Classics, the study of the civilizations of the ancient Greeks and Romans, includes components such as classical art, literature, mythology, religion, philosophy, history, archaeology, and the Greek and Latin languages.
Classics at Canisius
Classics has always been an integral part of liberal arts education in general and of Jesuit education in particular. Classical art, literature, mythology, religion, philosophy, history, archaeology, and the Greek and Latin languages are some of the major components of the discipline.
The intrinsic interest, timeless value and immense influence of its subject matter, together with the precision of thought and clarity of expression fostered through the study of Greek and Latin, have earned international respect for Classics. The acceptance rate of Classics students into a variety of graduate programs and into schools of law and medicine consistently ranks very high. Many professions also prize the combination of skills, intelligence, and discipline identified with Classics.
Students interested in exploring Classics at Canisius may do so in several ways.
Students may major in Classics. The department offers two tracks within the major:
- Greek and Hellenic Studies
- Latin and Roman Studies
Students may minor in Classics. The department offers two minor programs:
- Departmental Classics Minor
- Interdepartmental Classics Minor
Students interested in either of the Classics minors should consult with the department chair for further details.
Any student may choose Classics courses as electives or to satisfy requirements of the core curriculum, for example:
Field 1: courses in Greek and Roman religious experience;
Field 2: a course in Greek thought and courses in which Greek and Roman philosophical texts are studied in the original;
Field 3: courses dealing with classical literature, drama, and myth in English translation and courses in which Greek and Latin literary texts are studied in the original;
Field 4: courses in Greek and Roman history and courses in which Greek and Roman historians and historical evidence are studied in the original;
Field 5: a course on Roman law and society.
Various Classics courses also fulfill the Ethics, Global Awareness, Justice, or Oral Communication attribute requirements of the core.
Department Mission Statement
The Greek word paideia has a range of meaning encompassing culture, education, and literature. When the Romans translated this complex Greek term into Latin, they chose their word humanitas. The Classics Department at Canisius College strives to make accessible to as many of our students as possible all the manifestations of the paideia and humanitas of ancient Greece and Rome.
The Classics Department attempts to realize this goal while maintaining the high level of intellectual integrity and pedagogical rigor traditionally associated with the discipline of classics. Because Christianity and, to a lesser but still important degree, Islam and Judaism are products of classical antiquity, and because this is no less true of much of contemporary philosophy, political thought and action, and artistic and literary theory and practice, the Classics Department considers this mission as one vital to the achievement of the values-oriented tenets of the mission statement of Canisius College itself.
Student Learning Goals
Classics majors and minors will:
Goal 1: Demonstrate an understanding of the fundamental grammar and syntax of either Greek or Latin or of both languages necessary to translate ancient texts with the aid of a dictionary and grammar.
Goal 2: Demonstrate an understanding of the complex relationships between religion, language, literature, philosophy, art and social structures.
Goal 3: Demonstrate an understanding of the historical dimension of the human condition.
Goal 4: Demonstrate an appreciation of the legacy of classical antiquity.