Explore the roots of Christianity and how it intersects with modern culture through the interdisciplinary study of Greco-Roman culture and language.

Dive into the ancient world through classical languages, literatures, archaeology and ancient history. The classical languages department at Calvin College has taken on the task of teaching and interpreting the ancient world for students who wish to understand the context in which Christianity developed.

Study classics at Calvin

Study the ancient world to gain an in-depth understanding of the gospel in history.

The Princeton Review ranks classics as an excellent major for medical school and law school, and notes that classics majors "consistently have some of the highest scores on GREs of all undergraduates." Read more here.

Classics offers you a valuable foundation for advanced studies in:
  • Archaeology
  • Art history
  • Biblical studies
  • History
  • Law & medicine
  • Linguistics
  • Literature
  • Philosophy
  • Theology

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Featured book

Epiphanius of Cyprus: Imagining an Orthodox World

by Young Kim

Epiphanius of Cyprus offers the first complete biography in English of Epiphanius, lead bishop of Cyprus in the late fourth century CE and author of the Panarion, a massive encyclopedia of heresies. Imagining himself a defender of orthodoxy, he became an active heresy-hunter, involving himself in the most significant theological and ecclesiastical debates of his day

Young Richard Kim studies the bishop as a historical person and a self-constructed persona, as mediated within the pages of the Panarion. Kim’s “micro-readings” of the Panarion present a close look at autobiographical anecdotes, situated in historical contexts, that profoundly shaped both Epiphanius’ character and how he wanted his readers to perceive him. “Macro-readings” examine portions of the Panarion that reflected how Epiphanius imagined his world, characterized by an orthodoxy that had existed since Creation and was preserved through the generations. In the final chapter, Kim considers Epiphanius’ life after the publication of the Panarion and how he spent years “living” the pages of his heresiology.
Kim brings a more balanced perspective to a controversial figure, recognizing shortcomings but also understanding them in light of Epiphanius’ own world. The bishop appears not as a buffoon, but as someone who knew how to use the power of the rhetoric of orthodoxy to augment his own authority. Quintessentially late antique, he embodied the contentious transition from the classical past to the medieval and Byzantine worlds.
This book will be of broad interest to students and scholars of ancient history, classics, and religious studies.

Explore classics at Calvin
Majors and minors

Majors and minors
Explore the department’s majors and minors and discover the multildimensional nature of the classics department.

Interim

Classics interim
Take a look at the annual classics interim and plan ahead for the studies you will complete and sites you will see.

Events

Events
Explore the many ways to get involved on Calvin’s campus, including those specifically oriented towards classics majors.

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