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Program in Hellenic Studies


Christian Wildberg

Executive Committee

Charles E. Barber, Art and Archaeology

Leonard Barkan, Comparative Literature

Mark R. Beissinger, Politics

Michael W. Cadden, Lewis Center for the Arts, Theater

Elizabeth A. Davis, Anthropology

Denis C. Feeney, Classics, ex officio

Dimitri H. Gondicas, Classics, ex officio

Molly Greene, also History

John F. Haldon, also History

Brooke A. Holmes, Classics

Stanley N. Katz, Woodrow Wilson School

Melissa S. Lane, Politics

Hendrik Lorenz, Philosophy

AnneMarie Luijendijk, Religion

Alexander Nehamas, Philosophy, Comparative Literature

Efthymia Rentzou, French and Italian

Michael A. Reynolds, Near Eastern Studies

Christian Wildberg, Classics


John F. Haldon, also History

Molly Greene, also History

Associated Faculty

Nathan Arrington, Art and Archaeology

Emmanuel Bourbouhakis, Classics

M. Christine Boyer, Architecture

Eduardo L. Cadava, English

Andrew Ford, Classics

Marc Domingo Gygax, Classics

Michael Koortbojian, Art and Archaeology

Nino Luraghi, Classics

Spyridon Papapetros, Architecture

Emmanuel Papoutsakis, Near Eastern Studies

Helmut Reimitz, History

Clare Teresa M. Shawcross, History

P. Adams Sitney, Lewis Center for the Creative and Performing Arts, Visual Arts

Jack Tannous, History

Sits with Committee

David T. Jenkins, Firestone Library

J. Michael Padgett, Art Museum

Alan Stahl, Firestone Library

James C. Steward, Art Museum

The Program in Hellenic Studies, under the general direction of the Council of the Humanities and with the support of the Stanley J. Seeger '52 Center for Hellenic Studies is designed for students interested in the interdisciplinary study of the Greek world, ancient, Byzantine or modern, as well as the classical tradition. The program offers language courses in modern Greek and postclassical Greek (Hellenistic koine to Byzantine Greek); freshman seminars in Hellenic studies; introductory courses in Byzantine and modern Greek studies; upperclass seminars in classical, Byzantine, and modern Greek studies; global seminars and a senior thesis colloquium for concentrators in the program. These are complemented by cognate courses offered in several cooperating University departments.

Additional information about the program can be found at the program's website.

Admission to the Program

The program is open to undergraduates majoring in any department. Students should apply for admission during the sophomore or junior year. Students will be accepted into the program on the basis of interest and a coherent academic plan.

The formal requirements for admission are:

1. Satisfactory completion of the requirements for admission to a department.

2. Satisfactory completion of one of the following: HLS 107, HLS 206, HLS 210, HLS 240, HLS 266, HLS 346; HUM 216-217; or COM 205; or a freshman seminar on a Hellenic studies topic approved by the program executive director.

Program of Study

Program students may elect to follow one of three plans of study:

Plan A allows a specialization in the language and literature of modern Greece. Students in this plan must satisfy a language requirement (HLS 107 or its equivalent).

Plan B provides for a broad-based interdisciplinary study of modern Greek culture, including literature in translation, history, politics, and anthropology.

Plan C offers a diachronic survey of the Hellenic tradition, including the classical, Byzantine, and modern Greek periods.

Each student works out an individual program of study in consultation with the program executive director. Students in all three plans of study must complete the following requirements:

1. Completion of at least one of the following: HLS 206, HLS 210, HLS 240, HLS 266, HLS 346; or HUM 216-217; or COM 205. Plan A students must also complete HLS 107 or its equivalent.

2. Two upper-level HLS seminars or one upper-level HLS seminar and one upper-level cognate course.

3. A senior thesis with an appropriate Hellenic studies focus approved by the program executive director. For science and engineering majors, a substantial research paper on a Hellenic topic, approved by the program executive director.

The Seeger Center also sponsors Hellenic Studies Workshops, a lecture series, and occasional colloquia that provide a forum for discussion of research in progress on all aspects of Greek civilization by faculty members, students, members of the Institute for Advanced Study, and visiting scholars.


Students choosing Plan B or Plan C are encouraged to take at least two years of ancient or modern Greek.

Study Abroad

Program students are encouraged to pursue further study and research in Greece during the summer months and, on occasion, during the academic year. Interested students may apply for Stanley J. Seeger study/travel fellowships through the Seeger Center.

Under the auspices of the Study Abroad Program, students may complement their academic work in Hellenic studies by enrolling for one or two terms at selected institutions in Greece or England. The Princeton-Oxford Exchange Program provides additional opportunities for students in Hellenic studies.

The program also offers scholarships to qualified Greek nationals who have been admitted to Princeton for study at the undergraduate level.

Certificate of Proficiency

A student who completes the requirements of the program with satisfactory standing receives a certificate of proficiency in Hellenic studies.

