Table of Contents


Department Chair: Dr. Andrea Rotstein
Phone: +972-2-5880302

Department Secretary: Sara Parnassa 
Phone: 02-5883965                             

Department of Classical Studies
The Faculty of Humanities
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Mount Scopus
Jerusalem, 9190501


BA Studies

Course Objectives

B.A. studies at the Classics Department provide an in-depth knowledge of the intellectual treasures of classical Antiquity in their literary, linguistic, historical and philosophical dimensions. Students approach the great books of the classical literary canon – Tragedy and Comedy, Poetry, Philosophical Texts, History and Oratory – in unmediated fashion, in their original languages. Department students are also exposed to non-literary sources, namely epigraphical, papyrological and archeological ones, and learn of areas of contact between Classical Greek and Roman culture and other, surrounding cultures, such as Hellenistic Judaism.

Elective B.A. courses focus on a range of texts from several genres. Students are exposed to a broad amalgam of areas of research, including Linguistics, Textual Criticism, the preservation and transmission of classical texts, Literature and Literary Criticism, History, History of the Theatre and of Visual Arts; Social Structures and Cultural Institutions; Religious Studies; the development of science and technology; Philosophy; Law and Political Thought.

During the course of their studies, BA. students are also exposed to a range of research approaches and scientific methodologies which prepare them for advanced-level research in Classics and related fields.

Studies in our department are carried out in small groups which offer an intensive and intimate learning experience involving personal guidance and mentoring of each student by department teachers.

Structure of B.A. Studies

As of 2016-17, B.A. studies at Hebrew University consist of two majors or one major and complementary studies. Classics B.A. students may choose between three tracks: a Greek-oriented track, a Roman-oriented one, and a more or less symmetrically balanced bi-lingual track. In all three tracks the students are trained in both Greek and Roman materials and sources, but the emphasis on the two cultures varies in the different tracks.


The first year of study is devoted to learning Greek and Latin, and to introductory courses aimed at establishing a basic familiarity with classical culture. During their second year students acquire a deeper knowledge of the languages, authors, and genres of classical literature, through a direct reading of works in the original language. All courses from the second year onwards require knowledge of Greek and/or Latin.

In the third year of studies students participate in seminars, are exposed to research in Classics, and learn to carry out independent research. The third year is also devoted to the completion of independent reading requirements (to be explained below). At the completion of their B.A. course work, students are required to take an integrative exam (details below). While studying for their degree, students are required to take two complementary courses from other departments (details below).

Complementary courses from other departments. In the course of their B.A. studies, students are required to attend two courses offered by other departments in the Humanities Faculty, courses which serve as introductions to various aspects of classical culture. One of these courses should be a course offered by the History Department on the history of Greece or Rome.

The second course should be chosen, after consultation with the departmental advisor, from the following list:

  • Art: Introduction to Ancient and Classical Art
  • Archaeology: Introduction to Greek Archaeology / Introduction to Roman Archaeology
  • Linguistics: Introduction to Linguistics
  • History: Classical and Hellenistic Greece / Rome from Republic to Principate
  • Philosophy: Introduction to the History of Greek Philosophy
  • Literature: Literary Greats, Part I / Introduction to Poetry / Landmarks in Literary Criticism from Plato to Nietzsche
  • Theatre: History of Theatre in the West - Greece and Rome
  • Jewish Thought: The Encounter of Judaism with Hellenistic Culture
  • Religion: Introduction to Christianity / Religions of the Ancient World
  • Middle Ages and the West: Introduction to Romance Literatures / Introduction to Medieval Literature

Independent Reading: During the course of B.A. studies, students are required to complete a reading list which includes a range of core texts. This obligatory reading list enables students to reach the highest international standards of Classics students.

The reading list includes some works which are taught in the framework of courses. Students read the remaining texts independently during the second and third years of their B.A. studies and are given a brief oral exam on the texts.

Integrative Exam: Students are examined on a body of text in addition to relevant scholarly bibliographical items: the text is individually chosen by each student, and coordinated to their field of interest.

The department also organizes study trips to archeological sites from the classical period.

Modern Languages: The department recommends that students study a modern language, be it French, German or Italian.

Recommended Distribution of courses Towards the B.A. Degree

First Year

Elementary Greek 8 credits
Elementary Latin 8 credits
Introduction to Classical Culture: Greece 2 credits
Introduction to Classical Culture: Rome 2 credits
It is also possible to add one of the introductory courses from outside the department:

Introductory course in Greek or Roman History
(A course offered by the History department, given every year)

2 credits
Introductory course from a selection of Faculty courses
(from the list of courses detailed in the study program)
2 credits

Course load: 10 to 12 weekly hours (5 to 6 courses per week every semester)

Second Year

Completion of First Year courses  
Completion of Introductory courses outside the department  
Intermediate Greek A + B 4 credits
Intermedite Latin A + B 4 credits

Bibliographical Introduction to Classical Studies
(Course offered every other year, to be attended by students in the second or third year of B.A. studies)

2 credits
4 textual reading courses in primary language 8 credits
2 textual reading courses in secondary language 4 credits

Course load: 12 to 14 weekly hours (6 to 7 classes a week per semester + completion of requirements from previous years).

Third Year

Completion of first- and second-year coursework

2 reading courses / lecture-and-reading courses in primary language      4 credits
4 seminar courses 8 credits

Course load: 6 weekly hours (6 semester courses + completion of outstanding requirements of coursework from previous years)


Non-course requirements:

Seminar Papers  
Completion of requirements of the Independent reading list      2 credits
Integrative Exam 4 credits

It is highly recommended that third year students take more courses in the first semester, and plan blocks of course-free time in the second semester for non-course requirements.