A student of classics will study the Greek and/or Latin languages while immersing themselves in the many facets of ancient culture. Our emphasis on languages hones analytical skills and brings them to bear upon a critical awareness of our past, thus enriching our understanding of the present.


Why Study Classics at Sewanee?

Sewanee's Department of Classics prepares students to investigate the literature and culture of the Greco-Roman world, enabling them not only to appreciate the texts but also to interrogate them critically. Students take part in a dynamic dialogue whose roots in ancient culture continue to provide a foundation for confronting today's pressing issues.

The department strongly believes that the mastery of Greek and/or Latin provides the best window into the culture and ethos of the ancient world, and consequently each of our majors and minors is built upon this premise. Apart from the intellectual discipline, many students benefit from study of the foundational languages of the legal and medical professions and the hard sciences. The University is a member of the Intercollegiate Center for Classical Studies in Rome, and majors are encouraged to spend a semester studying there.


Sewanee graduates secure positions in a variety of fields. Some you would expect, others are a bit of a surprise. Sewanee prepares you for your profession and your passion. Below is a sampling of recent graduates' first jobs.

  • Assistant tutor coordinator, North Carolina LiteracyCorps, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina.
  • Student Life student coordinator, Savannah College of Art & Design, Atlanta, Georgia.
  • Latin teacher, Montgomery Bell Academy, Nashville, Tennessee.
  • Latin teacher, Jackson Hole Classical Academy, Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
  • Software development advisor, programmer, Dell, Sandy Springs, Georgia.

Sewanee graduates enjoy extraordinary acceptance rates to top graduate and pre-professional programs–about 95 percent to law school and over 85 percent to medical school. Below is a sampling of where Sewanee grads continue their education.

  • M.S. in speech & language pathology, University of Memphis.
  • M.P.T in physical therapy, University of Hartford.
  • Ph.D. in classics and archaeology, University of Texas, Austin.
  • Ph.D. in classical and near Eastern studies, University of Minnesota.

Translation in the Age of #MeToo

Tapped as the first female translator of Ovid's Metamorphoses into English verse, Classics Professor Stephanie McCarter takes a hard look at the way sexual violence has been—and might be—portrayed in translations of the myths.

At nearly 12,000 lines across 15 books, Ovid’s Metamorphoses stands as one of the most influential works of art in Western culture, inspiring future literary heavyweights including Dante, Chaucer, and Shakespeare. Completed around 8 A.D., the epic poem, written in Latin hexameter, traces a theme of transformation—and power—through more than 250 myths. Of these 250 tales, more than 50 depict sexual violence or rape.

Many previous translations have turned a blind eye to or reframed these scenes, positioning them as romantic and even titillating encounters where women are “ravished” or “enjoyed” without their consent. Other translations give a nod to rape but forgo more accurate translation in favor of euphemism, like translator Charles Martin’s “she gives in to him without complaint” or David Raeburn’s “the Sun was allowed to possess her”—each a description of the Sun’s rape of Leucothoe, a young woman caught in the crosshairs of a dispute between gods.

Leucothoe stands at the center of much of McCarter’s early inspiration for this new translation project. Before Penguin Classics approached McCarter, who holds a Ph.D. in classics from the University of Virginia, she found herself troubled by the lack of translations from which she could actually teach.

Read More

A Sampling of Classical Languages Courses


A Sampling of Greek Courses


A Sampling of Latin Courses


Programs of Study & Related Programs

Requirements for the Major & Minor in Classical Languages

Requirements for the Major & Minor in Greek

Requirements for the Minor in Humanities

Requirements for the Major & Minor in Latin

Meet some professors


Daniel Stephen Holmes
Associate Professor and Chair of Classics


Gailor Hall 20, Ext. 1520

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