Until the mid-20th century Classics had flourished for centuries as the basis of a highly respected educational system, providing a rigorous preparation for careers in any field. Now we are living in the information age and a high-tech global economy, and the study of Classics no longer enjoys that academic prominence. Many schools are focusing more and more on strengthening students’ knowledge of science, technology, mathematics and engineering, also better known as STEM. With the Digital Revolution raging all around us, you may ask, why bother studying the Classics?
What is important to realize is that the issue is not ‘either/or’, but rather ‘both’. The balance is essential. While STEM courses are of immense value in today’s high-tech world, they are complementary to a vibrant Humanities/Classics program. Without one, the other suffers.
The Classics are also much more than just the study of Latin and Greek and a few ancient texts. They provide an appreciation of our place in the world, the origins of our culture and ideas; they develop students’ critical and analytical thinking, enhancing their communication skills, enabling them to make stronger connections between disciplines.