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Department of Classics

Cornell University Cornell University Cornell Univeristy Department of Classics

Department of Classics

Red-Figure Bell Krater

Red-Figure Bell Krater

Green Glass Bottle

Roman Glass Bottle

Vessel Lid

Lid of an Etruscan cinerary urn


Portrait on a Roman funerary stele


Jupiter and eagle

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Welcome to Cornell Classics

Classics is the interdisciplinary study of the ancient (1700 BCE-600 CE) Greek and Roman civilizations that gave subsequent European culture its distinctive character. The study of Greek and Roman antiquity includes:  Greek and Latin language, literature, and linguistics; ancient philosophy; history; archaeology and art history; papyrology; epigraphy; and numismatics.

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Giving to Classics at Cornell - Giving Day March 25, 2015

Classics: why? A Liberal Arts education develops the ability to think critically, to reason, and to communicate – the basis of life-long success in all careers. It prepares students to challenge the big questions, to go further. The foundation of the liberal arts is Classics. The distilled record – the texts, art and archaeology – we have from over 2000 years from Mycenae and Troy, to the world of Constantinople, through Greece and Rome, combines great thought, wisdom, and beauty. The Classics explore questions and passions common to all humans, offering perspectives and answers of perennial relevance. The study of Greek and Latin, of Classical literature, philosophy, art and archaeology, form the heart of a Liberal Arts education: please help support the future of Classics at Cornell.

To give to Classics on March 25, please click on the Cornell Giving Day logo below, select Arts and Sciences, and then Classics.
A few examples of what your gift could enable:
$100 and upwards – support towards Classics books purchases for the Cornell University Library.
$500 – travel grant to enable a Classics graduate student to participate in a conference.
$1000 – prize for best undergraduate paper in Classics course.
$2000 – support for undergraduate research in Classics.
$5000 – travel scholarship to enable 1 student to participate either in summer language training, or an archaeological field project in the Mediterranean, or ancient art trip.
$12,500 – support a Teaching Assistant to make 1 of our undergraduate Classics classes even better.
$20,000  – provide major support for 1 year of the Classics Department’s archaeological field project in Cyprus giving Cornell students a unique hands-on experience.
$65,000 – support 1 year of a Senior Lecturer to teach introductory intensive Latin and Greek to undergraduates.

Recent Publications

Rebillard - Transformation Book

Transformations of Religious Practices in Late Antiquity
Eric Rebillard

The eighteen papers collected in this volume - fifteen of which are published in English for the first time - explore the transformations of religious practices between the third and the fifth centuries in the Western part of the Roman Empire. They share an approach that privileges the study of processes and interactions and does not take for granted the categories and roles traditionally ascribed to social actors. A first group of papers focuses on the sermons and letters of Augustine of Hippo. These texts are precious evidence for balancing the clerical perspective that characterizes most of our sources and can thus shed a different light on the problem of Christianization. The second group collects papers that propose to shift attention from the construction of heresies to that of orthodoxy through the case-study of the controversy of Augustine against Pelagius and Julian of Eclanum. A last group present studies that look at the complex relation between burial and religion, with a particular focus on the role played by the church in the organization of the burial of Christians in Late Antiquity.

Olin Library is maintaining a list of resources for Classics.

Program Spotlight

Project ArAGATS


Project ArAGATS is a collaborative American-Armenian research initiative that has been conducting archaeological investigations in the environs of Mt. Aragats, in central Armenia, since 1998.