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Exploring the Classics at Georgetown University

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

A building inside the Georgetown University campus

Exploring the Classics at Georgetown University

In this article, we will explore the Classics program at Georgetown University, its history, as well as its importance in the modern world.

A Brief History of Classics at Georgetown University

Georgetown University’s Classics program has a rich history that dates back to the 19th century. The program was first established in 1792, and since then has undergone numerous changes and developments.

The program continued to expand, and in 1897, the Department of Classics was formally established. Georgetown University has always been a hub for scholarship in ancient languages, and the Classics program has produced many renowned scholars and researchers.

Throughout the 20th century, the Classics program at Georgetown University continued to thrive. In the 1920s, the program saw a surge in interest, with many students enrolling in courses on ancient Greek and Roman literature, history, and philosophy. In the 1960s, the program underwent a major overhaul, with new faculty members joining the department and new courses being added to the curriculum.

Today, the Classics program at Georgetown University remains a vibrant and dynamic part of the university’s academic offerings. The department offers a wide range of courses on ancient languages, literature, history, and culture, and students have the opportunity to study abroad in Rome and Athens.

The program also sponsors a number of lectures, conferences, and other events throughout the year, bringing together scholars and students from around the world to discuss the latest research in the field.

The Role of Classics in Today’s World

The study of Classics is not just about the past, but it also has an important role in shaping the present and the future. Classics provide a unique perspective on human history, culture, and civilization. The study of Classics helps us understand the origins of modern Western culture, including politics, law, and art.

 

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It also sheds light on universal human themes, such as love, war, heroism, and tragedy that are still relevant today. Moreover, the Classics program at Georgetown University provides students with critical thinking skills, problem-solving abilities, and written and verbal communication skills.

Furthermore, the study of Classics can also help us navigate contemporary issues and challenges. By examining the ancient world, we can gain insights into the complexities of our own society and the world at large.

For example, the study of ancient Greek democracy can inform our understanding of modern political systems and the importance of civic engagement. Similarly, the study of ancient Roman engineering and architecture can inspire innovative solutions to modern-day infrastructure problems. In this way, the study of Classics is not only intellectually stimulating but also has practical applications in our daily lives.

Georgetown University’s Classics Program: An Overview

The Classics program at Georgetown University is an interdisciplinary program that offers a wide range of courses in ancient Greek and Roman literature, history, art, philosophy, and language. The program is divided into two tracks: the Classics track and the Classical Studies track.

The Classics track focuses on the study of the ancient Greek and Roman languages, while the Classical Studies track focuses on the culture, history, and literature of the ancient Mediterranean world.

Students in the Classics program at Georgetown University have the opportunity to participate in a variety of extracurricular activities, including the Classics Club and the Latin and Greek Reading Groups.

The Classics Club hosts events such as movie nights, guest lectures, and museum trips, while the Reading Groups provide students with the opportunity to read and discuss ancient texts in their original languages. Additionally, the program offers study abroad opportunities in Greece and Italy, allowing students to immerse themselves in the culture and history of the ancient Mediterranean world.

From Homer to Virgil: A Look at the Curriculum of the Classics Program

The Curriculum of the Classics program at Georgetown University is designed to provide students with a comprehensive understanding of the ancient Greek and Roman cultures. The curriculum includes courses such as “Introduction to Ancient Greece,” “Introduction to Ancient Rome,” “Classical Mythology,” “Ancient Philosophy,” “Roman Law,” and “Latin and Greek Literature.” The program offers majors in classics, classical studies, and Greek and Latin.

Greek language carved in stone

Additionally, the Classics program at Georgetown University also offers opportunities for students to participate in archaeological digs and study abroad programs in Greece and Italy. These hands-on experiences allow students to apply their knowledge of ancient cultures in a practical setting and gain a deeper understanding of the material they are studying. The program also hosts guest lectures and events featuring prominent scholars in the field of Classics, providing students with access to the latest research and developments in the field.

Studying Abroad with Georgetown University’s Classics Program

Georgetown University’s Classics program offers a wide range of study abroad programs that enable students to experience firsthand the ancient Mediterranean world. The Classics program has partnerships with numerous universities worldwide, including universities in Italy, Greece, and Turkey, and provides students with opportunities to study and explore various aspects of ancient culture, history, and literature.

Additionally, the Classics program offers language immersion programs in Latin and ancient Greek, allowing students to develop their language skills and gain a deeper understanding of the literature and culture of the ancient world.

These language programs are taught by experienced instructors and provide students with a supportive and engaging learning environment. Students who participate in these language immersion programs often report significant improvements in their language proficiency and a greater appreciation for the nuances of ancient literature.

The Importance of Latin and Greek in the Modern World

The study of Latin and Greek is not just confined to the ancient world but is also relevant to the modern world. Latin and Greek are the foundation of modern Western languages and have influenced modern fields such as law, medicine, and science. The study of Latin and Greek also provides students with analytical and critical thinking skills, which are essential in many fields.

Furthermore, the study of Latin and Greek can also enhance one’s understanding and appreciation of literature, art, and culture. Many of the greatest works of literature and art were written or created in Latin and Greek, and a knowledge of these languages can provide a deeper understanding of these works. Additionally, the study of Latin and Greek can also provide insight into the history and culture of ancient civilizations, which can help us better understand our own society and world.

