What I wish people knew about Classics

Classics, though it may seem niche and outdated to the layman, is in my opinion one of the most fascinating subjects you can study. Though I may be biased as a Classics major, I truly think it is such an interesting and varied discipline whose recent resurgence in popular culture has been very cool to see. Many people often do wonder about what studying Classics entails and why it’s important to study it to this day, so let’s get into it!

If you’ve ever studied Shakespeare in school, done debate club, watched the Depp-Heard trial, went to the Louvre or even learnt some physics equations, congrats! You already know something about Classics. For Classics is unique in its merging of so many of the humanities disciplines in a way that allows you to really delve into your specific interests, from literature, art history, philosophy, history, ancient languages and more!

From the Greek alphabet in equations, the basis of rhetoric or the jury system, or even the origins of western art, much of it goes back to the ancient civilisations of our world, which are discussed thoroughly in Classics.  This is what I wish more people knew about the subject especially those with interests in the humanities, for you truly cannot learn or truly comprehend much of the art humanity has created within the last millennium without going back to the origins that so many prolific artists, sculptors, writers and theorists went back to and drew inspiration from.

So now I go back to my question of why study Classics at this day and age, with its tendency to seem archaic or outdated at times when you truly comprehend how old the ideas discussed truly are? I truly think that the ideas explored in Classics are timeless and multidisciplinary, with the modern adaptations of Classical stories from tragic love stories to political retellings show how deeply it connects with our modern world. Its investigation of ideas concerning human agency, what it means to create and make art, how it unites people, its commentary on society and democracy, war, philosophy and science still resonate with us so much to this day, and studying Classics will both help us find links to our past and innovate new paths for our future.

Written by Sarah Abdelmaksoud, Classics and English 2nd Year

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