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Haverford College
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Academic Program: Course and Placement Information for New Students (2014-2015)

The Department of Classics offers two types of courses.

  • courses in Classical Studies (CSTS) on Greco-Roman culture that are taught exclusively in English.
  • courses in Ancient Greek and Latin language and literature (GREK and LATN); see below (III) for information about placement and beginning a language at Haverford

Who should consider taking Greek or Latin?

In addition to students who are interested in Greco-Roman antiquity and the classical tradition, students with interests in Comparative Literature, English, History, Philosophy, and Religion (among other disciplines) may find their studies complemented by learning Greek or Latin.

A year of Greek or Latin does satisfy Haverford's language requirement.

Classics courses are listed in the Course Guide under separate headings: Classics & Classical Studies, Greek, and Latin. Courses of interest can also be found under “Classical Archaeology.”

I. Classical Studies Courses of Interest to First-Year Students

We mention here only the courses most directly relevant to the experience of first-year students.

Courses designed to be introductions to the study of Greco-Roman Antiquity

  • Fall Semester: CSTS 121: Roman Revolution (Roy)
Other courses taught in 2014–2015 open to and appropriate for first-year students

Fall Semester

  • CSTS B205: Greek History (Edmonds)
  • CSTS 221: Roman Novel (Germany)
  • CSTS B237: Underworlds in Virgil and After (Stevens)

Spring Semester

  • CSTS 215: Tales of Troy (Mulligan)
  • CSTS B207: Hellenistic and Roman Republican History (Scott)
  • CSTS B212: Magic in the Greco-Roman World (Edmonds)
  • CSTS B227: Utopia: Good Place or No Place? (Sigelman)
  • CSTS B238: Classical Tradition and Science Fictions (Stevens)

For additional courses on Greco-Roman antiquity, see the departments of Archaeology at Bryn Mawr, Religion at Haverford, and Philosophy at Haverford and Bryn Mawr.

II. Placement Guidelines for Greek and Latin

Most students begin their studies at the Elementary (001–002) or Intermediate (101–102) levels. Because of the varied preparation in languages provided at the secondary level, the Classics department does not give formal placement tests. We offer below general guidelines for Greek and Latin courses, but if students have further questions they should contact Prof. Mulligan before the start of classes. If students are unable to speak with her before classes begin, we recommend that they go to the class for which they feel most qualified (see guidelines below) and speak to the instructor.

Student has…



Little or no previous experience

Should take LATN 001-002 (Elementary Latin), taught by Prof. Roy.

This is a year-long course: the first semester combines an introduction to grammar and syntax with brief readings from ancient authors, and in the second semester the class will finish the basics of the language and read longer selections in prose and poetry. Students may also consider the equivalent course at Bryn Mawr. Because this is, like all elementary language courses, a yearlong course, students should only sign up for it if they plan to take both semesters.

Should normally take GREK 001-002 (Elementary Greek), taught by Prof. Germany.


This is a year-long course; the first semester will combine an  introduction to grammar and syntax with brief readings in prose and poetry, and in the second semester the class will finish learning the basics and read longer texts (including one of Plato’s shorter dialogues). Students may also consider Bryn Mawr’s course in elementary Greek, GREK 010. Because this is, like all elementary language courses, a yearlong course, students should only sign up for it if they plan to take both semesters.

High school background but needs substantial review

May try LATN 101 or Bryn Mawr’s Latin 110 (see below), but might be better served by starting afresh in Latin 001-002. 

Students in this situation should speak with Prof. Mulligan or another member of the department to figure out where they should start; we have scheduled 001 and 101 at the same time, so it is easy to switch as needed.

Strong high school preparation

Should normally take LATN 101: The Language of Love and Hate in the Roman Republic, taught by Prof. Roberts at Haverford or the analogous course at Bryn Mawr, Latin 110.

Latin 101 includes readings in the poems of Catullus and in Cicero’s Pro Caelio, and combines translation with interpretation and consideration of cultural context. Students who have read some Cicero and Catullus in high school shouldn’t assume that this course has nothing to offer them; please encourage them to come to the first class or see Prof. Roberts. LATN 101 may be followed in the spring either by LATN 102: Roman Comedy at Haverford or by the more intensive LATN 112: Horace and Livy at Bryn Mawr.

Should consult with Prof. Germany or Prof. Mulligan as soon as possible.

They may be able to take GREK 101: Introduction to Greek Literature: Herodotus and Greek Lyric (at Bryn Mawr). This course is followed in the spring semester by GREK 102: Homer, taught by Prof. Mulligan.

Exceptionally extensive preparation

In rare cases, students with exceptionally extensive HS preparation (well beyond the levels above) have begun their studies at the 200-level. Students who think they may qualify for this level should consult with Professor Mulligan before attending class.

Starting language in Spring Semester

If students have prior experience with Latin, even if they have not taken a language course in the fall, they may be able to resume their studies in the spring. Students should speak to the instructors as soon as possible:

  • Students with 3+ years of Latin, or more but with a significant hiatus in instruction, should see Professor Roy to discuss taking LATN 002.
  • Students with very strong HS Latin should see Professor Germany to discuss LATN 102.