Classics

Professors: Haeckl (Co-Chair), Landvatter, Manwell (Co-Chair), Platte

Classics is the original interdisciplinary major—and the study of classics at Kalamazoo College allows students to experience every facet of the cultures of the Greeks and Romans, spanning a period of more than a thousand years and the entire Mediterranean world. The study of the classical languages, classical Greek and Latin, is essential to this, but the department also encourages exploration of antiquity through courses in archaeology, art, history, religion, philosophy, as well as literature in translation.

The department offers four majors—in Classics, Latin, Greek and Classical Civilization—and three minors—in Latin, Greek and Classical Civilization. Students intending to pursue the study of classical languages at the graduate level are encouraged to major in classics; those who are interested in secondary school teaching, divinity school, or graduate work in a cognate area are encouraged to major in either Greek or Latin. Students who discover a passion for classical history or archaeology, or who discover the field late in their college careers may be drawn to the major in Classical Civilization, which emphasizes work in translation.

Majors and minors in classics often enhance their studies of the ancient world through experiences that give them a first-hand appreciation of Roman and Greek civilizations. Through participation in our study abroad programs at American University in Rome, the Intercollegiate Center in Rome and College Year in Athens, students learn about the ancient cities through on-site instruction, and augment their studies with courses in ancient and modern languages and cultures. In addition we work with students to find appropriate summer internships and archaeological fieldwork opportunities. Such a summer experience often provides the basis for a senior individualized project, which can span a wide range: creative writing, historiography, archaeological fieldwork, literary analysis, and comparative studies of literature and culture.

Faculty interact with students in and out of the classroom. The classics department has an active lecture series, promotes classically themed activities and works with students to craft a major program that will help them attain their career goals. Our majors pursue graduate work in classics, as well as careers in the ministry, secondary school education, business, law, and the military.

Placement

All incoming students who have previously studied Latin or Ancient Greek in high school or elsewhere must take the College’s placement test. Placement can also be determined by a student's score on the College Board's SAT II test or the advanced placement test in Latin.

SAT II

SAT II students with scores of 425 or lower (and with fewer than three years of high school Latin) will be placed in LATN 101 or 102; 426–500 = LATN 102; 501–550 = LATN 102 or 201; 551–670 = LATN 201. If an SAT II score indicates a choice of two levels, a student should consult with a Classics faculty member for placement. A score of 670 or higher may qualify a student for more advanced courses.

Advanced Placement

For students with an advanced placement (AP) score of 4 or 5, credit toward the B.A. degree will be awarded automatically upon admission. Study must begin with Latin 401 or above to receive credit in Latin at Kalamazoo College. Students with AP scores of 3 may be granted the waiver of a prerequisite, but may not count an AP 3 for credit.

Units from Study Abroad and Transfer Credit

Students may receive up to one unit of credit toward the major or the minor for a class taken on study abroad. The course must first receive approval from the chair of the department. Students may also receive no more than one unit of transfer credit. As with a course being considered from study abroad, the course must get pre-approval form the chair of the department. Exceptions to these policies may be granted in unique circumstances and only through prior approval by the department.

Requirements for the Major in Classics

Number of Units
Nine units are required.

Required Courses
Five courses in one classical language above 201
Three courses in the other classical language above 102
CLAS 390 Junior seminar

Students considering a major in Classics are urged to begin their study of Latin or Ancient Greek in their first year.

Requirements for the Major in Latin

Number of Units
Eight units are required, not including Latin 101, 102, and 201 (the eight may include the SIP).

Required Courses
Five courses in Latin above 201
CLAS 390 Junior Seminar
One course in Roman history or archaeology
One other course on Roman literature or culture, or an additional Latin course.

Requirements for the Major in Greek

Number of Units
Eight units are required, not including Greek 101, 102, and 201 (the eight may include the SIP).

Required Courses
Five courses in Greek above 201
CLAS 390 Junior Seminar
One course in Greek history or archaeology
One other course on Greek literature or culture, or an additional Greek course.

Requirements for the Major in Classical Civilization

Number of Units
Nine units are required, not including Latin or Greek 101, 102, and 201 (the nine may include the SIP).

Required Courses
Two courses in Latin or Greek above the 201 level
CLAS 210 Classical Mythology
CLAS 390 Junior seminar

At least one course in classical history
CLAS/HIST 227 The Roman Army and the Frontiers of Empire
CLAS/HIST 225 Greek Civilization
CLAS/HIST 226 Roman Civilization

At least one course in classical art or archaeology
CLAS/ARTX 208 Introduction to Greek Art and Archaeology
CLAS/ARTX 209 Introduction to Roman Art and Archaeology

Three electives: any Classics, Latin or Greek course not previously taken.

Requirements for the Minor in Latin

Number of Units
Six units are required, not including Latin 101 and 102.

Required Courses
Four courses in Latin above 102
CLAS 210 Classical Mythology
One other course on a Roman topic

Requirements for the Minor in Greek

Number of Units
Six units are required.

