Classical Languages

Through the program of courses in Greek and Latin at Deerfield, students learn to read and interpret classical literature in its original form. Encounters with timeless words, personalities, historical events, ideas, and ideals provide students with a unique opportunity to understand and appreciate ancient Greek and Roman society and culture, the basis of liberal arts, and studies in the humanities.

  • Beginner students develop basic language skills and read simplified or contrived stories in Latin. Later they focus on the actual works of specific authors or kinds of literature, starting out by mastering the characteristic vocabulary, syntax, and elements of style that are needed for a full understanding of the written word.
  • Advanced students venture beyond the simple senses of what Greek or Roman authors say to consider how they express their thoughts and what they mean. Throughout the sequence, students pay attention to people, places and events, placing them in both human and historical contexts.

Studying classical language at Deerfield affords students rigorous engagement with the language, history, and art of the classical world. The unexpectedly interdisciplinary nature of classical language enriches each course individually and invites students to make meaningful connections between classes.

See the Language Department directory for a listing of teachers, office hours, and more.