Program in Hellenic Studies



  • Jack B. Tannous

Executive Committee

  • Mark R. Beissinger, Politics
  • Emmanuel C. Bourbouhakis, Classics
  • Marina S. Brownlee, Spanish & Portuguese
  • Dimitri H. Gondicas, Council of the Humanities, ex officio
  • Barbara Graziosi, Classics
  • Molly Greene, History
  • Eric S. Gregory, Religion
  • Johannes Haubold, Classics
  • Melissa Lane, Politics
  • Hendrik Lorenz, Philosophy
  • Efthymia Rentzou, French & Italian
  • Michael A. Reynolds, Near Eastern Studies
  • Teresa Shawcross, History

Associated Faculty

  • Joshua H. Billings, Classics
  • M. Christine Boyer, Architecture
  • Eduardo L. Cadava, English
  • Marc Domingo Gygax, Classics
  • Karen R. Emmerich, Comparative Literature
  • Brooke A. Holmes, Classics
  • Samuel Holzman, Art and Archaeology
  • Michael Koortbojian, Art and Archaeology
  • Spyros Papapetros, Architecture
  • Helmut Reimitz, History
  • Jamie L. Reuland, Music
  • Katerina Stergiopoulou, Classics

Sits with Committee

  • David T. Jenkins
  • Alan M. Stahl
For a full list of faculty members and fellows please visit the department or program website.

Program Information

The Program in Hellenic Studies, under the general direction of the Council of the Humanities and with the support of the Stanley J. Seeger '52 Center for Hellenic Studies, is designed for students interested in the interdisciplinary study of the Greek world during one or more periods (ancient, late antique, Byzantine, Renaissance, early modern (Ottoman), modern, or contemporary), as well as for students focusing on the reception of the classical tradition across cultures, time, or space.

The program offers language courses in modern Greek and postclassical Greek (Hellenistic koine to Byzantine Greek); freshman seminars in Hellenic studies; introductory courses in Byzantine and modern Greek studies; upperclass seminars in classical, Byzantine, and modern Greek studies; global seminars and a senior thesis colloquium for those who are concentrating in the program. These are complemented by cognate courses offered in several cooperating University departments.

Additional information about the program can be found at the program's website.

Admission to the Program

The program is open to undergraduates concentrating in any department. Admission is by application normally during sophomore or junior year. Students will be accepted into the program on the basis of interest and a coherent academic plan.

The formal requirements for admission are:

Satisfactory completion of one of the following: HLS 107, HLS 206, HLS 210, HLS 240, HLS 251, HLS 316, HLS 335, HLS 337, HLS 345, HLS 358, HLS 361, HUM 216-217; ART 304, or COM 205; a freshman seminar or global seminar on a Hellenic studies topic approved by the program executive director.

Program of Study

Program students may elect to follow one of three plans of study:

Plan A

Allows a specialization in Modern Greek language and literature. Students in this plan must satisfy a language requirement (HLS 107 or its equivalent).

Plan B

Provides for a broad-based interdisciplinary study of modern Greece, including modern and contemporary history, politics, international relations, economics, or anthropology.

Plan C

Emphasizes the chronological breadth of Hellenism through one or more humanistic disciplines (e.g., literature, history, art, religion, music) and/or the reception of the classical tradition in texts, visual culture, or thought across historical periods or cultures. Plan C students will be expected to complete coursework in one or more post-Classical periods: Late Antique, Byzantine, Renaissance, or Modern.

Each student works out an individual program of study in consultation with the program executive director. Students in all three plans of study must complete the following requirements:

  1. Completion of at least one of the following: HLS 107, HLS 206, HLS 210, HLS 240, HLS 251, HLS 316, HLS 335, HLS 345, HLS 358, HLS 361,  HUM 216-217; ART 304, or COM 205. Plan A students must also complete HLS 107 or its equivalent.
  2. Two upper-level HLS seminars. Students with a compelling curricular reason may petition the director of the Program in Hellenic Studies for acceptance of an upper division cognate. A list of cognate courses is available from the Program office.
  3. A senior thesis with a Hellenic studies focus that falls within one of the plans outlined above, to be approved by the Program executive director. Science and engineering majors must submit during their senior year a substantial project (research paper or creative work) on a Hellenic topic, approved by the Program executive director. In special cases, for humanities or social science majors whose senior thesis work will not facilitate a Hellenic focus, a junior paper or a substantial project (research paper or creative work) on a Hellenic topic may be substituted at the approval of the Program executive director.

The Seeger Center also sponsors Hellenic studies workshops, a lecture series, and occasional colloquia that provide a forum for discussion of research in progress on all aspects of Greek civilization by faculty members, students, members of the Institute for Advanced Study, and visiting scholars.


Plan A students must complete HLS 107 or its equivalent. Students choosing Plan B or Plan C are encouraged to take at least two years of ancient, medieval, or modern Greek.

