The main entrance to the Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center is now open. Van Pelt Library and the Fisher Fine Arts Library are currently open to Penn Card holders, Penn affiliates, and certain visitors. See our Service Alerts for details.


The Department of Classical Studies provides undergraduate and graduate programs in “all aspects of the broad field of Classical Studies”: languages, literature, history, archaeology, reception studies, and cultural studies. The richness of the department’s offerings are deepened further through the Art and Archaeology of the Mediterranean World and the Ancient History graduate programs and its intersecting with programs offered through the departments of Religious Studies, English, Comparative Literature, Medieval Studies, Philosophy, Linguistics, Italian Studies, History of Art, and through  the Penn Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology.  Teaching and research interests fall into the areas of poetry and poetics, culture, political, social and intellectual history, ancient historiography, material culture, and reception studies. See a list of recent publications from the department.

There are 14 standing faculty members in the Department. Three degree-granting graduate programs focus on classical studies, with 10 to 20 students in each: (1) the Graduate Program  in Classical Studies (the languages, literatures, and history of the classical world) (2) the Graduate Program in Ancient History ("the whole of the ancient history of the Near East and the Mediterranean Basin") and 3) the Graduate Program in the Art and Archaeology of the Mediterranean World, whose work is supported in large part through the collections of the Fisher Fine Arts Library and the University Museum.

Collection Description

In addition to the collections in the Van Pelt stacks, the Museum Library (archaeology, ceramics and numismatics) and the Fisher Fine Arts Library (painting, sculpture, architecture), there is a significant number of core texts (Teubner, Loeb, Budé, Oxford Classical Texts) and reference works in the Class of 1974 Classics Resource Room on the third floor of Van Pelt.

Because the texts that form the traditional foundation of classical studies are so clearly delimited, classical scholars were among the first to make extensive corpora available in machine-readable form. The Libraries provide access to the major textual databases published for classicists and medievalists. For a fuller picture, visit: Classical Studies: Print and Online Resources at Penn.