The Department of Classical Studies at Duke studies the languages, literatures, material culture, and histories of the Greek, Roman, and late antique pasts. Students develop broad knowledge of these classical pasts while cultivating cross-cultural fluency and the intellectual skills and methodological strategies of critical inquiry central to this inherently inter-disciplinary field. Classical Studies encourages serious engagement with the complexity of the past and evaluation of its place in the present. The requirements of the two majors convey the disciplinary coherence of the field, yet are flexible enough to allow students to develop their own interests as they progress through their course of study.
The requirements of the two majors convey the disciplinary coherence of the field, yet are flexible enough to allow students to develop their own interests as they progress through their course of study.
Classical Studies majors are designed to:
- (a) cultivate cross-cultural fluency by study of the languages, literatures, material culture, and history of Greco-Roman antiquity, from the Bronze Age through the Middle Ages, seeking to understand them in their Mediterranean, European, and Near Eastern contexts;
- (b) engage students in close reading and detailed, contextual analysis of the texts and the material and visual culture of classical antiquity, skills that are not only essential to the field, but prepare students for a wide range of vocations (law, medicine, finance, and others), including graduate study and careers in academic research and teaching;
- (c) foster serious engagement with the complexity of the classical pasts and, by extension, of other times and places, by familiarizing students with the history, methodologies, theory, and practice of the discipline. By studying the legacy of ancient ideas, ethics, and ideologies, the CLST majors promote an appreciation of their impact on contemporary society and stimulate critical reflection on the present.