Viewing archives for Classics and Joint Schools

Introduction

I completed my undergraduate in Classics at Durham University, before studying for my MSt at Oxford’s Worcester College. At both universities, I was a member of the comedy revue groups, and developed a passion for writing and performing sketch and stand-up. In 2019, I began my DPhil at Jesus College, during which I taught a variety of undergraduate modules – from Greek language to performance theory. On completing my DPhil, I joined Queen’s College in 2022.

Teaching

I teach Greek Literature to Classics students at Queen’s, specifically the Iliad, Texts & Contexts, Early Greek Hexameter Poetry, Greek Tragedy and Greek Core. On the Latin side, I additionally teach the Texts & Contexts and Aeneid papers. Outside of Classics, I have also created and twice run a stand-up comedy module at the university, which combines theory with performance practice.

Research

My DPhil addresses laughter and humour in Greek tragedy, combining a philological approach to laughter in the texts with social and cognitive theories of laughter and humour. This includes the close study of tragic figures who fear mockery (like Ajax and Medea), the tragedians’ use of jokes, and the comic performance potential of certain scenes and characters. Additionally, I am interested in classical reception, and have published on twenty-first century theatrical adaptations of Greek tragedy. As I am a writer and performer of comedy, this practice also informs my research and approach to dramatic texts. 

Publications

Middleton, Alison. 2021. ‘“Homer” Tackles Aeschylus: Theatrical Adaptation as Process in Anne Washburn’s Mr Burns and Robert Icke’s Oresteia’, Skenè 7 (1), 169-94.

Introduction

I’m AJ, a second-year Classics student (studying course 1A, meaning I had both Latin and Ancient Greek A-Levels before arriving) from London. I’m also a disabled student, which presents its own unique challenges to studying at Oxford, but with the support of tutors, friends, and staff, I don’t think it’s held me back at all.

College experience

The course is initially quite prescriptive: you’ll have weekly language classes at the faculty and your tutorials for the first year and a bit are focussed on giving you a good grounding in the Classical world. On my course, you study both the Iliad and the Aeneid in the original language, so there is certainly a lot to get your teeth into. You do also get some flexibility in options, picking a philosophy subject and your special subject (where the options range from Ancient History to Archaeology to Historical Linguistics). I really like this because it gives you a chance to explore your interests and try things out before you pick your specialties for finals. I enjoy my tutorials a lot: I have found them to be quite relaxed and the conversation is led by the students, allowing you to make the most of your learning. I do an essay each week as well, which gives the opportunity to delve into things that I find most interesting about the topic. 

Advice for applicants

The course is initially quite prescriptive: you’ll have weekly language classes at the faculty and your tutorials for the first year and a bit are focussed on giving you a good grounding in the Classical world. On my course, you study both the Iliad and the Aeneid in the original language, so there is certainly a lot to get your teeth into. You do also get some flexibility in options, picking a philosophy subject and your special subject (where the options range from Ancient History to Archaeology to Historical Linguistics). I really like this because it gives you a chance to explore your interests and try things out before you pick your specialties for finals. I enjoy my tutorials a lot: I have found them to be quite relaxed and the conversation is led by the students, allowing you to make the most of your learning. I do an essay each week as well, which gives the opportunity to delve into things that I find most interesting about the topic. 

The College offers all varieties of the Classics course, including Classics IA-C, IIA-B, and Joint Honours with English, Modern Languages, or Oriental Studies. For details of these options, please refer to the relevant Faculty websites using the links on the left-hand side of this page. 

Classics at Queen’s is taught by Dr Charles Crowther (Fellow in Ancient History) and Dr Christopher Metcalf (Fellow in Classical Languages and Literature), and Dr Almut Fries (Lecturer in Greek and Latin) and Dr Stefan Sienkiewicz (Lecturer in Ancient Philosophy). The Fellowship at Queen’s also comprises colleagues in English, Modern Languages and Oriental Studies, which makes the College equally convenient for those studying single-honours Classics and those who wish to combine Classics with Joint Honours.

