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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
315-859-4286 315-859-4253 bgold@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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Women in the Ancient Mediterranean World 140


An introduction to the roles of women in the ancient world through various sources: history, art and archaeology, law, literature and medicine. Covers the period from Egypt to early and classical Greece and down to the Roman empire, and traces the shifts in attitudes during these periods.

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Atoms, Gods and Monsters: Lucretius and His Legacy 225S


This course investigates the enduring influence of Lucretius’ poetry and philosophy in Western culture and religious thought. Lucretius was a Roman poet whose On the Nature of Things expounds Epicurean physics, cosmology, and ethics. Lucretius teaches that atomistic physics govern the universe and all its phenomena. This radical atheistic materialism challenged the religious, social, and political values of Rome while pushing the boundaries of science and poetry. Lucretius’ controversial influence spans atomic physics to evolutionary biology to Botticelli to Thomas Jefferson to Frankenstein.

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Heroism Ancient and Modern 250S


An examination of ancient and modern views of the hero. Consideration of Homer's Iliad and Odyssey, Vergil's Aeneid, modern works such as Voltaire's Candide and films such as Shane, The Maltese Falcon, Blade Runner, Joan the Maid and the Star Wars series. Oral Presentations.

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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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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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