Why Classics?

What is classics?

As the oldest academic discipline with traditions stretching back into antiquity itself, classics is the study of 2000 years of history in ancient Greek and Roman civilizations - from the Minoans and the Mycenaeans in the Bronze Age to St Augustine in Late Antiquity. It is one of the most holistic and multidisciplinary of modern academic fields. Students in classics study Greek and Roman societies in all their aspects including language, literature, history, philosophy, science and technology. It also covers the material culture of ancient society – the art, the houses, the fortifications, the temples, even the cooking pots. Modern western culture grows from these ancient roots, and knowledge of classical antiquity provides students with a broad cultural vocabulary, which helps them to understand western literature, laws and cultural institutions.

What do classicists do?

Dr. Luke Roman and student Morgan talk about classics at Memorial below.

What do classicists study? Some sample courses include:
  • CLAS 1051 Gods in Classical Mythology; an introduction to some of the major myths of ancient Greece and Rome, with particular attention to the gods. The myths will be studied with reference to their social and historical contexts, literary and artistic representations, and modern theories of interpretation.
  • CLAS 2010 Greek Art and Architecture; an introduction, through illustrated lectures, to the study of the art and architecture of Ancient Greece.
  • CLAS 3700 The Ancient World in Film; examines the representation of the history and cultures of the ancient world in film. A selection of films will be studied and extensive reference will be made to the ancient evidence which informs them. The ancient world’s impact on modern Western society will be considered together with the film industry’s recasting of the ancient world in response to modern social and historical developments.

What kind of jobs do classics grads get?

Sophie St. Croix graduated from Memorial in 2009, majoring in classics and minoring in history. She then attended the Schulich School of Law at Dalhousie and now works as an associate lawyer with Roebothan Mckay Marshall in St. John’s, practicing in the areas of personal injury, civil litigation, real estate and family law.

Moya Green is another Memorial classics alumni. She is in charge of Britain’s Royal Mail and one of that country’s most powerful executives.