One of the enduring gifts of studying the classics, beyond the acquisition of important academic skills such as memorization and grammar, is that it exposes students to the rich variety of ideas and perspectives that informed much of western thought, literature and history. By understanding where we came from, and by shedding critical light on past achievements, assumptions and mistakes, students of the classics gain a unique perspective on where we have been, where we are and where we might be headed.
The Classics Department offers courses emphasizing the culture and history of antiquity as seen through the archaeological and written remains of ancient Greece and Rome. Beginning coursework uses a readerly approach to learning the language and introduces students from the beginning to the genres of history, poetry, oratory, and philosophy in Latin and Greek.
St. Mark’s offers a special Classics Diploma to qualified students. To earn this diploma, a student must complete three years of one classical language and two years of the other, complete a final senior project of their choice and travel to Italy during March break.
The purpose of the tour to Italy is to help our students expand their literary study of the classical world by to include the material artifacts of classical culture provided by ancient sites and museums. On the trip students learn how to appreciate and analyze artifacts, architecture, city plans and monuments and in doing so deepen and enrich their understanding of Ancient Greek and Roman history and culture. Students at all levels, from Latin I - Advanced Topics, have a relevant literary background that would support the intended purpose of the trip. Although the study tour is intended for students pursuing the Classical Diploma program and priority will be given to those students in the program who apply for the trip, other students who are interested in Classics may also apply.