The Department of Classics

Classical Civilization courses offered by the Honors College

Members of the Classics faculty hold joint appointments in the Meijer Honors College and regularly teach the following Honors courses:


Classics majors who have been admitted to the Honors College have the option of fulfilling the departmental Cultural Core course requirements by completing the Classical World sequence.

HNR 211/212 Classical World I. HNR 211/212 is the first half of the two-semester Classical World Honors arts and humanities sequence. The course covers the history, literature, intellectual history, philosophy, and arts of ancient Greece down to the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BCE. HNR 211 and 212 must be taken concurrently. Six credits. Fall.

Honors Classical World participants visit the Toledo Museum of Art.

HNR 221/222 Classical World II.  HNR 221/222 is the second half of the two-semester Classical World Honors arts and humanities sequence. The course continues the study of the history, philosophy, and culture of classical antiquity begun in HNR 211/212 through the Hellenistic and Roman periods. HNR 221 and 222 must be taken concurrently. Six credits. Winter.

Consistent with the goals of the Honors College (see below), these courses take a multi-disciplinary approach to the study of Classical culture. This approach includes close and extensive reading of both primary sources (such as literary texts and artifacts) and secondary sources (including history and art history textbooks). These sources will are examined critically and carefully in class discussions, through individual and group assignments, and in multimedia presentations.

In addition to regular class meetings, course activities include visits to art museums and work in an art studio.

Success depends upon active and informed participation in activities, discussion, careful preparation, constructive collaboration with other class participants, and close contact with faculty members, particularly in the creation and revision of assigned work.


HNR 300: Classical Mythology. HNR 300 examines ancient Greek and Roman myths in their cultural and historical contexts. A variety of methods of interpreting myths are explored. Readings include myths continuing to influence modern literature and thought, such as the Homeric hymns, Hesiod's Theogony, and Ovid's Metamorphoses. Fulfills World Perspectives requirement.

HNR 324: Worlds of Late Antiquity. HNR 324 explores geopolitical and cultural transformation in the Mediterranean and the Near East from roughly 300 to 800 C.E. Topics include the rise of Christianity and Islam, the later Roman state and army, “barbarian” invasions, Byzantium and Persia, personal piety and ecclesiastical controversy, urban life and the foundation of Constantinople.


Grand Valley offers academically talented students an opportunity to participate in an exclusive community of scholars exemplifying intellectual achievement. The Grand Valley University Honors College is an alternative form of general education that integrates courses and disciplines, offers a variety of team-taught courses, and maintains small class size.

Professors give individual attention to each student and expend extra time and energy to help students' progress. The University Honors College chooses faculty who are experts in their fields and who get excited about working with undergraduates. The University Honors College prepares students to be competitive nationally for graduate and professional programs. Honors students develop high levels of proficiency in research, writing, and critical thinking, synthesizing material from multiple disciplines, and applying analytical skills to primary sources.

All students enrolled in the University Honors College are required to take an integrated arts and humanities sequence consisting of four three-credit courses. This arts and humanities experience serves as a gateway for all subsequent Honors education and comprises the Honors core. Completion of these classes with a B average satisfies all university writing requirements.

Courses offered by the Department of Classics

Classics courses that fulfill General Education Requirements

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Contact the Department of Classics

Page last modified October 3, 2010