Classics is a branch of the Humanities dealing with the culture of the ancient Mediterranean world, including its language, literature, history, and art. Classics focuses particularly on Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome during classical antiquity, which goes roughly from the Ancient Greek Bronze Age (1000 BCE) to late antiquity (circa 500 CE). The study of classics was the initial field in the humanities. Traditionally, the field focussed exclusively on ancient Greece and Rome, and ancient Egypt (for example) would have been outside of the discipline. Today, classicists study a subject more broadly defined as that which pertains to the Ancient Mediterranean World. Those scholars who focus on the more landward side of the eastern Mediterranean - for example, the ancient Persian Empire - are described as Orientalists, rather than Classicists.
The word "classics" is also used to refer to the literature of the period, or more broadly and in common parlance, to the best of any genre of literature.