Courses and Requirements

Students who take classes in our department enjoy opportunities to explore various methods and approaches to studying Greek and Roman antiquity. The department itself offers courses in Greek and Latin language and literature as well courses which don’t require knowledge of Greek or Latin and examine a wide set of issues pertaining to the literature, history, archaeology and culture of ancient Greece and Rome. These courses often draw on an interdisciplinary perspective and/or on reception studies so as to position our students to understand the multiple meanings that classical antiquity has had throughout the ages.

  • Language courses focus on reading ancient works in their original Greek or Latin. A full sequence of both Greek and Latin from the beginning to the advanced level is available.
  • Other courses involve the study of ancient culture in English translation. For example, “From Homer to Omeros”, “Greek Archaeology”, and “Women in Antiquity” are accessible to all members of the Vassar community. Another ancient culture course is the Blegen Seminar, taught by a different visiting scholar each year. Recent Blegen courses have included, “Romans, Greeks, and Jews”, “Food in the Ancient Mediterranean”, and “Introduction to Indo-European linguistics”
  • Ancient History and Culture are also taught in translation. These courses may focus on Greek and Roman history, art, archaeology, or literature.

The department organizes its courses by subject area and level of difficulty. Not every course is offered every year, and the department often teaches special courses on a one-time-only basis.

All of our majors take our foundational course (GRST 100), a semester of either Greek or Roman history, and must progress at least to the intermediate level in either Greek or Latin. After their early coursework, majors have the option of fulfilling their remaining requirements through advanced study in Greek or Latin, through courses in translation, or through a combination of both.

The department encourages interdisciplinary work. Faculty are frequently involved in team-teaching courses with members of other departments. Indeed the study of Greek and Roman antiquity involves learning about art, philosophy, religion, history, and literature.

Paid internships and research assistantships are available for many of the department’s majors. Students also often take advantage of scholarship money available for summer study at the American School for Classical Studies in Athens. Students are also encouraged to spend a semester during their junior year abroad in Rome or Athens.

Courses and Requirements

Academic requirements and courses are available in the Vassar College Catalogue.


Correlate Sequence in Greek and Roman Studies