Requirements

Classics Major

The classics major consists of ten courses with concentrations in three possible areas: classical languages and literatures, classical archaeology, and classical studies.

Classical Language and Literatures Concentration

Select at least six courses in Latin and/or Greek, including two at the 3300 level a6
ARCH 1101Greek Archaeology1
or ARCH 1102 Roman Archaeology
CLAS 1101Classical Mythology1
or CLAS 1102 Introduction to Ancient Greek Culture
Select one of the following:1
CLAS 1111
History of Ancient Greece: From Homer to Alexander the Great
CLAS 1112
History of Ancient Rome: From Romulus to Justinian
CLAS 2102
Socrates and the Problem of History
CLAS 2736
Ancient Greek Medicine
CLAS 2757
Tacitus: On How to be a Good Man under a Bad Emperor
CLAS 2777
From Tyranny to Democracy: Models of Political Freedom in Ancient Greece
CLAS 2787
Thucydides and the Invention of Political Theory
Select one additional course chosen from among any offered by the department, including first-year seminars1

Classical Archaeology Concentration

Select at least five courses in classical archaeology, including ARCH 1101 and ARCH 1102 and at least one 3000-level archaeology class5
Select four semesters of Latin or three semesters of Greek
Students in this concentration are also encouraged to take one of:
CLAS 1111
History of Ancient Greece: From Homer to Alexander the Great
CLAS 1112
History of Ancient Rome: From Romulus to Justinian
CLAS 2102
Socrates and the Problem of History
CLAS 2224
City and Country in Roman Culture
CLAS 2736
Ancient Greek Medicine
CLAS 2757
Tacitus: On How to be a Good Man under a Bad Emperor
CLAS 2777
From Tyranny to Democracy: Models of Political Freedom in Ancient Greece
CLAS 2787
Thucydides and the Invention of Political Theory
Select one additional course chosen from among any offered by the department, including first-year seminars1

Classical Studies Concentration

Select three semesters of Latin or Greek3
Select at least one of the following:1
ARCH 1101
Greek Archaeology
or ARCH 1102
Roman Archaeology
CLAS 1101
Classical Mythology
or CLAS 1102
Introduction to Ancient Greek Culture
Select at least one of the following:1
CLAS 1111
History of Ancient Greece: From Homer to Alexander the Great
CLAS 1112
History of Ancient Rome: From Romulus to Justinian
CLAS 2102
Socrates and the Problem of History
CLAS 2736
Ancient Greek Medicine
CLAS 2757
Tacitus: On How to be a Good Man under a Bad Emperor
CLAS 2777
From Tyranny to Democracy: Models of Political Freedom in Ancient Greece
CLAS 2787
Thucydides and the Invention of Political Theory
Select at least three 2200- or 2700-level courses in classics or classical archaeology b3
Select at least two courses in the department (classics, Greek, Latin, or archaeology) offered at the 3300 level2

All students in classics are required to take a research seminar (a 3000-level course designated as such) in their junior or senior year, and all students must take one of their required 3000-level courses during their senior year.

Classics Minor

Students may choose a minor in one of five areas:

Greek

Select five courses in the department, including at least four in the Greek language5

Latin

Select five courses in the department, including at least four in the Latin language5

Classics

Select five courses in the department, including at least four in the classical languages; of these four, one should be either GRK 2204 Homer or a Latin course at the advanced level (3300–3999)5

Archaeology

Select six courses in the department, including either ARCH 1101 Greek Archaeology or ARCH 1102 Roman Archaeology, one archaeology course at the advanced level (3300–3999), and two other archaeology courses6

Classical Studies (Greek or Roman)

Six courses, including:

