The study of the ancient Greek and Roman worlds, their languages, philosophy, history, literature and culture, has been the backbone of Western education for nearly 2,000 years. The immense contribution of these two civilizations to the subsequent development of the Western world has long been recognized. Study in this area is therefore an invaluable part of a well-balanced liberal arts education, and will reinforce students’ understanding of many other disciplines, including European literature and languages, philosophy, music, law, history of art, drama and even mathematics and the sciences.

At Marlboro, most of the students who take Greek or Latin are beginners and start off in a small group. The self-selective nature of the courses therefore enables students to progress largely at their own pace. Even one or two semesters’ work can greatly improve skills in language learning, as well as understanding of the basis of European romance languages and English. In their second year, students should be at the stage where they can tackle unabridged classical authors.

No student may graduate with a degree in the field of classics without having studied both classical languages for at least two years each at the college level. Those considering graduate work in classics should note that many graduate programs require more than this minimum, and that a reading knowledge of two modern languages (usually German and French) generally has to be demonstrated within the first two years of a doctoral program in classics.

Areas of Interest for Plan-Level Work:

Specialization depends on the current classics fellow. History, literature, philosophy, religion, theater, art, prose or verse composition, sex and gender, ancient science and medicine and philology are all possible areas.

Sample Tutorial Topics

  • Euripides’Hippolytus: Translations and literary criticisms, as a preliminary to an independent translation project.
  • Cicero’s Letters to Atticus: Compiling an edition of translations, using notes and maps to set them in their historical context.
  • Western Philosophy and Literature: Detailed study to develop skills in both disciplines
  • Plautus’Menaechmi
  • Nero: Individual and Institution in First-Century Rome
  • Origin of the Indo-European –R Ending


(a mostly random selection of Marlboro microdestinations)