Why study classics?
To acquire valuable skills
Classics invites you to view entire cultures from a number of perspectives, but also requires you to assemble your knowledge from diverse and incomplete sources. You will gain skills at looking at “big picture” issues from multiple angles, while at the same time attending to the small details of your data, and you will learn to communicate your interpretations of unclear information in clear and convincing ways.
To understand the modern world
Classics is a discipline that is rooted in the past, but is very relevant to the present and the future. Cultures across the globe have been influenced by Greek and Roman antiquity, so we experience the Classical every day, whether in our forms of government, in the architecture that surrounds us, or in the television programs we enjoy. A Classics student learns to appreciate the origins of modern institutions, to evaluate the modern world’s connections with its past, and to make intelligent observations about possible futures.
To learn and use languages
The ancient Greek and Latin languages form the nucleus of Classical scholarship. These languages are highly structured, and their study requires logical investigation of the fundamental principles of language. As a result, students who choose to make one or both of these languages part of their degree find that they improve their understanding of how languages work, making language learning much easier and improving their own vocabulary and grammar.
In addition, several dominant global languages are derived from, or heavily influenced by, Latin, so students of (for example) French, Spanish, Italian, and even English, benefit even more from learning some Latin.