Languages and the Study of the Ancient Mediterranean World
The study of ancient Mediterranean civilizations is closely tied to the study of ancient languages. These languages are accessible to us through the diverse writing systems that were developed close to the eastern shores of the Mediterranean. The earliest of these was the cuneiform script of Mesopotamia; next was the hieroglyphic script in Egypt. Both of these forms of writing remained in use for more than three thousand years. The earliest alphabets came into use among speakers of Semitic languages around the eastern Mediterranean, and then spread among other language groups, where this revolutionary technology was adopted first by speakers of Greek and later of Latin.
The long history of writing in this part of the world has preserved for us a rich and diverse record of the past, ranging from routine economic documents to royal inscriptions to literature, both prose and poetry, both secular and sacred. Our ability to read these ancient texts opens wide our window into the human past, and enables us to know something of the minds of the peoples who built the monuments and cities whose remains also provide us with a record of the past.
Faculty In the department of Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies include experts in all of the major languages and literatures of the ancient Mediterranean, affording students in CAMS the opportunity to access directly the ancient voices that still speak to us in writing.
POST-BACCALAUREATE CERTIFICATE IN ANCIENT LANGUAGES
The Department of Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies (CAMS) at Penn State offers a . The certificate is designed for students who have completed their undergraduate degree and who would like to strengthen their language training in order to pursue graduate or advanced study in the fields of Classics, Ancient History, Classical and Mediterranean Archaeology, Biblical Studies, Egyptology, Historical Linguistics, Ancient Philosophy. For further details see the Ancient Languages certificate in the University Bulletin. For application information see the Postbaccalaureate/Graduate Certificate Admission page under the Requirement for Graduate Admission instructions of the Graduate School.