Classics is an interdisciplinary major. The study of the ancient world combines archaeology, philology, history, philosophy, and anthropology among other disciplines. While Classics is the name traditionally given to the study of ancient Greece and Rome from the Bronze Age to the early Middle Ages, the Classics curriculum also includes opportunities to study diverse cultures around the ancient Mediterranean and Near East. The curriculum provides students with the opportunity to read ancient literature both in the original languages and in English translation, and to explore the life and culture of antiquity. Several courses examine the reception of antiquity and its influential role in shaping the modern world. Students pursuing a major or minor in Classics are encouraged to study abroad in Athens or Rome.

Pitzer Adviser: M. Berenfeld

AP Credit: One course credit toward graduation is awarded for scores of 4 or 5 on the Advanced Placement Examination in Latin (Vergil and Latin Literature).

Study Abroad: Pitzer students with an interest in Classics are encouraged to apply to study abroad at the Intercollegiate Classics Center in Rome or the College Year in Athens. Students should consult with their advisers about plans to study abroad.

Student Learning Outcomes

Classics majors will:

  1. Be able to read and analyze ancient Greek and/or Latin texts, accurately translate them into English, and describe and explain particularities of grammar and syntax of those languages to others. (The number of languages studied depends on the track selected; for the Classical Languages track, students are required to study both Greek and Latin; for the Classical Studies track, only one. Students may also study Hebrew through the Classics department).
  2. Gain working knowledge of and be able to describe significant historical and cultural developments in ancient Greek and Roman civilization, including major events (wars, cultural changes) and important persons.
  3. Have a firm grasp of the geography of the ancient Mediterranean and the extent of ancient Greek and Roman empires, including the locations of major cities and sanctuaries and knowledge of the history and/or topography of selected areas.
  4. Be able to identify, describe, and analyze major archaeological sites, architecture, sculpture, and other artifacts from the ancient Greek and Roman worlds within their historical and cultural contexts.
  5. Be able to critically analyze ancient cultural products—texts (literature, philosophy, history), material culture, art—as well as modern scholarship of Greek and Roman civilization and, by the end of their college career, have specialized knowledge of the nature and extent of that evidence as well as key scholarly questions in at least one sub-field of classical studies (i.e. Latin literature, history of ancient Greece, archaeology of the Roman empire).
  6. Be able to locate, evaluate, and use specialized scholarship in classics (including ancient history, literature, archaeology, art history) effectively and efficiently to support their own research and other intellectual inquiry.