Required Courses
Four courses in Greek above 102
CLAS 210 Classical Mythology
One other course on a Greek topic

Requirements for the Minor in Classical Civilization

Required Courses
CLAS 210 Classical Mythology

At least one course in classical history
CLAS/HIST 227 The Roman Army and the Frontiers of Empire
CLAS/HIST 225 Greek Civilization
CLAS/HIST 226 Roman Civilization

At least one course in classical art or archaeology
CLAS/ARTX 208 Introduction to Greek Art and Archaeology
CLAS/ARTX 209 Introduction to Roman Art and Archaeology

Three electives: Any Classics course not previously taken; any Latin or Greek course above 102.

Classics courses

CLAS/RELG106Introduction to New TestamentThis course explores the writings of the New Testament, their relationship to the history and culture in which they were produced, and their relevance to more recent issues in modern religious discourse. We will cover a range of topics, including the historical perspective on who Jesus was, the impact of Paul on Christianity, the formation of the canon, political religion in the Roman empire, ethics, and gender. We will apply several modern approaches as well as survey at various points the "afterlife" of the Christian scriptural traditions in Christianity. No prior knowledge of or experience with the subject is assumed or required.
CLAS/SEMN203How the Romans Did It: Globalizing Yourself Through FactYoung men and women who came of age during the heyday of the Roman Empire in the second century CE faced many of the same challenges now confronting Kalamazoo College sophomores as they prepare for study abroad: how can you best harness the transformative potential of international, experiential education to become productive citizens and leaders in a global, multicultural world? What theoretical foundations can help you negotiate issues of self-definition and representation that emerge from encounters with cultural diversity? How will performing rites of passage into adulthood on a world stage, while learning new dialogues of national, ethnic, class, gender and sexual politics, affect your own sense of public and private identity? This course is designed to interrogate the impact of international education on personal identity by fostering reflective connections between the lived reality of 21st-century American students and their academic study of the Classical past.Prerequisite: Sophomores only.
CLAS/PHIL205Ancient PhilosophyA study of ancient views on nature, knowledge, soul, the self, morality, and the good life. This is a history of philosophy course rather than a history course; we will be studying the ideas, arguments, and theories put forth by ancient philosophers, rather than biographical, cultural, anthropological, or historical issues about them or their time period. We will largely be trying to understand what these thinkers were trying to say, and why they thought what they did. In addition, we will be discussing the merits of the various positions and reasons offered. Readings will focus on selections from Plato and Aristotle, but will also include readings from the pre-Socratic and Hellenistic philosophers, all major sources of the Western philosophical tradition. Recommended for classics students. . (This is a designated Greek literature or culture course in Classics.)
CLAS/ARTX208Introduction to Greek Art and ArchaeologyThis introduction to the multidisciplinary field of Greek archaeology examines the art and architecture of the Greek world from a contextual perspective. The course traces Greek material culture from Bronze Age origins through Hellenistic transformations. (This is a designated Greek literature or culture course in Classics.)
CLAS/ARTX209Introduction to Roman Art and ArchaeologyThis introduction to the multidisciplinary field of Roman archaeology examines the art and architecture of the Roman world from a contextual perspective. The course traces Roman material culture from Iron Age and Etruscan origins through Early Christian transformations. (This is a designated Roman literature or culture course in Classics.)
CLAS210Classical MythologyA literary and art-historical survey of the major myths from ancient Greece and Rome; examination of how myths were viewed and used in antiquity and how they have been used in subsequent literature and culture; introduction to the most important schools of myth-interpretation. (This is a designated Greek and Roman literature or culture course in Classics.)
CLAS/HIST225Greek CivilizationFrom Homer to Alexander the Great with emphasis on arts and letters.
CLAS/HIST226Roman Civilization
CLAS/HIST227The Roman Army and the Frontiers of EmpireThis course considers the Roman army from the perspectives of both military and social history. After a chronological survey of the development of the Roman army, case studies of the army in action in specific frontier provinces will be considered. From Hadrian's Wall in Britain to the desert wastes of Egypt, ancient texts and archaeological evidence illuminate the army-driven process of "Romanization," through which former barbarian enemies became assimilated Roman citizens. (This is a designated Roman literature or culture course in Classics.)
CLAS/RELG255Religion From Alexander to ConstantineThis course examines various forms of ancient religion and worship in the classical world. Topics included are concepts of divinity, varieties of religious space and practices, distinctions between civic and private worship, religious festivals and rituals, attitudes towards death and afterlife, importations of Near-Eastern and African religions, and political and philosophical appropriations of religion. Specifically, the course will focus on classical Greek and Roman religion, new religious movements, Judaism, and Christianity within classical culture. Students will become acquainted with a variety of texts, archaeological sites, and religious art and artifacts. (This is a designated Greek and Roman literature or culture course in Classics.)
CLAS/POLS257Justice and Political Community in AntiquityThis course examines political thought from the Greek period through the Italian Renaissance. We will pay particular attention to classical conceptions of human nature, justice, the ideal political order, and the obligations of citizens to their political communities. We will also form an appreciation for the Greek and Roman foundations of subsequent political systems. Thinkers covered include Plato, Aristotle, Cicero, St. Augustine, and Machiavelli.
CLAS/RELG261Judaism in AntiquityThis course examines the history and literature of Judaism from the Second Temple Period to the beginnings of Rabbinical Judaism (400 BCE - 400 CE). This course explores the diversity of ancient Judaism and explores themes of religious and cultural identity. We shall consider the political and religious implications for Jews living under the Persian, Greek, Roman, and Christian empires, while briefly ruling themselves in the Hasmonean period. We will read a series of primary sources in translation from ancient Jews and non-Jews, as well as modern scholarly treatments of these works.
CLAS390Junior SeminarAn examination of current trends in the field of Classics, through the exploration of cross-cultural exchange in the ancient Mediterranean. Students will be introduced to various subspecialities within the field, but emphasis will be on writing, research skills and the development of the students' own research interests. This course will also prepare students for the writing of the SIP and for the essay portion of the comprehensive exam.Prerequisite: Junior standing and declared major in Classics, Greek, Latin, or Classical Civilization, or permission of the instructor.
CLAS593Senior Individualized ProjectEach program or department sets its own requirements for Senior Individualized Projects done in that department, including the range of acceptable projects, the required background of students doing projects, the format of the SIP, and the expected scope and depth of projects. See the Kalamazoo Curriculum -> Curriculum Details and Policies section of the Academic Catalog for more details.Prerequisite: Permission of department and SIP supervisor required.

