About the Department

Classics is the traditional name for the field that encompasses the ancient Greek and Roman worlds – their intertwined histories, languages, literatures, and cultures. Our department embraces the responsibilities and possibilities of Classics in the twenty-first century, seeking to understand the ancient societies as they were and to bring new questions, tools, and participants into the field.

Research & Teaching

Our faculty are devoted scholars and teachers. Like our colleagues across the Humanities, and often in collaboration with them, we explore issues of rhetoric, aesthetics, power, gender, religion, education, and cultural change – all in connection to the ancient Mediterranean world. Our research projects shed light on the ways ancient people lived, connected with one another, and sought to make a mark on the world. Our students, too, learn to use the tools of Classics research to pursue the big questions that inspire them – both in our courses and in mentored and collaborative projects of their own.


All enthusiasts of the ancient Greek and Roman cultures, and all those who have not yet had an opportunity to learn about them, can benefit from the department’s events and outreach programs. We host many lectures that are open to the public, and we are also happy to welcome school and community groups to the Washington University campus. Our faculty and students frequently meet with local classes and clubs.

Why Classics?

Timothy Moore, the John and Penelope Biggs Distinguished Professor of Classics, shares the joys and practical benefits of majoring in Classics and discusses the many opportunities available to Classics majors at WashU. Alums Joshua Trosch (LA'15) and Sarah Brophy (LA'08) join him to discuss their experiences in the department and what they've taken away from their studies

Two PhD students win 2020-2021 Dean's Award for Teaching Excellence

Two PhD students win 2020-2021 Dean's Award for Teaching Excellence

Elena Baldi to continue Wulfing catalog project for a third year

Elena Baldi to continue Wulfing catalog project for a third year

The Classics department was my “home” in college – a place where my professors demonstrated a genuine love for teaching, passion for their subject matter, and a support for students. While my studies have taken me far from Classics into medicine, I have no doubt that the persuasive writing and speaking skills, my love of literature, and the technical language skills born from Latin which subsequently facilitated my study of Italian and Spanish, are products of the superb education I received as a Classics major at WashU.

―Annie Hoopes, MDAdolescent Medicine Physician, Kaiser Permanente Washington

Support Programs in Classics

Your financial contributions help support our expanding programs. Such donations are much appreciated and always put to good use.

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