Senior Thesis


All majors in the Classical Civilizations program are required to complete a senior thesis during the fall semester of their senior year.

Students in the fall semester of their senior year will enroll in the 3-credit CLAS 499 course, the successful completion of which is necessary for the degree and its various concentrations. In the fall semester, students will meet several times in a pro-seminar format with the department faculty to discuss a wide range of issues concerning the fields of Classics, ancient history, and archaeology. Areas to be discussed include an introduction to professional organizations in our region, the country and abroad as well as an introduction/review of library and online resources available in the above-mentioned fields. In addition, students will complete career development exercises, such as writing a resume and cover letter, in conjunction with GU's Career Center.

For the thesis project itself, students are currently expected to complete a 20+ page paper on a subject relating to the Classical languages or ancient culture. A wide range of topics may be selected by the student, and the project may expand upon work previously completed by the student, if applicable.

Topics must be submitted to the department chair for approval by the start of the student's senior year.

In addition, students will present a summary of their work at an informal departmental dinner at the end of the semester, an opportunity to present their findings and answer questions from faculty and their peers.

Past Senior Theses

Please review the following lists to read past student topics.

2017 Theses include:

  • Barbarossa, Michael: “Be Ready with an Account of the Reason for Your Hope: Synthesizing a Biblical View of Apologetics with the New Evangelization”
  • Ferris, McKayla: “The Influence of Dignitas on Historical Accounts of the Roman-Parthian Wars”
  • Higgins, Holli: “I Put a Spell on You: The Magic of Circe Preceding the Practice of Magic”
  • Kersh, Maria: “Horace on Cato”

2016 Theses include:

  • Burchett, Suzannah: “Combining Conversion and Satire in Apuleius' Metamorphoses”
  • Foster-Dow, Brian: “Romanes Eunt Domus: Mithradates IV Eupator, King of Pontus, A Threat to Roman Control of Anatolia”

2015 Theses include:

  • Bendixen-Park, Siena: “Farm to Table: Supplying Food to the Roman Household”
  • Dollen, Scott: “Syrian Archers in the Roman Army: Examining Auxiliary Archer Recruitment”
  • Fischer, Ned: “Evolution of the Hoplite: From Faraway Lands, to the Farmland”
  • Frase, Sara: “Temples of Knowledge and Power: An Analysis of Hellenistic and Imperial Roman Libraries”
  • Gibbs, Katharine (Katie): “Empire State of Mind: A Look into Cicero's Contradictions Regarding Roman Imperialism”
  • Hartwig,Sarah: “She's a Killer Queen: Medusa and the Monstrous Feminine in Ancient Literature and Archaeology”
  • Howe, Aaron: "Paul's Epistle to the Laodiceans: Making Sense of an Apocryphal History"
  • Klohe, Rheinholt (Holdt): “Catullus 63: The Galliambic Meter and the Roman Audience’”
  • Lily, Zachary (Zach): "Vergil's Aeneid, Authority and Political Stability"
  • Olsen, Samantha (Sam): “Get Out of Your Mind: An Investigation of Opium Poppy Use in Classical Antiquity”
  • Shokri, Sophia: "Woman of a Different Kind: The Transgressive Medea in the Tragedies of Euripides and Seneca"

2014 Theses include:

  • Archer, Alanna: “Platonism in the Gospel of Judas”
  • Cunningham, Louis: “Cicero and St. Aloysius: The Influence of Cicero on Renaissance Rhetoric”
  • Johnson, Anthony: “The Ancient 'New' Way of Looking at Abortion”
  • Nugen, Roman: “The Importance of Topography to Roman Commanders in the Republic”
  • Sims, Taylor Ann: “Sigmatizing Tau: Lucian's Attitudes towards the -tt- in the Iudicium Vocalium”

2013 Theses include:

  • Fallgren, Victoria: “The Julio-Claudians: They Put the Fun in Dysfunctional”
  • Gerbec, Michael: “Everlasting Light: Roman Heritage and Roman Resistance in the Early American Republic”
  • Gorini, Andrew: “Frontinus’ De aquis and an Administrative Precedent of State-Criminal Negotiations”
  • Hanks, Hanna: “Social and Sexual Intercourse: Exploring the Role and Reality of the Hetaira in Classical Greek Culture and Iconography”
  • Joyce, Brian: “Vergil: Having Been Twisted His Mouth”
  • Joyce, Katherine (Kaeli): “Make New Friends, but Keep the Old: The Jewish-Roman Treaty of 161 B.C.E.”
  • Rice, Alexis (Lexi): “’Carmen et Error’: Tensions with the Augustan Ethos in Ars Amatoria”
  • Sears, Lily: “The Only Place We are Free: An Examination of Stoic Compatibilism through the Writings of Aristotle and Epictetus”

2012 Theses include:

  • Ankenbruck-Keogh, Corinne: “Gender Identity and Death in Vergil’s Aeneid”
  • Hardesty, Larissa: “Carthago Delenda Est: An Analysis of the Second Punic War and the Effects of Hannibal’s Invasion of Italy on the Foreign Policy of the Roman Republic”
  • Manglona, Kyle: “The Christianization of Pagan Sites: The Development of the Roman Basilica in Late Antiquity”
  • Marley, Leah: “What’s Up, Doc? The Mythology, History, Practices and Archaeology of the Ancient Healing Cult of Asklepios”
  • Pierucci, Antone (Tony): “Vitrum Flexile: A Case Study of Roman Mold-Blown Glass at the Seattle Art Museum”
  • Smith, Nathan: “Aristotle, Diodorus Cronus, and Future Contingent Propositions: A Contemporary Solution to an Ancient Problem.”
  • Taylor, Sydney: “Late Antique Christian Iconography: The Redefinition of Pagan Motifs and Their Respective Use on the Mediums of Gemstones and Coinage”
  • Von Muller, Sara: “The Advancement of the Minoans: The Introduction of Large-Scale Palace Architecture and Trade With Hyksos Egypt”

2011 Theses include:

  • Van Houdt, Jennifer: "From Fear to Awed Fascination: Taboo and Tragic Myth Structures in Phaedra’s Love"
  • Taylor, Brittany: "Hercules Across the Ages"

2010 Theses include:

  • Devine, Kevin: “Perceptions and Misconceptions: A Look at the “Barbarian” Peoples to the North of the Roman Empire.”
  • Gross, Alexander: “The Drunken Master: Alcibiades”
  • Ruen, Amanda: “Thomas Jefferson: Classical Influences on a Founding Educator Impacting His Vision for America”

2009 Theses include:

  • Plass, Maureen: "A discussion of the similarity between the rhetorical structure of Cicero's Pro Archia and the musical structure of Bach's Prelude and Fugue IV"
  • Seidel, Curt: "Friendship: Views from Augustine and Aristotle"

2008 Theses include:

  • Hutchins, Spencer: "Praetor in the Roman Republic: History and Etymology of a Foundational Institution and Concept"
  • Studebaker, Ian: "The Greek polis of Argos"
  • White, Kellie: "Virgils' Aeneid: Why the Roman Epic Genre imitated the Greek and how Virgil altered the Epic model to suit an Italian Audience"

2005 Theses include:

  • Clayton, Andrew: "Two Early Christian Conceptions of Original Sin: an examination of the ideas off Saint Augustine and Saint John Chrysostom"
  • Stobart, Christina: "But Augustus, the People do not want to change!: the stubborn immorality of early Imperial Rome"

2004 Theses include:

  • McAuliffe, Matthew: "Early Christian Perspectives on War and Military Service"
  • McFarland, Molly Egan: "The Catilinarian Conspiracy"