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Classics Major

Study the ancient Mediterranean world and its languages across disciplines, gaining insights into the origins of religion, urban life and Western and Near Eastern thought.

The ancient Mediterranean world—including Greece, Rome, the Near East and North Africa—is the territory of classicists, who are trained in ancient languages, history, archaeology, religion, philosophy, and textual and literary criticism. Ancient Greek and Latin are the foundation for an education in the classics, with the languages providing classics majors and minors a nuanced understanding of the origins of Western and Near Eastern thought, literature and other disciplines. Classics majors have the option of focusing on classical languages and literatures or classical studies, which offers a choice of your field of emphasis. You are encouraged to study abroad in Athens or Rome.

Looking Ahead to Fall 2020 with Prof. Benjamin Keim
Poring over a Latin text in Professor Ken Wolf’s class
Poring over a Latin text in Professor Ken Wolf’s class
In class with Professor Ken Wolf
In class with Professor Ken Wolf
Greek class with Professor Benjamin Keim
Greek class with Professor Benjamin Keim

What You’ll Study

    • ​Ancient Greek and Latin
    • Mythology and classical literature
    • History and philosophy
    • Political theory and religion
    • Classical civilization
Three classical languages are taught at The Claremont Colleges: Greek, Hebrew and Latin.

Learning at Pomona

Michael Phelps Beam

“Falernian Wine: Fame, Symbolism, and Contested Histories”

Michael Phelps Beam ’15 wrote a history of the Roman world’s most famous wine—approaching it from economic, symbolic, viticultural and literary angles.

Phoebe Thompson Headshot

"Human Ecological Modeling in Sardinia: The Process of Ancient Colonial Site Selection"

Using the free distribution model of human behavioral ecology, Phoebe Thompson ’20 is analyzing an ancient settlement in Sardinia, ranging from the early Prehistoric to the Roman era.

Phoebe Thompson Headshot
Phoebe Thompson '20

“Studying classics is great because it is an opportunity to focus in so closely on such a fascinating time period, while still have the chance to explore a number of disciplines, such as history, language, philosophy, archaeology and many more. Classics truly is a liberal arts major. ”

Faculty & Teaching

The intercollegiate Classics professors bring students a broad spectrum of expertise on the ancient Greco-Roman world. Their courses range from Gods, Humans and Justice in Ancient Greece to The Ancient World in Film. The classics faculty offer a rigorous examination of a time period that has resonance today.

Professor Christopher Chinn

“Classics is interdisciplinary and constitutes what we mean today by a liberal arts curriculum: The subjects and techniques considered essential for the education of a ‘free person’ (liber) expected to participate in governance. Classics is the study of the past that has deep relevance for the experience of the present.”