The Department of Classics focuses on the interpretation of the culture and society of Greco-Roman antiquity in the widest sense of those terms. Learn more about us.
Learn more about the Classics honorary society for students of Latin and/or Greek.
Dr. Harry Avery is the faculty advisor for Eta Sigma Phi. We sincerely thank him for all the years of guidance and wisdom he has generously given.
This graduate program is joinly offered by the departments of Classics, Philosophy and History and Philosophy of Science. Learn more about the Program in Classics, Philosophy, and Ancient Science (CPAS).
Dr. Edwin D. Floyd is President of the Pittsburgh Society of the Archaeological Institute of America (AIA). The University is host to several yearly lectures of international scholars. Read about forthcoming lectures here.
First Experiences in Research Symposium
Thursday, April 18, 2013
William Pitt Union Ballroom
Join us for a showcase of undergraduate research, creative work, and achievement in the arts and sciences. This forum provides First Experiences in Research
students the opportunity to exhibit, present, and promote their research
and experiential learning activities.
Congratulations to Kerri Bell, A&S Classics '13 graduate, has been elected to Phi Beta Kappa. This is a very distinguished honor, achieved by only 15 or so students each year, and is awarded on the basis of high scholarly attainment and breadth of distribution in Liberal Arts courses at Pitt.
Congratulations to Travis Fernald, Classics Major and April Graduate. Travis is being recognized at the Honors Convocation for being a University Scholar, that is, a student who is in the top 2% of his class.
Congratulations to Dr. Mae J. Smethurst on her book "Dramatic Action in Greek Tragedy and Noh: Reading with and beyond Aristotle" Interdisciplinary Approaches Series Editor, Gregory Nagy, Harvard University (Lexington Books 2013).
BEST WISHES to Dr. Mae J. Smethurst, Professor of Classics, upon her retirement. Dr. Smethurst has 46 years of service and scholarship with the University of Pittsburgh. Thank you Dr. Smethurst, nulli secundus. During your many years of teaching you have instilled upon your students to respice, adspice, prospice. We wish you well in all your future endeavors.
To Jerry Heverly upon the successful defense of his dissertation, "Neglected Warnings in the Iliad: A Study in Characterization" which took place on Wednesday, March 6, 2013.
Committee chair and major advisor, Dr. Edwin D. Floyd, Jerry Heverly, Dr. Mae J. Smethurst, and Dr. Andrew M. Miller, Professor Emeritus. Dr. Dennis O. Looney, also on the committee was present via skype and is not pictured.
Edwin D. Floyd has mentored two undergraduate students in their research through the Office of Experential Learning.
Andrew Tyler Lucas conducted his research titled "Veiled Criticism in Vergil". Damilola O. Akapo completed her research project titled "Analysis of Political Subtext in the Aeneid."
The Office of Experiential Learning connects Arts and Sciences undergraduates with opportunities to earn credits outside the classroom by engaging in internships, research, and teaching. It places students in “hands-on” activities that are tied to current coursework, and encourages them to reflect on and analyze their experiences in an academic context.
FALL COURSES - Students can begin to register for fall courses. For a list of Classics course descriptions go here.
Classics Majors- There is now a Career Consultant for Classics to help you with career info and internship possibilities. Contact Heidi McFerron with Career Development in Room 200 of the William Pitt Union. Her email is email@example.com.
To Christopher J. Kurfess upon the successful defense of his dissertation, "The Reconstruction of the Fragments of Parmenides' Poem" which took place on Thursday, November 8, 2012.
Committee members Dr. John Poulakos, Christopher Kurfess, Committee Chair and major advisor, Dr. Edwin D. Floyd, Dr. Mae J. Smethurst, and Dr. Andrew M. Miller, Professor Emeritus who attended via skype.
To Brooke McLane-Higginson, who earned her M.A. in Classics.
Medieval Latin Reading Group (Spring, 2013) will be meeting in the Greek Nationality Room, (CL 137) for their last meeting on 04/16 from 2-4 p.m. Joined by Dr. Ryan Topping, they will be reading Augustine of Hippo's dialogue dialogue with his son, De magistro.
Over the past year, the Medieval Latin Reading Group has become a site of energy and community for medievalists and Latinists at Pitt and the larger community. Last year's group had faculty from a few surrounding regional colleges, an independent scholar, a high school Latin teacher, and an emerita professor from Penn State, in addition to Pitt faculty, grad students, and the occasional undergrad. So the group is not only interdisciplinary, but also interprofessional and multigenerational.
The group also represents a wide range of Latin competency, from my co-leader Bruce Venarde, the editor and translator of the Dumbarton Oaks edition of Benedict's Rule, to Ph.D. students in their first year of undergrad Latin and rusty professors. We are a very supportive group, with a no-shame ethos. We spend the first hour of every fortnightly meeting on assigned, prepared passages (however much you feel comfortable preparing), and the second hour sight-reading, for those who feel comfortable with it.
