15 Famous People Who Studied Classics

15 Famous People Who Studied Classics

The list is longer than you would think.
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When I tell people that I’ve chosen to pursue a degree in Classics, I get many blank faces and questions including, “As in literature, right?” or, “What even is that?” After I explain that Classics is the study of the languages and cultures of Ancient Greece and Rome, one of the next questions is, “Who studies that anymore?”

Fear not, while studying Classics was once the basis for education in the western world, there are still people who continue to study these subjects today.

I have compiled a few names of people who have studied Classics in the past and many of them will be familiar.



J.K. Rowling

Author of The "Harry Potter" series, B.A. in Classics from Exeter University



Boris Johnson

Mayor of London, received B.A. from Balliol College, Oxford University



Lynn Sherr

ABC News Correspondent for "20/20," B.A. in Classics from Wellesley College



James Garfield

20th President of the United States, graduated with a degree in Classics from Williams College



Jonathan Evans, Baron Evans of Weardale

Former Director General of the British Security Service (MI5) from 2007-2013, degree in Classical Studies, Bristol University



Jane Addams

Activist and social worker, studied Greek and Latin, earning a B.A from Rockford Female Seminary (Rockford College) in Indiana



Sigmund Freud

Psychologist, famous for developing psychoanalysis, excelled in his study of Greek, Latin, and Hebrew at Leopoldstädter Kommunal-Realgymnasium



Thomas Jefferson

3rd President of the United States, studied Greek while a student at the College of William and Mary and avid reader of Roman literature, went on to establish the University of Virginia, where students were encouraged to study Classics



J.R.R. Tolkein

Author of "Lord of the Rings," studied Classics at Exeter College, Oxford, but received a degree in English Literature


Chuck Geschke

Founder of Adobe Systems, received B.A in Classics from Xavier University


Tom Hiddleston

Actor, degree in Classics from Pembroke College, University of Cambridge


James Baker

Former Secretary of State under George H.W Bush, B.A in Classics from Princeton University


Jerry Brown

Current Governor of California, received B.A in Classics from University of California, Berkeley


William Cohen

Secretary of Defense under President Clinton, B.A in Latin from Bowdoin College


Chris Martin

Lead singer of the band Coldplay, degree in Ancient World Studies with first class honours in Latin and Greek from University College London



All of these people have gone into a variety of fields that include writing books, becoming scientists, and holding important political positions. This proves that Classics is a universal field that can beneficial for many paths and that has many uses among very different professions.



Sources (and lists with more famous people):

http://classics.nd.edu/careers/famous-students-of-the-classics/

http://classics.uwaterloo.ca/labyrinth/tiresias/FamousClassicists.html

http://willamette.edu/cla/classics/careers/addams/

http://puffin1.creighton.edu/clc/FamousClassicsMajors.htm

https://www.mi5.gov.uk/sir-jonathan-evans

http://blogs.transparent.com/latin/famous-people-who-studied-latin/

http://rogueclassicism.com/folks-you-didnt-know-maybe-had-classics-degrees/

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8 Reasons Why My Dad Is the Most Important Man In My Life

Forever my number one guy.
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Growing up, there's been one consistent man I can always count on, my father. In any aspect of my life, my dad has always been there, showing me unconditional love and respect every day. No matter what, I know that my dad will always be the most important man in my life for many reasons.

1. He has always been there.

Literally. From the day I was born until today, I have never not been able to count on my dad to be there for me, uplift me and be the best dad he can be.

2. He learned to adapt and suffer through girly trends to make me happy.

I'm sure when my dad was younger and pictured his future, he didn't think about the Barbie pretend pageants, dressing up as a princess, perfecting my pigtails and enduring other countless girly events. My dad never turned me down when I wanted to play a game, no matter what and was always willing to help me pick out cute outfits and do my hair before preschool.

3. He sends the cutest texts.

Random text messages since I have gotten my own cell phone have always come my way from my dad. Those randoms "I love you so much" and "I am so proud of you" never fail to make me smile, and I can always count on my dad for an adorable text message when I'm feeling down.

4. He taught me how to be brave.

When I needed to learn how to swim, he threw me in the pool. When I needed to learn how to ride a bike, he went alongside me and made sure I didn't fall too badly. When I needed to learn how to drive, he was there next to me, making sure I didn't crash.

5. He encourages me to best the best I can be.

My dad sees the best in me, no matter how much I fail. He's always there to support me and turn my failures into successes. He can sit on the phone with me for hours, talking future career stuff and listening to me lay out my future plans and goals. He wants the absolute best for me, and no is never an option, he is always willing to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be.

