Frequently Asked Questions

Classics and Archaeology is the study of Greek and Roman civilizations in all their diverse aspects: histories, languages, literatures, philosophies, and material culture. We focus on the peoples of the Mediterranean region from the Bronze Age until the Fall of the Roman Empire and the beginnings of the mediaeval period and the Byzantine Empire. We include study of the neighbouring regions as well such as Egypt, Mesopotamia, North Africa, Celtic and Germanic Europe.

These societies, especially Greece and Rome, were enormously influential for later civilizations. Most of the institutions and ways of behaving that we enjoy today have their roots in the classical world. For example, democracy and ideas of citizenship, social organization, sports and athletics, art and architecture, philosophy, modern languages such as French, Spanish, Italian and even English, among others, all look back to Greece and Rome for their origins. In order to understand ourselves, we must know where we came from. The program in Classics and Archaeology also offers you the opportunity to travel and study abroad and experience the living cultures of the Mediterranean world today.

Like most humanities programs, Classics and Archaeology fosters excellence in written and oral communication skills. All classes include the objective to continually improve a student’s research and writing skills. Students learn to read and analyse primary evidence, such as texts and artifacts, to appreciate the arguments of others, and to evaluate them critically for bias, distortion, and relevance. Communication skills are greatly strengthened through oral presentations and by acquiring familiarity with ancient Greek and Latin. A thorough knowledge of how to express yourself in English comes through studying a foreign language, Greek and Latin especially, given the reliance of English on these languages for so much of its vocabulary and grammatical structure.

We have three main areas of study: art and archaeology, literature and languages (Greek and Latin), and ancient history. All Classics and Archaeology majors must take some courses from each broad area, but you can focus on what interests you most through one of three degree streams: Art and Archaeology; Classical Civilization; or Greek and Roman Studies. Classics and Archaeology often appeals to those students with a range of interests since we offer and encourage students to take a variety of courses from the different areas of study.

Depending on the program requirements for your stream, you can take either language, or both (or neither). If you wish to study both Latin and Ancient Greek, we recommend that you take the 100-level foundational courses in consecutive years rather than both courses simultaneously. Students who follow a consecutive path tend to have stronger grades and progression rates.

Neither language is more difficult nor easier than the other. Both have their challenges and both have their rewards.

Yes! The department traditionally offers a course abroad every summer led by a Brock Classics and Archaeology professor. In even-numbered years (i.e., 2018, 2020, 2022, etc.) we offer an archaeological practicum. In 2016, students worked with Dr. Carrie Murray on the island of Pantelleria and joined Dr. Elizabeth Greene in excavating a 6th-century shipwreck off the coast of Sicily; in 2014 students excavated in the Bronze Age palace at Gournia with Dr. Angus Smith. Visit the Archaeological Projects and Practica page to learn more about these exciting opportunities!

Yes! In odd-numbered years (i.e. 2017, 2019, 2021, etc.), we normally offer a study tour in Mediterranean countries; recent destinations have included Greece, Italy, and Turkey. Brock offers generous bursaries and the Department of Classics and Archaeology has raised considerable money for scholarships and travel awards to support student travel. Visit the Study Tours and Travel page to learn more about these transformative experiences!

Yes! The Department of Classics and Archaeology at Brock has 9 permanent professors. Most were hired in the 2000s and all are enthusiastic teachers — some have even won awards for their teaching! We consider our students to be at heart of the department and take pride in getting to know all of our students. Language classes at all levels are normally small and regularly taught by permanent faculty, and classes in upper years (3rd and 4th year especially) are always smaller so students and professors interact in a seminar classroom setting.

Yes! The Brock University Archaeological Society (BUAS) is one of the most active on campus and a source of great pride for the department. It has existed for over 25 years! The students are very active both in arranging social gatherings and academic meetings. In the winter, BUAS has a long tradition of organizing a “Scholarly Symposium”, inviting professors from Brock and other universities to speak on a chosen theme. The Scholarly Symposium has become very well-regarded by professors at other universities.

The department also maintains an Undergraduate Workroom that is students’ own space for studying and holding BUAS meetings. The Undergraduate Workroom, which is open to students taking courses in the department, is also a great place to get help and advice about your studies in Classics and Archaeology from fellow students or by making use of our Peer Mentor Program. The department also has additional spaces for consulting with Peer Mentors as well as Teaching Assistants. Please visit us in the department and stop by our terrific undergraduate spaces!