At Hanover, you'll find many paths into the worlds of the Greeks and Romans. You can study Latin and Greek texts, as well as archaeology and the history of the ancient Mediterranean. And you can take further courses in mythology, classical art, early Christianity, anthropology or gender studies.
In other words, Classical Studies is interdisciplinary — it covers many ways of thinking about and approaching Greek and Roman culture. So we offer two different majors, designed for a variety of student interests. And within each major there is freedom to choose from among a variety of courses:
Language and Literature
A foundation for studying Classics is learning to read and analyze ancient texts in the original languages. Studying Greek and Latin has traditionally been a way to study the cultures and cultural values of ancient Greece and Rome. So, basic competence of at least one language is required of all students. But if you're interested in ancient literature, philosophy or early Christianity, you'll spend most of your time studying ancient texts in the original languages.
The aim is to help you find your way into the worlds of the Greeks and Romans, which means, on the one hand, studying texts that have been continuously important. On the other hand, this means making an effort to understand ways of thinking and feeling that may seem alien, but that will help you gain perspective on your own culture’s values and aspirations.
Archaeology and History
If you're drawn to archaeology, classical art and ancient history, the major in archaeology and history is meant for you. In courses on archaeology and art, you'll have more time to become familiar with archaeological evidence and objects from the ancient world that have been accumulating and are still coming to light.
You'll also study the architecture and art of Greece and Rome, fragments from a rich visual culture that have fascinated us since the Renaissance. Courses in archaeology and art will help you to understand how both the archaeological evidence and pieces of ancient art have been found, preserved and used to understand ancient culture.
In courses in ancient history, you'll get a chance to study both modern thinking about ancient history and culture, and the ancient historical texts that are the foundation for that thinking. These texts have been the basis for reconstructing narratives of ancient history, for reconnecting with ancient culture and for gaining perspective on our own history. Further, they have helped shape our culture’s thinking about why history is worth studying to begin with.
All this means you'll find your way not just into modern scholarly discussions of ancient history, you'll study the methods and aims of both modern and ancient historians.
Travel Courses and Study Abroad
An integral aspect of studying Classics is becoming familiar with the topographic setting in which the cultures of the ancient Mediterranean world existed. While some of this familiarity might be gained through coursework, the department encourages and works to enable its students to travel as much as possible in order to observe this topography and surviving Classical material in person.
We offer a wide, rotating range of travel-courses to countries scattered across the Mediterranean basin. Professor Miriam Pittenger, for example, has taken students to Italy to learn about Etruscan and Roman material. Professor Nick Baechle has led a travel-course to Greece. Professor Sean O’Neill has designed travel-courses to both Turkey and Egypt. This broad variety and the frequent offering of such courses ensure that during your four years at Hanover you'll have the opportunity to experience the modern-era culture and remnants of the ancient past in several countries.One way you might immerse yourself in the culture and topography of the regions that once comprised the Classical World is to participate in a semester- or year-long Study Abroad program. Opportunities for these sorts of long-term academic experiences can be arranged in coordination with the college’s Office for Off-Campus Study. Possibilities include earning collegiate credit at partner institutions based in Turkey, Germany, Spain, France or Belgium. Additional opportunities for Classics-based study (and transferable credit) are provided by programs in Rome, Athens or Cairo, among others.
If you're interested in the archaeological and historical sides of our discipline, we encourage you to gain firsthand experience by doing fieldwork at an archaeological site (usually for four to six weeks during the summer). Although regional and U.S.-based opportunities are available, our departmental focus on the Greek and Roman worlds naturally creates a strong emphasis on field-projects based in Europe, North Africa and the Near East. Majors, minors and all other interested students are encouraged to work with Professor Sean O’Neill to determine which type of fieldwork opportunity is most appropriate for them. The selection of possible in-the-field experiences is rather vast and spans the full range of options from serving as an undergraduate volunteer on a project to being enrolled for transferable credit in an archaeological field-school.
"Thanks to the excellent education I received from the Hanover Classics Department I was able to begin teaching Latin the fall after I graduated … and I am still doing it six years later!"
Emily Rogers, Classical Studies Major, class of 2008
"The Hanover Classics Department taught me about the ancient past, asked me about my present experiences at Hanover, and they were always concerned about preparing me for a bright future."
Alexandria Boss, Latin Minor, class of 2011
"The Classics department, honestly, could not have been more helpful while I tried to decide exactly what I wanted to do with my life. Throughout the entire process of trying to decide if I wanted to be a major or a minor they were always there to offer advice and guidance. Even when I ran into issues with declaring the minor, the faculty were right there with every book and rule; they knew how to find a way to make it work. They were the type of professors I came to Hanover looking for: friendly, helpful and invested in their students from day one."
Tylor Cuningham, Latin and Classical Studies Minor, class of 2014
"The Classics Department at Hanover is always willing to address my individual interests when it comes to the ancient world, whether it involves the social position of women in Rome's religious structure or how ancient cities were organized. They also bring to light different facets of the ancient world to which I had not previously given much thought."
Ivana Eiler, Classical Studies Major, class of 2015
"The professors of the Classics Department have always been helpful and available whenever I have questions concerning either a class or my future … not to mention the fact that they're easy to talk to."
Annabelle Goshorn-Moroney, Classical Studies Major, class of 2015
Society for Classical Studies
(the national organization for the field of Classical Studies)
Archaeological Institute of America
(the national organization for archaeologists)
Classical Association of the Midwest & South
(our regional conference for the field of Classical Studies)
American Classical League
(dedicated to the teaching and learning of Classics)
American Numismatic Society
(dedicated to the study of coins [including many ancient ones])
The Latin Library
(texts of Latin authors)
Internet Ancient History Sourcebook
(sources in translation)
(Greek and Latin texts in original form and in translation)
de Imperatoribus Romanis
(on-line encyclopedia of the Roman Emperors)
(women & gender in the Ancient World)
(the Athenian Democracy)
(Gazeteer of Ancient Places)
Voice of the Shuttle
(links to hundreds of internet resources for Classicists, all over the web)