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Department of Classics

Cornell University Cornell University Cornell Univeristy Department of Classics

Department of Classics

Red-Figure Bell Krater

Red-Figure Bell Krater

Green Glass Bottle

Roman Glass Bottle

Vessel Lid

Lid of an Etruscan cinerary urn


Portrait on a Roman funerary stele


Jupiter and eagle

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Welcome to Cornell Classics

Classics is the interdisciplinary study of the ancient (1700 BCE-600 CE) Greek and Roman civilizations that gave subsequent European culture its distinctive character. The study of Greek and Roman antiquity includes:  Greek and Latin language, literature, and linguistics; ancient philosophy; history; archaeology and art history; papyrology; epigraphy; and numismatics.

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Applying for a PhD?

The application deadline is January 5, 2015.
The online application is now available for admission for Fall 2015. Please read more about our graduate programs.

Recent Publications


Plato and the Divided Self
Tad Brennan, Charles Brittain

Plato's account of the tripartite soul is a memorable feature of dialogues like the Republic, Phaedrus and Timaeus: it is one of his most famous and influential yet least understood theories. It presents human nature as both essentially multiple and diverse – and yet somehow also one – divided into a fully human 'rational' part, a lion-like 'spirited part' and an 'appetitive' part likened to a many-headed beast. How these parts interact, how exactly each shapes our agency and how they are affected by phenomena like eros and education is complicated and controversial. The essays in this book investigate how the theory evolves over the whole of Plato's work, including the Republic, Phaedrus and Timaeus, and how it was developed further by important Platonists such as Galen, Plutarch and Plotinus. They will be of interest to a wide audience in philosophy and classics.

Olin Library is maintaining a list of resources for Classics.

Special Exhibition


Annetta Alexandridis and Verity Platt present:

Firing the Canon: The Cornell Casts and Their Discontents

An exhibition at Weinhold Chilled Water Plant, 28 Forest Home Drive

Open weekdays, November through December, 10 AM - 4 PM

More and a video of the planning of the exhibition.

Program Spotlight

Cornell Tree Ring Laboratory

Drilling in Cyprus

The laboratory builds long tree-ring chronologies with the aim to provide a dating method and past climate resource for the study of the history and prehistory of the Aegean and Near East that is accurate to the year over the last several thousand years.


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