6. He gets sentimental way too often, but it's cute.

Whether you're sitting down at the kitchen table, reminiscing about your childhood, or that one song comes on that your dad insists you will dance to together on your wedding day, your dad's emotions often come out in the cutest possible way, forever reminding you how loved you are.


7. He supports you, emotionally and financially.

Need to vent about a guy in your life that isn't treating you well? My dad is there. Need some extra cash to help fund spring break? He's there for that, too.

8. He shows me how I should be treated.

Yes, my dad treats me like a princess, and I don't expect every guy I meet to wait on me hand and foot, but I do expect respect, and that's exactly what my dad showed I deserve. From the way he loves, admires, and respects me, he shows me that there are guys out there who will one day come along and treat me like that. My dad always advises me to not put up with less than I deserve and assures me that the right guy will come along one day.

For these reasons and more, my dad will forever be my No. 1 man. I love you!

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The Gap Between Knowledge And Action

Let's talk about action. There seems to be a mass phenomenon of disconnect between knowledge and action. Why is it that increased knowledge is not motivating people towards increased action.

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In the world today, there are all sorts of social and political movements. Though society has always been flawed with endless problems, people are more aware of these problems today than ever. The rise of the internet, smartphones, and social media has created a new social climate of awareness as a result of greater interconnectedness. But how is it that the public is growing more aware, yet nothing seems to be changing?

I began really thinking about this perplexity recently, as I listened to a TedTalk discussing global warming. According to public polling from the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication, 70% of Americans agree that global warming is occurring. But according to the same polling, only 40% of Americans think climate change will affect them personally and are adjusting their lifestyles because of it. This is the gap between knowledge and action. Two-thirds of Americans acknowledge climate change, but only less than half are doing something about it. Something is being lost in translation, but what is it?

This phenomenon extends far beyond climate change though. Poverty. Hunger. Displacement. Lack of access to clean water. Sexual inequality. Like I said earlier, there are an endless array of problems the world faces, and we are more aware of them than ever, but how do we link knowledge and action?

We know that most issues that have risen due to globalization, affect the people who contribute to the problem the least, the most. Global warming is disproportionately affecting those in poverty who can't afford to recover from wildfires in California, stronger hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico, or increasingly severe droughts in Syria. People in Flint, Michigan or Karachi, Pakistan lack clean water because of the actions of people far richer than themselves. Is a lack of personal victimization the reason? Is raised awareness and stagnant action a symptom of a bigger issue of lacking compassion or are people just lazy?

As a nineteen-year-old college student, maybe I'm naïve, but I refuse to believe that the U.S. and global, society as a whole is lacking in action because they are lacking in compassion or because third world problems "are not their problems." Philosopher, Christopher Heath Wellman, put it best when saying to "[n]otice how awkward it is to protest that those of us who are privileged cannot be obligated to change the system because we are impotent in the face of its enormity, while simultaneously suggesting that those who are starving to death are entitled to no assistance because they are responsible for the political and economic institutions which led to their ruin" in regards to world hunger.

You may be thinking, "OK but how can I make a difference, as just one person?" What Wellman meant in his quote was that you alone cannot make a difference for people starving in another country, but neither can they. It's only when we come together as a society and commit to action can we overcome these issues. Perhaps this is my Global Studies major speaking, but we are all citizens of the world, not just citizens of the U.S. and we must allow our compassion accordingly. No one has any choice in where, what circumstances, or what society they are born into so to refuse action which would help victims of circumstance would be an ignorant form of elitism.

This problem isn't exclusively on the national and global scale either; everyday people see problems in their personal lives and yet, only a small minority take action. Take, for example, people who stress about procrastination, but never change their time management habits. People who make the same New Year's Resolution every year because they never follow suit. Smokers who want to quit but don't try. Students who complain about poor grades but don't make time to study. Even in our own personal lives, knowledge rarely seems to prompt action.

I don't have an easy fix for this. And I don't hold the solutions to global warming, poverty, hunger, lack of access to clean water, or sexual inequality. But I do know that it doesn't need to be this way. It's often said that recognizing you have an issue is half the battle, the next half is action. Every day, our knowledge of the world and everything which inhabits it is increasing, the time for action is now. If we all, individually, take it upon ourselves to care for one another and work towards a better world, in small ways, I believe that together, we can make anything a reality.

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