Department Spotlight — Classical Studies
The Department of Classical Studies has a three-pronged research mission: 1) To establish the record of what was written, done, said, or thought in antiquity through traditional textual, philological, and historical criticism; 2) To trace the way those things have affected literature, philosophy, art, and history since the collapse of the antique world through study of the classical tradition; and 3) To show how those things may be relevant to the lives we lead—and other texts, events, ideas, etc., we study—today.
Return to the October 2011 Newsletter
One way in which the department seeks to connect the classical tradition to our modern world is by offering coursework that bridges the gap between Ancient and Modern Greek literature and culture. Faculty and students in the Department of Classical Studies engage with some of the most profound and exciting thinkers and writers of the Western tradition. The department boasts two Metcalf winners and two other nominees over the past dozen years.
The department offers BA and PhD programs in specializations including Classical Civilization, Classics and Religion, Classics and Philosophy, Latin, and Ancient and Modern Greek. Undergraduate concentrators have the opportunity to reside in the Classics House, a Bay State Road brownstone.
The undergraduate program in Classical Studies at Boston University comprises Latin and Ancient and Modern Greek; Greek and Roman history, literature, and culture; and the classical tradition. In their study of the founding cultures of the Western world, students explore issues of enduring importance in ethics, politics, art, literature, and history. Concentrators can go on to pursue graduate study in Greek and Latin or careers in secondary teaching. Study of the classics also provides an ideal foundation for students interested in comparative literature, archaeology, linguistics, mythology and religion, philosophy, history, and a wide range of other humanistic disciplines, as well as making a solid foundation for law school or medical school.
The graduate program of the Department of Classical Studies at Boston University is designed to prepare students for professional careers while being flexible enough to accommodate those who wish to incorporate interdisciplinary studies embracing other areas. The department encourages interdisciplinary and comparative literary, historical, and cultural studies, including the classical tradition, and welcomes students to combine study of the classical languages and cultures with a second academic discipline. The department has particular strength in Greek drama, Augustan poetry, ancient epic, ancient rhetoric, mythology, the translation of classical literature, ancient history, and the classical tradition in Europe and America.