Study of classical Greek opens up exciting vistas of discovery on the ancient Mediterranean world. Within just three semesters, students can begin to read the works of Homer, Sappho, Plato and much else in their original form. Our earliest works of tragic drama were composed in Greek, as were influential works from antiquity in the areas of philosophy, rhetoric, history, political thought and the sciences. With the spread of Greek culture in the era of Alexander the Great, Greek became the language of administration and intellectual life in communities across the Aegean world and much of the Near East; for instance, in Jewish literature of the second temple period and much early Christian thought.
Study of Greek and Latin in each case provides valuable tools for understanding languages generally, with benefit both for learning new foreign languages and for deepening understanding of one’s own language with improved clarity and precision.
Students learn to read texts closely and analytically, and to situate them culturally and historically. Attention to the rhetorical and aesthetic features of texts helps students to develop written and oral communication ability, and study of the languages generally helps students to cultivate tools of critical thought and problem-solving skills. Students with knowledge of Greek and Latin also have been shown to perform exceptionally well on graduate entrance exams such as the LSAT and GRE.
Under Rome’s streets are layer upon layer of history, and on its streets are the commerce and traffic of a modern European capital. Few cities in the world span an arc of history as lengthy, and fewer still have melded the past and present as effectively.
ICCS welcomes about 35 students per semester to immerse themselves in Greek and Latin literature as well as in ancient history, archaeology and art. Read about one USC student’s experience here.
For more information, contact the Classical Greek Language Director, Lucas Matthew Herchenroeder at firstname.lastname@example.org