Classical Mediterranean and Middle East at Macalester

The department of the Classical Mediterranean and Middle East, or Classics, explores the literature, cultures, and archaeological remains of the ancient Mediterranean and Middle Eastern worlds, from Rome to Greece, Egypt, Israel and beyond. Here students learn Arabic, Greek, Hebrew, or Latin, and together with faculty analyze and interpret ancient texts, societies, and material culture. Students find that study of the ancient Mediterranean sheds much light on contemporary problems, concepts, and values.

Students may choose from three tracks through the major or minor: Classical Civilization, Classical Languages, or Classical Archaeology. All majors explore the ancient Mediterranean and Middle East using methods from across the liberal arts, but each student designs a curricular path through the parts of the ancient world which most capture their imagination.

Find the latest Classical Mediterranean and Middle East Opportunities (events, grad programs, jobs, more) here

Current News

Spring 2018

Byzantium and Early Islam: Exploring the late Antique Transition Conference
The Classical Mediterranean and Middle East and The Religious Studies Departments are hosting a Byzantium and Early Islam: Exploring the late Antique Transition conference on  Friday, April 13: 12:30 – 5:00 PM, in John B. Davis Hall, Lower Level, Ruth Stricker-Dayton Campus Center and on Saturday, April 13: 8:30 AM – 1:00 PM, in the Weyerhaeuser Board Room, First Floor of the Weyerhaeuser Building.
Though long neglected, the shift from a Roman-Christian dominated Mediterranean and Middle East to an Arab-Islamic Caliphate is increasingly viewed as one of the major religious and cultural changes in history. How did these traditions and communities react to one another? How did they view and treat each in their literature, on the ground, and by the political authorities? In this time of cultural, political and linguistic transition did these movements find a way to get along? If so, how? And where? or Why Not?Join leading international scholars and Macalester faculty and ​students as we discuss this timely and critical topic. Please see the
BYZANTIUM AND EARLY ISLAM program here.  This conference has been made possible through the support of the offices of the President and the Provost of Macalester College, by MESIC, and the departments of Religious Studies, and Classical Mediterranean and Middle East.

We Are Now the Department of the Classical Mediterranean and Middle East!

A name change for our department was approved by the college faculty today, February 13, 2018. We are now
the department of the Classical Mediterranean and Middle East!  This change has been made to better reflect the scope of the department’s work. Please bear with us as we work out the kinks in making changes. For a while at least, our old name will appear in places where we haven’t yet made the change.


Spring 2017 

Student Made Arabic Language Learning Videos
Three students from the Spring 2017 Advanced Arabic Independent Study created a Youtube page where they uploaded videos explaining colloquial Arabic words and phrases in order to prepare students planning to go abroad where Modern Standard Arabic isn’t as common.

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