Access to the College Green area of campus will be restricted until further notice. PennCard holders and some Penn affiliates may enter and exit Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center through the Rosengarten Undergraduate Study Center on the ground floor, and may enter and exit the Fisher Fine Arts Library through the 34th Street entrance to Meyerson Hall. See our Service Alerts for details.

Accordion List

The Department of Classical Studies provides undergraduate and graduate programs in “all aspects of the broad field of Classical Studies”: languages, literature, history, archaeology, reception studies, and cultural studies. The richness of the department’s offerings are deepened further through the Art and Archaeology of the Mediterranean World and the Ancient History graduate programs and its intersection with programs offered through the departments of Religious Studies, English, Comparative Literature, Medieval Studies, Philosophy, Linguistics, Italian Studies, History of Art, and through the Penn Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. Teaching and research interests fall into the areas of poetry and poetics; culture; political, social and intellectual history; race and ethnicity in the ancient world; environmental impacts on culture and society; translation studies; ancient historiography; material culture; reception studies; economics; and status.

For more information visit the Department's website.

In addition to the collections in the Van Pelt-Dietrich Library, the Museum Library (archaeology, ceramics, and numismatics) and the Fisher Fine Arts Library (painting, sculpture, architecture), there is a significant number of core texts (Teubner, Loeb, Budé, Oxford Classical Texts) and reference works in the Class of 1974 Classics Resource Room on the third floor of Van Pelt.

Because the primary ancient Greek and Latin texts are so clearly delimited, classical studies scholars were among the first to make extensive corpora available in machine-readable form. The Libraries provides access to the major textual databases published for classicists and medievalists. For a fuller picture, visit: Classical Studies: Print and Online Resources at Penn.

New areas of growth in the collection center around new and newly recognized literature on African American contributions to the field and a focus on underrepresented voices of the non-elite, including women, the enslaved, peasants, and other working poor. Additional areas recognize curricular and scholarly attention to ancient economies, regions bordering and colonized by Greece and Rome, ancient medicine, and disabilities in the ancient world.

1. Chronological

From Prehistory through the Middle Ages and the Renaissance to the modern Classical Tradition, and the 21st century reconsideration and examination of the field.

2. Formats

Books and journals in print and electronic formats; online databases for collections of texts, reference materials, and linguistic data. Platform level access is available for major publishers in the field including Cambridge, Oxford, De Gruyter, Bloomsbury, Brill, BAR, Archeopress, and Taylor & Francis. Find links to collections at Penn as well as selected links to outside resources through the guide for Classical Studies.

3. Geographical

The collection focuses on the ancient Mediterranean including the ancient Near East and areas of Roman occupation in Europe and Britain. Reception materials are interdisciplinary in nature and can encompass all geographical locations, time periods, and literary traditions.

4. Language

Primary source materials in Greek and Latin; secondary materials in a number of languages, especially English, German, French, and Italian.

5. Publication Dates

Emphasis on current materials. Some retrospective purchasing, especially the replacement of missing and damaged books.

The Classical Studies collection is strongly international in character, and for this reason materials are acquired from widely diverse sources. Approval plans, standing orders, bibliographer selection, and faculty and student requests account for new additions to the collection. The Libraries makes every effort to acquire appropriate books and journals wherever published. The major vendors include Otto Harrassowitz for German materials, Amalivre for Francophone materials, Casalini Libri for Italian, Spanish, and Greek materials, and GOBI for US and UK materials.

Subject Level
Greek and Latin Paleography 3/3W
History of the Greek Language, Grammar, Lexicography 4/4W
Greek Language-Hellenic 3/3W
Greek Language-Hellenistic Greek 3/3W
Greek Language-Medieval & Modern 2/2F
Greek Literature  
-- Homer & Archaic Epic 4/4W
-- Classical 4/4W
-- Drama (Tragedy, Comedy) 4/4W
-- History 4/4W
Hellenistic Literature 3/3W
Greek Papyri & Papyrology  
Epigraphy (Greek and Roman) 4/4W
Byzantine Literature 2/2F
Greek Literature-Modern 2/2F
History of the Latin Language, Grammar, Lexicography 4/4W
Ancient Dialects & Languages of Italy 3/3W
Latin Language-Medieval & Neo-Latin 3/3W
Latin Literature  
-- Early Latin 4/4W
-- Republican Literature 4/4W
-- Augustan Literature 4/4W
Early Christian Literature (Greek, Latin) 3/3W
Medieval and Neo-Latin Literature 4/4W
History-Greece  
-- Bronze Age, Homeric, Archaic 4/4W
-- Classical Period 4/4W
Hellenistic Period 4/4W
-- Roman Period 4/4W
Byzantine Empire 3/3W
History-Italy  
-- Archaic 4/4W
-- Classical 4/4W
-- Republican Rome 4/4W
-- Imperial Rome 4/4W
Gender Studies 4/4W
Myth and Religion 4/4W
Medicine, Science, Technology 4/4W
Roman Law 3/3W

The Library seeks to maintain a research level, i.e., 4/4, collection in such subjects as Greek civilization, Roman civilization, comparative literature (classical and modern), ancient medicine, and the exploration of Greek and Roman influences on other cultures.

The Libraries has the collected works of the major 19th and 20th century Greek authors in the original, but is not currently developing this segment of the collection. English translations of important literary works are acquired as they become available.

Strong Classics collections in the Middle Atlantic area to which Penn faculty members and students have access are Bryn Mawr (classical archaeology), Columbia, Princeton, and all collections of the Ivy Plus institutions. See more on the Penn Libraries' reciprocal borrowing agreements, especially the libraries' agreements with the SHARE Library Group and BorrowDirect Plus.