Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies is concerned with the civilizations of the ancient Mediterranean world, including the ancient Greeks, Romans, and the peoples of Egypt and the Near East. The study of these civilizations includes their languages and literatures, history and politics, religion and mythologies, philosophies, and material culture. All students in the major are particularly encouraged to participate in one of the Penn State Education Abroad Programs and/or archaeological field schools in the Mediterranean area. Approved archaeological fieldwork is required for the AMA Option. Up to 15 credits of appropriate education abroad courses may be applied to requirements for the major.
The Ancient Languages Option requires study of Greek or Latin, one or more of the languages of the ancient Near East, or a combination of languages, and is recommended especially for students planning to pursue any classical, Near Eastern, or Egyptian subject in graduate school; planning rabbinic or seminary study; or preparing to teach Latin or Greek at the secondary level. Students in the Language Option are urged to schedule at least one course in historical linguistics or comparative grammar.
The Ancient Mediterranean Archaeology (AMA) Option is designed for students interested in the physical evidence for ancient Mediterranean cultures, including the rise and development of settlements and cities; ceramics, metals, stone, and organic remains; and population changes over time.
The Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies (CAMS) Option is suitable for students interested in a broadly interdisciplinary study of the cultures of the ancient Mediterranean and does not require study of language, although students are encouraged to study the appropriate ancient languages.
The CAMS minor recognizes the completion of a broadly interdisciplinary study of the cultures of the ancient Mediterranean world through 18 credits of course work, including 6 credits at the 400-level. The courses offered are concerned with the cultures of the ancient Near East, Egypt, and Mesopotamia, Greece, and Rome in such fields as civilization, archaeology, history, philosophy, religion, and mythologies. Students who complete the Penn State Athens Education Abroad Program and its prerequisite course may apply to receive the minor. Students in the minor may also receive credit for participating in approved archaeological fieldwork in the Mediterranean region. While the study of language is not required, students are encouraged to study the appropriate ancient languages. The minor is especially suitable for students in such fields as history, medieval studies, anthropology, literature, philosophy, and education.
More details on degree requirements can be found in the following PDF: CAMS Degree Requirements
Supporting Courses and Related Areas
Select 12 credits from CAMS courses
Select 6 credits of 400-level CAMS courses
A grade of C or better is required for all courses in the minor, as specified by Senate Policy 59-10.
Latin is the language formerly spoken throughout the Roman empire and is the language of early art, literature, and political thought. Latin is also the mother of the modern romance languages, such as French, Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian. Knowledge of Latin can be a great advantage to students interested in graduate study in Ancient History, Classics, Archaeology, Linguistics, Medieval Studies, Comparative Literature, and other fields.
Requirements: Students select 18 credits in Latin, with at least 6 credits at the 400-level.
The Greek minor focuses on establishing proficiency in reading and interpreting classical Greek literature. After completing an introductory course sequence (elementary classical Greek) that teaches students the vocabulary, morphology and syntax of classical Greek, students complete at least six credits in Greek language and literature at the 400-level for a total of 18 credits for the minor. In advanced courses in Greek language and literature, students gain analytical and interpretive skills by reading a wide range of classical Greek literature, including Greek drama, history, and philosophy, as well as the Greek New Testament. Students minoring in Greek will find their studies mesh well with a number of majors and graduate fields, including anthropology, archaeology, history, English, comparative literature, philosophy, and law.
Requirements: Students select 18 credits in Greek, with at least 6 credits at the 400-level.
“Classical Greek” refers mainly to the Greek dialect spoken in Athens in the 5th and 4th centuries BCE (Attic Greek). As such, Classical Greek was the language of the first great democratic state; eventually, it became the standard dialect that was read and studied for more than a thousand years down through the era of the Roman and Byzantine empires. After the Classical period, the Greek language continued to evolve, forming a standard common dialect (koine Greek) that was used throughout the Hellenistic world of the eastern Mediterranean and beyond. This was the dialect used by the writers of the New Testament to make it accessible to the widest literate audience. The modern Greek language is its descendant, though greatly changed after more than a thousand years of linguistic development.
Religious Studies focuses on providing an understanding of the world’s diverse religions, their beliefs, and traditions. The relationship between religion and culture is closely examined to gain a better understanding of how religion affects politics, art, science, and other aspects of society. Research is done through multiple disciplines such as philosophy, anthropology, sociology, history, and more.
The minor in Religious Studies requires 18 hours of course work in RLST. It:
The interaction between religions and their cultural contexts is emphasized, as is the evolution of an individual religion. After this introduction, the student is free to choose from a broad array of courses on the psychological, sociological, historical, and textual aspects of religions, both living and dead, both familiar and foreign. For example, a student may study Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, Norse religion, Greco-Roman religion, or the sociological aspects of religions. Reading skills and critical thinking skills are important and will be further developed in the courses.
The minor is excellent preparation for a career in the professions (law, medicine), and many students use this classical humanities topic to augment a major in the pure sciences.
Students enrolled in the Schreyer Honors College (SHC) receive a challenging education in CAMS. More than 30 percent of our majors are Schreyer Scholars. Ideally, admission occurs at the time of admission to Penn State, but a limited number of students who have compiled a superior academic record may be nominated at the conclusion of the second year.
In addition to the requirements of the SHC, CAMS has established the following requirements for students completing a research thesis.