|Ancient Languages and Literatures : Classics||Tweeter|
The contribution of Greece and Rome has been considerable in many domains: literature, philosophy, history, law, natural sciences, medicine, mathematics, etc.
This profusion of knowledge is mostly due to the development, in ancient Greece, of an original way of thinking which, for the first time in Western history, positioned man at the centre of concerns. This conception, which Rome further enriched and marked, is one of the foundations on which European civilisation is built.
The richness of the human experience accumulated by ancient Greece and Rome is astonishingly modern. The majority of the problems dealt with by classical authors and the responses they developed are highly topical: the individual's relationships with nature, society, politics, authority, the divine, etc.
The "vocational" diplomas related to this subject area are master's degrees in ancient languages and literature, specialising in classics. Three of these words require explanation.
Languages - Everyone recognises the importance of learning modern languages. As regards classical languages, their usefulness is less apparent. Still, two main reasons justify learning these languages. First, Latin and Greek either have given birth or are related to many other European languages, and therefore they facilitate the study of these. In addition, it is necessary to know Greek and Latin to be able to read the original texts. Learning classical languages is often associated with translation, and it is precisely because we are obliged to make a personal translation of a text that we can appreciate the value of other translations: it has to be understood from every angle and each time, we have to interpret the author's thoughts.
Literatures - The word "literature" must be understood in the broadest sense. The term covers everything written in Greek and Latin. This vast collection is composed of literary works and texts that relate to areas as diverse as philosophy, history, law, politics, exact sciences, natural sciences, etc. To study these texts scientifically, it is necessary to be familiar with their context, the evolution of the literary genres, the institutions, religions, society, etc.
Classics - The use of the adjective "classic" results from a tradition that has given this word a meaning close to "academic". In fact, etymologically, "classic" means "of the first rank". The Greek and Latin authors studied in schools were considered as models to be imitated. This intellectual and artistic heritage, maintained and passed down through the centuries, has made Greco-Roman antiquity an essential reference in the Western world.
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