COVID-19 Resources & Updates

Here For You CCAS COVID-19 Resources & Updates

Professor Elizabeth Fisher honored October 2019

Professor Elizabeth Fisher of the GW Classics Program Unit was honored at the October 2019 meeting of the Classical Association of the Atlantic States. Click the title to read more.

GW Alum Uses Internship to Bring Classics to Kids

GW's Latin Teaching Internship helped Adam LaFleche ('14) bring Latin to local D.C. schools. For more information on both the internship and Adam's accomplishment, click the title above.

Classics Student lands Supreme Internship!

From Corinthian columns to the influence of Justinian, Matthew Beers (’18) shares how his Classics background helped him at his internship at the Supreme Court. If you'd like to read his full statement, click the title above.

Getting an Internship at the White House after taking Arabic

Congrats to GW Student Gage Cohen for completing an internship at the Whitehouse! Here's what he has to say about how his Arabic helped him.

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CNELC Faculty

Undergraduate Admissions

Professor Elizabeth Fisher honored October 2019

Professor Elizabeth Fisher of the GW Classics Program Unit was honored at the October 2019 meeting of the Classical Association of the Atlantic States. Click the title to read more.

GW Alum Uses Internship to Bring Classics to Kids

GW's Latin Teaching Internship helped Adam LaFleche ('14) bring Latin to local D.C. schools. For more information on both the internship and Adam's accomplishment, click the title above.

Classics Student lands Supreme Internship!

From Corinthian columns to the influence of Justinian, Matthew Beers (’18) shares how his Classics background helped him at his internship at the Supreme Court. If you'd like to read his full statement, click the title above.

Getting an Internship at the White House after taking Arabic

Congrats to GW Student Gage Cohen for completing an internship at the Whitehouse! Here's what he has to say about how his Arabic helped him.

Welcome to the Department of Classical and Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations!

The Department of Classical and Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations is devoted to providing students with a unique learning experience. Offering Greek, Latin, Hebrew, Arabic, Persian, and Turkish, as well as courses in ancient history and civilizations and the modern Middle East, our department prides itself on a unique configuration and blend of professors focused on both research and teaching. We are the only department in the United States that has two professors who have won the national "Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Award" from the Archaeological Institute of America (Cline in 2005 and Friedland in 2012). We are also one of the few, if not the only, department in the United States to offer both a major in Classical Studies and a major in Arabic Studies.

Our curriculum strengthens a student's ability to communicate, reason, and understand the social, cultural, and physical environment of the ancient and modern worlds. The department fosters careful and creative thinking in our students, based in the linguistic, cultural, and historical roots of the rich, varied, and strategically important societies of the Mediterranean basin.

Utilizing the diverse resources of the Washington, D.C. area in fulfilling our linguistic and cultural mission, we provide students with field trips to and assignments at local museums, walking tours of Classical Washington, promotion of foreign films and lectures, and cultural programs and internships at embassies. We have arranged internships at Washington institutions, including magazines and professional journals, National Geographic, the Smithsonian Institution, Dumbarton Oaks, the Middle East Institute, and other area resources. Our students have opportunities to study abroad, most recently in Greece, Italy, Israel, Morocco, and Europe, and are assisted in finding opportunities to participate in excavations around the world. 

Department Newsletter

Meet the Department Chair

Chris Rollston wearing gloves and looking at an artifact through a magnifying glass

In addition to chairing the CNELC Department, Professor Christopher Rollston is active in the American Schools of Oriental Research and the Society of Biblical Literature and served for several years on the Governing Board of the American Schools of Oriental Research. For almost two decades, he has been the editor of the journal MAARAV. His research interests include Hebrew Bible, religion and law in the ancient Near East, Northwest Semitic epigraphy, literacy in the ancient world, ancient writing practices, scribal education, origins and early use of the alphabet, ancient and modern epigraphic forgeries, inscribed ossuaries (“bone boxes”) and more.

Rollston works in more than a dozen ancient and modern languages, including various ancient Semitic languages, several ancient and modern Indo-European languages as well as Sahidic Coptic. During the course of his career, Professor Rollston has taught at the undergraduate, master's, and Ph.D. levels.  "The study of ancient literary, religious, and legal texts from Mesopotamia, Egypt, and the Levant reminds us of the world-views and social constructs of our ancient ancestors," he says. "These ancient texts are absolutely essential for a solid and nuanced understanding of modern politics, modern religion, modern law, and even modern medicine.”

Professor Rollston earned an M.A. (1996) and Ph.D. (1999) at The Johns Hopkins University (Department of Near Eastern Studies) in ancient Northwest Semitic Languages and Literatures.