The Classics Department endeavors to lead each student to knowledge and appreciation of Latin and Greek literature, its unbroken influence on humanity and, through close study of the thoughts and deeds of Greece and Rome, the ability to think, speak, and write with increased clarity, cogency, and knowledge.
While exposure to etymology and word derivation undoubtedly has a positive, practical impact on the students of Latin and Greek, the department firmly believes that the true and lasting benefit of study in the Classics is the intrinsic value of the literature. As each student gains the power and wisdom of the words of Cicero, Ovid, Catullus, Horace, Vergil, and Homer, he achieves an informed sense of their relevance both to the human story and to his own life story. These life examples provide him with a more informed perspective from which to view the world and negotiate its challenges.
At all grade levels, the primary focus of the study of Classics is directed toward reading the great prose and poetry of the period. In this project, each student gains exposure not only to the precise and thoughtful construction of accomplished and lasting writing, but also to the equally long-enduring philosophical contributions made through the literature. The department works closely with other academic departments to ensure that students make connections between the disciplines and apply their training in all the ways their predecessors have. Although students are not required to study Latin and Greek, nearly half of the student body chooses to do so.
Students of Classics play an important and enduring role in perpetuating and celebrating the Catholic environment around which the School is centered. The Classics Department seeks to support the growth of our students' faith and reason as they read of conversion in St. Augustine and examine scripture in St. Jermoe's Vulgate. The annual Latin Mass, the recitation of the Pater Noster in Chapel, and the singing of the Rorate Caeli or Attende Domine provide an important link to our Catholic faith and traditions which will always have a place informing the thought and growth of St. Sebastian's students.