Loyola University Chicago

Department of Classical Studies


Student research in Classical Studies


Stephanie Wong examines an inscription in the Epigraphic Museum, Athens, Greece

Thanks to the generous donors who help support our department, we were able to support these three students to travel to present their research this year.


Hank Lanphier (Classics Post-Baccalaureate '18) presented "Didactic Medea: Problems and Possibilities in Using Medea to Study Athenian Gender Roles in the Classroom" at the annual meeting of The Classical Association of the Middle West and South, based on his reflections on teaching Greek history to middle school students.

Keegan Sims (Classical Civ '18) worked on a project on agriculture in the Greek archaic period for an upper-level seminar. He adapted his paper, "Agriculture and Debt-Slavery in Archaic Greece" for presentation at the Seventh Annual Tennessee Undergraduate Classics Research Conference in February. 

Stephanie Wong (BA-Classics '18) researched Roman graffiti and ancient literacy as a Provost Fellow. She presented "Dominance through Permanence: Schoolboy Graffiti in the Greco-Roman World" at the annual meeting of The Classical Association of the Middle West and South in April.


Are you a student interested in doing research or internships? Get started by visiting our Fellowships and Other Opportunities page.

Classical Studies Essay Contest


Announcing the 2018 Fr. Matt Creighton, S.J., Undergraduate Essay Contest

First Prize: $200 Second Prize: $100

Essays must be written on a topic or theme in Classical Studies. Essays representing Loyola course work completed in Calendar Year (Spring, Summer, Fall) 2017 or Spring Semester 2018 are eligible to compete.

All essays must be accompanied by a contest entry sheet signed by a faculty member of the Department of Classical Studies (normally the instructor of the class for which you originally wrote the essay). 

Entries will be judged by a panel of Classical Studies instructors. The department reserves the right not to award prizes if the committee does not find the submitted essays prizeworthy.

Deadline for submissions: 5:00 p.m., Monday, March 26th, 2017.

For further details, including a downloadable entry form, see http://www.luc.edu/classicalstudies/contest.shtml#ugrad


Discover the history of Antioch


Aerial view of Antioch (Princeton excavation archives)

Join the Department of Classical Studies for "Antioch the Great: An Elusive Metropolis?," presented by Dr. Andrea De Giorgi (Florida State University). Dr. De Giorgi is the author of Ancient Antioch: from the Seleucid Era to the Islamic Conquest (Cambridge University Press, 2016) and holds this year's Kershaw Lectureship of the Archaeological Institute of America

Wednesday, November 29, 7:00-8:00pm in the Sr. Jean Multipurpose Room of the Damen Student Center (2nd Floor, North), Lakeshore Campus (click here for directions). Archaeological Institute of America lectures are always free and open to the public. 

Antioch on the Orontes hardly needs an introduction: in the Classical, Byzantine and Islamic sources we encounter Antioch as successively a Hellenic metropolis, virtual capital of the Roman Orient, host to a vibrant intellectual community and to the earliest Christian congregation, seat of a patriarch and of the count of the east, and hub of the Islamic frontier. For all of its fame and glory, however, the city’s topography and narrative of settlement have long remained conjectural; floods and earthquakes have taken a big toll on the ancient buildings, and modern developments in Antakya bury a renown that spanned centuries. Archaeological exploration of the relatively undisturbed site of Antioch in the 1930s unfortunately produced modest results, and in the intervening years it has seemed that the project of reaching a coherent understanding of the topography and monuments of the ancient metropolis had reached an impasse. A combination of legacy and fresh archaeological data, however, makes it now possible to offer new frameworks that inform the city’s nucleation and expansion as well as the agencies that spurred the relentless transformation of Antioch’s built environment. 

