Classics scope note

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classics scope note

Fund 2516

Nora Robins

January 2004


“Greek and Roman Studies focus on the civilizations of the Mediterranean area, the Near East, and Western Europe in ancient and medieval times.
Research in Greek and Roman Studies is based on the many writings and material remains which have survived from ancient times or are even now being discovered. These range from everyday materials and records of human living to classic masterpieces of literature and art.
Areas of study include history, politics, social and economic organization, languages, literature and ideas, religions, art, science and technology.”

The Department of Greek and Roman Studies offers the following degrees


BA in Greek and Roman Studies

BA Honours Major in Greek and Roman Studies

BA in Ancient and Medieval History (offered jointly with the Department of History)

BA Honours in Ancient and Medieval History (offered jointly with the Department of History)

BA Honours Major in Classical and Early Christian Studies (offered jointly with the Department of Religious Studies)

Minor Fields in Greek and Roman Studies; Greek; Latin


MA in Greek and Roman Studies (thesis or course-based)


Greek and Roman studies are based on texts translated into English.

Courses in Latin and Greek teach ancient languages from beginners’ to expert levels.
The Department teaches courses under three titles:
Greek and Roman Studies looks at these civilizations and their interactions with other ancient cultures. This is a long-established field often called “Classics” or “Classical Studies”. The term originally referred to the major writings of the Greek and Roman world. Today, as well as the focus on literature and language and thought of the ancient world, there is a broader focus that includes all aspects of its history and culture.
Ancient and Medieval History looks at the development of Europe and the Mediterranean world from the rise of the Roman Empire to the late Middle Ages. (This program is shared with the Department of History.)
The focus is on the political, economic and social development of the Mediterranean world and western Europe from the 3rd Century BCE to the 15th Century CE, including the rise and fall of the Roman Empire and the formation of modern Europe.
Classical and Early Christian Studies looks at the early history of Christianity and its Judaic and Greco-Roman background. This field focuses on the first eight centuries of Christianity, its origins and Judaic background, the influence of both Judaic and Greco-Roman culture on its development with the political culture in which it became the official religion of the Roman Empire, and the development of the Christian Church and its doctrines.
The field combines study in the Department of Greek and Roman Studies and the Department of Religion.
An essential feature of the Honours Major is its language component which acquaints students with texts in there essential languages: Greek, Latin, and Hebrew.


    Greek literature and language

    Latin literature and language

    Greek history, art, archaeology, society

    Roman history, art, archaeology, society

    Classical mythology

    Early Christianity

    Ancient medicine

    Ancient near East: history, archaeology

Department has particular strengths in the areas of:

Greek and Roman Poetry

Medieval Latin

Cultural and Social history

Hellenistic history

Late Roman history

Greek and Roman material culture

With regard to the “Academic Plan, Update: Prominence & Promise,” Greek and Roman Studies falls into 4 Cultures. 4.3 Language Learning and Literacy. Greek and Roman Studies is part of the Faculty of Humanities. As such, its courses form part of a “liberal education”.


Centre for Research Libraries, Chicago
Numismatics Collection, Nickle Arts Museum (one of the most important in Canada. Consists of over 16,000 items, primarily ancient Greek, Roman and Byzantine coins).
Slide Library, Image Centre: Ancient Cultures Collection; Architecture Collection.


Materials for Greek and Roman Studies are obtained with cooperation with the following funds:
Art: classical art materials that fall into the N-NX classification or that are faculty requests from the Department of Art or Department of Greek & Roman Studies.
Philosophy (some chronological overlap)
Religious Studies (some overlap)
History (does not collect in the geographic area maintained by Greek and Roman Studies)
Note: There are no “written in stone” agreements between Greek and Roman Studies and other funds. Liaison Librarians consult with each other.



Literary texts will be collected in Latin and Greek.
English translations of literary texts will be collected
Translations into languages other than English will be acquired upon request
Critical works and literary histories in English, French, Italian and German will be collected

Scholarly monographs, literary texts, textbooks, conference proceedings, academic journals, grammars, dictionaries, encyclopedias, bibliographies


Subject: ancient world 3rd century BCe to 1500 Century CE.

Publication: current publications; retrospective publications upon request.

Coverage: Greece, Rome, Byzantium, early Mediterranean, Ancient Near East.


Print predominates.

Microform included when relevant.

Electronic access where available.


MacKimmie Library.


As little as possible.

Approval Plan:


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