requires a minimum of seven courses in the department.  Of these seven courses, at least three courses must be at the 300-level or above.  Credits from approved classical humanities courses in other departments as specified in the undergraduate catalog may be counted among these.  Substitutions must be approved by the Director of Undergraduate Studies. 

(2) Latin Minor (580)
A student pursuing a Latin minor must complete a minimum of six courses in the Latin language, including three at the 300-level or above.

(3) Ancient Greek Minor (491)
The minor in ancient Greek requires a minimum of six courses in the ancient Greek language, including three at the 300-level or above.

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Over 60 percent of all English words have Greek or Latin roots. In the sciences, it is 90 percent. Latin is also the foundational language for French, Italian, and Spanish, and other Romance languages. So, study of the ancient languages provides students with excellent communication skills for use in any field, including business, law, medicine, journalism, public administration, and so on.

Much of western culture originated in ancient Greece and Rome, including, for example: democracy, science, mathematics, philosophy, drama, and the writing of history. In studying these ancient societies, we learn the foundational concepts and contexts that produced some of the most important triumphs of human civilization.

In addition, the Greco-Roman world has been referred to as the archetypal multiculture. The Roman empire included all the peoples living around the Mediterranean Sea and the widely disparate cultures of not only Europe but also Asia, the Near East, and North Africa. Rome was thus a cultural melting pot, giving us invaluable lessons for today’s society.

Perhaps the best reason to study Classics is the well-trained mind that results. Studying the Classical tradition necessarily involves rigorous training in the languages; immersion in superb literature and art; and sophisticated literary, historical, and philosophical study. Our majors develop the following skills:

  • strategic and tactical thinking: the ability to anticipate outcomes from hypothetical situations
  • political awareness: an understanding of how power differentials between groups are used to achieve desired outcomes
  • critical judgment: the ability to construct a logical argument, identify cause and effect, and spot the difference between rhetoric and substance

There is a reason why students who major in Classics or classical languages routinely score higher on the GRE and other standardized tests: studying Classics makes you smart.

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Rutgers Classics Department
Academic Building, 6th floor
15 Seminary Place
College Avenue Campus
New Brunswick, NJ 08901

classics@classics.rutgers.edu
(848) 932 9797