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Chair of Classics
2 East South Street
Galesburg, IL 61401-4999
Classical Languages Major
Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies Major, Minor
1. We believe there’s much more to classical study than Plato and Cicero.
Traditionally, “classics” in a college setting has meant fifth-century Athens and first-century Rome. But this nomenclature not only excludes the many other cultures with “classical” periods; it also shortchanges the political, cultural, and social interaction among Athens, Rome, and other communities around the Mediterranean and beyond. At Knox, our focus is broader, both geographically and temporally. We consider the entire ancient Mediterranean, as well as the lasting impact of its cultures over time.
2. You can become proficient in Latin or ancient Greek within a year of study ...
Students in the Classical Languages track focus on intensive language study during their first year of course work in preparation for reading and interpreting authentic texts for the remainder of the program. It’s different from learning a modern language. The focus is on linguistic structure and vocabulary rather than person-to-person communication. It’s nonetheless a great preparation for future study in linguistics and can certainly make it easier to learn other modern languages.
3. … but you don’t have to master an ancient language to be successful in this field.
In fact, the only real prerequisite is a genuine interest in the ancient world. In the Ancient Mediterranean Studies track, after some introductory language course work, most courses feature texts in English translation. It’s an immersion into the breadth of ancient culture—history, art, philosophy, politics, and literature—that helps students better understand the world we live in today.
4. There are more options available to our graduates than academia or teaching high school Latin.
Of course, our degrees are excellent preparation for a career in academia, as well as law school or medical school. Beyond the pleasure of mastering an intellectually challenging and endlessly fascinating discipline, though, our graduates develop exceptional writing and communication skills, a facility for intensive critical analysis, and a perspective that encompasses millennia, rather than just the latest tweet.
Students in Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies have access to the Perseus database of Greek texts and visual images; searchable databases of the entire body of Greek (TLG) and Latin (PHI) literature; the Loeb Classical Library of ancient literature; and L'Annee Philologique, the standard bibliographic index of publications in classics.