Department of Classics

Mather House
Phone: 216.368.2348; Fax: 216.368.4681
Paul Iversen, Department Chair

The Department of Classics introduces students to the culture, life, and legacy of ancient Greece and Rome through courses in the Greek and Latin languages and literatures, in ancient history, archaeology and medicine, and in the visual and material cultures of the ancient Mediterranean world, including the Ancient Near East and Egypt. The department faculty represents a range of academic disciplines and is committed, where appropriate, to an interdisciplinary approach in teaching and research.

The core purpose of the department is to offer the opportunity for study of the ancient classical languages, as well as Akkadian and Egyptian hieroglyphs, as a crucial point of entry into the conceptual worlds of Greece, Rome, and the Ancient Near East and Egypt. Students are also exposed to the various facets of antiquity, particularly its mingling of cultures and belief systems, that made the ancient Mediterranean world the progenitor of the modern West and an enduring influence on global culture. The different subdisciplines and methodologies represented in the department involve multiple ways of exploring and understanding antiquity. Our students explore the philological, literary, historical, social, and philosophical dimensions of ancient texts, and they engage with material and visual culture and city form through archaeology, epigraphy, and art and architectural history. 

Knowledge of antiquity constitutes the backbone of a liberal education and is useful for further professional training in whatever field a student may ultimately pursue. It also provides an excellent basis for informed engagement with the political, social, and cultural issues of our turbulent times, as well as for the appreciation and enjoyment of artistic and cultural achievement. A major or minor in classics or in the ancient Near East and Egypt may be profitably combined with programs aimed toward law, medicine, management, diplomatic service, banking, journalism, library science, or politics; religious, philosophic, literary, or historical studies; careers in the fine arts (visual or performing); or museum and archival work.

Department Faculty

Paul A. Iversen, PhD
(The Ohio State University)
Associate Professor and Chair
Greek and Latin epigraphy; Hellenistic history and culture; Greek and Roman New Comedy

Evelyn Adkins, PhD
(University of Michigan)
Assistant Professor
Latin literature; the ancient novel; gender and sexuality; Roman social history

Maddalena Rumor, PhD
(Freie Universität, Berlin)
Assistant Professor
Ancient Babylonian medicine and science

Rachel Sternberg, PhD
(Bryn Mawr College)
Greek language and literature; Greek social history; history of emotion; reception of the classical tradition in the age of Jefferson

Timothy Wutrich, PhD
(Tufts University)
Senior Instructor
Greek and Roman drama; Vergil; the Classical Tradition in literature and the arts


Mark Hammond, PhD
(University of Missouri)
Late Roman Ceramics & Society

Cooperating Faculty

Maggie L. Popkin, PhD
(Institute of Fine Arts, New York University)
Robson Junior Professor; Associate Professor, Department of Art History and Art
Ancient Roman art and archaeology

Deepak Sarma, PhD
(University of Chicago)
Professor, Department of Religious Studies
Hinduism; Indian philosophy; method and theory in the study of religion

Adjunct Faculty

Karen Laurence, PhD
(University of Michigan)
Assistant Director of Faculty and Alumni Engagement; Adjunct Assistant Professor
Greek sanctuaries and games under Roman rule

Meghan Strong, PhD
(Cambridge University)
Adjunct Assistant Professor
Ancient Egyptian art and archaeology


Jenifer Neils, PhD
(Bryn Mawr)
Elsie B. Smith Professor in the Liberal Arts Emerita
Greek art history