Fasces or Fascism? The Balbo Monument in Chicago


To commemorate Italo Balbo's transatlantic flight to the 1933 Chicago World's Fair, Mussolini sent the city a Roman column from Ostia, which still stands by a lakefront path near Soldier Field. Both the monument and street named for Balbo are in the news again as the nation reconsiders what our monuments mean. Is it possible to reconcile this symbol of Italian-American immigrant pride with its fascist roots? This panel will address Mussolini's use of Classical imagery and monuments in support of fascism, as well as the continued use of that imagery by contemporary white nationalist groups. 

A panel of Loyola faculty and alums will provide an overview of the monument and its context: Laura Gawlinski (Classical Studies), Anthony Cardoza (History), Andrew Donnelly (Classical Studies and History), Tim Libaris (BA-Classics). Q&A will follow. 

Wednesday, October 25, 5:30pm, Cudahy Science 202. All are welcome to attend.

Performance of Thyestes, Seneca's Horror Show



Join us on Monday, October 30 for a dramatic reading of the Roman playwright Seneca's masterpiece, Thyestes, about mythological murder and intrigue. 5:30pm, Galvin Auditorium, Sullivan Center, Lakeshore Campus. Reception to follow. 

Murder! Deceit! Fake blood! Political commentary! This play has it all!

Congratulations Classical Studies students!


Graduating seniors Meghan Jackson and Katie Narayan at the Weekend of Excellence.

The Department of Classical Studies is proud to celebrate the success of their students in 2016-17!

Departmental Key and Certificate Honorees:

John T. O’Connell Key for Classical Civilization – Katie Narayan ('17)

Dr. D. Herbert Abel Key for Ancient Greek – Colin Cascio ('18)

Fr. James J. Mertz, S.J., Key for Latin – Michael Coffey ('17)

SCS Award for Outstanding Achievement in Classical Studies – Abbie Orr ('19)

CAMWS Award for Outstanding Achievement in Classical Studies – Meghan Jackson ('17)

ICC Award for Outstanding Achievement in Classical Studies – Laura Heinson ('17)

Fr. Matt Creighton, S.J., Undergraduate Essay Contest:

First Prize – Stephanie Wong ('18), “The Politics of Poison: Murder and Gender in Ancient Rome”

Second Prize – Olga Athena Triantafilidis ('18), “Preservation by Theft: The Encyclopedic Museum and the Politics of Repatriation”

Edwin P. Menes Translation Contests:

Greek – Matthew Walcutt ('20)

Latin – Matthew Walcutt ('20)

Latin, Honorable Mention – Katie Narayan ('17)

National Awards and Honors:

CAMWS Manson A. Stewart Undergraduate Award – Stephanie Wong ('18)

Eta Sigma Phi H.R. Butts Summer Scholarship for Fieldwork in Classical Archaeology – Stephanie Wong ('18)

Phi Beta Kappa – Michael Coffey ('17)

Eta Sigma Phi Initiates:

Emily Bouroudjian (post-bac)

Colin Cascio ('18)

Hank Lanphier (post bac)

Abbie Orr ('19)

Matt Walcutt ('20)

Research Presented at the Loyola University Weekend of Excellence:

Meghan Jackson ('17), "Antiquities at Loyola: Research on the Artifact Collection of the Classical Studies Department" (poster presentation)

Katie Narayan ('17), "Animal Imagery in Alcman's 'Partheneion 1'" (paper presentation)

Loyola alum lectures on shipwreck excavation in Sicily


excavations at Marzamemi

On March 22, students, faculty, and alums packed Galvin Auditorium (Sullivan Center, Lakeshore Campus) for "The Late Antique 'Church Wreck' at Marzamemi: Marble, Maritime Heritage, and Museum Development along the Sicilian Coast" by Justin Leidwanger (Stanford University). Dr. Leidwanger is an alumnus of Loyola University of Chicago (Classical Studies) and the Director of the Stanford University/ Soprintendenza del Mare Marzamemi Maritime Heritage Project (Pachino, Siracusa, Sicily). His talk was co-sponsored by the Department of Classical Studies and the Medieval Studies Program.

Congratulations 2016 graduates and award winners!


