Why Everyone Should Be a Classics Major

Do you love philosophy, politics, art history, theater, drama, intrigue, ancient curses, linguistics, and/or divine intervention? Then perhaps you should consider a Classics major! With a grand total of 19 majors and 14 minors we are easily one of the smaller departments but what we lack in numbers we make up for with passion! After all, you need a lot of passion if you’re going to devote your life to languages that no one speaks and people who are all long gone.

You’re probably thinking, “Why on Earth would I spend four years of my college career getting a useless degree?” Well my friend, I am here to tell you that Classics is more relevant than ever. A degree in Classics teaches you to think critically, multi-task, and compare modern and classical themes. And not to toot my own horn, you need to be pretty smart to learn all of the Ancient Greek verb forms as well as know who was the most powerful woman in Athens in the mid-400s BC (Aspasia, the escort and later wife to prominent statesman Pericles).

I had always been interested in ancient civilizations as a child, from obsessively perusing my Egyptology book to muttering about inaccuracies as I read the Percy Jackson series (still love it though). So when I stumbled across the course Love & Sexuality in Ancient Greece last year while registering for my first ever semester, I immediately made it first on my priority list of classes. Even on the very first day of class, usually reserved for going over the syllabus, had a dynamic and interesting conversation that prompted my first ever trip to office hours. I was there met with genuine interest in my theory on satyrs (ask me about it) and I left with a very large book, marked with a section that provided potential evidence that supported my idea. I knew from that moment that any thought of being an English major was long gone. While Professor Kirkland has now moved onto a tenure-track position elsewhere, his enthusiasm and love of Classics will forever be the reason I became a major.

Image result for ancient greece.

The next semester, I took Greek history with Professor Serfass (who became my advisor but is currently on sabbatical). I cried almost every day in his class because of how much I loved the Ancient Greeks. He read a passage from the Odyssey in Ancient Greek and I had to keep my myself from sobbing (I learned that very same passage this year in my language course and tears again threatened to fall). When the going gets tough in my intensive intro Ancient Greek course, Professor Hahnemann reminds of just how far we’ve come by giving us an actual work to translate. In the spring we’ll be reading Plato’s The Republic. In the original Greek. I can’t be the only one who thinks that is amazingly cool. Over fall break I took a trip to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and I could read inscriptions on pottery after only 8 weeks of learning a language.

I have made amazing friends and connections through the Classics Department. Having Classics Major friends is honestly such a blessing because I’m sure my ξένος friends get pretty sick of me theorizing over Sappho constantly. And even you don’t join the Classics Department, check out our courses! You’re guaranteed to have an amazing professor and be surrounded by the greatest people on campus.

 

Sources: Feature, 1, Annmarie Morrison