Classical and Ancient Near Eastern Studies

College of Letters & Science


  • Petra, Jordan
  • Roman Coliseum
  • Palmyrene Aramaic Text
  • Roman Forum
  • The Colonnaded Street at Apamea

The Department of Classical and Ancient Near Eastern Studies at the University of Wisconsin in Madison was created as one of the university’s original academic units in 1850, when the Board of Regents established a Professorship of Ancient Languages and Literature. While remaining faithful to the linguistic, historical, and philological foundations of our field, students and faculty also conduct research in such varied areas as Gender Studies, Literary Theory, Translation Studies, and Classical Reception. We are a vibrant and supportive community of professors, graduate students, and undergraduates, committed to the study of the ancient Mediterranean and Near East, and to the training of new generations of teachers and scholars.


Madison Central Public Library, 201 W. Mifflin Street

Humanities Without Borders features Professor of Classical Studies Emily Wilson, University of Pennsylvania. 


Old Madison Room, Memorial Union

Learn about the career paths of various Classics alumni.

Details to follow.

104 Van Hise Hall

Professor Debbie Felton, University of Massachusetts-Amherst, is giving a lecture on ancient serial killers.

We often think of serial killers as a modern phenomenon, but classical myth and history provide many examples that...

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Join us for a public lecture featuring Visiting Assistant Professor Katherine De Boer, Department of Classical Studies at Indiana University-Bloomington.

Details to follow!


Join us for a public lecture featuring Professor of Art History, Penelope Davies, University of Texas at Austin.

Details to follow!


CANES alumna, Katherine Bonesho, (Hebrew Bible, Ph.D. 2018) explores indisciplinary study of the ancient world with her former office-mate and fellow alumna, Rachel Hart (Classics, Ph.D. 2018).

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Associate Professor Alex Dressler's article, "Seeing (not) seeing: the phenomenology of deviant standpoint as a function of gender and class in Paulinus of Nola, Poems 18" has been published on the European network on Gender Studies in Antiquity or EuGeStA

Learn more about EuGeStA.


Professor James McKeown's Honors course, "Ancient Medicine" is part of a First-Year Interest Group (FIG) discussed in the latest Honors Newsletter.

Hear from students taking the course and learn more about FIGS and Professor McKeown, too!


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The Institute for Research in the Humanities (IRH) awarded Professor Laura McClure a Senior Fellowship to begin in 2019-2020. 

Senior Fellowships are funded by the College of Letters and Science and recognize tenured faculty members in the College who are engaged in innovative research in the humanities.

McClure will be...

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Editors: Jeffrey Beneker and Craig A. Gibson

Progymnasmata, preliminary exercises in the study of declamation, were the cornerstone of elite education from Hellenistic through Byzantine times. Using material from Greek literary, mythological, and historical traditions, students and writers composed examples ranging from simple fables to complex arguments about fictional laws. In the Byzantine period, the spectrum of source material expanded to include the Bible and Christian hagiography and theology.