How Classics Can Help You Stand Out in Today’s Job Market

The study of Classics at Georgetown University provides students with a unique set of skills that are highly valued in today’s job market. Classics students have excellent communication skills, problem-solving abilities, and critical thinking skills, which are essential for many careers, including law, business, journalism, education, and government.

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Classics students also gain a deep understanding of history, culture, and language, which can be applied to a variety of fields. For example, a knowledge of Latin can be useful in the medical field, as many medical terms are derived from Latin. Additionally, an understanding of ancient Greek culture can be beneficial for those working in the arts or humanities.

Furthermore, studying Classics can provide a unique perspective on contemporary issues. By examining the literature, philosophy, and art of ancient civilizations, students can gain insight into the human experience and the universal themes that connect us all. This perspective can be valuable in any career that involves working with people from diverse backgrounds and cultures.

Life After Graduation: Career Paths for Classics Majors from Georgetown University

The Classics program at Georgetown University provides students with a wide range of career opportunities. The program produces graduates who are highly skilled, knowledgeable, and versatile. Classics majors have pursued careers in many fields, including law, medicine, journalism, education, international relations, and business. The critical thinking and communication skills that Classics majors develop at Georgetown University can prepare them for a successful and fulfilling career.

Additionally, Classics majors from Georgetown University have also found success in the fields of museum curation, archaeology, and cultural heritage preservation. The program offers courses in these areas, providing students with the necessary skills and knowledge to pursue careers in these fields.

Many graduates have gone on to work at prestigious museums and cultural institutions, such as the Smithsonian Institution and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The Classics program at Georgetown University truly prepares students for a diverse range of career paths.

The Connection Between Classics and Other Academic Disciplines

The study of Classics is not limited to the Classics program at Georgetown University, but rather it intersects with many other academic fields. As mentioned earlier, Classics has been the foundation of many modern fields, including law, medicine, and philosophy.

Close up of a woman writing in a notebook.

The study of ancient cultures and languages can also provide insights into other fields, including archaeology, art history, anthropology, and linguistics. The Classics program at Georgetown University encourages interdisciplinary study and provides students with opportunities to explore and connect with other fields.

One of the most interesting intersections between Classics and other academic disciplines is the study of literature. Many of the greatest works of literature in the Western canon are based on or inspired by ancient Greek and Roman texts.

For example, Shakespeare’s plays often draw on themes and characters from ancient Greek and Roman mythology, and many modern novels and films also incorporate elements of these ancient stories.

Another area where Classics intersects with other fields is in the study of religion. Many of the world’s major religions have roots in ancient cultures, and the study of Classics can provide insights into the beliefs and practices of these religions.

Exploring Cultural Diversity Through the Study of Classics at Georgetown University

The study of Classics at Georgetown University is not confined to the Western world but reaches beyond it, exploring cultural diversity and the interaction between cultures. The program offers numerous courses that explore the ancient cultures of Egypt, Mesopotamia, Persia, and India.

The study of Classics also examines the interaction between the ancient Mediterranean world and other cultures, including the African, Asian, and South American cultures. The study of Classics at Georgetown University provides students with a global perspective and opens doors to a wider world.

One of the unique aspects of the Classics program at Georgetown University is its focus on the reception of classical texts and ideas in different cultures throughout history. Students have the opportunity to study how ancient Greek and Roman literature and philosophy were translated, adapted, and reinterpreted in medieval Europe, the Islamic world, and beyond. This approach allows students to see how the Classics have been a source of inspiration and debate across cultures and time periods.

Moreover, the Classics program at Georgetown University encourages students to engage with contemporary issues and debates through the lens of ancient history and culture. For example, courses on ancient slavery, gender and sexuality, and imperialism invite students to reflect on the legacies of these phenomena in the modern world and to consider how the study of Classics can contribute to ongoing discussions about social justice and human rights.

The Future of the Classics Program at Georgetown University

The Classics program at Georgetown University has a bright future, and it is well-positioned to address the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century. The program is continually expanding and developing, offering new courses, study abroad programs, and research projects.

Female student smiling at the camera.

The program also embraces new technology, including online learning and digital humanities. The Classics program at Georgetown University is committed to providing students with a unique and valuable educational experience that prepares them for success in today’s world.

One of the exciting new developments in the Classics program at Georgetown University is the creation of a digital archive of ancient texts and artifacts. This archive will allow students and scholars to access and study primary sources from the ancient world, including manuscripts, inscriptions, and archaeological finds.

The digital archive will also provide new opportunities for research and collaboration, as scholars from around the world can contribute to the project and share their findings. This innovative use of technology is just one example of how the Classics program at Georgetown University is adapting to the changing needs of students and scholars in the 21st century.

Conclusion

The Classics program at Georgetown University offers students a unique insight into the ancient world, as well as valuable skills that are highly valued in today’s job market. The program is committed to providing students with a comprehensive and interdisciplinary education that prepares them for a successful and fulfilling career. The future of the Classics program at Georgetown University is bright, and it is poised to continue its tradition of excellence in scholarship and education.

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