Classics is by its very nature a broad, interdisciplinary field of study encompassing every subject within the ancient world, including language, religion, art, philosophy, drama, science, material culture, poetry, mythology, geography, mathematics, politics, law, and gender studies. But in both our original language and translation courses, students also probe in depth the complexities of classical culture using a wide variety of techniques.
All of our students acquire the appropriate linguistic, literary, or historical skills to study the classical world. Through class discussion and constant feedback from their professors, their reasoning is subject to appropriate criticism and subsequent revision. Through informal discussion and formal presentations, students present their ideas to their peers and their professor. Students completing a major in the Classics department should be able to fully read and analyze texts in the original Greek or Latin (whichever has been the focus of their studies), as well as use a basic working knowledge of the other ancient language in reading texts.
One of the most important goals of any Classics department is to introduce students to the complex and often contradictory world of ancient Greece and Rome. Ancient writers present our students with the most timeless and fundamental problems of human existence such as the tension between the individual and society, the problem of justice, the yearning for peace, and the meaning of love. Students are often amazed that people were wrestling with these ideas over two thousand years before they were born.