The study of the ancient Greek and Roman worlds—their languages, philosophy, history, literature, and culture—has been the backbone of Western education for nearly 2,000 years.

The immense contribution of these two civilizations to the subsequent development of the Western world has long been recognized. Study in this area is therefore an invaluable part of a well-balanced liberal arts education and reinforces students’ understanding of many other disciplines, including European literature and languages, philosophy, music, law, history of art, drama, and even mathematics and the sciences.

At Marlboro, most of the students who took Greek or Latin were beginners and started off in a small group. The self-selective nature of the courses therefore enabled students to progress largely at their own pace. Even one or two semesters’ work can greatly improve skills in language learning, as well as understanding of the basis of European romance languages and English. In their second year, most students were at the stage where they could tackle unabridged classical authors. Students needed to study both classical languages for at least two years each to graduate with a degree in the field of classics.


Henner Petin