The Greek and Roman classics have always been a vital part of Bowdoin's liberal arts tradition. Bowdoin's classics department offers three majors, providing the opportunity for students to focus their program on language and literature, on classical archaeology, or on the classical civilizations from a historical and cultural perspective. Since the nature of all three majors is interdisciplinary, all students are encouraged to include courses on literature, religion, history, philosophy, art, architecture, science, politics, and daily life in the ancient world in their programs of study.
The classics program is designed to accommodate both students who have not studied classical languages and those who have had extensive training in Latin or Greek. The goal of the classics major is the study of ancient languages and literatures in the original, involving students in the politics, history, and philosophies of antiquity. Advanced language courses focus on the analysis of textual material and on literary criticism.
The classical studies major provides a useful foundation for students who seek a multi-disciplinary view of the ancient world. This major combines coursework in an ancient language with classes that explore the culture, history, and traditions of the ancient Mediterranean.