Members of the spring 2016 capstone course, Humanism in Antiquity

The Department of Classical Studies is proud to celebrate the 2015-16 Key and Certificate honorees!


John T. O’Connell Key for Classical Civilization – Hannah Slough

 Dr. D. Herbert Abel Key for Ancient Greek – Michael Coffey

 Fr. James J. Mertz, S.J., Key for Latin – Nicole Claudio

 SCS Award for Outstanding Achievement in Classical Studies – Jordan Loader

 CAMWS Award for Outstanding Achievement in Classical Studies – Tyler Conlan

 ICC Award for Outstanding Achievement in Classical Studies – Ruth Deckenbach


We also celebrate the winners of the 2016 essay and translation contests!


Fr. Matt Creighton, S.J., Undergraduate Essay Contest

First Prize: Tyler Conlan, “Until There is no Enemy, But Peace”

Honorable Mention: Stephanie Wong, “Clodia: The Conqueror of Roman Masculinity”


Edwin P. Menes Translation Contest in Latin: Nicole Claudio

Classical Studies Major chosen as Ricci Scholar

Stephanie Wong

Stephanie Wong

Stephanie Wong, from Naperville, Illinois, is majoring in Classical Civilization and Spanish, with a minor in Latin. She is also a member of Loyola's Honors Program. She was awarded a Ricci Scholarship to provide a comparative study of the opera and operatic traditions in contemporary China and Italy. By interviewing key members of the opera scene in Rome and Beijing, Stephanie explored how each opera house restyles and maintains Western operatic traditions to appeal to a modern audience while preserving classic stories, techniques, and music.

NY Times - China published Stephanie's essay on her experiences studying in Beijing. It is also available in English.

The Ricci Scholars Program offers an unparalleled study-abroad, immersion and global scholarship opportunity for highly motivated students. The program awards selected students with scholarships for travel, research and exploration during a junior year of study divided between two of the world’s most important cities: Rome, Italy, and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Learn more about the Ricci Scholars Program here.

Classical Studies Professor and Students Spend Summer Excavating Ancient Greek History

Agora Excavations

Senior Hannah Slough at the Athenian Agora excavation site.

Professor Laura Gawlinski spent her first summer digging up artifacts at the Athenian Agora in Greece nearly 20 years ago. Now, she’s giving her students at Loyola a chance to do the same.

Dr. Gawlinski is a field supervisor for the Athenian Agora Excavations, an archaeological project run by the American School of Classical Studies at Athens. The program has been bringing in volunteers for decades to spend the summer excavating artifacts left in the ancient city square during the Bronze Age, Classical, and Medieval periods.

Dr. Gawlinski first learned about the project through a Greek professor when she was an undergraduate student at Randolph-Macon College. After spending her first summer in the eight-week program, she returned almost every year after, eventually earning a position as a site supervisor for the excavations.

 In her time there, she’s participated in the excavation of what may have been the headquarters for a group of government officials, and has found objects ranging from ancient coins to storage vessels – and a lot of pottery.

“Our director jokes that everyone in Ancient Athens was either making or breaking pottery.”

When Dr. Gawlinski came to Loyola in 2008, it had been almost ten years since the last student from the university had participated in the program. Admission to the program is competitive, but Gawlinski was able to recommend students who had first taken her Archaeology class.

Since 2009, she’s taken six Loyola students with her to Athens, almost all of whom ended up excavating for more than one summer. One former student was even promoted to assistant supervisor after spending four years with the program.

This summer, Dr. Gawlinski was joined by Hannah Slough, a senior classical studies major at Loyola.

Slough was particularly interested in Greek mythology and art while growing up, and spent a great deal of time pouring through the history and fables of the country.

After first learning about the opportunity two years ago, she took Dr. Gawlinski’s class last spring and applied and earned a spot in the program.

