Introduction to Classical Studies

While Classical Studies (sometimes called Classics or Classical Civilization) is usually considered a branch of the humanities, it is actually a much broader field of study which can deal with all areas of the traditional liberal arts. Classical Studies can include the study of language, literature, philosophy, history, art, archaeology, anthropology, religion, women’s studies, athletics and even science. In a sense Classical Studies is a microcosm of a small liberal arts college.

Classics focuses upon the study of the ancient Greeks and Romans and the world in which they lived, including other cultures of the ancient Mediterranean, like the Minoans, the Mycenaeans, the Etruscans, the Celts, the Jews, the Hittites and the Egyptians.

Classics Studies deals with a broad period of time, beginning, at the least with the  Greek Bronze Age ca. BC 3000 – Late Antiquity ca. AD 300–600), focusing especially on Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome during Classical Antiquity (ca. BC 600 – AD 300), and even the early Middle Ages in Europe (AD300-600).

Classics also includes the study of the Classical Tradition, i.e., the reception or use of classical works and themes in later literature and cultural contexts, including texts, imagery, objects, ideas, institutions, monuments, architecture, cultural artifacts, rituals, practices, and sayings.

Some important terms students of the Classics should know: