• Classical Languages

  • About

    Yeshiva College offers courses in elementary, intermediate, and advanced Latin and Greek. These are two of the six foreign languages offered at YC, which also include French, Spanish, Yiddish, and Arabic. (We also have ample course offerings in Hebrew, which is not, however, considered a foreign language here.)

    In their first year, students of Latin read selections from major authors, including the historian Livy, the biographer Cornelius Nepos, and the lyric poets Catullus and Horace. The first term of the second year focuses on the works of the greatest writer of Latin prose, Cicero; and the second term on the greatest Latin poem, Vergil's Aeneid. 

    Students of Greek will spend the first year reading Plato's Apology. The first term of the second year is devoted to reading the greatest Greek poet, Homer; and in the second term the student can choose Plato's Republic, Herodotus' History, or Greek tragedies.

    Students of Latin, in addition to reading classic works, increase their vocabulary in English tremendously. As much as half of the English language is derived from Latin. Pre-law students find Latin valuable because Latin terms abound in law.

    As for Greek, approximately 3,500 Greek words are found in Talmudic writings, and 15 percent of English derives from Greek. Philosophy students find Greek useful, since the pillars of philosophy, Plato and Aristotle, wrote in Greek and had great influence not only in antiquity but also in the Middle Ages, and upon major Jewish thinkers, notably Maimonides.

    Greek is also of great value to pre-med students as most biology and medical terms are derived from Greek.

    Classes in both Latin and Greek are small, and individual students receive a great deal of attention.

    If you have any questions about the study of classical languages at YC, please contact Professor Rachel Mesch mesch@yu.edu or at 212.960.5400, ext. 6868.

Yeshiva University
500 West 185th Street
New York, NY 10033
212.960.5400

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