Ancient History

The concentration in Ancient History allows the student to focus on the process of continuity and change. Courses in Greek and Roman history provide a chronological overview while also introducing such topics as food security, women's experience and the cultural obsession with masculinity, personal prestige and political identity, power dynamics within slave societies, colonialism, and cultural hegemony. Students work closely with a faculty member to develop their understanding of the methods of historical analysis, including hands-on experience with coins and inscriptions.

Students electing this major are required to complete a specified set of courses, including:

1. two survey courses that establish a general knowledge of ancient Greek and Roman history.
2. three additional ancient history courses that explore modes of historical analysis with varied foci, e.g. gender, slavery, law, sports, regional histories.

3. a methodology course (CLST 19) that introduces advanced historical methods and research skills.
4. an introductory classical archaeology course (CLST 6) to provide an overview of the chronology and geography of the Classical world and to introduce students to the methodologies of archaeology.
5. one additional course that focuses on other methodologies useful to and employed by ancient historians; and
6. two Greek or Latin courses at the intermediate or advanced level, to develop a working knowledge of one or both of the languages essential for research.

All majors must also complete a Culminating Experience Requirement by doing one of the following: (a) completing a Senior Honors Project; (b) participating in a second Off-Campus Program within the Classics Department; (c) completing an independent study course in conjunction with a museum internship; or (d) taking an additional course from among the more advanced courses within the department (a list is provided), in conjunction with which they complete a substantial research project relating to the learning objectives of that course.

Learning objectives

Ancient History majors learn to:

  1. Develop persuasive arguments concerning sources of historical information, distinguishing reliably between primary and secondary sources and between facts and assertions.
  2. Effectively use information technology and digital media essential for the study of ancient history in the 21st century, such as geographical information systems, imaging techniques, and use of relevant databases.
  3. Make effective arguments both orally and in writing that demonstrate critical reading skills (such as evaluating scholarly arguments) and understanding of intellectual and/or ethical issues that arise from the study of Greek history and Roman history, including such questions as colonialism, cultural hegemony, and social hierarchies.
  4. Effectively use subsidiary techniques for various modes of analysis in Classics, including archaeological methods, the study of texts in at least one ancient language, and other techniques such as analysis of coins or inscriptions.