The College’s recent graduates in Classics and Joint Schools have taken up a wide range of professions, from the arts (film, drama, music) to the law. Several now teach Classics in schools, or have gone on to graduate study, in subjects such as Ancient History, Ancient Near Eastern Languages, Classical Literature, English, the History of Religions, and Linguistics, at universities including Cambridge, Chicago, Harvard, Leiden, London, Oxford, St Andrews, and York. Nothing could better illustrate the breadth of the Classics course! As tutors we always encourage our students to shape their degree in accordance with their individual interests, and we see it as our pleasant duty to do whatever we can to help them thrive. 

If you have any questions about the course, or would like to visit the College, please don’t hesitate to contact Dr Christopher Metcalf (christopher.metcalf@queens.ox.ac.uk) directly. 

Teaching

Classics at Queen’s builds on a long and distinctive tradition. Its characteristic features include a close focus on the ancient sources—many scholars at Queen’s have worked, and continue to work, on publishing newly discovered texts—and an interest in the wider, non-Classical contexts of ancient Greece and Rome. Read a brief profile of Classics at Queen’s. Our scholarly profile directly informs our approach to teaching: knowledge of the ancient languages, and the ability to read ancient texts independently, are among the vital skills that we help our undergraduates to acquire, whatever their previous experience of Greek and Latin. We are also very interested in the many intersections between Classics and other ancient and modern disciplines, and encourage our undergraduates to pursue these aspects of the course if they wish.

The tutorial remains the principal means of instruction. This usually involves two people and the tutor, and discussion of a topic on which the students will have written an essay. Tutorial essays tend to deal with detailed work on particular texts or questions, while the University lectures offer a broader view. The College also provides special language teaching (in addition to the general Faculty-based language classes) in order to help all students, whatever their previous experience, to reach their best possible level in Greek and/or Latin. Furthermore, tutorials are regularly accompanied by reading classes, which are designed to support text-reading in the original languages.

For the first part of the course, until Mods or Prelims, most teaching is done in-house: the tutors and lecturers in Queen’s regularly offer teaching in Greek and Latin literature, ancient history and ancient philosophy. After Mods or Prelims, the students’ choice of subjects determines where they are taught, though much is usually again in College. We encourage our students to develop their individual interests, within Classics or beyond, and to take advantage of the unique breadth of teaching that Oxford has to offer. In recent years, for instance, students reading for Classics and Oriental Studies have complemented their Classical work by learning Oriental languages such as Akkadian, Arabic, Armenian, Egyptian, Hebrew, Old Persian, and Sanskrit.

Admissions

We normally take five candidates each year; there are no specific quotas for individual courses. 

Before the interview season, you will be required to submit two pieces of work.  Ideally, these will be marked essays (not work revised especially for submission).  If you are in doubt about what to submit, do get in touch with us.  You will also take the relevant language tests, or the Language Aptitude Test if you have no classical languages.  

In the interviews, we are looking for people with a commitment to the study of the very broad Classics courses and the ability to take advantage of the tutorial system. For literature and history, you will be asked questions based on whatever material you have submitted as part of your application: you may, for instance, be invited to discuss a text or topic that you have already studied as part of your written work, or that you have mentioned in your personal statement. The interviewers may ask you questions that invite you to consider familiar material from a new angle: they are looking for intellectual agility and an enquiring mind, and a real commitment to this wide-ranging subject. The interviewers will not test you on factual knowledge. 

You will be given a set of philosophical problems involving logic to look at before philosophy interviews; these problems do not presuppose any knowledge of particular philosophies.   

Please try to relax and enjoy the occasion (people do!): we will not be trying to catch you out, nor is it essential that everything you say is ‘right’; we are interested in your ability to analyse and discuss a topic, not in what you know or do not know.  It is therefore important not to come with pre-prepared ideas to which you intend to stick whatever criticisms may be made of them. 

Please also note the detailed annual reports on Classics and Joint Schools admissions, which prospective applicants may find helpful.

Courses

BA (Hons) Literae Humaniores (‘Classics’)BA (Hons) Classics and EnglishBA (Hons) Classics and Modern LanguagesBA (Hons) Classics and Oriental Studies

Introduction

I specialise in archaic and Classical Greek poetry, particularly tragedy and lyric, as well as textual criticism, transmission and the history of Classical scholarship. I was educated at Göttingen and Oxford and now teach at Oxford.


