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Classical studies collection

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The Department of Classical Studies provides undergraduate and graduate programs in “all aspects of the broad field of Classical Studies”: languages, literature, history, archaeology, reception studies, and cultural studies. The richness of the department’s offerings are deepened further through the Art and Archaeology of the Mediterranean World and the Ancient History graduate programs and its intersecting with programs offered through the departments of Religious Studies,  English, Comparative Literature, Medieval Studies, Philosophy, Linguistics, Italian Studies, History of Art, and through  the Penn Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology.  Teaching and research interests fall into the areas of poetry and poetics, culture, political, social and intellectual history, ancient historiography, material culture, and reception studies.  See a list of recent publications from the department.

There are 14 standing faculty members in the Department. Three degree-granting graduate programs focus on classical studies, with 10 to 20 students in each: (1) the Graduate Program  in Classical Studies (the languages, literatures, and history of the classical world) (2) the Graduate Program in Ancient History ("the whole of the ancient history of the Near East and the Mediterranean Basin") and 3) the Graduate Program in the Art and Archaeology of the Mediterranean World, whose work is supported in large part through the collections of the Fisher Fine Arts Library and the University Museum.

Collection description

The Library's collections in ancient Greek and Roman literature, language and history are strong, and include all major collections of texts, the important commentaries, the great epigraphic sets, the standard prosopographies, and other genres distinctive to this very text-based and library-oriented discipline. Special Collections houses an important collection of Aristotle (and pseudo-Aristotle) editions and commentaries, as well as the Henry C. Lea Library of Byzantine and Medieval History. A large number of early nineteenth century editions of Greek and Roman authors from the 20,000 volume collection of Professor E.L. von Leutsch (Göttingen), acquired in 1890, are in the general collections.

In addition to the collections in the Van Pelt stacks, the Museum Library (archaeology, ceramics and numismatics) and the Fisher Fine Arts Library (painting, sculpture, architecture), there is a significant number of core texts (Teubner, Loeb, Budé, Oxford Classical Texts) and reference works in the Class of 1974 Classics Resource Room on the third floor of Van Pelt.

Because the texts that form the traditional foundation of classical studies are so clearly delimited, classical scholars were among the first to make extensive corpora available in machine-readable form. The Libraries provide access to the major textual databases published for classicists and medievalists. For a fuller picture, visit: Classical Studies: Print and Online Resources at Penn.

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