Your first year of study
At Otago we offer papers in Classical Studies, Greek, and Latin. If you plan to major in Classics in a Bachelor of Arts you can do so with any combination of these three subjects that suits your interests. Majoring students will need to do at least two of our first-year papers. Classics, Greek and Latin can also be taken as minor subjects. We encourage you to study one or both of the languages.
First-year Classical Studies papers introduce you to Greek and Roman archaeology, Roman social history, Greek mythology and Classical etymology. You can study: the art and archaeology of Greece and Rome, from the Minoan period to Classical Athens, and on to ancient Pompeii and the buildings of the late Roman empire, the social life of the ancient Romans, looking in particular at the experiences of slaves, gladiators and prostitutes the myths of Classical Greece, especially their stories about the creation of the cosmos, and the deeds of heroes such as Heracles and Theseus.
Studying Greek and Latin
Learning the languages is an excellent way to appreciate how the Greeks and Romans perceived the world and communicated their values and ideas. The textbooks we use to teach Greek and Latin language are designed for beginner students, and they focus on reading continuous texts from the outset. Papers in Greek and Latin language are available at all levels.
Learning ancient Greek and Latin is not compulsory at Otago, but if you are considering postgraduate study, we strongly encourage you to take papers in Greek and Latin in your degree.
You may be able to do part of your study overseas through the University's extensive exchange programme or as a postgraduate student. But, even if you don't, your study of Classics is going to enrich your OE enormously. Students repeatedly tell us after all that study, there is something magic about your first glimpse of the Parthenon by moonlight!
What about further study?
At higher levels, you can investigate Classical Athens' culture and society, the conquests of Alexander the Great, and Greek and Roman myths connected with cursed individuals such as Oedipus and his family. For students interested in ancient history, we have advanced papers on the Roman emperors from Augustus to Nero, on the successors to Alexander the Great's kingdom, and on violence and corruption in the Late Roman Republic (studied via the speeches of Cicero). A paper on the Fall of the Roman Empire examines the archaeological remains from this crucial period of Roman history, and advanced studies of ancient Greek culture are available through our papers on Greek religion and Greek philosophy (looking especially at Socrates and Plato).
For students who want to pursue postgraduate studies in Classics, our honours programme offers the opportunity to work closely with a lecturer in the programme and investigate a topic of your own choice in detail.
The Classics programme offers students the opportunity to make connections with employers and gain valuable workplace experience through internships.
The Humanities internship is a one semester paper for undergraduate (HUMS 301) and postgraduate (HUMS 401) full-time students. Entry into these papers is competitive.
Suggested degree plans
The following plans are suggestions only. They outline possible streams through the degree according to your particular interests.
We encourage students to study at least one of the ancient languages over the course of their degree but this is not mandatory. For this reason, there are more options given for each year than is required for the major.
It would be an advantage to do two papers of GREK or LATN as well as CLAS papers in your first year, as this increases your range of options for subsequent years. Or you could consider doing three CLAS papers in your first year, which will give you a good broad foundation for more advanced work.
List of CLAS papers
List of GREK papers
List of LATN papers
Mythology and Literature
First year: CLAS 105, CLAS 108; GREK 111/112 or LATN 111/112
Second year: CLAS 238, CLAS 242; GREK 211/212 or LATN 211/212
Third year: CLAS 340, CLAS 342, CLAS 345; GREK 328/329 or LATN 328/329
History and Archaeology
First year: CLAS 108, CLAS 109; GREK 111/112 or LATN 111/112
Second year: CLAS 241, CLAS 242; GREK 211/212 or LATN 211/212
Third year: CLAS 337, CLAS 341, CLAS 343, CLAS 344, CLAS 345, CLAS 346; GREK 328/329 or LATN 328/329
No specialist knowledge is required, as Classical Studies, Greek and Latin are all taught from scratch. If you have done Classical Studies at school, you will find that our first-year courses build on and extend your knowledge. Students who have passed NCEA level 3 Latin are granted direct entry into 200-level papers.