Ancient and Classical Studies

Ancient and classical studies is the study of ancient Greece and Rome as well as of other cultures that influenced and impacted those societies. You will examine the language, literature, art, history, religion and culture of ancient Greece and Rome as well as Persia, Britain, Egypt and Gaul, among others.

Ancient Greece and Rome are important in that these civilizations have had a profound impact on the development of western culture, both positive (theatre, architecture, law, medicine) and negative (patriarchy, racism, classism). To study the ancient past is to study the roots of our own society. At the same time, there are deep differences between the ancient world and our own. Learning about the lives and experiences of others broadens your intellectual horizons. This is especially true as scholars have sought to fill in the gaps of social history by focusing on those members of society who were traditionally marginalized, including women, children and slaves.

Finally, it has become increasingly relevant for us to understand the ways in which Greece and Rome are actively being deployed today by those who would use these cultures as a basis for promoting their own moral or narratological authority (for example, the recent usage of Greco-Roman iconography by Neo-Nazis and other hate groups).

Students near monument in Greece working on assignments
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Recent ancient and classical studies majors have attended graduate school programs at Indiana, Case Western Reserve and Georgetown universities.
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Top job industries for ancient and classical studies majors include education and writing/editing.

Recent graduates are working as teachers, education coordinators and journalists.

Beyond the relics: wrestling with ethical issues

There are many ways of engaging with the ancient past beyond the traditional classroom. Through research with our faculty and off-campus study programs, you can travel the world to learn more about the societies we study.

Off-campus study

Through our program, you will have opportunities to gain research experience and study subjects like Greek, Latin, archaeology, politics and art, and our majors apply their studies in a variety of locations around the globe.


Learn more

Hike across England

In this research experience, you can hike all 84 miles of Hadrian’s Wall path in northern England while using digital storytelling techniques to investigate the politics of “place” and border walls.

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Students and professor sitting around table, engaging in conversation

Our faculty

Our faculty’s research interests range from ancient magic and religion to archaeology and museum collections.

Program details

Ancient and classical studies will prepare you to read and think critically, conduct research and communicate effectively. You must take at least three semesters of Latin in addition to exploring a wide variety of courses with historical, literary, archaeological and artistic approaches to the ancient world.

As a liberal arts college, Earlham offers multiple disciplinary and interdisciplinary majors and minors in which students cultivate deep and specific knowledge and experience. Equally important, the College expects every student to develop broad, general skills and proficiencies across the curriculum.

As part of their general education, students complete six credits in each academic division of the College: humanities, natural sciences, social sciences, and visual and performing arts. In addition, students meet requirements for first-year courses, analytical reasoning, perspectives on diversity and wellness.

Learn more about general education at Earlham.

To earn a Bachelor of Arts in ancient and classical studies, you must complete the following courses, in addition to general education requirements:

  • Eight of the following courses—at least one from section A and one from section B

Section A (Writing)

    • PHIL 155 Ancient Greek Philosophy
    • ANCS 350 Words and Works in Rome
    • ANCS 351 Words and Works in Ancient Greece
    • ANCS 356 Homeric Banquet
    • ANCS 371 Herodotus and the Persian War

Section B (Research)

    • ANCS 222 Greece and Rome in Film
    • ANCS 315 Pompeii: Life & Death
    • ANCS 346 Ovid’s Metamorphoses
    • ANCS 357 Gender and Sexuality in the Ancient World
    • ANCS 358 Greek and Roman Drama

Section C (Assorted)

    • ANCS 130 Damn the Gods
    • ANCS 241 Ancient Mediterranean History
    • Other related courses taken at Earlham or abroad, pending departmental approval.
    • A relevant internship or related experience (e.g., archaeological digs, Epic Advantage programs, language workshops), pending departmental approval.
  • Three Latin Courses, or demonstration of 300-level proficiency by passing ANCS 342
    • ANCS 112 Classical Latin I
    • ANCS 113 Classical Latin II
    • ANCS 342 Reading Latin
  • Two Capstone Courses
    • ANCS 486 Senior Research
    • ANCS 488 Senior Capstone Experience

View a full list of ancient and classical study courses and their descriptions.

Yes! To earn a minor in ancient and classical studies, you must complete the following courses:

  • Language Courses
    • ANCS 112 Classical Latin I and ANCS 113 Classical Latin II OR ANCS 342 Reading Latin
  • Additional courses
    • Three ANCS courses at the 200-level or above

View a full list of ancient and classical study courses and their descriptions.

In addition to off-campus study programs and research experiences with faculty in places like Greece and England, ancient and classical studies students have also participated in a variety of internships. Recent interns have worked at the Cincinnati Museum Center and as an archives and collections assistant at DANK Haus in Chicago.

To learn more about available off-campus study programs, research experiences and internships, visit the Earlham Center for Global and Career Education.

If you love learning about the past and thinking about how it connects to the present-day, this program may be for you. You’ll dive deep into topics like ancient theatre, religion, architecture, law and medicine, and consider how the past has shaped the society we live in today.

In the program, you’ll develop strong research and analytical skills, making you a great candidate for graduate school programs and careers in education, research, law and communications, among other fields.

Next steps

We continue to monitor the effects of an industrial fire 1.1 miles from campus.
We continue to monitor the effects of an industrial fire 1.1 miles from campus.