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Department of Classics and Early Christian Literature. What is a Classic? . “A Classic is something everyone wishes to have read, but no one wants to read .”.

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What is a classic l.jpg
What is a Classic?

“A Classic is something everyone wishes

to have read,

but no one wants

to read.”


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The classics, referring to the literature of Greek and Roman civilizations, were established between the 4th century B.C. and the 4th century A.D. A curriculum based on that literature was already formed in the early Christian centuries.


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Christianity and Classical Culture? civilizations, were established between the 4

  • “Quid Athenae Hierosolymis?” Tertullian

  • “Ciceronianus es, non Christianus !” St. Jerome

  • “polla\ me\n poihtai~j,suggrafeu~si, filoso/foij prosekte/on” St. Basil.


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AMU department of Classics and early christian literature civilizations, were established between the 4

  • Committed to the study and teaching of the language, literature, and culture of Greco-Roman antiquity, the early Christian centuries, and the living classical tradition.


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The Bible in Greek and Latin civilizations, were established between the 4

Greek New Testament, Septuagint, Vetus Latina, Biblia Vulgata, Extracanonical books (e.g., Protevangelium of James, Gospel of Nicodemus)


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Greek Fathers of the Church civilizations, were established between the 4

  • Apostolic Fathers, Irenaeus, Origen, Athanasius, Cyril of Alexandria, Gregory Nazianzus, Gregory of Nyssa, Basil, John Chrysostom, Romanos, Akathist Hymn, John of Damascus


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Latina Vox ecclesiae civilizations, were established between the 4

  • Latin Patrology: Tertullian, Ambrose, Augustine

  • Medieval Latin: Peter Lombard, Abelard, Thomas Aquinas

  • Neo-Latin: Pope Pius II, Thomas More

  • Contemporary: Vatican II documents, Encyclicals.


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Classics courses within the Ave Maria University curriculum civilizations, were established between the 4

  • CORE: Elementary and Intermediate Latin language for B.A. candidates.

  • MAJOR: Attic and biblical Greek language, elementary to advanced.

  • Advanced Latin courses.

  • SPECIAL: Topics on the Greco-Roman world, early Christian life and letters, and the classical tradition for related majors and graduate students.


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Golden Age: Latin readings: Lucretius, Cicero, Vergil, Horace, Ovid.

Latin Epistolary Writing

Latin Prose Composition

Latin Church Fathers

Scholastic Latin Texts

Special Topics (e.g., Lactantius, Conciliar documents)

Elementary and Intermediate Greek

NT and Patristic Greek

Greek Poetry

Greek Church Fathers

Greek Special Topics

Gradus ad Parnassum


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Classics Department Faculty Horace, Ovid.

  • Andrew Dinan, Ph.D. Catholic Univ. Plutarch,Philo of Alexandria, Clement.

  • Bradley Ritter, Ph.D. Berkeley. Roman Republic, Hellenistic Judaism.

  • Daniel Nodes, Ph.D. Toronto. Greek and Latin Fathers, Renaissance humanism.

  • Rev. Piotr Paciorek, S.T.D, Marian Studies, Christian Latin, St. Augustine


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Work in Progress Horace, Ovid.

  • Preparing reading courses in a genre framework including secular and Christian writings

  • Assessing language proficiency and knowledge of the literature

  • Maintaining highest standards of scholarship in students and faculty

  • Building a small, well integrated, high-quality major program (currently nine majors)

  • Assisting graduate students in classical language acquisition and the reading of primary sources

  • Conducting summer programs in classical languages, literature and culture.

  • Anticipating co-curricular activities for interested students and faculty.


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Res Publica Litterarum Horace, Ovid. Advantages of Study by Genre

  • Allows for range across classical and Christian authors

  • Promotes exploration of similarities and differences within genres:

    • Cicero’s orations/ Augustine’s homilies

    • letters of Seneca/ letters of Leo

    • history of Tacitus/ history of Bede

    • Vergil’s poetry/ biblical epic


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AReply to Mark Twain Horace, Ovid.

  • “A classic is a work which people say they are re-reading even when they are reading it for the first time.”

  • “Classics never exhaust all they have to say to their readers.”

  • “Classics are works to which you cannot remain indifferent, and which help you define yourself in relation to them.”

    (“Why Read the Classics?” novelist Italo Calvino)


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Studia Humanitatis Horace, Ovid.

  • Education as formation and not merely as information.

  • “Homosum; humani nil a me alienum puto” Terence.

  • “Delectatio perficit operationem.” St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theolog. citing Aristotle.



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AVE MARIA UNIVERSITY Horace, Ovid.

The Department of Classics and Early Christian Literature

Spring Colloquium

a lecture and workshop by

Dr. Francis Cairns

Professor of Classics, The Florida State University

“The Mistress’s Midnight Summons:Tibullus and the Latin Lyric”

Followed by a review of graduating senior research projects.

Friday, 28 March 2007

Lecture: 3:30 p.m. Stella Maris Main Chapel

Discussion: 5:00 to 6:00 p.m. Loyola Hall 119-120

Both events are free and the campus community is cordially invited.


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Careers for Classicists? Horace, Ovid.

  • I like it, but what can I do with it?

  • With B.A., K – 12 Teaching

  • MAT Degree

  • Graduate Work in the Classics toward University Teaching

  • Law, Publishing, Journalism, Communications, Museum Curatorial, Politics, Library, Clergy and Religious, Business, Antiquities, . . . .


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