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).
Recent graduates have gone on to pursue careers in library services or advanced degrees in education, museum studies and neuroscience. Past graduates are working as teachers, education coordinators and journalists.
“While at Earlham, I also had unique opportunities to develop advanced research skills. Along with eleven other classical studies undergraduates from across the United States, I was invited to Washington, D.C. to participate in informative sessions and to attend workshops on advances in scholarly communication and technology.”
Micky Jo Myers ’16
Ancient and classical studies major
Ph.D. candidate, Indiana University
Brianna Brown ’16 of Babylon, New York, graduated with a major in ancient and classical studies. She then went on to teach English language arts and pursue her second master’s in teaching Latin.
Brianna Brown ’16
Ancient and classical studies major
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.
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.
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.
Our faculty’s research interests range from ancient magic and religion to archaeology and museum collections.
Frequently asked questions
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.
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.