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The Benefits of Studying Classics

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Aside from the fun and fascination, studying Classical subjects can improve your learning across the board and therefore also your grades and eventual career prospects. Whether you aim to go to University or not, a Classics education will be a great step forward and helping hand along whatever path you wish to take.

The charity Classics for All, which helps schools not currently teaching Classical subjects to do so, have produced a useful summary of the benefits which studying Classics can bring to your education, which include the following:

Develops English literacy: students of Latin or Ancient Greek achieve a deep understanding of grammar, which encourages accurate use of language. From the very early stages, concepts of singular and plural, tenses and case usage are taught. In GCSE Latin or Ancient Greek, more complex grammatical structures are introduced than those in modern foreign language GCSEs. A study of Classical languages thus benefits learning across the whole curriculum.

Aids cultural literacy: Classical mythology forms the bedrock of much modern art and literature, and is constantly reworked in theatre and in the visual arts, film and pop-culture. The works of Homer, Sophocles, Virgil and Ovid have profoundly influenced Britain’s greatest writers, dramatists and poets, including Chaucer, Milton and Shakespeare, as well as writers and artists across the world.

Teaches the foundations of philosophy and history: The ancient Greeks and Romans have profoundly influenced western society and thought. They established the disciplines of philosophy and history and the foundations of our political systems.

Encourages cultural insight: In some ways, the ancient Greeks and the Romans seem just like us, but in other ways, they are very different. This can lead students to reflect deeply about themselves and the lives of others – an important quality in a modern, multi-cultural society – enhancing the appreciation of cultural differences.

Gives opportunities for wide-ranging thinking: Classical subjects encourage students to cross subject boundaries through thinking that touches on language, literature and civilisation, something which profoundly affects overall learning

Allows for depth and breadth: The study of classical subjects is interdisciplinary. All four classical subjects – Latin, Ancient Greek, Classical Civilisation and Ancient History – can involve literature, history, philosophy and the visual arts.

Improves employment opportunities: Evidence suggests that employers have respect for potential employees who have studied classical subjects at school or university.

Encourages clarity of thought, attention to detail, and the ability to argue a case: Hones analytical and critical skills, Trains minds in the comparative use of different types of evidence, Introduces young people to the finest oratory and skills in argumentation and communication