Greek Studies 

Required Courses
Select two courses in the Greek language2
ARCH 1101Greek Archaeology1
Select one of the following:1
CLAS 1011
Shame, Honor, and Responsibility (or any other appropriate first-year seminar)
CLAS 1101
Classical Mythology
CLAS 1102
Introduction to Ancient Greek Culture
CLAS 1111
History of Ancient Greece: From Homer to Alexander the Great
CLAS 2102
Socrates and the Problem of History
CLAS 2736
Ancient Greek Medicine
CLAS 2777
From Tyranny to Democracy: Models of Political Freedom in Ancient Greece
CLAS 2787
Thucydides and the Invention of Political Theory
GOV 2200
Classical Political Philosophy
PHIL 2111
Ancient Philosophy
REL 2215
The Hebrew Bible in Its World
REL 2216
The New Testament in Its World
REL 2230
Human Sacrifice
Select two of the following:2
any advanced archaeology course (3300-3999) focusing primarily on Greek material
Classics 2970–2999 (Independent Study)
any intermediate or advanced Greek or classics course (2000–2969 or 3300–3999) focusing primarily on Greek material

Roman Studies 

Required Courses
Select two courses in the Latin language2
ARCH 1102Roman Archaeology1
Select one of the following:1
CLAS 1018
Cleopatra: Versions and Visions (or any other appropriate first-year seminar)
CLAS 1101
Classical Mythology
CLAS 1102
Introduction to Ancient Greek Culture
CLAS 1112
History of Ancient Rome: From Romulus to Justinian
CLAS 2224
City and Country in Roman Culture
CLAS 2757
Tacitus: On How to be a Good Man under a Bad Emperor
GOV 2200
Classical Political Philosophy
PHIL 2111
Ancient Philosophy
REL 2215
The Hebrew Bible in Its World
REL 2216
The New Testament in Its World
REL 2230
Human Sacrifice
Select two of the following:2
ARCH 2202
Augustan Rome (or any archaeology course numbered 3000–3999 focusing primarily on Roman material)
Classics 2970–2973 (Independent Study)
any intermediate or advanced Latin or classics course (2000–2969 or 3300–3999) focusing primarily on Roman material

Other courses in the Bowdoin curriculum may be applied to this minor if approved by the Department of Classics.

Interdisciplinary Major

The department participates in an interdisciplinary program in archaeology and art history. See the Interdisciplinary Majors.

Additional Information and Department Policies

  • As a capstone to this major, a research seminar taken in the junior or senior year is required; a research seminar is one in which a substantial research project is undertaken and successfully completed.
  • Courses that count toward the programs offered by the department must be taken for regular letter grades (not Credit/D/Fail), and students must earn grades of C- or better in these courses.
  • One first-year seminar may count as an elective toward the major and minor.
  • Normally, independent studies and honors projects only count toward the major or minor with prior approval of the department.

Classics and Archaeology at Bowdoin and Abroad

Archaeology classes regularly use the outstanding collection of ancient art in the Bowdoin College Museum of Art. Of special note are the exceptionally fine holdings in Greek painted pottery and the very full and continuous survey of Greek and Roman coins. In addition, there are numerous opportunities for study or work abroad. Bowdoin is a participating member of the Intercollegiate Center for Classical Studies in Rome, where students majoring in classics and classical archaeology can study in the junior year. It is also possible to receive course credit for field experience on excavations. Interested students should consult members of the department for further information. Normally three courses per semester taken abroad can count toward the major and normally one course per semester toward the minor.

Students contemplating graduate study in classics or classical archaeology are advised to begin the study of at least one modern language in college, as most graduate programs require competence in French and German as well as in Latin and Greek.

Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate (AP/IB)

Students who received a minimum score of four on the Latin AP exam are eligible to receive a general credit toward the degree if they take a Latin course at the 3000 level and earn a minimum grade of B-. Regardless of AP scores, students should complete the placement questionnaire. No major or minor credit is given. In order to receive credit for advanced placement work, students must have their scores officially reported to the Office of the Registrar by the end of their sophomore year at Bowdoin. Students who took the Latin IB exam should consult the department for credit.


This is an excerpt from the official Bowdoin College Catalogue and Academic Handbook. View the Catalogue