Classics or classical studies is the study of classical antiquity, and in the Western world traditionally refers to the study of Classical Greek and Roman literature in their original languages of Ancient Greek and Latin, respectively. It may also include Greco-Roman philosophy, history, and archaeology as secondary subjects.
In Western civilization, the study of the Greek and Roman classics was traditionally considered to be the foundation of the humanities, and study of classics has therefore traditionally been the cornerstone of a typical élite European education.
Classics (Literae Humaniores) is a wide-ranging field devoted to the study of the literature, history, philosophy, languages and archaeology of the ancient Greek and Roman worlds. It is one of the most interdisciplinary of all degrees, and offers the opportunity to study these two foundational ancient civilisations and their reception in modern times.
Classics lessons and courses involve extensive study of ancient languages, with a view to studying texts in the original language. Students can take these lessons without prior knowledge of Greek and/or Latin.
Within the UK school curriculum, the word ‘Classics’ is often used as an umbrella term that can refer to any one of four examined subjects:
Latin is the study of the language of the ancient Romans. By GCSE level, students could be reading original Latin literature by authors such as Virgil, Caesar or Catullus. Although this course focuses primarily on language and literature training, there are still opportunities to study the social and historical contexts in which texts were written.
Classical Greek is the study of the ancient Greek language. By GCSE level, students could be reading original Greek literature by authors such as Homer, Thucydides or Euripides. There are opportunities to study culture and history, but as with Latin, the focus of this subject is primarily linguistic. Although studying Ancient Greek may help students learn Modern Greek in the future, there are substantial differences between the two forms of the language.
Classical Civilisation involves the study of the literature, visual/material culture and thought of the classical world. There is no requirement to learn ancient languages. Topics for study at GCSE or A Level include diverse options such as ‘Life in the Mycenaean age’, ‘Myth and religion’, ‘The world of the hero’ and ‘The Invention of the Barbarian’.
Ancient History enables students to gain a greater understanding of the ancient world and how its legacy affects today’s society. Again, no language is required. Although there is some overlap between the topics covered in Classical Civilisation and Ancient History, the latter focuses more on military, political and social history, as opposed to literature and art.
All four classical subjects are suited to study at both primary and secondary level. They are also all offered as GCSE and A Level qualifications in the UK.
Classics lessons and courses are both really interesting and not so expensive. You can learn many things with your private teacher and ask him any questions you have. With the Tutor extra platform, you can find lessons starting from £15 going up to £50 depending on what level of education you need. Choose the teacher you want, contact them and start your classics lessons now!