reading and learning about Classics to increase your brain
learning capability, and expand your cultural literacy.
As a big believer in each of us developing our intellectual
capabilities, I recommend classical studies as a way to broaden your
Classics, or Classical Studies, deals with the literature,
art, history, philosophy,
and culture of ancient Greece and Rome.
Why the Classics? How could reading about classics possibly be of
practical use in increasing brain power?
Of course, I'm not advocating enrolling in an intense university
program in Greek and Latin. I'm suggesting instead, that you consider
incorporating more classical reading in your routine and
Because it's fun and entertaining and provides a basis for the
enjoyment of many movies, comic book heroes and video games that
contain references to classical history and mythology e.g. Troy,
Gladiator, O Brother Where Art Thou (movies), Hercules, The
Fantastic Four (comic book heroes), and God of War (Playstation2),
to name a few.
It feeds the imagination if you want to be a writer (or aspiring
blogger). J.K. Rowling author of the Harry Potter books studied
Classics and uses much classical terminology and references in her
books. The first Harry Potter book has been translated into both
Latin and ancient Greek.
It enriches and broadens our understanding of western culture,
history and literature giving us an appreciation for where our
language and customs originated, as well as a sense of connection
to the past.
It helps us understand the human condition and ourselves. For
instance, Greek mythology was then, and serves today as a study in
human nature, the dynamics of the human mind, human behavior, and
the forces that drive us. We learn about jealousy, love, grief,
narcissism, good and evil. It's fast tracking for Life 101.
The skills and knowledge acquired through the study of Classics
are highly transferable to other areas. For example, the ability
to deal with precise details, to express yourself, problem solve, think
critically and manage your life
are all honed and sharpened by having studied Classics.
So much of our medical and scientific terminology is rooted in
Classics that learning about the Greeks and Romans can facilitate
the study of anatomy, astronomy and physics. Many of our modern
sciences have Greek names because the ancient Greeks either
invented them or made significant contributions to them.
Becoming familiar with classical literature gives us perspective
and an understanding of European and English literary genres and
their evolution. The Greco-Roman influence has had such an
enduring effect on every aspect of Western culture including
languages, history, philosophy, literature,
science, technology and art.
about Classics and Classical Studies:
The first written record of Greece and the
oldest form of Greek literature is Homer's Iliad (circa
1000- 900 B.C.)
A book of maps gets its name from Atlas, the
Titan who supported the heavens on his shoulders.
The point of vulnerability is an Achilles'
heel, because the mythological warrior Achilles had been
magically protected in all but that part of his body.
Our calendar goes back to the ancient Romans
and the 7-day-week was introduced by the ancient Hebrews.
The statue of Abraham Lincoln in the Lincoln
Memorial in Washington D.C. was inspired by the statue of
the Olympian Zeus by the Greek sculptor Pheidias. The
designs on Lincoln's armrests are a Roman symbol for justice
and republican government.
Law schools report that their top students
come from math, the Classics, and literature rather than
from political science, economics and legal studies as one
David W. Packard of Hewlett-Packard was a
former professor of Greek and Latin, and Chris Martin from
the band Coldplay studied The Classics.
E.D. Hirsch Jr. who is well known for coining
the phrase 'cultural
literacy' and for his theories on education states that "As a
consequence of the fact that we learn most easily when we attach the
new to the old, people who already know a lot tend to learn new things
faster and more easily than people who do not know very much."
In other words, the more knowledge and
background we have of our world and its evolution in language,
history, arts and sciences, as presented in Classics, the better a
foundation we have for learning new and current information.
What better way to cultivate and preserve our