Classical Studies tends to get a bad rap. Or should we say, a bad “rep,” (as in reputation), which of course comes from the Latin reputationem – something any good Classics student would know. But, we’ll get back to Latin a little bit later.
Far too often, Classical Studies is reduced to unflattering adjectives like, “old-fashioned,” “obsolete,” and the completely unjust “impractical.”
But the truth is, the study of Classics is more relevant now than ever. As we head into an unprecedented era of globalization, digital revolution, and socio-political upheaval, mapping a fruitful way forward will depend on our ability to learn from past mistakes, to question and analyze our decisions, and to examine our civilization from as many angles as possible.
And that is precisely what the Classical Studies major learns to do.
Are you naturally drawn to the wonders of the ancient Greek and Roman world, but feel uncertain about following your passion? Not exactly sure what studying Classics really means?
Read on for four ways to know Classics is right for you, and to find out why this degree will always be relevant!
1. You Love History (& See Rome as the Ultimate Place to Study it)
This should go without saying! Nevertheless, this list would not be complete without mentioning a love of history as a non-negotiable prerequisite to pursuing Classical Studies. And students who are ready to truly “live” their learning will get the most out of studying classics in Rome – the Eternal City, which boasts some of the most well preserved ancient monuments and artifacts in the world.
Classical studies students at John Cabot University take full advantage of Rome as a living archive. Many of their classes are delivered on-site, and they get access to Rome’s rich museum and library collections. If you’re ready to move beyond the lecture hall and do some hands-on historical exploration, pursuing classical studies in Rome is your best first step.
2. You’re Interested in Learning New Languages
Most students who study abroad in Italy have some interest in learning a new language – usually Italian. But Classical Studies takes language learning to a whole new level with the study of ancient Greek and Latin.
Classics majors are among the few people on the earth who can decode ancient texts in their original form. Not only do they gain greater insight into world they study, they gain a competitive edge in logic, reasoning, argumentation, and vocabulary. After all, more than 60% of the English language comes from Latin roots (including much of medical and legal terminology).
That’s why Classical Studies includes courses in Latin and Greek, guided readings of ancient manuscripts, and advanced electives for students with a knack for linguistics and an interest in etymology.
3. You Enjoy Art, Philosophy, Literature, Politics, Religion, Economics, Engineering…
Classical Studies covers a lot of ground. In order to truly understand the ancient Greek and Roman world, students must examine its culture, political ideologies, artistic production, scientific breakthroughs, approaches to medicine, and much more.
Diving into Classics means exploring the development of western civilization from every angle. From blood-lusting gladiators to the building of the Pantheon; the writings of Plato to the political machinations of Cleopatra; aqueducts, poetry, theater, the democratic assembly – all have their roots in the world of Ancient Rome.
In his book, The Greek Achievement, historian and author Charles Freeman wrote that “the Greeks provided the chromosomes of western civilization.” Unsurprisingly, the word itself (chromosome) comes from the Greek: Chroma (color) and Soma (body).
To pursue Classical Studies is to examine each of the essential “building blocks” of western culture – looking at human existence through a fascinating and multi-faceted lens.
Many study areas rolled into one, this degree program is perfect for students with diverse interests and a flair for the dramatic.
4. You Want to Keep Your Career Options Open
Just because Classical Studies seeks to examine and understand the ancient world, doesn’t mean it has no professional applications in the 21st century. Far from it.
Classical Studies graduates are well prepared to pursue careers in a wide range of fields, including law, medicine, education, advertising and marketing, culture and heritage, and more. Check out this previous blog post about Classics grads who say their studies were instrumental in helping them achieve their professional dreams.
The sky’s the limit with a degree in Classical Studies.
Are you looking for English speaking universities in Italy that offer a degree in Classical Studies?
Visit John Cabot University online to explore our program and learn all about studying abroad in the heart of Rome!