Department of Classics
The classics program at Agnes Scott is at the heart of the college’s liberal arts program, providing students with both the ability to translate the name—artes liberales—as the “skills that liberate the mind” and with the tools to implement those skills to their fullest in a variety of disciplines and careers.
Megan O. Drinkwater
Associate Professor and Chair
Ph.D., Duke University
James C. Abbot
Ph.D., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
ABD, University of Iowa
The student of classics learns how to use a wide range of compelling textual and material remains, anthropology, history, sociological methods, political theory, literary criticism and art history to examine the ancient culture of Greece and Rome. With rigorous application of these methods, she begins to grasp the essence of another culture that sometimes seems remote from her own.
Of primary importance to this study is careful engagement with the languages of these periods, their historical context and individual writers. This sort of learning about what words mean in their fullest sense trains the mind to understand the nuances of language and thought in other disciplines as well. Finally, as she understands the original meanings and historical development of ideas like freedom and equality, the student can practice the best analysis of modern society and institutions.
Classics provides an excellent starting point for students interested in areas such as law, medicine, education, creative writing, history, archaeology, art, philosophy, or linguistics. This is only the beginning of possible careers that classics students pursue: it is truly the universal liberal arts field.