Welcome to Classics!
The Classics section is dedicated to the study of the cultures of the ancient Mediterranean world, focusingespecially on the languages, literature, history, and cultures of Greece and Rome. The field is inherently interdisciplinary, meaning that in our courses you will explore not only the Greek and Latin languages but also the history, art, archaeology, and literature of the Greek and Roman world, broadly conceived. This means that as part of your degree you might also take courses through the Department of Anthropology and Middle Eastern Cultures and the Department of Philosophy and Religion, in addition to those offered through the Classical and Modern Languages and Literatures Department.
The major in Classics requires 30 hours of coursework in the ancient languages and civilizations, in addition to College requirements (note that Greek I, Greek II, Latin I, and Latin II do not count towards these hours, though they do count as elective hours). In addition to the major, we also offer a minor in Classics, which consists of 15 hours of Classics courses (the first-year language sequence does not count towards the 15 hours). For additional information about either the major or the minor please feel free to email Dr. Scott DiGiulio.
Additionally, we also offer an MA in Foreign Languages (Classics); general information is available on the graduate program page or through the graduate coordinator, Dr. Kelly Moser.
Why Study Classics?
Nescire autem quid ante quam natus sis acciderit, id est semper esse puerum (But to not know what happened before you were born is to be forever a child; Cicero Orator 120)
...even for so poor a Latinist as he, the dusky verses were as fragrant as though they had lain all those years in myrtle and lavender and vervain; but yet it wounded him to think that he would never be but a shy guest at the feast of the world's culture... (Joyce, Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man).
While you might wonder why you should study the languages and civilization of people that lived 2,000 years ago, the influence of the ancient Mediterranean cultures are still very much with us today! The founding fathers drew inspiration from the Roman Republic when they were developing America’s political and legal structures, and monuments of Greek and Roman architecture still stand today, even if the societies that built them faded. Similarly, Greek and Latin literature and culture has influenced generations of thinkers and writers, ranging from Shakespeare to modern cinema and the Percy Jackson novels and beyond. Studying Classics will thus give you a broader perspective through which you can better understand the world around you.
On a more pragmatic level, there are lots of benefits to studying Classics beyond learning about the ancient Mediterranean and its languages. A major in Classics will help develop your analytical skills and your capacity as a critical thinker as you study ancient languages and civilizations. By studying ancient Greek and Latin, the origins of more than half of all English words, you will improve your English vocabulary considerably. Moreover, by learning Greek and Latin you will gain a greater appreciation for how languages, their grammar, and their syntax work, and in so doing you will improve your writing skills. Additionally, Classics majors routinely have among the highest scores on standardized entrance exams like the GRE, LSAT and MCAT, Classics majors and double-majors also frequently have greater success at getting into selective medical school than students that concentrate only in biology or other sciences.
What Can I Do With A Classics Major?
Unlike some courses of study, a Classics major does not provide training for a specific career; instead, studying Classics helps provide a solid foundation for many different career paths! Closely reading and discussing the literature of antiquity helps develop your critical thinking and communication skills. Additionally, studying the Greek and Latin languages, with their complex grammar and rhetoric, helps make you a stronger writer in English. And because it is inherently interdisciplinary, bringing together the study of ancient literature, political and social history, art, and archaeology, majoring in Classics hones your analytical skills and provides a broad perspective on the ancient world that you can apply to whatever endeavor you choose.
It may not seem like it provides a direct path into any profession other than teaching, but with careful pitching the skills you’ll acquire by studying Classics can lead to a broad range of career options -- our recent alumni have gone on to graduate school in Classics, law school, and seminary, as well as careers in education and government. In fact, Classics majors go on to a range of different professions, from medicine to law, from education to non-profits and beyond. Really, the better question is what you can’t do with a Classics major!
123 total degree hours consisting of 30 credit hours of Classics courses (Latin and Greek I & II count as electives toward the 123 overall hours but not the 30 Classics hours) in addition to College of Arts & Sciences and University requirements.
Clubs and Organizations
Classics Club at MississippI State University
Eta Sigma Phi - Classics Honors Society
Classical Studies (taught in English)
FL 4113/6113: Greece and Rome in Film. Three hours lecture. A study of the reception of ancient Greece and Rome (including history, civilization, and culture) through films and television, from the epic movies of the 50’s to the most recent cinematic adaptations.
FL 4133: Roman Civilization. Three hours lecture. A study of the history, literature and culture of ancient Rome from its origins in the VIII century B.C. through the fall of the Empire.
