Sewanee’s Department of Classics prepares students to investigate the literature and culture of the Greco-Roman world, enabling them not only to understand and to appreciate foundational texts and ideas but also to interrogate them critically and to continue a dialogue set in motion millennia ago. We aim to develop our students' spirit of inquiry so that they can more fully evaluate how key concepts such as justice, truth, and integrity are formulated both by the ancients and by those who live today. The Department strongly believes that the mastery of Greek and/or Latin provides the best window into 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.
Students read ancient authors and modern works bearing on the languages, literatures, and civilizations of ancient Greece and Rome and are tested on those readings during the comprehensive examination.
The University is a member of the Intercollegiate Center for Classical Studies in Rome, and majors are encouraged to spend a semester studying there.