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Classics is the study of Greek and Roman civilizations from ancient times until the beginning of the Early Medieval period. The tools of the discipline include history, archaeology, numismatics, literature, linguistics, anthropology, sociology, and poetics. In the pursuit of knowledge in this field, you may encounter several versions of Homer's Odyssey in Ancient Greek, including the one in which Penelope elopes with her suitors. You may have to parse the Code of Theodosius, looking for the effects of the Battle of Hadrianopolis on Roman Law, nearly 1500 years after the extant Homeric epics. Perhaps you will discover why the Emperor Constantine was able to suggest his affinity with Helios, the god of the sun, while a century earlier Elagabalus was not.
You may need to explore the reasons why the Etruscans, a non-Indo-European substrate group in northern Italy, were the major export market for all those classical Greek vases you see around museums, or perhaps why the Greeks, whose tragic theatre is so important to us and to Shakespeare, claimed that they learned the art of theatre from these self-same Etruscans. Perhaps you are interested in why the word tragedy means quite literally in Greek, the song of the goat. The transition of Rome from monarchy to republic to empire to a vestige in the east (as the Byzantine Empire) is endlessly fascinating.Show More