March 8, 2016, by Guest Blogger
Five awesome things about studying a Classical subject
Like every Fresher, my first few weeks at university seemed to involve endlessly answering one of these three questions (asked in a variety of different accents that I could never impersonate): what’s your name? where are you from? what course are you studying?
As a Classical Civilisation student I dreaded the last of these questions, as my answer was almost always followed with a confused look from my fellow first-years and a hastily rushed explanation from me – usually involving the terms “ancient” or “history” – and an indifferent “cool” from them.
Resultantly these rather underwhelming comments from my first week have inspired me to share what I find not only cool, but awesome about being part of the University of Nottingham’s Department of Classics.
1. Lectures sometimes feel like a Game of Thrones recap
Although sadly no lecturers bring live, fire breathing dragons into their lectures, I find that the anecdotes they provide about the ancient world certainly mirror George RR Martin’s blood-thirsty fantasy. My favorite example of ancient behavior reflecting the debauchery portrayed in HBO’s hit series is the story of Marc Antony vomiting chunks over the crowd whilst delivering a military speech.
As part of my second year module ‘Classics and Popular Culture’ I was able to watch Disney’s Hercules, which even at 20 years old I still find exciting. Although I must point out that the ancient art work I’ve witnessed is also pretty spectacular.
3. You get a better understanding of your own culture
As our society is built upon Roman (and therefore Greek) ideals I find learning about their origins fascinating. Although I’m no closer to discovering the origin of the British stiff upper lip!
4. You’re basically studying ALL the humanities
Even as a first year, this year alone I’ve been able to study a mixture of history, literature, and art, as well as Attic Greek. I feel that a Classical subject at Nottingham truly offers the flexibility that universities seem to be so obsessed with.
5. You’ll have something in common with JK Rowling, Tom Hiddleston and Shakespeare
Ok, so this last point is a slight cheat as none of the above are alumni from the University of Nottingham. However, I find it interesting to show how successful – not to mention famous – past Classics students have become. Plus, it’s always a fun to see other students’ reactions when you tell them you’re studying the same course that JK Rowling did!
Blog post by Laura Frosdick, Classical Civilisation student.