FL 4143/6143: Classical Mythology. Three hours lecture. Myths and legends of Greece and Rome and their use in literature and the arts through the ages. (Same as REL 4143/6143).
FL 4423/6423: Greek History. Three hours lecture. Introduction to the history of ancient Greece from the Bronze Age through the height of the Greek city-states and the rise of the kingdom of Macedon. (Same as HI 4453).
FL 4433/6433: Roman History. Three hours lecture. Introduction to the history of Rome from its foundations through the Republic, the Empire, and the ultimate decline in late antiquity. (Same as HI 4463).
FL 4493: Greek Comedy and Tragedy. Three hours lecture. A study in English translation of the works of such authors as Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, Aristophanes, and Menander in their historical and cultural context.
FL 4773: The Age of Homer. Three hours lecture. A study of Greek epic in English translation, with a consideration of the archeological and iconographical evidence for the story of Troy.
FL 4990: Special Topic in FL. Credit and title to be arranged. This course is to be used on a limited basis to offer developing subject matter areas not covered in existing courses. (Courses limited to two offerings under one title within two academic years).
FLL 1113: Latin I. Three hours lecture. An introduction to the Latin language.
FLL 1123: Latin II. (Prerequisite: FLL 1113 or equivalent). Three hours lecture. Grammar; elementary reading.
FLL 2133: Latin III. (Prerequisite: FLL 1123 or equivalent). Three hours lecture. Review of Latin grammar; reading of intermediate texts.
FLL 2143: Latin IV. (Prerequisite: 2133 or equivalent). Three hours lecture. Reading of intermediate texts.
FLL 3111, 3121, and 3131: Latin Prose Composition. (Prerequisite: FLL 2133 or the equivalent.) One hour lecture. Composition exercises in Latin prose, with a review of Latin grammar
FLL 3173: Augustan Lit and Culture. (Prerequisite: FLL 2143 or the equivalent.) Three hours lecture. A literary and cultural survey of the Augustan era (27 B.C. to A.D. 14).
FLL 4113/6113: The Roman Historians. (Prerequisite: FLL 2143 or the equivalent or consent of the instructor). Three hours lecture. A study of the Latin works of Sallust and/or Livy and/or Tacitus, with a direct reading of selections from any of these authors. (Repeatable two times).
FLL 4123/6123: Cicero. (Prerequisite: FLL 2143 or the equivalent, or consent of the instructor). Three hours lecture. A study of the works of Cicero, reading extensively from the Latin of his major oratorical, rhetorical, and/or philosophical works.
FLL 4143/6143: Latin Epistolography. (Prerequisite: FLL 2143 or the equivalent, or consent of the instructor). Three hours lecture. An exploration of the Latin letter as a literary form, surveying major exemplars of the genre in their historical and literary contexts.
FLL 4223/6223: Lyric Poetry. (Prerequisite: FLL 2143 or the equivalent or consent of the instructor). Three hours lecture. A study of the Latin works of Catullus and/or Horace. (Repeatable 2 times).
FLL 4263/6263: Latin Epigram. (Prerequisite: FLL 2143 or the equivalent, or consent of the instructor). Three hours lecture. A survey of Latin epigram in its historical and literary contexts, especially, but not limited to, the works of Martial.
FLL 4443: Caesar. (Prerequisite: FLL 2143 or the equivalent.) Three hours lecture. A study of the Latin works of Julius Caesar in their historical context.
FLL 4990: Special Topic in FLL. Credit and title to be arranged. This course is to be used on a limited basis to offer developing subject matter areas not covered in existing courses. (Courses limited to two offerings under one title within two academic years).
FLH 1113: Greek I. Three hours lecture. An introduction to Biblical and Classical Greek.
FLH 1123: Greek II. Three hours lecture. A continuation of FLH 1113.
FLH 2133: Greek III. (Prerequisite: FLH 1123 or equivalent). Three hours lecture. Introduction to ancient Greek literature. Selected readings from Homer, Herodotus, and Plato.
FLH 2143: Greek IV. (Prerequisite: FLH 2133 or equivalent). Three hours lecture. Introduction to ancient Greek literature. Selected readings from Aristotle, the New Testament, and the Church Fathers.
FLH 3013: Plato. (Prerequisite: FLH 2143 or the equivalent.) Three hours lecture. A study of Plato’s Greek text and representation of Socrates.
FLH 4990: Special Topic in FLH. Credit and title to be arranged. This course is to be used on a limited basis to offer developing subject matter areas not covered in existing courses. (Courses limited to two offerings under one title within two academic years).