What is Classics?
Classics is a small label for a discipline that explores all the significant aspects of the ancient Mediterranean world: archaeology, history, art and architecture, philosophy, belief-systems, literature and ancient languages.
Classics has been taught at this university since its initial foundation. Today, we continue to contribute research to a range of international publications and collaborative projects, yet also pride ourselves on being closely involved in all undergraduate courses. As researchers, our Department specialises in the study of Late Antiquity in both the Greek-speaking and Latin-speaking halves of the Roman empire. Our publications range from emotions and violent imagery in Late Latin poetry, to Greco-Roman attitudes to body, mind, and health, to the material culture of the Late Roman Near East. If you click on the links below, you will see that our teaching and our scholarship are strongly linked, enriching our students' overall experience of the ancient Mediterranean world. Little wonder that student evaluations of our teaching consistently place us among the top-ranking departments in the University of Adelaide.
Why study Classics?
If you are interested at all in the origins of much of western civilisation, then our courses are for you. Completing a B.A. (the Bachelor degree in Humanities) will train you in research skills, the close analysis of both texts and objects as evidence, and produce high-quality, written presentations of a well-developed argument. These are all useful in both business and government, and so Humanities graduates are valued by a surprisingly wide variety of employers.
So why choose Classics subjects within your degree? Feedback from our students is clear: they are interesting and thought-provoking. If you are going to learn how to present cogent, evidence-based written arguments, then why not enjoy the content? Be challenged while you learn about the origins of much of European culture: its art, its buildings, its concepts, philosophy and of course, language. Latin is especially useful if you are also learning modern French, Italian or Spanish. However, you do not need to know Latin before taking any of our courses: where applicable, you will study ancient texts in translation.
We also run a Museum of Classical Archaeology, in which our archaeology students take regular classes.
Finally, remember that you do not have to enroll in the BA to take our courses. Most Bachelor degrees across the university require a number of “breadth” courses to be completed from other Faculties. Classics courses are open to all (although a few require that you have taken our first year courses - click on the Undergraduate link to the left for more information on that).
The links below provide more information on each of the various areas of study within Classics:
Dr Meaghan McEvoy, who graduated in Classics at Adelaide University in 2002 with First Class Honours and a University Medal went to the University of Oxford on a John Crampton Travelling scholarship where she was awarded an MPhil in 2005 and a DPhil in 2010. After a period as a Junior Research Fellow at Corpus Christi College in Oxford for two years, she became a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow in Late Roman History. During 2008-16 she also held a Rome scholarship at the British School of Rome, a research fellowship in Byzantine Studies, Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collections (Washington D.C.) and a Humboldt fellowship at the Goethe University, Frankfurt. Her book Child Emperor Rule in the Late Roman West was published by Oxford University Press in 2013. Her appointment to a lectureship in Byzantine Studies in the Department of Ancient History at Macquarie University in Sydney sees her return to Australia after an impressive research career.
Graduation day for Bachelor students
Professor Han Baltussen with recent graduates Stephanie Rogers, Sharleen Schier & Jacqueline Harris, now in the Classics Honours program.