at  Saint Anselm College
John Sandys, years ago, defined Classics as “the accurate study of the language, literature, and art of Greece and Rome, and of all that they teach us as to the nature and history of man”. This definition is a good one and it is reflected in the various avenues of study in the Department of Classics at Saint Anselm College: philology (the study of the languages), ancient history, archaeology, ancient philosophy and the classical tradition. Because of the nature of the evidence that survives from the classical world, no aspect of the field can be attempted without a deep awareness of the other branches. Ours is a 2500-year-old discipline; at its heart has always been the study and teaching of the languages and literatures. Indeed as Max Müller eloquently put it the generation before Sandys, “The classical scholar uses Greek or Latin…as a key to the understanding of the literary monuments which bygone ages have bequeathed to us, as a spell to raise from the tomb of time the thoughts of great men in different ages and different countries, and as a means ultimately to trace the social, moral, intellectual, and religious progress of the human race…”
It is this teaching and study of the languages and the literatures that the Department of Classics is primarily about at Saint Anselm College. Our majors learn to read Greek and Latin well. In addition we also offer courses in Archaeology, aspects of Classical Civilizations as well as courses in Mythology to round out their education in Classics.
Why Classics?
Courses in the Classics place students in direct contact with the major sources of Western civilization, both Christian and non-Christian.
In addition to mastering the classical languages, the close attention given to Greek and Latin texts develops in the Classics major an ability to think critically, examine and weigh words carefully, and communicate effectively.
The department, by teaching these universally recognized skills, and transmitting our Graeco-Roman heritage, seeks to prepare its students for careers in both academic and non-academic professions.
Our graduates often pursue advanced degrees in Classics, Ancient History or Archaeology, some go on to related fields in the liberal arts, or attend professional schools in law or medicine. Others have gone on directly to teach Latin in secondary schools, as well as to careers in government, modeling, banking, social work, programming and software development, to name a few.