What is Classics?
Classics has traditionally focused on the literature and material culture of ancient Greece and Rome. Students are trained in the classical languages (Greek and Latin) and study ancient art, archaeology, literature, and history. But here at Stanford, our engagement with Classics has always been much broader in scope. The classical Mediterranean world was part of a larger ancient world and is best examined in this global context. The study of Classics also encompasses our own relationship with the ancient past, the ways in which the legacy of Greece and Rome has been imagined and appropriated by modern observers. These perspectives open up exciting new ways of understanding the relevance of Classics for the world today, in arts and letters, science and medicine, law, entertainment, religion, or geopolitics. Classics is an intellectually ambitious and genuinely interdisciplinary field. Covering thousands of years of the human experience, Classics provides a background for many of the subjects offered at Stanford, from Law and Medicine to Philosophy and Comparative Literature, from the History of Science to Linguistics. It is also, in itself, a source of intellectual challenge and joy. If you want to understand fundamental traditions, begin by exploring Classics.