Study Abroad

Program students are encouraged to pursue further study and research in Greece during the summer months and, on occasion, during the academic year. Interested students may apply for Stanley J. Seeger study/travel fellowships through the Seeger Center.

Under the auspices of the Office of International Programs, students may complement their academic work in Hellenic studies by enrolling for one or two terms at selected institutions in Greece or England.

Certificate of Proficiency

A student who completes the requirements of the program with satisfactory standing receives a certificate of proficiency in Hellenic studies.


Additional Information

Cognate Courses. A list of complete cognate courses may be found on the program's website. Any of these courses may provide an appropriate supplement to the program's core courses. Other courses may be added to this list with the approval of the appropriate department and the director of the program.


HLS 101 Elementary Modern Greek I (also
MOG 101
) Fall

Designed to serve as an introduction to the language of modern Greece. Practice in speaking, grammatical analysis, composition, and graded reading. Four classes. No credit is given for HLS 101 unless followed by HLS 102. Instructed by: Staff

HLS 102 Elementary Modern Greek II (also
MOG 102
) Spring

A continuation of 101, aiming to develop the skills of listening, speaking, reading, and writing modern Greek in a cultural context. Classroom activities include videos, comprehension and grammar exercises, and discussions. Four classes. Instructed by: Staff

HLS 105 Intermediate Modern Greek (also
MOG 105
) Fall

Advanced grammatical analysis, composition, and graded reading, with further practice in speaking. An introduction to themes in the Hellenic tradition through readings in modern Greek literature. Four classes. Prerequisite: 102 or instructor's permission. Instructed by: Staff

HLS 107 Advanced Modern Greek (also
MOG 107
) Spring

Advanced composition and oral practice aimed at developing idiomatic written and spoken style. Discussions entirely in Greek. Introduces students to contemporary Greek culture and literature through the study of works by Cavafy, Sikelianos, Seferis, Elytis, Ritsos, and Anagnostakis, among others. Readings from articles on current Greek topics. Four classes. Prerequisite: 105 or instructor's permission. Instructed by: Staff

HLS 201 What is a Classic? (See CLA 203)

HLS 203 The Classical Roots of Western Literature (See COM 205)

HLS 204 Greek Archaeology: The Classical Period (See ART 204)

HLS 205 Medieval Art in Europe (See ART 205)

HLS 206 Byzantine Art and Architecture (See ART 206)

HLS 208 Introduction to Ancient Philosophy (See PHI 205)

HLS 209 The Byzantine Empire (See HIS 205)

HLS 210 The World of Late Antiquity (See HIS 210)

HLS 211 Rhetoric: Classical Theory, Modern Practice (See CLA 211)

HLS 212 Classical Mythology (See CLA 212)

HLS 217 The Greek World in the Hellenistic Age (See CLA 217)

HLS 225 Bondage and Slaving in Global History (See CLA 225)

HLS 226 Living, Naturally: Organisms, Ecologies, and Norms in Greco-Roman Antiquity (See CLA 226)

HLS 227 The Worlds of the Middle Ages (See MED 227)

HLS 230 Constantinople: A Literary Journey to the Capital of Byzantium (See CLA 230)

HLS 231 Ancient Greek and Roman Medicine: Bodies, Physicians, and Patients (See CLA 231)

HLS 232 Rhetoric and Politics (See CLA 232)

HLS 236 Traditions, Tales, and Tunes: Slavic and East European Folklore (See COM 236)

HLS 240 Introduction to Post-Classical Greek from the Late Antique to the Byzantine Era (See CLG 240)

HLS 241 Judaism, Christianity, and Islam: Their Emergence in Antiquity (See REL 244)

HLS 242 Greek Tragedy from Ancient Athens to Ferguson (See CLA 242)

HLS 243 Greek Politics in Practice and Theory (See CLA 244)

HLS 244 Sex and Salvation in Early Christian Literature (See CLA 245)

HLS 251 The New Testament and Christian Origins (See REL 251)

HLS 252 Jesus: How Christianity Began (See REL 252)

HLS 253 Early Christian Women: From Mary Magdalene to Martyred Mothers (See REL 253)

HLS 260 Christianity and Classical Culture (See CLA 260)

HLS 300 Plato and His Predecessors (See PHI 300)

HLS 301 The Art of the Iron Age: The Near East and Early Greece (See ART 301)

HLS 302 Aristotle and His Successors (See PHI 301)

HLS 303 Political Theory, Athens to Augustine (See POL 301)

HLS 305 Psychological Anthropology (See ANT 305)

HLS 307 Hellenistic Art (See ART 307)

HLS 308 Toward an Environmental History of the Mediterranean (See HIS 308)

HLS 309 Modern Eastern Europe, 19th to 20th Centuries (See HIS 301)

HLS 313 Global Medieval Architecture (See ART 313)

HLS 320 Topics in Medieval Greek Literature (See CLA 320)

