If you major in Classics at Furman, you'll find yourself in a
department that offers a wide range of courses in not only language, but
literature, social and cultural history, and archaeology. Additionally,
the small size of the department means you'll have plenty of opportunity
for interaction with your professors both formally and informally. The
department is active in the Furman Advantage program, which gives students the
chance to work closely with faculty members on research projects, often
resulting in the chance to present that research at scholarly meetings.
In addition, Greek classes will be helpful should you decide to pursue a major
in Classics or Religion. This ancient language is essential to
understanding the predominate texts in both disciplines.
As the only college in the state of South Carolina to offer a
major in Classics, Furman is unique in the range of courses it can offer to
students of Greek and Latin. Students majoring in Classics will take
classes which explore Classical literature and mythology, as well as Classical
civilization and archaeology. Additionally, students have the opportunity
to participate in a directed independent study. The department’s faculty
focuses on building more than just language skills. Rather, in the
tradition of Classical humanism, they seek to produce well-rounded students who
appreciate the rich cultural tradition of Classical antiquity and the countless
contributions it has made to our modern society. Students who study
ancient language and culture enter the working world with exemplary writing and
reasoning skills. They also are able to make the most of their time at college
by realizing that art, religion, philosophy, political science, literature,
drama and mathematics, as we study them today, are heavily influenced by Greece
and Rome, and by taking courses which permit them to understand those
Students who want to become certified to teach may complete an
additional sequence of courses which will result in certification upon
completion of a teaching internship in the fall term following graduation.
Classics majors also can participate in campus organizations sponsored in cooperation with the department. Majors who excel in their courses are eligible for initiation in Eta Sigma Phi, the Classics honors society. The organization participates in service projects, classical outings, and a yearly national conference which students are encouraged to attend.
Engaged Learning and Study Abroad
The Furman Advantage program gives Classics majors the chance to
work closely with department faculty on projects which are expected to result
in publication. Some recent projects include student articles on the
Athenian orators for Demos: Classical Athenian Democracy, edited
by Christopher Blackwell and published by The Stoa: A Consortium for
Electronic Publication in the Humanities. Professor Blackwell is currently
working with Miriam Clark and Michael Dodd in preparing new editions and
translations of the works of Plutarch, as part of a collaboration with the
College of the Holy Cross.
Of course, the best way to study a language is to immerse
yourself in the culture where it originated, and the Furman Classics major provides you with a variety of unique programs which allow you to do just that.
One of the most recent programs traveled through Italy, Turkey and Greece. The
travel/study program is generally six weeks in length, although there will be
meetings and assignments during the preceding fall term and the following
spring term. Participation is by no means limited to Greek and Latin majors,
but because space is limited, students must apply to the course, and admission
is highly selective, based on a number of criteria. The program is
usually offered in alternating years in connection with the Religion
Department’s foreign study course, Geography and Archaeology of the Biblical
World. The inter-disciplinary nature of the program allows students to
experience Classical culture from a variety of perspectives.
In addition to the Furman-sponsored itinerary, Classics majors
may also choose to take advantage of the College Year in Athens program.
Students will take courses at an independent, fully accredited institution
located in Athens, Greece, which is devoted to ancient Greek civilization and
Mediterranean studies. As a member of the Associated Colleges of the
South, Furman is able to enroll its students in this program at a reduced
Yet another option available to Classics majors is the
Intercollegiate Center for Classical Studies in Rome (ICCS). Established
in 1965, the program’s membership has now grown to 76 colleges and universities
including Furman. It provides an opportunity to study ancient history and
archaeology, Greek and Latin literature, and ancient art in Rome.
Looking Towards Your Future
Since students with an education in a classical discipline such
as Greek or Latin go into the professional world with a total education in the humanist tradition, they enter it with a distinct advantage. An ability to communicate clearly and persuasively, sharpened rhetoric skills, and
proficiency in analytical analysis help to assure that they are in high demand
for employment. Their resumes stand out among the thousands of others as those
of unique and cultured individuals. It’s therefore no surprise that Furman
Classics majors go on to exciting futures at top law schools, graduate schools
and divinity schools, as well as jobs in teaching, business and medicine.
Students interested in divinity school, seminary or graduate
study in religion can gain a big advantage by taking the introductory Greek
sequence and New Testament Greek. If you think that you are interested in the
history of the early Church, then Latin will serve you well. Greek is also
especially helpful for students interested in the medical field.
Recent graduates of the Furman Classics department have gone on to post-graduate
studies at institutions such as Princeton University, the University of
Georgia, and the University of South Carolina, among others.