Civis Romanus Sum
(``I am a Roman citizen``) - St. Paul
“Classics” – the study of the culture, history, languages, and enduring legacy of the Greco-Roman world—is the original interdisciplinary study. Classical studies lie at the foundation of—and still play a pivotal role in—the Humanities, Arts, Romance Languages, and Social and Natural Sciences. These connections can enrich your undergraduate experience and the value of your degree.
As a Classics student, you seek to understand the ancient world on its own terms through the languages, artifacts, literature, and history created during the Greco-Roman world. “If it is true that the violin is the most perfect of musical instruments, then Greek is the violin of human thought.” –Helen Keller But, you also investigate the pervasive influence of these civilizations on your own world.
For we are all, to some extent, descendants of Romulus and inheritors of the Greeks’ profound means of comprehending the world and ourselves.
Like Socrates, who held that ὁ δὲ ἀνεξέστατος βίος οὐ βιωτὸς ἀνθρώπῳ—“the unexamined life is not worth living,” we invite you, as the Greek maxim goes, to “know thyself”—γνώθι σεαυτόν—as a prerequisite to a life of thoughtful inquiry, leadership, service, and care.
So, what do you do with a Classics degree? Pretty much anything. Classics develops critical thinking skills, linguistic abilities, broad cross-cultural and historical perspectives, and a deep awareness of connections through history, literature, and language. Or, as Lindsey Webb and Lisa Vlieg discovered, a Classic’s major can take one to Tanzania or Egypt.
Majors go on to graduate schools, professional (law and medicine) and government programs, and into careers ranging from academics to business to film production. Read more to find out what Eric Thienes, ’03, did with his degree!