Division of Philology and Literature


Classics is the study of the ancient Greek and Roman cultures through an intensive immersion in the Greek and Latin languages and literature.

To read with accuracy and pleasure requires a sure grasp of both the language and literary techniques used. Classics students will become acquainted with the best ideas and genres the Greco-Roman world has to offer: from Homer’s epic poems through drama, rhetoric and philosophy of Classical Greece down to the more private and learned genres of the Hellenistic culture. It will be equally fascinating to observe how Rome adopted and reshaped Greek ideas and culture under the Republic and later under the imperial rule. Equally fascinating is the impact this vast civilization has had on the cultural history of Europe and, ever more increasingly, the whole world. And this not only in the imaginative appropriation of Greek mythology: whenever we discuss such key concepts as, say, beauty, justice, courage, virtue, moderation, history, education, even economy or politics, we are in direct dialogue with Greeks and Romans, indebted to what they had to say about these things.

At graduate level we expect our students to have a mastery of Greek and Latin grammar, as well as a working knowledge of modern European languages (English, German, some French and/or Italian). Although many students choose to go on to study in more detail canonical text (esp. by Homer, Vergil and Ovid), there is much scope for personal tastes and interests. Some lectures and seminars are conducted in English.

Apart from the teaching done by the faculty staff, each year we invite a few part-time lecturers to give seminars on a variety of topics (from Homer to Seneca) and to teach the language classes.

Our department is also home to the office of the Classical Society of Japan, a nation-wide association of classicists established in 1950. We oversee the activities of the Society, such as the annual general meetings and the publication of two academic journals: the annual “Journal of Classical Studies” and the triennial “Japan Studies in Classical Antiquity” (JASCA).

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TAKAHASHI, Hiroyuki Prof. Ovid; Vergil; Latin Love Elegy
KAWASHIMA SHIRO Assoc. Prof. Classical Studies