We believe that the courses we teach have the potential to be transformative in students’ lives. We aim to encourage and to help each student to produce his or her own, individual monumentum aere perennius. To accomplish this goal, we focus on three priorities: developing talents, building relationships, and sharing our love for the classics.Classics Department Mission Statement
Greek History from the Bronze Age through the Death of Alexander: It is customary to divide Greek history into the prehistoric and historic periods with the break coming at 776 BCE, the date of the first Olympic Games and the era immediately following the writing of the Homeric epics. The course initially will focus on the former period with a concentration on the Mycenaean and Minoan cultures. The latter period will include as its nucleus characters and events whose presence contributed to both the Golden Age of Greece and the Hellenistic period culminating in the death of Alexander the Great.
The vast variety of writings left by authors of both the Golden and Silver Ages of Latin literature provide unlimited material for study. This course will focus on three or four examples each year who are representative of the classics as the literary ancestors and models of modern European and English literature. Students will be asked not only to extract the essence of thought contained in each chosen Latin masterpiece but also to appreciate the artistic qualities which make it a work of enduring worth and a source of enjoyment.
Students gain appreciation of literature, both poetry and prose, as a work of art through their study of Vergil’s Aeneid and Caesar’s Gallic War. To accomplish this, they must develop their abilities (a) to translate, to read, and to comprehend Latin through mastery of vocabulary, morphology, and syntax, (b) to read Latin aloud with attention to linguistic, artistic, and metrical qualities, (c) to understand the interaction of the works with references to Roman culture, history, and mythology and to discuss with understanding the image of Roman identity that the texts project, (d) to identify and to elucidate an author’s use of stylistic features and rhetorical strategies, (e) to demonstrate and to share their understanding of the texts, and (f) to develop skills and strategies to succeed on the Advanced Placement exam.