University of Pittsburgh


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.

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Archaeological Institute of America, Pittsburgh Chapter

Dr. John Newell 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.


LECTURE- Thursday, October 22, 2015

"War and Wine: Archaeological Contributions to Ancient Greek Military History"

Dr. Mark Lawall, University of Manitoba

Co-sponsored by the Archaeological Institute of America, Pittsburgh Society

4:00 PM, 216 Cathedral of Learning


Eta Sigma Phi

Learn more about the Classics honorary society for students of Latin and/or Greek.

Program in Classics, Philosophy, and Ancient Science

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).



NEW CLASS FOR SPRING 2016! Are you pre-law?  Studying Classics? Interested in morallity?

CLASS 1250: Law & Society in Ancient Greece and Rome

An overview of the legal systems in ancient Greece and Rome.  How did the law deal with religion, marriage, reproduction, sexual morality, and social class?  How did the legal systems affect and adapt to historical change?  How have these ideas survived and influenced modern legal systems - expecially ouw own?


MWF - 11:00-11:50 a.m.

144 Cathedral of Learning (English Nationality Room)


New for summer 2016- Pitt in Sicily Program!

Students earn six credits in the Dept. of Classics in this program designed for those interested in the history and archaeology of the ancient Mediterranean.  The rich cultural heritage and sweepig panoramas of Sicily provide the background to an an unforgettable exploration of over 1,000 years of Greek and Roman history and culture.


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.


Archival Scholars Research Awards for Independent Research in the Humanities

The Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences, the Office of Undergraduate Research, Scholarship and Creative Acitivty, and the University Library System (ULS) seeks applicants from undergraduate students in the humanities for an Archival Scholars Award.  Awardees will develop independent research projects that draw upon resources found in the University Library Systems's archives and special collections. 


As an awardee, you will receive a stipent of $1000, archival training from librarians and you will participate in two workshops and spring term-end presentations.

Application and award requirements at: asundergrad.pitt.edu/our

To learn more attend the following info session:

October 14, 5-6 PM in G-49, Hillman Library

Application deadline is Nov. 23, 2015


Congratulations to Zachary C. Herbster, Classics major, who was awarded the David C. Frederick Award from the Honors College!


A.W. Mellon Professor Emeritus H.P. Stahl has just completed a major study of Vergil's Aeneid.  The book, entitled "Poetry Underpinning Power: Vergil's Aeneid for Emperor Augustus. A Recovery Study", is scheduled to come out by midsummer 2015.

Classics faculty-Dr. Possanza, Dr. Bromberg, Dr. Newell, Dr. Avery, Dr. Hoenig and Dr. Jones

Our thanks to him for almost 50 years of service, dedication, teaching and leadership. 

Dr. Avery retired and we wish all of life's best! 

Quod Bonum Faustum Felix Fortunatumque Sit!

Dr. Avery with students, Antony Freishyn-Chirovsky, Sophia Taborski, Dr. Harry Avery, David Young and Zachary Herbster



Dr. Christina Hoenig just published an article with DeGruyter - 'Timaeus Latinus. Calcidius and the Creation of the Universe', Rhizomata 2/1 (2014). 


Dr. John Newell recently published a paper ("Probablilities Involving Directions Similarities") in The Mathematical Scientist volume 39 issue 1 (June 2014)  pages 37-44. The journal is published by the Applied Probability Trust which operates out of the University of Sheffield in the UK, see http://appliedprobability.org/
Here is the link to read the article (it will require the reader to subscribe or log in): ): http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true

Medieval Latin Reading Group (2015)

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.


Classics Majors- There is now a Career Consultant for Classics to help you with career info and internship possibilities.  Contact Anastasia Lopez with Career Development in Room 200 of the William Pitt Union.  Her email is anl88@pitt.edu.


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!  










Contact Elizabeth Conforti, our department administrator, for more information.

University of Pittsburgh, Department of Classics
1518 Cathedral of Learning
4200 Fifth Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15260
[P] 412-624-4493
[F] 412-624-4419


Lectures, Conferences and Symposia:


The Graduate Program in Classics, Philosophy and Ancient Science (CPAS) presents the Following Lecture


Ralph M. Rosen

    University of Pennsylvania


“Anatomy and aporia in Galen's On the Construction of Fetuses"


Galen was well known for his insistence on scientific precision in the practice of medicine, and his own claims to authority often rested on his assertions that other medical writers (contemporary and historical) did not properly understand logical inference or empirical demonstration. One area of inquiry, however, that remained impenetrable even by scientific methods was the nature of the soul, particularly questions about its materiality, ontology, intentionality and teleology.  Galen famously concedes his aporia about the soul at various points in his writings, and affirms the intractability of the problem in his late work.  This frustration was particularly evident in his treatise On the Formation of the Embryo, where a focus on the origins and development of a new human being revives the large questions about how bodies are formed and animated by a soul from the moment of conception.  This presentation will examine how Galen approaches these questions with the specific concerns of embryology in mind.  It will discuss in particular the tension in this work between Galen's desire for accuracy and analytical completeness, and the limits of scientific expertise that a subject such as this entails.  Aspects of Galen's scientific methodology will be considered as they relate to Galen's struggle in his treatise to account for the most fundamental questions of corporeal existence and development.


Friday, November 20, 2015

3:30 p.m.

206 Cathedral of Learning


Reception following at the University Club




conference/lecture news


Zachary C. Herbster, Classics major, attended the Miami University Undergraduate Conference in April, 2015.  His paper "From One Gadfly to Another: The Theological and Moral Influence of Socrates on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr."


Dr. Edwin D. Floyd will present a lecture, "The Place of Homer in the Study of Beginning Ancient Greek" at the 60th Annual Conference of the International Linguistic Association, New York, April 26. 2015


CLASS ACTS II: eXPLORING Roman Comedy and its reception

An interdisciplinary conference for Graduate and Undergraduate students organized by the Departments of Classics, University of North Carolinam, Chapel Hill, and the University of Madrid

March 20-21, 2015

University of Pittsburgh






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