Classics & Middle Eastern
The earliest signs of humankind's transition from a nomadic existence to permanent, year-round settlement can be traced back to the Mediterranean region as early as 12000 BC. With the subsequent emergence of ancient Mesopotamia in the "Near East," this region is recognized as the origin place of the world's first civilizations. Middle Eastern, Ancient Greek and Ancient Roman civilizations have been pivotally influential centers of cultural, religious, philosophical and political world affairs.
Classics is the study of the language, history, culture and archaeology of the ancient Greeks and Romans. These two ancient cultures spanned over a thousand years and provided the foundation of Western civilization. Their languages, ancient Greek and Latin, form the base in both vocabulary and grammar for all modern Romance languages.
Today, Arabic is the most widely spoken language in the Middle East. It is spoken by more than 280 million people as a first language, and by another 250 million as a second language. Hebrew is another language in the region; modern Hebrew is spoken by most of the seven million people in Israel, while Classical, or Biblical Hebrew has been used for prayer or study in Jewish communities around the world. The core of the Torah, and most of the rest of the Hebrew Bible, is written in Biblical Hebrew.