Classics encompasses a lot of different facets because it can reach out to a lot of different subjects. It is centered on the age of the Greco-Roman world, which was strongest from around the 1500s BC to the 500s AD. You might focus on philology, which is the study of language preserved in written sources. It would be a lot of Latin. You might combine with an archaeology major and study the different artifacts of the time in Greece and Rome. If you have an interest in art, you might look at the great sculptures of Greece, architecture styles like Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian, or the wonderful Roman art. Philosophy got its start here, so you might focus on the great philosophers like Plato, Socrates, and Aristotle.
For me, Greek mythology is the thing that excites me the most. Private classics tutors put the glad in gladiator as you learn about the real story behind Hercules. When Disney came out with Hercules, I was hooked. If they keep doing more live-action remakes of their cartoons, I really hope that Hercules comes soon. Once I saw that I started learning more about myths. I became obsessed with a book series called Myth-o-Mania, which told the stories of familiar myths from the perspective of Hades, who had traditionally been seen as a bad guy, being the god of death. That followed into learning the real stories behind myths, which are so cool and fun.
Although it is blasphemous to most to believe in these gods, Greek gods are more representative of fables. There are fantastical stories like in the Bible, but the moral lessons at the end seem almost like Aesop, which makes sense when you consider that he was Greek. There are a lot of life lessons, like the dangers of hubris and arrogance, avoiding the lures of temptation, and respecting your family and community.
One of the myths that many people know is the one of Sisyphus and the boulder he was forced to push up a hill for the rest of eternity. The story began with Sisyphus as a brutal schemer that was the king in Ephyra. He was known for killing travelers and guests to exert his rule over the land. In one of his most twisted plots to dethrone his own brother, he seduced his niece, with the intention of using the children they had together to unseat her father. She found out about his plan and killed the children to prevent his plot. You thought Game of Thrones was crazy? Talk to the Greeks. Sisyphus sealed his fate when he betrayed one of Zeus’ secrets for his own selfish gain. He was taken to the Underworld by Hades, but Sisyphus turned the tables and chained Hades before he could be chained himself. He went back up to the living realm and went back to causing trouble, scolding his wife for not burying his body, even though he told her to throw his naked body into the middle of the public square. It was a weird test of her love for him, but, in defense of Sisyphus, what kind of person just says “okie dokie” when they are told to throw their husband’s naked corpse into the middle of a public place? It is the simplest test and she failed miserably. When Sisyphus was recaptured, Zeus decided to put an end to the trickery. He told Sisyphus he could leave if he rolled a heavy boulder to the top of a hill, but enchanted the boulder to roll away right when he gets close. No matter how many tricks he had, Sisyphus was defeated.
There is an almighty power to the Greek gods, but the morals are pretty simple. Do not use reproduction as a plot to take power, do not try to outsmart the gods, and, overall, just be a good person. Do not be a Sisyphus. If you want to learn more about the life lessons in mythology, search for classics tutors near me and we can find someone that can make it all Greek to you, but in a good way.