This semester the MLRG is generously sponsored by the Program in Medieval and Renaissance Studies and the Humanities Center.
Those interested in more information can contact Ryan McDermott, Assistant Professor of Medieval Literature and Culture in the Dept. of English at mcdermott.pitt.@gmail.com.
You can now "Like" us on Facebook!
The University of Pittsburgh Department of Classics now has a Facebook page.
Study Abroad has some interesting information for Classics majors and the opportunities that exist to enhance their interest in learning and culture. Learn more about the study abroad opportunities for students in Classics. You may also stop by the department for a study abroad brochure.
New this past summer- Pitt in Greece Program! Look for Summer 2013- Pitt in Dublin.
ALUMNI NEWS- Constance M. Carroll, PhD 1996, chancellor of the San Diego Community College District, has been confirmed by the U.S. Senate to serve on the National Council on the Humanities.
The 26-member council is an advisory panel to the National Endowment for the Humanities, a grant-making arm of government with a $160 million budget.
Carroll was nominated by President Barack Obama for the post in December and again in January after the new Congress was seated. She was confirmed by the Senate Thursday.
“The vetting process, which took about a year, the nomination, and now the confirmation have culminated in a wonderful opportunity for national service,” Carroll wrote.
Members serve for six-year terms. The panel plans to meet three times in 2011, with its first meeting set for July 14.
The humanities are defined as the study of history, literature, languages, philosophy, religion and related disciplines. The council reviews grant applications and makes recommendations to the endowment’s chairman. It also weighs in on endowment programs and policies.
“The disciplines of the humanities and the projects associated with them are directed toward understanding the meaning of human life, ethical and moral issues and the diverse cultural landscape all of us inhabit,” Carroll said in an email to board members and friends.
Carroll has a doctorate in classics from the University of Pittsburgh and has been chancellor of the college district since 2004. She has served on the boards of the American Council on Education, the California Council for the Humanities and the National Endowment for the Humanities Panel on Museums and Historical Societies.
The department extends it's congratulations to Dr. Carroll on this esteemed and well deserved honor.
Dr. Harry Avery and Classics Alumni, Dr. Erin O'Bryan (PhD '11) with her daughter.
Contact Elizabeth Conforti, our department administrator, for more information.University of Pittsburgh, Department of Classics
In popular culture Christianity is remembered for the art, architecture, customs, rituals, and myths that it preserved from the classical past. It is rarely acknowledged, however, that Christianity also destroyed a great deal in its conversion of the Roman Empire. The material evidence for Christian destruction has often been overlooked or gone unrecognized even by archaeologists. This lecture examines various forms of Christian destruction and desecration of images of classical antiquity during the fourth to seventh centuries, as well as some of the attendant problems in detecting and making sense of this phenomenon. (This lecture is based on Professor Pollini’s present book project, “Christian Destruction and Desecration of Images of Classical Antiquity: A Study in Religious Intolerance and Violence in the Ancient World,” for which he received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the American Council of Learned Societies.)
Wednesday, April 10, 2013
4:30 p.m., Cathedral of Learning Room 335
This lecture is sponsored in part by the American Institute of Archaelology, Pittsburgh Chapter
Dr. Mae Smethurst presented a lecture, "A Meeting of Men's Book Club in Meiji Japan" for the Transforming Classics conference at Duke University, March 22-23, 2013.
Dr. Mae Smethurst presented a lecture at the Ohio State University "Action in Realistic Noh", February 19, 1013.
Dr. Edwin Floyd will present his paper, "The Etymology and Early Use of Greek Sophos ‘Wise’ " at the International Linguistic Association, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, New York City, on November 10, 2012.
John Scanlon, graduate student, has been invited to present his paper at the University of Buffalo graduate student conference on self-promotion in the ancient world on October 19, 2012.
Dr. Edwin Floyd presented his paper ("Ancient Linguistic and Religious Elements in Kallimachos and Chrysorrhoe") at a conference at the Universidad de Santiago. The conference, Poetic Language and Religion in Greece and Rome took place May 31-June 1, 2012 and was sponsored by the Research Group Classical Philology -USC.
Andrew Korzeniewski has been accepted to present his paper "On the Positive Merit of the Body: Dante’s Commedia and Aeneid 6" at a two-day international conference to be held at the Accademia Nazionale Virgiliana di Scienze Lettere e Arti, Mantua, Italy, 15-16 October 2012
Topher Kurfess, graduate student, presented his paper "Verity's Intrepid Heart: The Variants in Parmenides, DK B1.29 (and 8.4) at the Third Biennial Conference of the International Association for Presocratic Studies which was held in Merida, Mexico on January 9-13, 2012.
Two of the keynote speakers, Dr. Helene Foley and Dr. Peter Burian for the symposium in honor of the service and years of dedication and scholarship for Drs. Mae and Richard Smethurst, April 6, 2013.
Classics Graduation Recognition Ceremony and Dinner, April 28, 2012