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Your coursework will go beyond the traditional study of the languages and society of ancient Greece and Rome to provide a broader view of the ancient world and its relation to our own time. You will be encouraged to study in Athens or Rome.

About the Major

There are two concentrations: classical languages, which focuses on Latin and Greek as keys to understanding the ancient world, and classical studies, which has less emphasis on the languages. The curriculum enables students to see the continuing influence of Greek and Roman literature and culture on their own time. Communications skills improve as students gain a deeper understanding of how language works, providing a foundation for learning other languages and leading to an increased mastery of English.

Professors Rubino, Gold and Haley are all passionate and dedicated teachers and the visiting professors have always been wonderful. One of the things I appreciated most about the professors was their sense of humor. You could hear Carl Rubino’s booming laugh from basically every room in Couper Hall. The professors also made the department feel like home.

Larry Allen ’09 — Classics major

The skills students acquire are transferable to a wide variety of contexts. Studying classics imparts the ability to deal with precise details, to master complex structures and to place the events of today within the larger sweep of history.

Careers After Hamilton

  • Latin Teacher, Wellesley Middle School
  • Assistant Professor of Classics, University of Southern Maine
  • Attorney
  • Principal Dancer, Kansas City Ballet
  • President, Breckinridge Capital Advisors
  • Manager, Books & Manuscript Dept., Sotheby’s
  • Marketing Director, Hewlett Packard Co.
  • Veterinarian

Contact Information


Classics Department

198 College Hill Road
Clinton, NY 13323
315-859-4197 315-859-4253 shaley@hamilton.edu

Meet Our Faculty

A Sampling of Courses

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Socrates, Cleopatra and the Caesars 130


An introduction to classical studies and the ancient Mediterranean world that focuses on some pivotal figures. Consideration of the multiple facets of ancient Mediterranean society and culture, including multiculturalism, race, class and gender. Attention to literature, art, religion, philosophy and history. Readings from ancient and modern sources, and films dealing with the world of the ancient Greeks and Romans.

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Pompeii 205S


Provides an interdisciplinary introduction to the field of classical studies, focused through the Roman site of Pompeii and the eruption of Vesuvius in 70 CE. Through Pompeii, its destruction, and its remarkable level of preservation, we will study the art, architecture, archaeology, literature, philosophy, religion, history, daily life, sexuality, food, and social structures of Rome, as well as the place of Rome in the modern imagination. Students will gain a comprehensive overview of the many approaches and sub-disciplines represented within classical studies.

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Greek and Roman Medicine 208S


A study of the medical theories and practices of ancient Greece and Rome, their later influence, and their relationship with the literature, philosophy and culture of their surrounding societies. We will explore the development of medicine as a discipline in classical antiquity; analyze the evidence that survives for these medical traditions, with particular attention to the Hippocratic Corpus and the work of Galen; and consider points of intersection between issues raised in ancient texts and the concerns of modern medical practitioners. Writing-intensive.

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Power and Corruption in Ancient Rome 260


An examination of personal and political corruption in ancient Rome, with particular attention to the manner in which it is depicted by writers such as Sallust, Livy, Horace, Tacitus and Juvenal. Some attention to depictions of corruption in modern America, especially to Robert Caro's portrayals of Robert Moses and Lyndon Johnson.

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Greek Drama 360S


Readings, in the original Greek, from the tragedians Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides and from the comic playwrights Aristophanes and Menander. Attention to matters such as the role of women and slaves, social and cultural values, and theories of tragedy and comedy.

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The Literature of Love and Desire 360


Readings, in the original Latin, from the love poetry of Catullus, Horace, Tibullus, Propertius and Ovid. Attention to Greek influences on Roman love poetry, to its Roman context and to the Roman influence of subsequent notions of love and erotic poetry.

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