Explore our Curriculum

Classics

Classics is a unique, interdisciplinary endeavor dedicated to the study of all aspects of the Greek and Roman world. It incorporates study of the language, history, and culture of a vast array of peoples from parts of Africa, Europe, and the Middle East. Given this geographical breadth and diversity, Classics involves the study of stories and histories that reflect every aspect of the human experience and condition.
 
At Groton, students begin their study of Latin and Greek at the intersection of mythology, history, and grammar.  The Classics faculty take great care to provide compelling and interesting texts that promote acquisition, understanding, and discourse at all levels of language study—from beginner to advanced.
 
Latin and Greek serve as the foundation of many languages, including English, and are useful aids for learning and appreciating them. At the same time, the development of vigorous critical and computational thinking skills, along with the honing of analytical and communication skills, underpins our study of Latin and Greek. This type of intellectual training enhances not only the development of language skills, but also the ability to analyze texts and grapple with timeless, human questions. The study of Latin and Greek provides a perspective into many different cultures and prepares students for all manners and modes of learning and problem-solving, both at Groton and beyond.
 
NOTE:  Students who begin a classical language must complete at least two years of that language. In particular, students who begin the study of Greek as Upper Schoolers should plan their future schedule of courses accordingly.
  • AP Latin (Y)

    In this course, students read selections from Books 1, 2, 4 and 6 of Vergil's Aeneid and from Books 1, 4, 5 and 6 of Caesar's Gallic Wars, as required for the Advanced Placement Examination. In addition to translating, discussing and analyzing these passages, students also read in English Books 1, 2, 4, 6, 8 and 12 of the Aeneid and Books 1, 6 and 7 of Caesar's Gallic Wars. This course is designated as an Advanced Placement course and thus a full-year commitment for all students.
  • Archaeology of Greece (W)

    Open to Sixth Formers. Greek Archaeology is the study of the architecture, sculpture, and painting of Ancient Greece. The principal text used will be W. Biers, The Archaeology of Greece. Classes will combine illustrated lectures with oral presentations by each student, who will be asked to pursue one or two topics in greater depth in research papers. Enrollment limited to six students.
  • Archaeology of the Aegean (F)

    Open to Sixth Formers. This course is an introduction to the archaeological method, followed by the study of early Greece and Crete. Sites studied will include Troy, Knossos, Mycenae, and Pylos.  The principal text used will be Hitchcock and Preziosi, Archaeology of the Aegean. Classes will combine illustrated lectures with oral presentations by each student, who will also be asked to pursue one or two topics in greater depth in research papers. Enrollment limited to six students.
  • Art and Archaeology of the Roman Empire (S)

    Open to Sixth and Fifth Formers. Roman civilization has provided the cultural basis for much of the Western artistic and architectural tradition, and evidence for its influence is even found in early Islamic buildings and art. The class will follow the development of Roman art and architecture from its beginnings in Etruria into Late Antiquity and the Islamic period, using archaeological evidence from Rome itself and its Empire. After a study of material from Rome and other Italian sites such as Pompeii, the class will look at Roman art and architecture in Europe (Provence), North Africa (Carthage, Leptis Magna), Egypt (Alexandria), and the eastern Mediterranean (Petra, Palmyra), followed by a consideration of Roman influence on late antique art and architecture (Antioch, Constantinople, Ravenna). The course will conclude with a brief overview of the classical legacy in early Islamic art and architecture (Jerusalem, Damascus). Students will give oral presentations on particular topics, with three formal essays involving archaeological research submitted over the term. Enrollment is limited to 10 students.
  • Greek 1 (Y)

    The Greek 1 curriculum is designed to cover most of the essential grammar and basic syntax of the language within a year, along with vocabulary-building and practice in reading.
  • Greek 2 (Y)

    In Greek 2 students review and expand upon the grammar and syntax they studied during the first year through the close reading of Greek literature. Readings include selections from Xenophon’s Anabasis in the first half of the year followed by selections from Homer’s Iliad.  
  • Greek 3 (Y)

