Department of Classics
Fourth Floor, Fenwick Hall
Chair: D. Neel Smith
Leading Research in Classics
Faculty and students are at the front lines of 21st century research on ancient texts and culture. At a time when access to high-resolution, open-source images of ancient manuscript has increased, the department has received national and international attention for work on digital editions of Greek and Latin texts. In 2012 students formed a unique club dedicated to research on manuscripts and other documents. Neel Smith, professor of classics, has talked to national media about this digital research.
Accomplished Faculty Members
Holy Cross classics faculty members are active and influential scholars. In recent years members of the department have published books on Greek and Roman art, Homer, Vergil, Tacitus, Pericles, Alexander the Great, and the myth of Heracles, as well as textbooks on Greek and Roman history and the Greek historians Herodotus and Thucydides, along with numerous articles on a wide range of subjects in Greek and Roman antiquity.
Students Present at Conferences Worldwide
Under the mentorship of departmental faculty, classics majors regularly present their research at conferences and by invitation at other universities, both in the United States and abroad. Recently, students have presented their research at:
- Digital Humanities Conference in Krakow, Poland
- A conference on Digital Classics held at the Heidelberg Academy of Sciences and Humanities in Heidelberg, Germany
- National Endowment for the Humanities Advanced Institute at Tufts University
- Undergraduate research symposium at Boston University
- The Bucknell University Undergraduate Digital Scholarship Conference
- Seminar at the Center for Digital Technology at Leipzig University in Germany
- Digital Access to Textual Cultural Heritage conference in Madrid, Spain
- International Congress on Medieval Studies in Kalamazoo, Mich.
- Posters on the Hill event on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC
- Sunoikisis Undergraduate Research Symposium at Harvard University’s Center for Hellenic Studies
- Classical Association of New England Annual Meeting
Students Earn National Recognition
Classics majors have a strong track record for winning awards from regional and national scholarly organizations. Recently, students have won:
- the Classical Association of New England’s Phyllis B. Katz Prize for Excellence in Undergraduate Research in 2013
- the national Eta Sigma Phi advanced Latin translation contest in 2013
- Eta Sigma Phi’s H.R. Butts 2014 Award for Fieldwork in Classical Archaeology
Teacher Education Program
Classics majors frequently participate in the Teacher Education Program (TEP), which prepares students for licensure in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. In addition to taking courses in the major, students enroll in education courses specifically designed to promote excellence in teaching. The Holy Cross TEP places a special emphasis on issues surrounding urban education.
Visit the Teacher Education Program site for more information.
Our department is home to the Delta Lambda chapter of Eta Sigma Phi (ΗΣΦ), the national Classics Honorary Society.
Eta Sigma Phi was founded in 1914 at the University of Chicago. The society seeks to promote interest in classical studies along with closer relationships among students interested in classics. Our Delta Lambda chapter engages with these goals in a number of ways, including hosting presentations on a wide variety of classical topics and arranging trips to museums. Recent ΗΣΦ events include a student-faculty colloquium on Hesiod's Theogony and a public reading of all twenty-four books of Homer's Odyssey (the "Homerathon"). Members are also closely involved in setting up and running Holy Cross' Classics Day for high school classics students.
Computer Lab and Library
The department has its own research laboratory in Fenwick Hall, the St. Isidore of Seville Computer Lab, outfitted with networked computers and additional research resources.
The classics corridor in Fenwick Hall also houses the Rev. William FitzGerald, S.J., Library, a place for individual reading and collaborative student research.