Classical Civilization or Classics is the study of the cultures of the Ancient Mediterranean, and in particular the cultures of the Greek and Roman worlds. The study of literatures, classical languages, art, philosophy, political thought and history, as well as its receptions in later periods, offers an ideal insight into the development of many societies of the modern world, providing an indispensable access to many Humanities subjects. Beyond being a corner stone for the Humanities, the ancient Mediterranean world can in itself offer students the opportunity for a deep engagement with cross-cultural exchange, social structures, global markets and geopolitics in a well-attested, ancient world. Doing Classics in the Department of Historical Studies means studying fascinating material in its historical contexts, and asking broader social and political questions that can give an insight into the challenges of our current society. Additionally, it provides training in core skills, such as close reading, analytical thinking, and the formulation of strong arguments. All of this makes learning about the ancient world not only fun, but also offers a crucial foundation for the study of any other subject, and for any professional career.
The program provides a broad survey of Greek and Roman culture not only for students with a commitment to intensive study in this area but also for students in other programs seeking a further grounding for their particular interests (whether literary, historical, philosophical, or linguistic).