Greek courses

GREK101Beginning Greek IFundamentals of grammar, composition, and reading of ancient Greek. Selected readings from graduated texts, short stories, and dramas; introduction to ancient Greek civilization.
GREK102Beginning Greek IIContinuation of GREK 101; development of fundamentals of grammar, composition, and reading of ancient Greek. Selected readings from graduated texts, short stories, and dramas; introduction to ancient Greek civilization.Prerequisite: GREK-101
GREK201Intermediate GreekIntensive grammar review; polishing and reinforcement of basic skills in ancient Greek; readings and discussions of selected works; continued exploration of the ancient Greek legacy. Prerequisite: GREK-102
GREK405HomerRepresentative readings, in Greek, from either the Iliad or the Odyssey. May be repeated.Prerequisite: GREK-201
GREK410Attic ProseRepresentative readings, in Greek, from one or more Attic prose authors (e.g. Plato, Lysias, Xenophon). Possible genres include oratory, philosophy, history, and criticism. May be repeated.Prerequisite: GREK-201
GREK475Topics in GreekReadings to be offered in response to the needs and interests of majors and minors. Topics and/or authors typically include those not offered in the standard curriculum, and may include tragedy, Hellenistic poetry, historians, and lyric, among others. May be repeated.Prerequisite: GREK-201

Latin courses

LATN101Beginning Latin IFundamentals of grammar, composition, and reading. Selected readings from graduated texts, short stories, and dramas; introduction to ancient Roman civilization.
LATN102Beginning Latin IIContinuation of LATN 101; development of fundamentals of grammar, composition, and reading. Selected readings from graduated texts, shorts stories, and dramas; introduction to ancient Roman civilization. Prerequisite: LATN-101
LATN201Intermediate LatinIntensive grammar review; polishing and reinforcement of basic skills; readings and discussions of selected works; continued exploration of the Roman legacy. Prerequisite: LATN-102
LATN415Latin Elegy, Lyric and PastoralRepresentative readings, in Latin, from one or more elegists (Catullus, Tibullus, Propertius, Sulpicia, Ovid), lyric poets (Catullus, Horace) or Vergil's pastoral. May be repeated.Prerequisite: LATN-201
LATN425Latin EpicRepresentative readings, in Latin, from one or more writers of epic (typically Vergil or Ovid). May be repeated.
LATN430Republican ProseRepresentative readings, in Latin, from one or more Republican prose authors (Cicero, Caesar, Nepos). Possible genres include oratory, philosophy, history, criticism, and epistles. May be repeated.Prerequisite: LATN-201
LATN435Imperial ProseRepresentative readings, in Latin, from one or more Imperial prose authors (Pliny the Younger, Seneca, Sallust, Livy, Tacitus, Suetonius). May be repeated.
LATN440Roman ComedyReading, in Latin, of one or more plays by Plautus or Terence. May be repeated.Prerequisite: LATN-201
LATN475Topics in LatinReadings to be offered in response to the needs and interests of majors and minors. Topics and/or authors typically include those not offered in the standard curriculum, such as the Roman novel (including Petronius and Apuleius), satire, and Medieval Latin. May be repeated.
LATN475ITopics in LatinReadings to be offered in response to the needs and interests of majors and minors. Topics and/or authors typically include those not offered in the standard curriculum, such as the Roman novel (including Petronius and Apuleius), satire, and Medieval Latin. May be repeated.