Research Fields

The faculty of the Department of Classics work in a diverse range of fields, and collaborate regularly with scholars both from other departments at the University of Chicago and from outside the University. As a result, the Department fosters an innovative and interdisciplinary approach to research and teaching in classics.

Our faculty conduct research and offer courses in the following broad fields:

  • Literature underpins all the fields that the Department covers, and every faculty member teaches courses that incorporate literary texts.
  • Ancient History at the University of Chicago is driven by social, economic, and cultural approaches to the history of the Mediterranean and Near East from the Bronze Age to the Byzantine period, as well as by the political.
  • Ancient Philosophy is taught across the Department of Classics, the Department of Philosophy, and the Committee on Social Thought, exploring both Greek and Roman philosophy in rich detail.
  • Reception Studies, in which our faculty have a distinguished publication record, investigate how ancient poetry, drama, and political theory have been received in various times and places.
  • Religion in the Department of Classics explores beliefs, mythologies, and rituals from across the ancient world, benefitting from the expertise both of our own faculty in Greek and Roman religion and of associated faculty in a wide range of ancient religions.
  • Ancient Economy benefits from a highly collaborative approach across the University of Chicago, most notably in the form of the Working Group on Comparative Economics, of which Alain Bresson is a founder.
  • Classical Archaeology examines the visual and material cultures of the ancient world, in which three of our members of faculty have keen interests and histories of publication.
  • Epigraphy is taught both at an introductory level and at an advanced level interweaved with the other fields covered by the Department, where it provides an invaluable source of evidence for the language, literature, history, institutions, religion, and local culture of the ancient world.
  • Papyrology has a notable history at the University of Chicago, and its study here always been typified by an interdisciplinary focus in which the Department of Classics plays a strong role.
  • Medieval Latin is priviliged at the University of Chicago by our extensive manuscript collections and the ability of our students to study in archives across the world.
  • Numismatics are closely linked to the study of the ancient economy, but also provide a rich insight into the political, religious, and cultural life of the ancient world that is often essential to research in ancient history.

Each link provides detailed information about the research undertaken in the Department and the courses and opportunities available to students. Because these fields are not an exhaustive account of the work done in the Department of Classics, prospective students are encouraged also to see the lists of faculty and associated faculty for publication histories and areas of specialization.