Prof Platt speaks to alumni and trustees about our exhibition “Cast and Present: Replicating Antiquity in the Museum and the Academy,” held in the Johnson Museum as part of Cornell’s Sesquicentennial celebrations, Spring 2015.

About Us

Classics is the original interdisciplinary academic field at the heart both of European/western civilization and today’s Liberal Arts education. We teach and research the languages (Greek, Latin), literature, history, philosophy, science, art, material culture that survive from the worlds of ancient Greece, Rome, and Late Antiquity. Our field ranges from great literature, to the basis to western history, thought, legal systems, science and religion, to inscriptions and papyri on individuals and institutions covering all levels of these ancient societies. Through archaeology and art history we investigate and analyze the material record and environment of these civilizations and their neighbors – accessing a past beyond the texts of the elite and their mostly male voices to explore fully this world from top to bottom.

Proffessors Fontaine and Gallagher overlooking the atrium in Klarman Hall.

IRIS: News from the Department of Classics

Click here to download the most recent edition of Iris, the department newsletter. The newsletter features updates on the past academic year, profiles of new faculty members, and spotlights on student and faculty accomplishments!

The 2017-18 edition.

The 2016-17 edition.

The 2015-16 edition.

If you need accessible versions of any of these documents, please contact You will receive a response within 2 business days.

Picture of Sturt Manning.

Sturt Manning,  Goldwin Smith Professor of Classical Archaeology

The Classical world was not just a few wealthy people, their remarkable texts, and some celebrated buildings: classical archaeology, and its integration of techniques ranging across the humanities and the sciences, is how we go behind the scenes to explore the whole human narrative from rich to poor, ruler to slave, with a focus varying from the individual to empires, in order to grasp the full story.