Classical Civilization

Degree Options: Major, Minor
Locations: Lincoln Center, Rose Hill
Visit the Classics Department

View of the Acropolis - LGFor 2,500 years, ancient Greece and Rome have influenced the world.  

“It is not living that matters, but living rightly.” So said Socrates 2,400 years ago. But he could’ve said it today on the campus of Fordham, where we value knowledge and ethics. In the classics department at Fordham, you explore ideas born in ancient Greece and Rome that have profoundly shaped human history.

The classical civilization major delves into Greek and Roman literature, history, mythology, art, philosophy, religion, and other areas, all taught in English. (You can learn Greek or Latin with us too.) How did Athenian democracy operate—and how was it criticized? What do ancient novels say about love, fate, and death? What was life like for early Christians in the pagan Roman Empire?

But you’ll learn more than the classics. You’ll also study theology, mathematics, languages, and the performing arts through Fordham’s common core curriculum, the centerpiece of our liberal arts education. We want you to excel in your field—and as a human being.

As Socrates put it, “Education is the kindling of a flame, not the filling of a vessel.”  

  • You take 10 courses and three electives in the classical civilization major:

    • two in ancient history
    • two in ancient literature in translation
    • one in ancient art/archaeology
    • one in ancient philosophy/religion

    In your senior year, you develop, research, and write a paper on classical civilization under the direction of a faculty member.


    The Fordham Museum of Greek, Etruscan, and Roman Art houses 260 sublime objects, from funerary vases to the emperor Hadrian’s head (in sculpture form).

    Professional Affiliations

    Fordham faculty have served as officers in the New York Classical Club and are active in the Society for Classical Studies (SCS) and the Classical Association of the Atlantic States (CAAS).

    The department hosts the Classics Club for undergraduates.

    Study Abroad

    Peruse Poetics in the Parthenon. Contemplate Caesar in the Coliseum. Fordham is a contributing member of the Intercollegiate Center for Classical Studies in Rome. Fordham’s International and Study Abroad Program has many other opportunities in Athens, Rome, and many Mediterranean locales.

  • Gender in Greco-Roman Literature
    Athenian Democracy
    Pagans and Christians in the Roman Empire
    Love, Fate, and Death in the Ancient Novel
    Law and Society in Ancient Greece & Rome
    Classical Tradition in Contemporary Fiction and Film

Classical Civilization Degree

Visit the Classics Department