Classics

Professors: Evans, Manwell (Chair)

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 three units of credit toward the major or the minor for classes taken on study abroad. The courses must first receive approval from the chair of the department. Students may also receive no more than one unit of transfer credit. As with courses 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 225 Greek Civilization
    • CLAS/HIST 226 Roman Civilization
    • CLAS/HIST 227 The Roman Army and the Frontiers of Empire
  • 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 225 Greek Civilization
    • CLAS/HIST 226 Roman Civilization
    • CLAS/HIST 227 The Roman Army and the Frontiers of Empire
  • 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/RELG110Introduction to New Testament This 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/PHIL205Ancient Philosophy A 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 Archaeology This 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 Archaeology This 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 Mythology A 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/SEMN212Ancient Humans & Other Animals Humans tend either to think of themselves as separate from animals or as the top of the animal heap. We tell ourselves that we are different, and this affects how we treat and interact with animals, which might be different if we treated them as "same" In this class we will look at how ancient Greeks and Romans thought about, used, treated and interacted with animals. In this way, every day we will step into another, lost world where people held different beliefs about the animal kingdom. At the same time, we will also use their ideas and experiences to interrogate our own beliefs and practices concerning other animalsPrerequisite: Sophomores only.
CLAS/HIST225Greek Civilization From Homer to Alexander the Great with emphasis on arts and letters.
CLAS/HIST226Roman Civilization From the foundation of the Republic to the empire of Constantine.
CLAS/HIST/ARTX229Frozen in Time: the Ancient City of Pompeii Since its discovery in the 1700s, Pompeii has captured the popular imagination as a city frozen in time. Centuries of nearly uninterrupted excavation have made astonishing discoveries that allow us to paint a vivid picture of Roman life in the first centuries BCE and CE. In this course we will explore the material, visual, and architectural remains of the city to reconstruct the lives of its inhabitants. We will enhance our understanding of these topics by considering their connection to current debates on cultural identity, ethnic diversity and social inequality.
CLAS/HIST230Women in Classical Antiquity A literary, historical, and cultural survey of social structures and private life in ancient Greece and Rome. Issues covered include constructions of sexuality, cross-cultural standards of the beautiful, varieties of courtship and marriage, and contentions between pornography and erotica. Students will examine sources from medical, philosophic, lyric, tragic, comic, and rhetorical writers as well as representative works from vase painting, the plastic arts, graffiti, etc. (This is a designated Greek and Roman literature or culture course in Classics.)
CLAS/POLS257Justice and Political Community: Classical Political Thought This 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.
CLAS295Greco-Roman Slavery This course studies the institution of slavery in ancient Greece and Rome within its own contexts and as it has impacted the modern world. While our study will mainly be historical and cultural, we will also examine the literary and philosophical discussions of slavery from the Classical world.
CLAS390/CLAS 490Junior Seminar An 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, minor, or concentration in Classics, Greek, Latin, or Classical Civilization, or permission of the instructor.
CLAS490/CLAS 390Classics Senior Seminar Students conduct in-depth research on a disciplinary topic, mentor junior Classics majors and engage in structured reflection on the role of Classics in their K-Plans and as preparation for life and careers after graduation. Prerequisite: Senior standing and declared major, minor, or concentration in Classics, Greek, Latin, or Classical Civilization, or permission of the instructor.
CLAS593Senior Integrated Project Each program or department sets its own requirements for Senior Integrated 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 -> Senior Integrated Project section of the Academic Catalog for more details.Prerequisite: Permission of department and SIP supervisor required.

Greek Courses

GREK101Beginning Greek I Fundamentals of grammar, composition, and reading of ancient Greek. Selected readings from graduated texts, short stories, and dramas; introduction to ancient Greek civilization.
GREK102Beginning Greek II Continuation 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 Greek Intensive 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
GREK410Attic Prose Representative 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 Greek Readings 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 I Fundamentals of grammar, composition, and reading. Selected readings from graduated texts, short stories, and dramas; introduction to ancient Roman civilization.
LATN102Beginning Latin II Continuation 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 Latin Intensive grammar review; polishing and reinforcement of basic skills; readings and discussions of selected works; continued exploration of the Roman legacy. Prerequisite: LATN-102
LATN298Independent Study
LATN415Latin Elegy, Lyric and Pastoral Representative 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 Epic Representative readings, in Latin, from one or more writers of epic (typically Vergil or Ovid). May be repeated.Prerequisite: Take LATN-201
LATN430Republican Prose Representative 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 Prose Representative readings, in Latin, from one or more Imperial prose authors (Pliny the Younger, Seneca, Sallust, Livy, Tacitus, Suetonius). May be repeated.Prerequisite: Take LATN-201 or instructor's permission
LATN440Roman Comedy Reading, in Latin, of one or more plays by Plautus or Terence. May be repeated.Prerequisite: LATN-201
LATN475Topics in Latin Readings 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.Prerequisite: Take LATN-201 or instructor's permission