Increase Your Brain Power with Classics
Consider reading and learning about Classics to increase your brain power
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 knowledge base.
Classics, or Classical Studies, deals with the literature, art, history, philosophy, and cultures of ancient Greece
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
- 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.
Interesting facts about Classics and Classical Studies:
✔ The first written record of Greece and the oldest form of
Greek literature is Homer's Iliad (circa 1000-
✔ 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
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
✔ The statue of Abraham Lincoln in the Lincoln Memorial in
Washington D.C. was inspired by the statue of
Olympian Zeus by the Greek sculptor Pheidias.
on Lincoln's armrests are a Roman symbol for
✔ 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 brainpower?
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