Classics is the study of the languages Ancient Greek and Latin, which have been taught at the University of Melbourne since its very foundation and have been a core element of higher education for many centuries. The overall objective of the Classics program is to introduce students to key literary texts from classical antiquity (including history, drama, oratory, philosophy, epic, and lyric poetry), and to enable students to discover the many important contributions which reading ancient texts in the original languages can make to understanding both the ancient world and the Western tradition. Knowledge of Ancient Greek and Latin is also very useful for research and training in such related disciplines as biochemistry, medicine, the history and philosophy of science, archaeology, Biblical studies, history, philosophy, art history, Romance language studies, English literary studies, and music.
Students who major in Classics may progress through one or both of these languages from beginners level (entry point 1) and are encouraged to take subjects in both languages. Students who have completed one of these languages at VCE may begin studying the language at entry point 3 and are required to commence studying the other classical language at level 1 (entry point 1).
On successful completion of this major, students will be able to:
- apply appropriate skills and methodologies for the reading and translating of Ancient Greek and Latin texts; and
- demonstrate a detailed knowledge and understanding of the vocabulary, morphology, syntax, semantics, and pragmatics of the Ancient Greek and Latin languages; and
- demonstrate a detailed knowledge and understanding of the literature of ancient Greece and Rome in the original languages; and
- identify and engage critically with scholarship in the field of Classics; and
- approach all evidence about classical literatures, cultures and societies with intellectual honesty and a respect for ethical values; and
- articulate the relationship between different classical Greek and Latin texts and the social, historical and cultural contexts that produced them; and
- communicate translations and interpretations of classical Greek and Latin texts effectively, both orally and in writing; and
- work effectively, in groups and independently, to identify, discuss and critically analyse key issues in the interpretation of classical Greek and Latin texts.