College Bulletin 2016-2017 
    Apr 16, 2024  
College Bulletin 2016-2017 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]




ROSARIA MUNSON, J. Archer and Helen C. Turner Professor


GRACE LEDBETTER, Associate Professor and Chair

JEREMY LEFKOWITZ, Associate Professor

MARILYN EVANS, Visiting Assistant Professor

DEBORAH SLOMAN, Administrative Assistant

The field of Classics is devoted to the study of the cultures of the ancient Greeks and Romans. The curriculum includes training in the Greek and Latin languages at the Elementary, Intermediate, and Seminar levels. In addition, the department offers a range of courses on the history, literature, philosophy, religion, and cultural life of antiquity, including classes that explore the reception of the Classical past in later periods up to the present day. The rigorous training in Greek and Latin that is the hallmark of Swarthmore’s Classics program has meant that the department enjoys remarkable success in producing students who go on to become leaders in the field. But because it is a truly interdisciplinary field, Classics also appeals to students with a wide variety of interests and career goals.

The Academic Program

Greek, Latin, classical studies, and ancient history may be a major or minor subject in either the Course or the Honors Program. Three of these majors (Greek, Latin, and ancient history) require advanced work in one of the original languages, while a major or minor in classical studies and a minor in ancient history encourage but do not require language study. Acceptance into one of the majors is dependent on promising work in relevant courses (normally indicated by A’s and B’s).

Course Major

Greek: 8.5 credits required, including 0.5-credit senior course study (see below). Two credits must come from an honors seminar in Greek.

Latin: 8.5 credits required, including 0.5-credit senior course study (see below). Two credits must come from an honors seminar in Latin.

Classical Studies: 8.5 credits in Greek, Latin, classical studies or ancient history including 0.5-credit senior course study (see below). Two credits must come from a double-credit Classical Studies Capstone Seminar. Other departments on campus offer courses focused on aspects of classical antiquity (e.g. art history, philosophy, political science), and usually these will count toward completion of the major; students are advised to consult the chair for an accurate list of such courses. For 2016-2017, these additional courses are ENGL 009E FYS:Narcissus amd the History of Reflection; PHIL 020/CLST 020 Plato and his Modern Readers;  PHIL 102 Ancient Philosophy; POLS 011 Ancient Political Theory; POLS 100 Ancient Political Theory; RELG 057/LING007 Hebrew Text Study I; and RELG 059/LING010 Hebrew Text Study II.

Ancient History: A major in ancient history consists of four ancient history courses (ANCH 031, 032, 042, 044, 056, or 066), four credits in Greek or Latin, two of which must be from an honors seminar, and 0.5-credit senior course study. A second seminar in Latin or Greek can be substituted for two ancient history courses.

Course Minor

Greek: 5 credits in Greek.

Latin: 5 credits in Latin.

Classical Studies: 5 credits in Greek, Latin, classical studies or ancient history

Ancient History: A course minor in ancient history will consist of four courses in ancient history, and an attachment to one of them. That attachment will be presented to members of the department for evaluation and oral examination.

Culminating Exercise/Senior Course Study

The culminating experience for course majors in Greek, Latin, classical studies, and ancient history is a 0.5-credit senior course study (GREK 098, LATN 098, CLST 098, ANCH 098). This independent study will be taken in the senior year to prepare for a graded oral exam taken in the spring with the Classics faculty. The oral exam will be based on a 2-credit seminar the student has completed. The students will submit their final exams and a paper from the seminars, which may be revised. The oral exams focus on the seminars as a whole as well as on the papers and written exams submitted. Enrollment in senior course study will not prevent enrollment in a standard 4 credit course load.

Honors Program in Classics

Greek and Latin: For a major in Greek or Latin, preparation for honors exams will normally consist of three seminars; students may take a fourth seminar in the major, but not for external examination. A student minoring in Greek or Latin will take one external examination based on one seminar. Minors are, however, strongly encouraged to take more than one seminar, in order to be adequately prepared for the examination.

