The department of the Classical Mediterranean and Middle East critically studies the people and societies of the ancient world and the literature and art which we inherit from them. Students examine texts in Arabic, Hebrew, Greek or Latin; reconstruct cities and settlements from Rome to Israel through archaeological and architectural analysis; and engage materials from myth to mosaics—all with a view to assessing the crises, failures and successes of the complex, multicultural worlds of the ancient Mediterranean. As scholars of the classical Mediterranean and Middle East, students interpret evidence in its historical context and develop a deep linguistic, literary, cultural, religious and material knowledge of this region in antiquity. Classics provides a place for the critical analysis of ancient and foreign cultures and how their stories and histories have been received and retold in the shaping of the modern world.
By combining skills, theories and even courses found in the humanities, fine arts, social and natural sciences, Classics offers an outstanding, expansive and interdisciplinary course of study for all liberal arts students. Graduates thus go on to apply their training to a wide variety of endeavors, from the practice of law and medicine, to work in the corporate, governmental or non-profit worlds, to graduate study in fields from Classics and Middle Eastern Studies to Anthropology, Archaeology, Art History, English, History, Museum Studies, and Religion. Above all, Classics helps students enter and engage sympathetically with a worldview different from their own and develop their skills in writing, critical reading, language acquisition, and argumentation.