Hiram College

Classical and Medieval Studies Minor

Traditional Undergraduate

The Foundation of the Liberal Arts

Classical and Medieval Studies is a multidisciplinary minor deeply rooted in the liberal arts tradition. Although based in cultural history, this minor uniquely combines Art History, Latin, English, History, Philosophy, and Political Science into a program predicated upon a comprehensive understanding of Classical civilization as the foundation of Western intellectual culture.

Far from being singularly focused upon European culture, this minor examines the Classical tradition as a multicultural phenomenon that emanated from an ethnically, linguistically, and culturally diverse ancient world.

Students can concentrate their studies in a flexible way so that they may acquire transferable skills that complement a wide range of majors with various career objectives.

Minors pursue one of three tracks:

  • Classical Studies and Latin
  • Medieval Studies and Latin
  • Classical and Medieval Studies with no Latin requirement.

Latin Tracks: Classical Studies and Latin, Medieval Studies and Latin

Students who pursue a track that includes Latin will acquire a skill set that is deeply beneficial to either Classical or Medieval studies, since Latin remained the lingua franca of Europe from antiquity to the early modern era. Competency in Latin will allow students to read Classical and Medieval literature and other primary sources in the original language, which deepens their understanding immeasurably. Furthermore, the study of Latin has proven benefits that extend well beyond this minor. An understanding of Latin has been shown to improve students’ comprehension of English vocabulary, grammar, and structure, which in turns makes them better writers. Since about 60% of English vocabulary is derived from Latin, students increase their understanding of English words, particularly technical, scientific, legal, and other complex terms. This is especially useful to those aspiring to enter graduate school or the fields of law, science, or medicine.

Non-Language Track: Classical and Medieval Studies

Students can also choose to focus upon non-language courses within the areas of Classical and Medieval Studies so that they may broaden their comprehension of Western thought and its cultural institutions. The legacy of the Classical world remained at the heart of Medieval culture and society, and a deep knowledge of the ancient world is needed to place the Medieval tradition in context. Students who pursue this minor will also acquire a foundation of knowledge and familiarity with a set of methodological tools that span several disciplines, instead of an approach rooted in only one field, such as History. A combination of Classical and Medieval Studies also broadens the geographic and cultural scope of a student’s education who might otherwise solely focus upon Europe. Classics is a multicultural discipline since it focuses upon not only the Mediterranean basin but also surrounding regions of Africa and the Middle East.

The Classical and Medieval Studies track, like the two tracks with Latin, offers numerous transferable skills that will make minors attractive to employers in a variety of careers. Students will improve their ability to write, conduct independent research, and critically evaluate a wide range of evidence. By learning how to use a diverse range of material as evidence for problem-solving, not only texts but also art and artifacts, Classical and Medieval Studies students will be ready to tackle new challenges with mental agility.

Matthew Notarian Headshot

Matthew Notarian, Ph.D.

Visiting Assistant Professor of Classics