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Skidmore College

Choosing a language

The Roman ForumWhy should I study Greek and Latin?

Students interested in classics should begin their work in either Greek or Latin early in their college careers. These are profound languages whose study will strengthen your reading and writing skills in English, and they are the gateway to a deeper understanding of the ancient Greeks and Romans. Besides, they’re challenging, exciting and fun to learn! When you master an ancient language, you open a window on a whole new level of comprehension of the people and the culture that spoke and wrote it.

What level of language should I take?

For those who have studied either language before enrolling at Skidmore, please contact Professor Dan Curley, chair of the department. Professor Curley will help you determine the appropriate level of language in which to enroll and when to begin your study. The department offers a placement exam before the start of the semester as another option to ascertain the best language course for you.

Should I learn both languages?

Classics majors and minors are not required to learn both Greek and Latin, but those who are considering a future career in teaching and/or scholarship will want to acquire both languages before graduation. The typical approach is to begin one language in one year and start your study of the other language the following year. Discuss various strategies with your departmental advisor.