History and Classics

Classics: General Information

Classics at the University of Alberta

Classics involves the study of ancient cultures - in particular civilizations of Greece and Rome - from the Bronze Age to the early Middle Ages (roughly 3500 BCE to 500 CE). The discipline has a unique place within the Faculty of Arts, and the university as a whole, because it integrates all major disciplines of the Humanities and Social Sciences into one field. Classicists can specialize in literary studies and linguistics, in history, in philosophy, in art, archaeology, and anthropology, in ancient religion, ancient economies, ancient sociology and more. What binds classicists is their common interest in one period and region: the classical world of ancient Greece and Rome.

The Classics division of the Department ranks among the top three in Canada and offers a full range of undergraduate (BA, BA HONORS) and graduate (MA, PhD) programs.

Our coursecover many aspects of Greek and Roman life as well as a number of related fields such as Ancient India and the Ancient Near East. Particularly popular courses include:

  • Introduction to Greek and Roman Mythology (CLASS 102)
  • Introduction to Ancient Greece (CLASS 103),
  • Introduction to Ancient Rome (CLASS 104)
  • History of the Ancient World (CLASS 110)
  • Women, gender and sexuality in the Ancient World (CLASS 261)
  • and the incredibly useful Introduction to Latin and Greek based scientific terminology (CLASS 291)
One important focus of Classics is the teaching of ancient Greek and Latin, the languages of some of the most influential literature ever written (e.g. Homer, New Testament, Virgil). Besides language courses at all levels, we offer introductory courses on ancient literature in translation.

For those with a particular interest in ancient history, the program offers a full range of introductory courses as well as a number of more in-depth courses on particular historical periods or topics, including, for instance, warfare in the ancient world. 

Classical Archaeology is one of the major strengths of Classics at the UofA. Archaeologists study all forms material culture, from everyday objects and simple houses to the major monuments and works of art of the Greek and Roman world. Besides introductory and in-depth courses during regular term in Edmonton, we offer fieldschools – usually two each year – during the Spring and Summer terms, at which students actively participate in all aspects of an ongoing archaeological excavation.

The university has strengths in various adjacent fields of study such as Ancient India, Medieval History, Religious Studies, Philosophy, Anthropology, etc.

With numerous courses abroad (Cortona, archaeological fieldschools) it is easy to enrich your BA in Classics with a Certificate in International Learning.

The Department's resources include the W.G. Hardy Museum of Ancient Classical and Near Eastern Antiquities, which contains extensive displays of Egyptian, Greek and Roman artifacts, including coins, pottery, jewellery, and statuary.

Why study Classics?

Classics is not only the oldest university discipline, it is also the most interdisciplinary one.