|Degree:||Bachelor of Arts (Honours) (BA (Hons))|
What is Classical Languages?
The study of Classical Languages is concerned with the language, literature and thought of either Ancient Greece or Ancient Rome. You will choose to study either Greek or Latin. Through the reading of literature in the original language and the examination of key aspects of ancient history, you will develop a thorough knowledge of the classical world and a critical approach to textual and material culture.
Classical Languages: The course for you?
If you are interested in studying the language, the poetic imagination, the depth of thought and the historical value of one of the civilisations that shaped the Western world, you will enjoy this course.
Do you enjoy:
Classical Languages at Trinity
Greek and Latin have been taught in Trinity since its foundation just over 400 years ago, and Trinity is unique in having professorships in both Greek and Latin. To study Greek and Roman civilisation is to study the roots of western civilisation, the origins of our political and cultural institutions, and to understand how the classical past has profoundly affected ideas and values in the contemporary world. The Department of Classics has a world renowned reputation, and courses are taught by academics at the top of their fields. The course is taught through a mixture of lectures, practical classes and small-group seminars, which encourage lively discussion and the development of independent thinking. It is also possible to study abroad for a semester or a whole year.
The pathways available are Major with Minor and Joint Honors.
Graduate skills and career opportunities
Study of the ancient world develops skills of interpretation and communication that go far beyond a knowledge of books, dates and events; these skills offer positive advantages in the hunt for a job. Recent graduates are working in many fields including the diplomatic service, the civil service, banking and accountancy, business, computers, journalism and broadcasting, law, librarianship, publishing, teaching and theatre. Some graduates opt to pursue an academic career with postgraduate study in Ireland and abroad.
Your degree and what you’ll study
Over the four years you will read texts in a wide variety of genres, including epic, tragedy, comedy, philosophy, oratory and historiography. Whether you are continuing your language studies or taking Greek/Latin as a beginner, you will engage with ancient texts both as literature and as a gateway into the culture and thought of ancient Greece/Rome. Through the critical study of ancient history, myth and religion, you will acquire a comprehensive and interdisciplinary perspective on classical culture. For all of your language-based courses the groups will be small, stimulating lively discussion, analytic skills, and the development of independent thinking.
First and second years
In first year you will be introduced to the critical study of ancient history, culture and literature. The language-based modules you take depend on whether you have studied Greek/Latin before or are taking it up as a beginner. In second year you continue the study of Greek/Latin language, literature and history. Modules are taught by lectures and small-group seminars.
There are six to eight contact hours per week. A combination of end-of-semester examination and continuous assessment (e.g. essays, unseen translations and other language tests, textual commentaries, seminar presentations), and a thesis in the final year forms the assessment.
Ancient Greek/Latin for beginners
Ancient Greek/Latin for non-beginners
Third and fourth years
In third and fourth years you will progress to an in-depth study of topics in Greek/Latin literature, history and culture. You will refine your analysis of texts in their literary and cultural context through more specialised skills and methodologies, such as textual criticism, linguistics and literary theories.
Greek topics may include Greek historians, Greek comedy, Greek lyric poetry, the Greek novel, and Hellenistic poetry. Latin topics may include Augustan poetry, Didactic poetry, Early Latin, Informal Latin and Roman satire. In third year, you will continue to study ancient history, while language labs or a separate advanced language module will assist you in improving your fluency and accuracy in reading and interpretation. In fourth year you may also study a special topic in Classical culture and will write a dissertation on a subject of your choice. The dissertation is an opportunity to do research which will allow you to develop independent ideas and acquire critical skills, while investigating in great depth an area that particularly interests you.
Trinity has strong links with many Classics departments abroad, including active participation in the Erasmus exchange programme. The Department has valuable Erasmus links with the Universities of Cyprus, Udine (Italy), Geneva, Bordeaux and Koç (Turkey). Students are also able to avail of University-wide exchanges, for example, to North America and Australia. These opportunities allow students the option of spending a year or part of a year abroad.