HLS 322 Classical Historians and Their Philosophies of History (See CLA 324)

HLS 324 The Classical Tradition (See COM 324)

HLS 326 Tragedy (See COM 326)

HLS 327 Topics in Ancient History (See CLA 327)

HLS 333 Religion and Philosophy in the Roman Empire (See CLA 333)

HLS 334 Modern Transformations of Classical Themes (See CLA 334)

HLS 335 Studies in the Classical Tradition (See CLA 335)

HLS 337 The Ottoman Empire, 1300-1800 (See NES 437)

HLS 338 Greek Ethical Theory (See PHI 335)

HLS 340 Greek Law and Legal Practice (See CLA 330)

HLS 341 Venice, Theater of the World (See MUS 334)

HLS 342 Kings and Tyrants: Greece and the Near East, ca. 1000-450 BCE (See CLA 318)

HLS 343 The Formation of Europe in the First Millennium (See HIS 343)

HLS 345 The Crusades (See HIS 345)

HLS 350 Archaeology of the Roman Empire (See CLA 350)

HLS 351 Tolerance and Governance in the Mediterranean (See ANT 351)

HLS 352 Marginalized Groups in Ancient Philosophy: Women, Barbarians, and Slaves (See PHI 355)

HLS 354 The Icon (See ART 310)

HLS 356 The Apostle Paul in Text and Context: His Letters, His Communities, and His Interpreters (See REL 355)

HLS 358 History of the Balkans (See HIS 358)

HLS 359 Sappho: Her Work and Influence from 600 BCE to the Present (See CLA 357)

HLS 361 Special Topics in Modern Greek Civilization Not offered this year LA

An aspect or period of modern Greek civilization since the War of Independence (1821) as it is illuminated by literary, historical, and other relevant sources. Emphasis will be given to the cross-cultural context of the topic, including the relation of modern Greece to Western, Eastern, or Balkan cultures, or the Hellenic diaspora in America and elsewhere. Instructed by: Staff

HLS 362 Special Topics in Byzantine Civilization Not offered this year

An aspect of the civilization of the Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Empire, from 312 to 1453, as illuminated by literary, historical, and other relevant sources. Emphasis will be given to the cross-cultural context of the topic, including relations of the Byzantine Empire with Sassanid Persia, the Arabs, the Slavs, and Western Europe. Two lectures, one preceptorial. Instructed by: Staff

HLS 363 Special Topics in Hellenic Studies Not offered this year

The diachronic development of a theme, genre, or institution, with emphasis on the continuities and discontinuities between successive periods of Hellenic culture--ancient, Byzantine, and modern. The approach will be interdisciplinary and cross-cultural. Instructed by: Staff

HLS 369 Beyond Crisis Contemporary Greece in Context (See COM 369)

HLS 371 Global Trade before the Modern Period (See NES 316)

HLS 373 Topics in Ancient History (See CLA 326)

HLS 374 Afterlives of the Iliad (See COM 374)

HLS 376 On the Edge of Authoritarianism: Literature and Politics in the Modern Mediterranean (See COM 376)

HLS 391 Clash of Civilizations? (See NES 392)

HLS 401 Ethics in Archaeology (See ART 402)

HLS 403 Greek Palaeography and Medieval Manuscript Culture (See CLG 410)

HLS 410 Seminar. Greek Art (See ART 410)

HLS 414 The Transition from Late Antiquity to the Early Middle Ages as Evidenced by the Coinage (See ART 414)

HLS 417 Historical Structures: Ancient Architecture's Materials, Construction and Engineering (See HUM 417)

HLS 420 Church and State in Late Antiquity (See NES 420)

HLS 421 Venice and the Mediterranean World (See HIS 421)

HLS 428 Empire and Catastrophe (See HIS 428)

HLS 429 Mediterranean Contingencies: Byzantium and Its Medieval Others (See COM 429)

HLS 430 Seminar. Medieval Art (See ART 430)

HLS 434 Imperialism and Reform in the Middle East and the Balkans (See NES 433)

HLS 435 Relics, Ruins and Robots: The Life of Things in the Pre-Modern Mediterranean (See HIS 435)

HLS 437 Law After Rome (See HIS 437)

HLS 442 Making of the Ottoman Balkans, 1353-1500 (See NES 442)

HLS 461 Great Cities of the Greek World (also
ART 461
) Not offered this year LA

An intensive interdisciplinary study of the evolution of a city, such as Athens, Constantinople, Thessaloniki, Alexandria, or Antioch, where Greek civilization flourished through successive periods, from antiquity to the present. A study of the form and the image of the city as seen in its monuments and urban fabric, as well as in the works of artists, writers, and travelers. Prerequisite: instructor's permission. Two 90-minute classes. Instructed by: Staff

HLS 491 Fertile Bodies: A Cultural History of Reproduction from Antiquity to the Enlightenment (See HIS 491)