The classical languages minor at Belmont Abbey College emphasizes

  • The ancient languages of Latin and Greek in the context of their historical and classical significance.

In this program, you will study language in the context of academic and ecclesial purpose, gain an appreciation of the modern use of classical languages, and learn about applications of classical languages in science, law, Church, and more.

You’ll enjoy the Abbey’s classical languages minor if you

  • write and express yourself well
  • want to understand great literature and art
  • enjoy science, ancient mythology, and history
  • are interested in philosophy and the Bible

Greek and Latin are the two fundamental languages of western culture. Very far from being “dead,” the words, style and thought patterns of the great Greek and Latin authors still dominate our global culture.

  • “Super-charge” your core curriculum experience: even a smattering of Greek or Latin can provide key insight into the meaning of technical terms in all academic fields – from math (asymptote, aliquant) to music (pentatonic, octave) to biology (phagocyte, adrenal) to law and theology (synoptic, sine qua non) to management (aggregate, oligopoly)
  • Sharpen your language skills by translating excerpts from influential texts like Homer’s Iliad, Cicero’s dialogues, and the Bible

With a Classical Language minor from Belmont Abbey College, you will be able to pursue a broad variety of career areas such as:

  • Translator of ancient texts
  • Library science
  • Philology
  • Religious life
  • Linguistics
  • Phonetics
  • Graduate School

A Classical Language minor aids in the preparation for advanced degree entrance exams such as the LSAT, GRE and GMAT. Those who participate in the Classical Language Minor may also be interested in pursuing law, medical, dental or graduate school, as well as seminary .

The Abbey Difference:

At the Abbey, students pursuing a minor in Classical Languages study Latin or Greek or both languages through translation and transcription from and into those languages. They will have the opportunity to translate classical authors like Homer, Pliny, and many more. This hands-on approach to languages will challenge and stimulate the student’s interests in classic texts. Furthermore, the minor will “super-charge” the rest of their studies, showing them the deep roots of our liberal-arts curriculum.

Belmont Abbey College is blessed to have Dr. Gerald Malsbary as the director of our Classical Languages program. Dr. Malsbary is widely known as an expert linguist and classicist with published translations of several books, including Josef Pieper’s Leisure, the Basis of Culture. Classes in this minor tend to be small, providing great opportunity for personal mentoring and instruction.

Highlights of your Experience:

These are the sorts of classes you can look forward to with a Classical Languages minor from Belmont Abbey College.

This course assumes no prior acquaintance with Greek. You will be introduced to the Greek alphabet and be provided with the first steps of a path that can lead to the knowledge of any of the four types of Greek: Homeric Greek (the language of the Iliad and Odyssey); Attic Greek (the language of Tragedy, Thucydides, Plato and Aristotle); Koine Greek (the language of the New Testament); Modern Greek. Depending on the interests of the students, the class can concentrate on one or the other of these, but there is still only one basic Greek language, and the rudiments of that will be consistently presented. Course includes a trip to the annual Greek Festival in Charlotte!
Depending on the major interests of the student, this class (as the fifth and sixth consecutive semesters of Greek language study) will provide a solid exposure to, and practice in the translation of, some of the greatest works in existence in poetry, philosophy and religion. The type of Greek studied will be Homeric, Attic, or Koine, respectively.
This course assumes no prior acquaintance with Latin. You will be shown how to pronounce Latin in both Classical and Ecclesiastical forms. A class in the fundamentals of the ars grammatica, elementary Latin, will introduce you to the foundations of the first and greatest of the Liberal Arts, starting with the parts of speech, and taking you through the stages of Roman history, to witness the eruption of Vesuvius in the original Latin of Pliny. Latin is also of great interest to students of Medieval History.
Depending on the major interests of the student, this class (as the fifth and sixth continuous semesters of Latin study) will provide a solid training in the reading of one or several Latin authors, such as Caesar, Cicero, St. Augustine, St. Thomas Aquinas, or St. Thomas More. There will also be practice in writing Latin prose, following the example of the authors studied.

Program Requirements:

(This option is available for traditional students only.)

Minor requirements:

Introductory Level

  • LA 102 or GK 102

Intermediate Level

  • LA 201 and 202 or GK 201 and 202

Additional Language or Translation Studies

Two courses from among:

  • LA 102 Introduction to Latin II
  • LA 301 Advanced Latin I
  • GK 102 Introduction to Greek II
  • GK 301 Advanced Greek I
  • EN 403 Medieval Literature
  • HI 303 The Middle Ages
  • HO 310 Plato’s Republic and Aristotle’s Politics
  • *HO 340-345 Selected Authors
  • PO 401 Classical Political Philosophy
  • PO 402 Medieval Political Philosophy
  • *TH 358 Major Figures in Theology

Note: Students who enroll in classes not conducted in Latin or Greek must work with the Director of the minor on a special topic related to the Classics.

*Because topics change each semester for HO 340-345 and TH 358, students interested in taking one of these courses as a part of their classics minor must have the approval of the Director to do so.

It is the student’s responsibility to see that all degree requirements for graduation are fulfilled.

Program coordinator:

Dr. Gerald Malsbary – Director of First-Year Symposium
B.A., University of California at Berkeley
M.A., University of California at Berkeley
Ph.D., University of Toronto