Welcome to the Classical Civilization Program
What is Classics?
“Classics” traditionally refers to the study of the literature of ancient Greece and Rome, but also encompasses mythology, history, culture, archaeology, science, political science, philosophy, religious studies, art history, and more.
Classics also includes the study of the influence of the ancient world on subsequent cultures as well as how these later uses have in turn shaped our view and understanding of the ancient world.
As of Spring 2022, Classics at LSU also encompasses Biblical Hebrew, making the Classics section the home of the two languages of Bible.
Why Study Classics?
Classics is the original interdisciplinary field! Although the primary focus has traditionally been on the ancient Greek and Latin languages, the study of the ancient Mediterranean world requires exposure to numerous complementary disciplines. If you’re looking for a wide-ranging area of a study that encompasses much of the humanities and traditional liberal arts, look no further!
The study of ancient languages is very different than the study of modern languages. Because we focus on reading instead of speaking, you won’t need to go to the Language Lab, have scripted conversations with a classmate, or learn how to ask where the bathroom is. Instead, you’ll learn the Latin or Greek grammar you need to be able to read authors and texts such as Homer, Plato, Vergil, Ovid, Cicero, and the New Testament in your second year.
This focus on grammar and close reading of ancient texts also has other benefits: it will greatly improve your English reading and writing; Classics majors tend to be among the highest scoring majors on the GRE; Classics majors also score higher than most majors in not only the LSAT but even the MCAT; it will give you a greater understanding and appreciation of where so many aspects of contemporary American politics and cultures come from.
The Classics Major
Our major, the B.A. in Liberal Arts with a Concentration in Classical Civilization, allows students to approach Classics from a variety of different perspectives. Majors are required to take the first 4 semesters of either Greek or Latin and the Senior Seminar, but beyond that have great flexibility to chart a path that matches their particular interests.
In addition to the five courses above (4 semesters of Greek or Latin and the Senior Seminar), majors must complete 5 other classes, 3 of which must at or above the 3000 level.
Within the Department of World Languages, Literatures & Cultures, our offerings are in Greek, Latin, and Classical Studies. But students may also fulfill degree requirements with approved courses in Art History, English/Linguistics, History, Philosophy, Political Science, and Religious Studies.
For more on the courses in this major or to check your progress, click the following links:
We also three minors: Greek, Latin, and Classical Civilization. While the first two concentrate on the ancient languages, the third focuses on reading literature in translation as well as looking at the ancient world from a variety of perspectives.
To complete a minor in Greek or Latin you need to take the first 4 courses in that language and then an additional 2 classes in the language at the 4000-level. The Classical Civilization minor requires 16 hours in Greek, Latin, Classical Studies, and approved courses outside the department; at least 6 hours must be at or above the 3000-level.
If you are taking Greek or Latin to fulfill your language requirement, it is relatively easy to get one of these minors, and they can really help you stand out!
Dr. Michael Katchmer and Classics students celebrate Rome's birthday.
lucundum Natalem, Roma!
Happy birthday Rome!
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