The Department of Classics offers a wide range of courses in the languages, literature, history, and cultures of ancient Greece and Rome as well as courses that celebrate their enduring intellectual and artistic influence on ages since antiquity, up to and including our own 21st century. In addition to majors in Greek and Latin, which require advanced language study, the Department also offers a Classical Studies major with minimal language requirements.

Degree Offerings

Classics Department Newsletters

When you're studying Greek, you get used to not having the answers and not feeling totally comfortable with the material. I came to like this feeling, and it helped me carve out my own space in the marketplace and invent myself as an entrepreneur.

Tyler Barstow '10

Why Classics?

The voices of great intellects , Jefferson, Thoreau, Johnson, and Tocquville on "Why Classics?"

Why Classics?

The Hampden-Sydney Amphora

Objects of cultural significance often come to colleges, where they are deposited by their owners in the expectation that they will enrich learning. Many times these gifts are relatively informal and little is known about them before they come to the institution. Such is the case with the Hampden-Sydney amphora, a gift in 1962 of Dr. J. William Hinton of New York City. 

The Hampden-Sydney AmphoraNot an alumnus, but awarded an honorary Doctorate of Letters in 1961, Dr. Hinton was impressed by the place ancient cultures held in the Hampden-Sydney curriculum. His gift to the then-newly-opened Eggleston Library also included a small collection of ancient coins, as well as a fragmentary marble head of a child. For whatever reason, the amphora, usually kept in the Rare Book Room of the library, attracted little attention over the years. And, as is often the case with gifts of this sort, there is no file on the object as one would find in a museum.

Researching the Amphora, 2000
In conjunction with the Trojan War symposium in 2000, Mary Prevo, Instructor in Fine Arts, undertook research on the amphora so that it might be used more productively as a teaching tool. Hampden-Sydney colleagues James Arieti, Pam Fox, Sharon Goad, Richard McClintock, and Lorie Mastemaker, all helped her in the preparation and presentation of this research, in a display in the Atkinson Museum. Also lending invaluable expertise were Sharon Koehler, conservator in private practice, and Dr. Margaret Ellen Mayo, Curator of Ancient Art, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. 


Eta Sigma Phi

Eta Sigma Phi, the national honorary classical society, was founded at the University of Chicago in 1924, and Beta Theta chapter was established at H-SC in 1942. Eligibility includes demonstration of high proficiency in the study of the classics, completion of at least three semesters of Latin or Greek with an appropriate scholastic average. Advisor: Dr. Janice Siegel

Eta Sigma Phi website

The Benefits of Classical Studies

The History Net on Why Study the Classics?

Drew University on Why Study the Classics? 
-Drew University

Brian McVey '90

Reverend Brian McVey '90, an Episcopal priest by way-of financial broker, has become a leading advocate in the fight to abolish human trafficking, working alongside his parishioners and other activists to rescue victims, support survivors, educate the public, and lobby all levels of governmental and ecclesiastical power.

Brian McVey '90

Classics Department

Dr. Janice Siegel, Chair
Associate Professor of Classics
Brinkley Hall, 005
Hampden-Sydney College | Hampden Sydney, VA 23943
(434) 223-7204

Classics Department Professors
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