Cognate Courses. A list of complete cognate courses may be found on the program's website. Any of these courses may provide an appropriate supplement to the program's core courses. Other courses may be added to this list with the approval of the appropriate department and the director of the program.


HLS 101 Elementary Modern Greek I (also MOG 101)   Fall

Designed to serve as an introduction to the language of modern Greece. Practice in speaking, grammatical analysis, composition, and graded reading. Four classes. No credit is given for HLS 101 unless followed by HLS 102. Staff

HLS 102 Elementary Modern Greek II (also MOG 102)   Spring

A continuation of 101, aiming to develop the skills of listening, speaking, reading, and writing modern Greek in a cultural context. Classroom activities include videos, comprehension and grammar exercises, and discussions. Four classes. Staff

HLS 105 Intermediate Modern Greek (also MOG 105)   Fall

Advanced grammatical analysis, composition, and graded reading, with further practice in speaking. An introduction to themes in the Hellenic tradition through readings in modern Greek literature. Four classes. Prerequisite: 102 or instructor's permission. Staff

HLS 107 Advanced Modern Greek (also MOG 107)   Spring

Advanced composition and oral practice aimed at developing idiomatic written and spoken style. Discussions entirely in Greek. Introduces students to contemporary Greek culture and literature through the study of works by Cavafy, Sikelianos, Seferis, Elytis, Ritsos, and Anagnostakis, among others. Readings from articles on current Greek topics. Four classes. Prerequisite: 105 or instructor's permission. Staff

HLS 203 The Classical Roots of Western Literature (see COM 205)

HLS 205 Medieval Art in Europe (see ART 205)

HLS 206 Byzantine Art and Architecture (see ART 206)

HLS 208 Introduction to Ancient Philosophy (see PHI 205)

HLS 212 Classical Mythology (see CLA 212)

HLS 217 The Greek World in the Hellenistic Age (see CLA 217)

HLS 240 Introduction to Post-Classical Greek from the Late Antique to the Byzantine Era (see CLG 240)

HLS 300 Plato and His Predecessors (see PHI 300)

HLS 301 The Art of the Iron Age: The Near East and Early Greece (see ART 301)

HLS 302 Aristotle and His Successors (see PHI 301)

HLS 303 Ancient and Medieval Political Theory (see POL 301)

HLS 320 Topics in Medieval Greek Literature (see CLA 320)

HLS 322 Classical Historians and Their Philosophies of History (see CLA 324)

HLS 324 The Classical Tradition (see COM 324)

HLS 326 Tragedy (see COM 326)

HLS 327 Topics in Ancient History (see CLA 327)

HLS 329 Topics in Ancient History (see CLA 326)

HLS 330 The Muslim Mediterranean (see HIS 330)

HLS 332 Communication and the Arts (see ECS 331)

HLS 334 Modern Transformations of Classical Themes (see CLA 334)

HLS 335 Studies in the Classical Tradition (see CLA 335)

HLS 337 The Ottoman Empire, 1300-1800 (see NES 437)

HLS 338 Greek Ethical Theory (see PHI 335)

HLS 343 The Civilization of the Early Middle Ages (see HIS 343)

HLS 346 Introduction to Byzantine Civilization (see HIS 346)

HLS 355 Transformation of the Ancient World: Byzantium 500-1200 (see HIS 355)

HLS 358 History of the Balkans (see HIS 358)

HLS 361 Special Topics in Modern Greek Civilization   Not offered this year LA

An aspect or period of modern Greek civilization since the War of Independence (1821) as it is illuminated by literary, historical, and other relevant sources. Emphasis will be given to the cross-cultural context of the topic, including the relation of modern Greece to Western, Eastern, or Balkan cultures, or the Hellenic diaspora in America and elsewhere. Staff

HLS 362 Special Topics in Byzantine Civilization   Not offered this year

An aspect of the civilization of the Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Empire, from 312 to 1453, as illuminated by literary, historical, and other relevant sources. Emphasis will be given to the cross-cultural context of the topic, including relations of the Byzantine Empire with Sassanid Persia, the Arabs, the Slavs, and Western Europe. Two lectures, one preceptorial. Staff

HLS 363 Special Topics in Hellenic Studies   Not offered this year

The diachronic development of a theme, genre, or institution, with emphasis on the continuities and discontinuities between successive periods of Hellenic culture--ancient, Byzantine, and modern. The approach will be interdisciplinary and cross-cultural. Staff

HLS 410 Seminar. Greek Art (see ART 410)

HLS 430 Seminar. Medieval Art (see ART 430)

HLS 461 Great Cities of the Greek World (also ART 461)   Not offered this year LA

An intensive interdisciplinary study of the evolution of a city, such as Athens, Constantinople, Thessaloniki, Alexandria, or Antioch, where Greek civilization flourished through successive periods, from antiquity to the present. A study of the form and the image of the city as seen in its monuments and urban fabric, as well as in the works of artists, writers, and travelers. Prerequisite: instructor's permission. Two 90-minute classes. Staff

HLS 496 Special Topics in Computer Science (see COS 496)