Skip to Content

Search: {{$root.lsaSearchQuery.q}}, Page {{$}}

Ancient Greek

The major in ancient Greek allows students to pursue their own interests within a wide range of Greek literature, which extends from the Homeric epics to the Byzantine era and includes the archaic, classical, and Hellenistic periods as well as the Koinê Greek of the New Testament. Students begin with Attic Greek, the language of “golden age” (fifth-century B.C.E.) Athens. The Greek language of that time and place represents a cultural and linguistic central point from which students can go on to read works in all genres, including philosophy, oratory, epic, lyric, history, tragedy, comedy, and biblical Greek.

In addition to the learning goals for all majors, each of the three language tracks asks students to:

  • attain a sophisticated understanding of the ancient language(s) and a deepened understanding of how language constructs meaning
  • attain a deep familiarity with foundational literary works and genres through close reading and critical analysis of the content and structure of texts in the original language(s)
  • understand the ancient language(s) as the source for the terminology of medicine, law, and the sciences
  • understand the wide-ranging influence of classical literature from antiquity to the modern era on cultural and creative enterprise
  • draw on the rhetorical and narrative strategies of classical literature to strengthen and refine skills in writing clearly and persuasively


Greek 102 or placement examination

Requirements (Minimum Credits for Major: 24)
Minimum of eight courses (at least three credits each) including:

  • Six courses in Greek at the 300-level or above (at least four of these must be 400-level or above, usually including 401 and 402).
  • One introductory course selected from CLARCH 221 or HISTORY 200.
  • At least one upper-level (300- or 400-level) course in Greek civilization, archaeology or history. Minimum of 3 credits.

Three credits of independent study (Greek 499) may be used with written approval of the department advisor.  

Honors Major
In addition to the major's requirements stated above, Honors candidates must take one course, at or above the 450-level, in Greek. Honors students receive six credits during their senior year for researching and writing an Honors thesis (Greek 495); this thesis must be based upon texts in the original ancient languages; the thesis should be a minimum of 40 pages in length. Candidates must offer an oral defense of this work, in a form to be agreed upon with their thesis advisor. Interested students who have a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.5 should contact their major advisor no later than the winter term of their junior year at the latest. For further information please see the Senior Honors Thesis section.

Minor: Language, Literature and Culture of Ancient Greece

Prerequisites to the Greek minor

  • Greek 301 or equivalent, as determined by the departmental placement examination.

Requirements for the Greek minor
At least 16 credits of courses chosen from the following three groups

  • At least two upper-level courses in Greek language and literature.
  • At least one broad introductory course in Greek civilization (Classical Civilization 101), Greek archaeology (Classical Archaeology 221), or Greek History (History 200).
  • At least one upper level (300 or 400-level) in Greek civilization, archaeology, or history.

Download the Checklist for your major or minor!