Student volunteers like Slough are given housing and a food stipend, and the chance to work directly with ancient artifacts. But with it comes intense labor: a typical day for excavators starts bright and early at 7 a.m. The digging continues until about 2 p.m., when the summer heat is at its worst.

 “There are a lot of long and grueling days,” Slough said, “but I’ve found that the hard physical labor gives you an even deeper connection to what you’re doing.”

Slough plans to return to the Agora, and is interested in pursuing museum work in the future as well.

“It was incredible to get that hands-on experience,” Slough said. “Dr. Gawlinski really helped bring literary and material history together for me.”

New opportunities for the new academic year!

new courses

manuscript featuring the writing of Hippocrates, Greek doctor and author of the original Hippocratic Oath

The Department of Classical Studies is pleased to announce several additions and revisions to its undergraduate academic program.

CLST 267 has been revised as "Medical and Scientific Terminology in Context." Learn about the roots of modern medical and scientific language while reading ancient texts in English translation. This course can now be counted towards a major or minor in Classical Civilization. Look for it in the spring 2016 schedule!

Do you have an idea for an independent research project or plan to do an internship related to Classical Studies? You can now enroll in CLST 380 (research) or CLST 382 (internship) to fulfill the Engaged Learning requirement. Contact your departmental advisor for more information.

CLST 376 "Homeric Questions" is now an official course! This upper level course offers the opportunity to delve more deeply into the Iliad or Odyssey. It is recommended as a follow-up to CLST 272, "Heroes and Classical Epics."

Latin 271 has been revised to include readings in both Latin prose and poetry. This intermediate-level Latin course fulfils the College language competency requirement and provides the opportunity to be inducted into Eta Sigma Phi, the national honor society for Latin and Greek.

For information about these and other Classical Studies courses, visit our course catalog. Fall 2015 courses are posted; watch for the spring 2016 schedule at the end of the summer.

Congratulations to our graduates and award-winners!

2015 awards

The O'Connell Key

The Department of Classical Studies is proud to celebrate the 2014-15 Key and Certificate honorees!

John T. O’Connell Key for Classical Civilization – J.P. Henry
Dr. D. Herbert Abel Key for Ancient Greek – Michael Coffey
Fr. James J. Mertz, S.J., Key for Latin – Sophia Smith
SCS Award for Outstanding Achievement in Classical Studies – Paul Bartel
CAMWS Award for Outstanding Achievement in Classical Studies – Maria Miranda-Chavez
ICC Award for Outstanding Achievement in Classical Studies – Michael Irwin


We also celebrate the winners of the 2015 essay and translation contests!

Fr. Matt Creighton, S.J., Undergraduate Essay Contest
First Prize: PAUL BARTEL, “All for One and One for All: The Shared Athenian War Experience”
Honorable Mention: DAN NOCKELS, “A Tale of Two Thebes: Bacchus the Revolutionary Democrat”

Edwin P. Menes Translation Contests

Greek: Michael Coffey
Latin: Max Moore
Latin – Honorable Mention: Nicole Claudio

Joe Goodkin performs his *Odyssey* at Loyola.


Joe Goodkin's Odyssey is a 30 minute original musical composition for solo acoustic guitar and voice.

Drawing on his years of writing and recording original rock music and his Bachelor's Degree in Classics/Ancient Greek from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Joe's performance represents in a contemporary musical mode both the abridged plot and the performance circumstances of Homer's original oral composition of The Odyssey.

Part lecture, part musical performance, and part interactive discussion, the centerpiece of Joe's program is a 30 minute continuous performance of 24 original songs with lyrics inspired by Odysseus' famous exploits.

See http://www.joesodyssey.com/ for more information.

This performance is free and open to the public. A discussion and reception will follow.

Congratulations to our new Eta Sigma Phi members!


