Why Study Latin and Greek?
- Studying Latin or ancient Greek helps with English vocabulary, as many words derive from Latin and Greek, especially specialized terminology like legal, medical, scientific and technical terms.
- It also improves knowledge of English grammar and sentence structure.
- Latin helps in learning Romance languages, including Spanish, French and Italian.
- Learning either language improves memory, logic and attention to detail, as well as critical reasoning and analytical skills.
- Studying the classical languages gives you the ability to read and enjoy ancient authors and literature in the original languages: in ancient Greek – Homer, Euripides, Thucydides, Plato and the New Testament; in Latin – Cicero, Caesar, Catullus, Vergil, Ovid, Augustine and the Vulgate.
Why Study Classical Antiquity?
- Democracy, philosophy, drama, history, geography, mathematics and science all have their roots in ancient Greece.
- Roman ideas, symbols, culture and institutions, from laws to government to architecture, influenced the Founding Fathers of the United States.
- Figures from and references to classical mythology appear in literature, theater, art, music, advertising, film and TV.
- Gain a general cultural appreciation of the classical Mediterranean world via exposure to Greek and Roman history, culture, literature, art, philosophy and religion.
- Classics courses complement courses in English, history, philosophy, religion and art history.
Need more reasons? See Classical Studies in the 21st Century.
The Classics Minor
We offer coursework in both ancient languages, Latin (FLLN) and classical Greek (FLGK), from the introductory sequences through upper level reading courses.
We also offer courses on Greek and Roman literature and culture (taught in English), with topics ranging from classical mythology (FLGK 2200) to representations of ancient Greece and Rome in film and television (FLGK 3510, FLLN 3510).
A minor in Classics requires 15 hours, which includes two FLGK or FLLN 2000/3000 level courses (one of which must be in Greek or Latin itself) and three additional courses. You may also fulfill the minor requirements with courses offered in art, history and philosophy.
- FLLN 1010/1020: Elementary Latin I & II
- FLLN 1013/1023: Elementary Latin I & II (online)
- FLGK 1010/1020: Elementary Classical Greek I & II
- FLLN 2010/2020: Intermediate Latin I & II
- FLGK 2010/2020: Intermediate Classical Greek I & II
- FLGK 2200: Classical Mythology (in English)
- FLLN 3110: Latin Literature*
- FLGK 3110: Greek Literature*
- FLLN 3510: Roman Literature & Culture in Translation: Roman Film; Roman Women*
- FLGK 3510: Classical Greek Literature & Culture in Translation: Greek Film; Trojan War*
- FLLN 3930: Directed Studies in Latin Literature*
- FLGK 3930: Directed Studies in Greek Literature*
*May be repeated for up to 6 hours credit with change of topic.
Additional courses related to classical antiquity are offered through the Departments of Art and Art History, Philosophy and History. For more information, see the Auburn Bulletin.
Latin (FLLN) Placement Information
Since there is no placement test for Latin and not all levels are offered each year, here are some guidelines for determining what level to take if you've had middle and/or high school Latin.
- FLLN 1010/1013 is intended for students with little or no Latin background.
- If you have two years of high school Latin, you can place into FLLN 1020/1023. If it has been several years since taking Latin, or you need only one semester of a foreign language, you should take FLLN 1010/1013.
- If you have three years of high school Latin, you can place into either FLLN 1020/1023 or FLLN 2010, depending on your comfort level with major grammatical topics and what is offered when.
- If you have four or more years of Latin, you should place into FLLN 2010.
Placing into a level higher than 1010 will give you AP credit for the courses you are skipping; for example, if you place into FLLN 1020/1023, you would receive 8 credit hours and would finish a one-year language requirement in one semester.
If you enjoyed Latin but do not want to continue, consider taking Classical Greek (FLGK 1010/1020). This is what the Athenians would have written and spoken in the 5th and 4th centuries B.C. It is very easy to go from Classical to Koine for reading the New Testament.
Do you know these famous people? They studied Classics, too!
- Toni Morrison, Nobel Prize winning author
- Ted Turner, founder of CNN
- Chris Martin, singer/musician
- James Baker, former U.S. Secretary of State
- W.E.B. DuBois, sociologist and co-founder, NAACP
- Sigmund Freud, psychoanalysis pioneer
- J.R.R. Tolkien, author
- Vince Lombardi, football coach
- Oscar Wilde, author/poet/playwright
- William Cohen, former U.S. Secretary of Defense
- Tom Hiddleston, actor
- J.K. Rowling, author
- Charles Geschke, co-founder Adobe systems
- Thomas Jefferson, 3rd U.S. president
- Martha Kearney, BBC Radio presenter
- Daniel Levin, author
- C.S. Lewis, author
- Karl Marx, philosopher/socialist
- Jerry Brown, former governor of California
- Friedrich Nietzsche, philosopher
- Nick Owen, BBC broadcaster
- Norman Clyde, mountaineer