Classical Studies: Honors majors will complete 8 credits in Greek, Latin, classical studies, or ancient history. They must complete three 2-credit units of study, of which at least one must  a double-credit  Classical Studies Capstone Seminar. Preparation for the honors exam will consist of the three 2-credit units of study. Minors will complete 5 credits in Greek, Latin, classical studies, or ancient history including a Classical Studies Capstone Seminar. The Classical Studies Capstone Seminar  will serve as the honors preparation for the minor.

Ancient History: For a major in ancient history, one preparation will be a seminar in either Latin or Greek. The other two preparations can be another seminar in the same language and a course-plus-attachment, or two courses-plus-attachments. Students minoring in ancient history will take three courses in ancient history and add an attachment to one of them. That course-plus-attachment will be the preparation for the external exam. No ancient language is required for this minor.

Senior Honors Study

All honors majors and minors will select one paper from each seminar to be sent to the external examiner for that seminar. The student is free to submit the paper with minor or major revisions or no revisions at all. The department suggests a word limit of 2,000-3,000 words as an appropriate guideline (4,000 words is the senior honors limit set by the College). Majors will, therefore, submit three such papers, and minors will submit one. Senior Honors Study is not required for students whose Honors preparation is a course with an attachment. The portfolio sent to external examiners will contain the seminar papers, together with syllabi and related materials, if any, from the instructors. A combination of (three-hour) written and (one-hour) oral exams will be the mode of external assessment for seminars. For course-plus-attachment, examiners will receive the course syllabus and the written product of the attachment. The exam will be just an oral assessment. However, the mode of external assessment for Classical Studies honors minors will be a three-hour written exam and oral exam on the double-credit Capstone Seminar.

Advanced Placement/International Baccalaureate Credit

The department will grant one credit (only) for one or more grades of 5 on the Latin AP, or the IB equivalent. This credit may be counted toward the major or minor in Latin or CLST.

Off-Campus Study

A semester of off-campus study is usually possible for majors in classics. The department is a member of the Intercollegiate Center for Classical Studies in Rome, and encourages students in their junior year to participate, preferably in the fall semester. The ICCS program offers traditional courses in Greek, Latin, Italian and renaissance and baroque art history, and a required two-credit course based on first-hand exposure to the archaeological and artistic monuments of the ancient world to be found in Rome, the Bay of Naples, and Sicily.

Research and Summer Study

The department often sponsors students in independent summer research, often in cooperation with a faculty member. It regularly supports the summer study of Latin and Greek at other institutions, especially at the intermediate and introductory levels. In particular our students have had success with intensive summer courses in elementary Latin and Greek at Berkeley, CUNY, and University College, Cork, Ireland. The department has also supported students participating in archeological excavations of classical sites, including in recent years the Anglo-American Project at Pompeii and the SMU / Franklin and Marshall field school at Poggio Colla in Tuscany.

Life After Swarthmore

Many of our majors, and some minors, go on to pursue careers as professional classicists, at both the college and secondary levels. Swarthmore students well prepared in both Latin and Greek are competitive candidates for excellent graduate programs in classics, and in related fields such as medieval studies, English, history, and archaeology. In recent years Classics majors have been admitted to graduate programs at UNC-Chapel Hill, Penn, CUNY Graduate Center, Yale, Harvard, Duke, Princeton, University of Chicago, and Stanford. Others have successfully obtained teaching positions in secondary schools, both public and private; it is worth mentioning that there is a significant demand for teachers of Latin, particularly at the secondary level, and some states, including Pennsylvania, make it possible to teach Latin in public schools before obtaining professional certification. Most majors and minors have successfully pursued careers only tangentially related to classics, often after attending professional school. There are Swarthmore classicists in law, medicine, business, art, and music, and many other walks of life.

Classics Courses