New members Michael Coffey, Paul Bartel, Meghan Jackson, Josefina Aponte, Marie Nicole Claudio, Kathleen Narayan, and Garrett McComas sign the by-laws while current members Ed Keogh and Michael Irwin officiate. New members also include Laura Heinson and J.P. Henry (currently at the Rome Center)

Eta Sigma Phi, a national honor society, recognizes excellence in the study of Latin and/or Greek. Its members contribute to the promotion of classical studies and participate in a number of campus and national activities. The organization has its roots in Chicago, when classical studies organizations at the University of Chicago and Northwestern University merged and then went national in 1924. The Iota Sigma chapter of Loyola University Chicago is among the newest local chapters, formed in 2012, and this year adds nine new initiates to its growing numbers.

New Guide to the Athenian Agora Museum Published by Classical Studies Professor Laura Gawlinski


Laura Gawlinski, associate professor and chair of the Department of Classical Studies, has been involved with the excavations of the ancient Agora in Athens, Greece since she was an undergrad. Her publication is the first stand-alone guide to the museum and serves as a companion to the guide to the site. Read an interview with the author, and learn more about the excavations.

Classical Studies Alumnus awarded grant from the Archaeological Institute of America


Justin Leidwanger: Marzameni Maritime Heritage Project

Justin Leidwanger (B.A. 2001, Classics) was awarded the prestigious Cotsen Grant from the Archaeological Institute of America. Now an Assistant Professor of Classics at Stanford University, Leidwanger used the award to direct an underwater excavation, the Marzameni Maritime Heritage Project in Sicily. In this report by the AIA, Leidwanger shares what his project has accomplished so far and how his time at Loyola introduced sharpened his love of the ancient world.

Professor Penny Livermore holds #1 spot with Rate My Professors


Rate My Professors, a commonly frequented site for college students, recently awarded Loyola faculty member Dr. Penny Livermore (Department of Classical Studies) with the number one position ranked by students. While the number of reviews varies in general, her rating has been consistent across the years.  Professor Livermore talks about this response to her teaching—and, in an unhurried manner, she spoke about what it means to connect with students.

For starters, how did you get interested in Classical Studies?
I like to go back to the source of language. Students realize, through my classes, that these ancient languages are not dead. Ancient stories are like a treasure in their pocket; these stories are immortal and frame ideas about strength and passion. We live in a lonely world.  But, by connecting to the ancient past, we see the world beyond ourselves and feel rooted in millennia of the heritage which birthed us.

How do you describe your teaching?
I like to help students establish an association between the ancient world and modern society by storytelling and interacting face-to-face. And I like working with original texts (in translated form). I relish digging into the meaning of what was written, so that  we conduct  detailed analysis of content. I encourage students to reflect on the meaning of each source, and each selected sentence in the texts. I am a bit old-fashioned in my approach: I prefer text-based learning, using primary sources, and reading closely, in-depth.

How do I engage with today’s high tech students in a subject thousands of years old?
It is hard. I have no set method other than to connect with the students and to create an atmosphere of welcoming hospitality in the classroom However, it is my conviction that students can use technology purposefully to study the ancient world.

How do you think about these reviews?
I am honored, and humbled, by the notion that students rate me so favorably. I cannot relate to how one person can be the best, a somewhat discomforting concept – especially in that I feel  all of us teachers are giving to the very best of our abilities, and our strength lies in the colorful fabric of  our togetherness . I am thankful, however, that students like my style. I am passionately committed to “passing on” the rich gifts of education that I have received.  I do not know much about Rate My Professors. Regardless, I simply hope that whatever I do helps students learn and understand this formative past and the enduring humanity it heralds. My students are such a joy—and my motivation is to do well for them. I am fortunate to have the opportunity.

If you could rate your students, what would you say about them?
I try to call forth the light sparkling inside of each student and to draw out the passions that make them who they are—to discover who they are. There is a lot of spirit and heart within my students. They are simply magnificent!

Professor Livermore received her BA in Honors, Near Eastern Languages, from the National University of Ireland, Dublin; she began her graduate studies  in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin at the Jesuit School of Theology, Berkeley; she received her M.A. and  her PhD in Classics from Northwestern University.