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Difference between Classics, Classical literature


Apr 17, 2024

Aakanksha Sharma

The differences

Both ‘Classics’ and ‘Classical’ literature books are appreciated by people all over the world. There are debates, criticisms, adaptations, different interpretations and much more. Here we share the differences between the two and why one should not use them interchangeably.


The simple meaning

‘Classics’ are works of literature that have stood the test of time, and have been liked by many generations. ‘Classical’ literature on the other hand is from a specific period, often the ancient Greek and Roman literature.


Time period

Books that are referred to as ‘Classics’ do not have a set time period, they have just been read through different generations. ‘Classical’ literature on the other hand refers specifically to the period between 8th century BCE to the 5th century CE.


The influence

‘Classics’ do not have a certain language or theme. They can be in any language, spread across various themes and cultures and are not limited. ‘Classical’ literature on the other hand is specific to ancient Greece and Rome and usually includes epics, poems, tragedies etc.


​A fix genre

Books that are referred to as ‘Classics’ do not have a set genre. They can be self-help books, romantics, philosophy and much more. ‘Classical’ literature on the other hand is majoritarily epic poetry, tragic dramas, philosophical dialogues, and the likes.


Understanding and language

‘Classics’ do not have a set language. They can be in English, Spanish, German, translated texts and much more. But, ‘Classical’ literature is best when studied in the original language. The language is mostly ancient Greek or Latin and has various translations.


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A difference in themes

‘Classics’ have many themes in them and show human experience across different times and situations. ‘Classical’ literature on the other hand often has the subject of mythology, heroism, morality, politics, and philosophy.


​A background for both

‘Classics’ do not have a set history and background. Just like their different subjects and themes, there isn’t a fixed history behind them. ‘Classicals’ on the other hand includes the valuable history about ancient Greece and Rome.


Readaptations when it comes to versions

‘Classics’ can have additions, new forewords, adaptations, reinterpretations and much more with evolving time. But, ‘Classical’ literature is etched in history and people don’t really prefer to fiddle with it.


​Access and understanding

‘Classics’ are well accessible and continue to be read, studied, and appreciated by readers worldwide. But ‘Classical’, being of a certain language and context is accessible in its original form to a limited audience.


Thanks For Reading!

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