Greek & Latin

The study of Greek and Latin language is an important component of the major in classical and medieval studies.

Ancient languages are the royal road to a complicated and vital past which, for better or worse, still haunts our present. In addition, the study of Greek and Latin language has practical and professional benefits. Graduate programs in English and modern languages, for example, frequently require reading knowledge of either Greek or Latin, and professional programs in law and medicine often favor applicants who have studied an ancient language. Studying either Greek or Latin not only offers insight into English vocabulary but also leads to understanding how languages work and hence to improving one’s own writing skills and logical thinking.

Courses at the 200 and 300 levels have been created for second-, third-, and fourth-year students. Students who have had only one year of college-level Greek or Latin at Bates or the equivalent at another institution should register for the 200-level course. All other students should register for the 300-level course. During some semesters, second-year students may meet separately from upper-division students. In other semesters, students meet collectively for two of three classes per week and divide into smaller groups to accommodate their individual needs. All courses focus on improving language skills (developing vocabulary, increasing reading comprehension, and learning meter if appropriate) as well as exploring the historical context of the author(s) studied.