Classical Languages, BA
Classical Languages majors immerse themselves in the world of the ancient Mediterranean.
You will progress toward linguistic proficiency in both Latin and Greek, engaging with the languages through the works of great Greco-Roman writers: Homer, Tacitus, Paul, Sophocles, and Virgil, to name a handful. As the culmination of your study, you will write a senior thesis on either a Latin or Greek author.
Throughout your journey, you will receive highly personalized instruction from our faculty.
Upon successful completion of the Elementary Latin/Greek sequences, you will be able to:
- Engage in simple interactions in Latin and/or ancient Greek;
- Read and understand simple texts with the help of dictionaries and textbook materials;
- Translate simple English sentences into idiomatic Latin and/or Greek;
- Develop a stable understanding of grammar as a vehicle for logic;
- Acquire reliable strategies for approaching sentences in both Latin/Greek and English;
- Begin to develop strategies for sight-reading Latin and/or Greek texts (without the help of dictionaries and textbook materials); and
- Understand the basic cultural, historical, political, philosophical and mythological background of the texts you read.
Upon successful completion of the Intermediate Latin/Greek sequences, you will be able to:
- Engage in more complex interactions in Latin and/or ancient Greek;
- Read relatively complex texts with occasional help from dictionaries and textbook materials;
- Sight-read basic texts;
- Distinguish between writers’ styles and develop specific reading strategies for dealing with each author;
- Translate sentences into idiomatic Latin and/or Greek in a specific writer’s style;
- Appreciate the metric and rhythm of Greek and Roman poetry;
- Discuss the cultural, historical, political, philosophical, and mythological background of the texts you read;
- Understand the logical and rhetorical complexities of ancient texts;
- Appreciate the creative distortions inevitable in translation; and
- Perform basic evaluation of selected official translations from Latin and Greek.
Upper-division courses in Latin and/or Greek hone the intermediate skills you’ve acquired:
- Your reactions to the linguistic aspects of the Latin/Greek text should become more or less automatic;
- You will sight-read most Latin and Greek texts;
- You will be able to read some very difficult texts without losing sight of their non-linguistic dimensions; and
- Your proficiency in analyzing the hidden dimensions of any text – English or ancient – will increase dramatically, along with your expanded vocabulary and interpretive sophistication.
Saint Mary's Testimonials
“SMC is well known for having an excellent student-to-teacher ratio, but beyond that is the quality of the professors. It was because of these professors that I secured a position in my field directly after graduation. This was the result of more than just the skills I was taught, but thanks to my advisor searching and finding field school opportunities specific to me. Without her guidance and support, I wouldn’t be on my current career path.”
Carly Walker '18
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