The field of Classics is by its very nature interdisciplinary, consisting of multiple interrelated sub-disciplines. This department offers study in two ancient languages (Greek; Latin), as well as courses covering the histories, mythologies, several genres of literature, and material cultures of the ancient Mediterranean world.
The study of language not only is a necessary foundation for erudition in this field but also is valuable in and of itself. The systematic acquisition of grammar and syntax and of the ability to read texts in an ancient language is not equaled or paralleled by any other educational experience, and students of Classics greatly improve their vocabulary skills, broaden their understanding of English grammar, and enhance their ability to communicate effectively in both speech and writing.
Through in-depth examination of classical literature students grapple with such issues as socio-political privileges, duties, and ethics on a public level and such weighty concepts as death, love, and morality on a personal one. The conflicting views of life and reality espoused by the works of ancient authors provoke close reconsideration of students’ own lives, cultures, and personal ideals.
History, mythology, and archaeology all combine the examination of texts with the consideration of material culture, thus providing a variety of approaches for studying the ancient Mediterranean world. Because the available source material is selectively preserved and incomplete, students engaged in these subfields by necessity exercise and improve their analytical reading, critical thinking, and creative problem-solving skills.