Classics Department

Around the (Ancient) World and Back AgainAround the (Ancient) World and Back Again
Angus K. McClellan '05
When Dr. Robert Irons '00 was a young boy, he would flip through issues of National Geographic with eager eyes and steadfast resolve. "I'd never really been anywhere," he said, "and I'd see all of these far-off and amazing places, and I told myself, 'As soon as I can, no matter what I have to do, I'm going to go see these things.'"Irons's fascination with distant cultures and civilizations would propel him across Europe and the United States, through years of hardship and study, and finally back to Hampden-Sydney as the newest professor in the Classics Department. He currently teaches Greek and Latin, and next semester he will teach Western culture. His loop from student to teacher was neither easy nor short, but it was a path he took deliberately, and not without the requisite faith and courage in his endeavors. Soon after his graduation, he bought a one-way ticket to Ireland."I worked on a farm there for about three months, saved a little money, and started travelling, taking odd jobs wherever I could," he recalled. He worked his way to Italy, where he taught private English lessons, with the ultimate goal of learning enough to be able to read classic Italian literature in its original text. Full Story...

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Major in Classics
The Department of Classics offers courses in the languages, history, and culture of classical antiquity, and in linguistics. The language courses emphasize the intellectual and cultural values of the study of Greek and Latin, in addition to first-hand appreciation of both classical and Christian literature, which are the roots of our cultural tradition. Overview...

Drawings throughout the Classics web site are by Richard and Deborah McClintock