About Us

Our mission in the classical studies program is twofold. First, we want to introduce students to authors, texts, and ideas that constitute the foundational literature of Europe. Second, and just as importantly, we want students to learn how fundamentally the classical tradition has shaped and continues to shape the world we live in.


The classical tradition is not trapped in dusty old books on library shelves; it exists in the way we speak, the way we think, what we read, the music we listen to, and what we watch on television and in movies. From democracy to gender, from theater to athletics, from philosophy to the very way in which we understand history: the legacy of the ancient Greek and Roman worlds lives all around us.

The program in classical studies offers language training in ancient Greek and Latin at all levels. By the third semester students are prepared to read and analyze Greek and Latin texts like Virgil's Aeneid and Plato's Symposium in their original language. For those students who are interested in exploring ancient literature in English translation we offer a range of courses:

  • CLL039 Mythologies and Literature of the Ancient World
  • CLL040 The Literature of Emerging Europe
  • CLL041 The Ancient Novel
  • CLL042 Ancient Comedy
  • CLL043 Alexander the Great: Fact & Fiction
  • CLL044 Greek & Roman Epic
  • CLL046 Sex and Gender in Antiquity
  • LIT041 Myth, Literature, and Culture of the Greek World
  • LIT032 The Age of Pericles
  • LIT043 Greek Tragedy
  • LIT055 Myth, Literature, and Culture of the Roman World
  • LIT056 The Age of Augustus
  • LIT057 Sex and the City: The Literature of Love in Ancient Rome
  • LIT 058 Literature and Archaeology of the Roman Country Side

Language courses in ancient Greek and Latin may count toward the Hofstra University language requirement. Courses in classical literature also satisfy University distribution requirements in literature (LT).

Hofstra's proximity to New York City means that students in classics also have many opportunities to enrich their classroom training with visits to the Greek and Roman wing at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the neo-classical collection at the Dahesh Museum of Art, or any number of the city's classically-oriented exhibitions, theatrical offerings, and cultural events.

What can you do with a Classics major?

Training in classics and Latin is ideal for students who wish to pursue a career in law, education, or for students who intend to continue their academic careers in graduate school. Whether you choose to become a major, a minor, or if you enroll only for a single course, one of the great benefits of studying classics at Hofstra is the personal attention you will receive from our extremely dedicated faculty.


Ilaria Marchesi, Ph.D.,
Program Director
Professor of Classics and Comparative Literature
(516) 463-6454
Email | Bio

Steven D. Smith, Ph.D.,
Professor of Classics and Comparative Literature
(516) 463-5439
Email | Bio

Classics Programs



Classics Courses

Use the prefixes LAT (Latin) to find the most up-to-date information about Latin courses.
Course Search

Electronic Resources

Electronic Resources for Classicists


Study Abroad



LIT038 Literature & Archaeology of the Roman Countryside (3 s.h.)

This is an intensive three-week course that periodically runs during Summer Semester I. The first two weeks are conducted, seminar style, on campus, with reading and discussion of Roman historians, philosophers, and poets in English translation. Students will learn about the history of Roman Italy, from the archaic to the Augustan periods. The focus will be on the Roman countryside and the Roman villa as cultural symbols and sites for the development and transformation of Roman identity. The third week will be intensive archaeological fieldwork in Poggio del Molino, Italy, where students will experience firsthand the excavation of a Roman villa. Exposure to the literature and history of the period will be complemented by an introduction to archaeological theory and methodology. For more information, contact Classics via Email.