Welcome from the Chair

While the Department of the Classics at Harvard retains its traditional emphasis on the study of the languages and literatures of the Greeks and Romans, we are driven by a conception of Classics as an interdisciplinary field that benefits from a variety of methods and approaches. In keeping with this vision, the research interests of our faculty span a wide range, including archaeology, art, history, language, linguistics, literature, philosophy, reception studies, and science. We believe that the monuments of Greek and Roman civilization—whether textual or material, conceptual or tangible—are worthy of study in their own right; but we also believe that a deep familiarity with that legacy is vital, if we are to understand the world in which we live.

Undergraduates who study Classics at Harvard become familiar with at least one of the ancient languages, and they learn how to handle complex evidence, while acquiring an appreciation for key aspects of the cultural legacy of two civilizations that have played a crucial role in shaping the modern world. Our concentrators pursue highly successful careers in fields as diverse as medicine, law, business, journalism, film, publishing, and landscape design—the list is almost endless. Graduate students join a cohort of approximately five each year, and are encouraged to pursue a broad range of interests in connection with other programs and departments, while deepening their mastery of Greek and Latin and the world in which those languages were the currency of thought.

I hope that you will browse the pages on this site to learn more about our students, our faculty, our current events, and our academic programs. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me or any of my colleagues. We look forward to hearing from you!

Kathleen M. Coleman