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Classics

The Breakdown

Do you feel a kinship with Homer’s Odysseus and his tremendous odyssey?  Is your mind blown by Plato and his Allegory of the Cave?  Are you fascinated by Julius Caesar’s military prowess or perhaps his brutal and bloody assassination?  If you answer these questions in a clear affirmative then classics could be the very major you seek!

As a classics major, you’ll dive into the world of the antiquity.  Specifically, you will cover all aspects of ancient Greece and Rome, learning about the development of western history and civilization.  Indeed, your courses will include a large swath of topics ranging from mythology and ancient literature to the art, architecture and political systems of the distant past.  You’ll also be required to take classes in either Greek or Latin.  Be prepared for a heavy workload with lots of reading, writing and translation assignments.        

A major in classics is intellectually demanding.  To begin with, you’ll need a good mind for languages.  It also helps to be a deep and critical thinker with a penchant for philosophical debate.  Additionally, you’ll need to rely on strong writing and analytical skills.  And, finally, you should know how to accessorize a toga! 

 

Nuts and Bolts

If you major in classics, you’ll be privy to such scintillating courses as: The Roman Empire, Food and Diet in Greco-Roman Antiquity, Thucydides and the Peloponnesian War, Roman Tragedy, Latin Syntax and Stylistics, Ancient Epic and Narrative, Introduction to Classical Archeology, The Greek Intellectual Experience: From Poetry to Philosophy, Magic and Medicine in Ancient Greece, The Fall of the Ancient Republic: Cicero, Caesar and Rome, Pompeii and Artifact Analysis. 

Decisions, Decisions

Classics majors are traditionally interested in the development of language, thought and culture.  Consequently, they are also likely to consider studying anthropology, rhetoric, Greek, history, philosophy, Italian, Spanish, Latin, archeology, English, art history and architecture. 

What's Next

Fear not classics majors; your degree will prepare you for far more than simply being a re-enactor in gladiator fights.  True, classics doesn’t necessarily set you on a particular career course, however, the skills you acquire during your studies can be applied to many fields.  Certainly, some grads go the education route and teach subjects such as Latin or history.  A large number also attend law school and jump into successful legal careers.  Others choose to pursue graduate degrees in classics or archeology, ultimately landing in academia, research or museum curatorial work.  And still others work in fields as varied as journalism, marketing, real estate development, the foreign service, investment banking and even medicine.  Indeed, you can begin with studying the ancient past and ultimately wind up virtually anywhere. 

 

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