Department of Classical and Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations
801 22nd St. NW, Phillips Hall 345
Washington, DC 20052

Phone: (202) 994-6125
Fax: (202) 994-2156


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. 


Meet the Department Chair

Dr. Eric H. Cline is an ancient historian and experienced field archaeologist, with 29 seasons of excavation and survey to his credit since 1980; he is currently Co-Director of the excavations at both Megiddo and Tel Kabri in Israel, which run in alternating summers. His primary fields of study are the military history of the Mediterranean world from antiquity to present and the international connections between Greece, Egypt, and the Near East during the Late Bronze Age. He is the author or editor of fourteen books and nearly one hundred scholarly articles and has appeared in twenty television documentaries, from ABC (including Nightline and Good Morning America) to the BBC and the National Geographic, History, and Discovery Channels. He is also the advisor for the undergraduate archaeology majors and Director of the GWU Capitol Archaeological Institute. He has served as department chair since 2004.