    Greek 3 is a reading course. In recent years works read have included Sophocles’ Antigone and Oedipus Rex, Plato’s Apology and Phaedo and selections from Homer’s Odyssey. Readings may vary from year to year and are chosen at the discretion of the instructor and Classics Department.
  • Greek 5 (F)

    Readings are chosen by the instructor.
  • Greek 6 (F)

    Readings are chosen by the instructor.
  • Latin 1 (Y)

    The Latin 1 curriculum covers the essential grammar and basic syntax of the language within a year. On a daily basis, students translate practice sentences and longer, narrative passages designed to reinforce grammatical topics and to help develop fluency in the language. Discussion of various topics associated with these readings serves to expand the students’ awareness of a wide range of Roman realities.
  • Latin 2 (Y)

    Latin 2 begins with a quick, thorough review of the essential grammar and syntax covered during the first year of study. In conjunction with this review, students also translate Latin from the Libellus, an episodic survey of Roman history featuring adapted excerpts from Livy and other Roman historians, before moving on to selections from Caesar’s Gallic Wars in the Spring Term. This course aims to make students proficient readers of Latin while providing a good overview of Roman history.  
  • Latin 3 (Y)

    Latin 3 aims to develop further students’ proficiency in the language while introducing them to representative works of Latin prose and poetry. Students study prose in the first half of the year, typically selections from the works of Cicero, and poetry in the second half of the year with selections from Vergil’s Aeneid.
  • Latin 4 (Y)

    Latin 4 offers students the opportunity to continue to read, analyze, and discuss representative works of Latin prose and poetry. In recent years this course has focused on selections from a range of Roman authors including Ovid's Metamorphoses, Catullus' Carmina, Horace's Odes and Vergil's Aeneid. Readings may vary from year to year and are chosen at the discretion of the instructor and the Classics Department. Sixth Formers take this course on a term-by-term basis.
     
  • Latin 5 (F)

    The literature studied in Latin 5 may vary at the discretion of the instructor and Classics Department. In recent years, course topics have included the lyric poetry of Catullus and Horace, the philosophical writings of Cicero, the didactic poetry of Lucretius, comedies of Plautus, and selections from the works of Ovid, Seneca, Apuleius and other Latin authors.
    These courses are offered on a term-by-term basis to Sixth Formers; all others must elect Latin 5 for the full year.
  • Latin 5 (W)

    The literature studied in Latin 5 may vary at the discretion of the instructor and Classics Department. In recent years, course topics have included the lyric poetry of Catullus and Horace, the philosophical writings of Cicero, the didactic poetry of Lucretius, comedies of Plautus, and selections from the works of Ovid, Seneca, Apuleius and other Latin authors.
    These courses are offered on a term-by-term basis to Sixth Formers; all others must elect Latin 5 for the full year.
  • Latin 6 (F)

    Readings are chosen by the instructor.

Our Faculty

  • Photo of David Giampetruzzi
    David Giampetruzzi
    Classics Department Head, Sherrard Billings Chair of Classics
    978-448-7711
    Bio
  • Photo of Mary Frances Bannard
    Mary Frances Bannard
    Dorm Head
    978-448-7312
    Bio
  • Photo of Preston Bannard
    Preston Bannard
    978-448-7312
    Bio
  • Photo of Katherine Dennison
    Katherine Dennison
    Academic Support Services
    978-448-7576
    Bio
  • Photo of Amy Martin-Nelson
    Amy Martin-Nelson
    978-448-7812
    Bio
  • Photo of Michael O'Donnell
    Michael O'Donnell
    Dean of Students and Residential Life, Classics, History and Social Science
    978-448-7575
    Bio
  • Photo of Andres Reyes
    Andres Reyes
    Charles C. and Ann W. Alexander Chair
    978-448-7717
    Bio
  • Photo of David Ross
    David Ross
    978-448-7718
    Bio