Overview and Contact Information
Latin is alive and well in the many English words that have Latin roots and as the matriarch of the modern Romance languages—Italian, French, Spanish, Portuguese, and Romanian. More important, it lives on in the influence it exerted on countless later writers and thinkers and, of course, in Latin works that modern audiences continue to find relevant. Among the most familiar names in Latin literature are those from its apex in the first century BCE and first century CE. Authors such as Cicero, Caesar, Catullus, Vergil, Horace, Livy, Ovid, and Tacitus mastered the genres of epic, lyric, and elegiac poetry, satire, oratory, and historiography.
The department offers courses in Latin at all levels, with those at the intermediate and advanced levels focusing on many of the authors mentioned above. Students will also find a wide array of courses (in English) approaching the culture and history of Roman antiquity from a variety of perspectives.
While the study of Latin is a foundation stone of the discipline of classics, the Latin major or minor is also excellent preparation for advanced study in English, religion, philosophy, and history. There are also many opportunities for teaching Latin at the middle and high school levels (see below on Teaching Licensure).
In addition to Latin, the department offers majors in classics, Greek, and ancient studies. Classics combines the study of both ancient languages with courses in ancient history, art, philosophy, politics, or religion. Ancient studies approaches Greek and Roman civilizations from an interdisciplinary perspective with less emphasis on the ancient languages. There are also minors related to each of these majors.
The department encourages study abroad. In recent years a number of students in the department have spent part of their junior years at the Intercollegiate Center for Classical Studies (ICCS) in Rome. Some have pursued their studies at Oxford, Saint Andrews, and other institutions in Great Britain. Students who anticipate taking an advanced degree in archaeology, ancient art history, ancient history, or classics can also apply to summer sessions of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens.
This area of study is administered by the Department of Classics and Italian. Advisors for Latin:
Paula Debnar, Professor of Classics on the Alumnae Foundation, Teaching Spring Only
Geoffrey Sumi, Professor of Classics
Bruce Arnold, Associate Professor of Classics
Mark Landon, Visiting Lecturer in Classics
Students interested in pursuing licensure in the fields of Latin and classics can combine their course work in Latin and classics with a minor in education. In some instances course work in the major coincides with course work required for licensure; in other cases, it does not. For specific course requirements for licensure within the majors of Latin and classics, please consult your advisor or the chair of the classics department. Further information about the minor in education and the Teacher Licensure program is available in other sections of the catalog, or consult Ms. Lawrence in the psychology and education department.
Licensure also requires a formal application as well as passing scores on the Massachusetts Test of Educator Licensure (MTEL) in both the literacy component and the subject matter component. Copies of the test objectives for the MTEL are available in the classics department and in the Department of Psychology and Education.
Additional information about the Licensure Program, including application materials, can be found on the Teacher Licensure Program website.