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faculty and students reenacting ancient warfare faculty and students in seminar classroom

Department Overview

What is Classics?

The field of Classics is devoted to the study of the cultures of the ancient Greeks and Romans.  The curriculum includes training in the Greek and Latin languages at the Elementary, Intermediate, and Seminar levels.  In addition, the department offers courses in Classical Hebrew and Sanskrit, and a range of courses on the history, literature, philosophy, religion, and cultural life of antiquity, including classes that explore the reception of the Classical past in later periods up to the present day.  The rigorous training in Greek and Latin that is the hallmark of Swarthmore's Classics program has meant that the department enjoys remarkable success in producing students who go on to become leaders in the field.  But because it is a truly interdisciplinary field, Classics also appeals to students with a wide variety of interests and career goals.

new course

Fall 2020: Ancient History 028-

Kyle Mahoney

Ancient Egypt. (Social Science) 
New Course

January 2021: Ancient History 043

Rosaria Munson

Thucydides on War, Plague, and Democracy. (social Science)



new course

Fall 2020: Latin 033-

William Turpin

Horace, lyric, and literary criticism. w Course.



new course

January 2021: Latin 026-

William Turpin

myth and morality in catullus. w course

Fall 2020: Latin 107-

William Turpin

Honors Seminar: horace

Fall 2020: Greek 011-

Grace Ledbetter

plato and socratic irony

Fall 2020: Philosophy/Classical Studies 020-

Grace Ledbetter

Plato and his modern readers
parthenon frieze

Fall 2020: Greek 001-

Kyle Mahoney

Intensive First-Year Greek

Fall 2020: Greek 113-
Rosaria Munson

Honors Seminar: Greek Historians



Fall 2020: Classical Studies-023

Varun Khanna

Introduction to Sanskrit

Fall 2020: Classical Studies 059-

Helen Plotkin

Hebrew for Text Study II.

Fall 2020: Classical Studies 092-

Helen Plotkin

Readings in Classical Hebrew

Fall 2020: Classical Studies-022

Varun Khanna

Readings in Sanskrit
new course

Fall 2020: Ancient History 028-

Kyle Mahoney

Ancient Egypt. (Social Science) 
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Courses for First Year Students Fall 2020 and January 2021


Greek and Latin Placement:  The Classics Department does not give placement exams, but we will discuss with you your background in the language and suggest an appropriate course. Contact Professor Grace Ledbetter, Chair of Classics,


Ancient History 028: Ancient Egypt (Fall 2020, social science) ; Ancient History 043: Thucydides on War, Plague, and Democracy (January 2021, social science) both classes are excellent entry points to the study of Classics at the college level and do not require Greek or Latin. They are open to freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors. 


Greek 001 -002 (Fall 2020 - Spring 2021) Learn the fundamentals of the language and begin to read Plato, Homer, and other authors in the original.


Latin 033 (Fall 2020) Latin 026 (January 2021): For students with several years of Latin. Contact Professor William Turpin for placement,


Classical Studies 023: Introduction to Sanskrit. No prerequisites. 


If you have any questions, contact Professor Grace Ledbetter, Chair of Classics,

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The Gil Rose Prize 2018

The Classics department is delighted to announce that the winner of this year's Gil Rose Prize is Irene Elias '18.

The winner in 2017 was Emma Remsberg '17.

Endowed by John Marincola ’76 in honor of Gilbert P. Rose, Susan Lippincott Professor Emeritus of Modern and Classical Languages, this prize is awarded to a senior student of Latin and/or Greek, who, in the judgment of the department faculty, displays deep knowledge of the ancient language(s) and whose written work is both rigorous and imaginative.

Irene Elias