Introduction

A product of the Italian state education system, I went to school in the provinces of Milan and Brescia and read Classics at the University of Padua (2010-13). I further pursued my passion for ancient cultures and literatures by doing an MPhil and PhD in Classics at Magdalene and Emmanuel College, Cambridge (2013-18). Then I worked as a Language Teaching Officer in the Faculty of Classics at Cambridge (2018-20); I also was Bye-Fellow at Emmanuel College and Teaching Associate at Queens’ College (2019-20). I moved to Oxford and took up my three-year Research Fellowship at The Queen’s College in October 2020.

Teaching

I am happy to supervise undergraduate theses in Classics or History on topics such as Latin literature (Cicero and early imperial prose) and Latin textual criticism (including palaeography).

Research

Broadly, my research focuses on the reception of Latin literature from Antiquity to our times. In my doctoral thesis I studied the textual history of Cicero’s letters to Atticus in the Middle Ages and Renaissance. I am currently working my thesis into a monograph, and in the long term I plan to re-edit the whole of Cicero’s correspondence.

As a Research Fellow in Classics at The Queen’s College, I am studying a phenomenon of transmission that goes by the name of interpolation – that is, the insertion of non-authorial matter into a text. Specifically, I am surveying, comparing, and trying to explain the different attitudes of critics and readers towards interpolation in Latin classical texts from Antiquity to the Enlightenment.

Research Talk

The video below is of an online talk that I gave for the Queen’s College Symposium in November, 2020 entitled: ‘”This is not what I wrote”. Three ancient victims of forgery, interpolation & fake news.’

Outreach

I am the Outreach Officer for the Centre for Manuscript and Text Cultures (CMTC) at Queen’s. My new podcast interview series can be found on YouTube or wherever you get your podcasts.

Introduction

I grew up in continental Europe and west Africa. In 2003 I came to Britain to study classical and ancient Near Eastern languages in Edinburgh, Oxford and London, graduating with a DPhil in Classics from the University of Oxford in 2013. My first academic appointment was at SOAS, University of London, where I taught as a substitute for the Professor of Babylonian, A R George, in 2012-13. I returned to Oxford as Junior Research Fellow in Lesser Known Languages and Scripts of the Ancient World at Wolfson College (2013-16), and held a postdoctoral research fellowship awarded by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation at the Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg, Germany, before joining Queen’s in October 2016.

Teaching

My interest in classical literature was sparked many years ago by a memorable passage in book III of Homer’s Iliad and an enigmatic saying attributed to the philosopher Heraclitus; today I feel immensely fortunate to continue exploring and enjoying a wide range of Greek and Roman authors as a tutor. My teaching, which I seek to adapt to students’ needs and interests, covers the literary elements of the initial (‘Mods’) part of the Classics curriculum, as well as other papers related to early Greek poetry. 

Research

In past research I have explored the relationship between early Greek poetry and the literatures of the ancient Near East, in particular Mesopotamian and Anatolian texts (The Gods Rich in Praise: Early Greek and Mesopotamian Religious Poetry, OUP 2015). My interest in the history of ancient literature and religion, and in detailed textual work, then led me to publish a first edition of Sumerian literary manuscripts of the early second millennium BC (Sumerian Literary Texts in the Schøyen Collection: Literary Sources on Old Babylonian Religion, Pennsylvania State UP 2019). I am now working on a book provisionally entitled Servant, Lover, Fool: Three Myths of Ancient Kingship, in which I will identify and analyse three common story-patterns associated with kingship in early Greek and ancient Near Eastern (especially Sumerian, Akkadian, Hurrian, Hittite, Hebrew and Old Persian) sources.

Publications

Please see my Faculty of Classics profile page for research updates and a full list of publications. 

Introduction

After a state grammar school education I read Classics at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge (1977-80). I have an M.A. in Classics from the University of Cincinnati and a doctorate in Hellenistic History from King’s College London. I have taught at King’s College London and, from 1992 to 1994, the Institute for the History of Ancient Civilizations in Changchun in northeastern China. I have worked in Oxford since 1994 and was a Research Fellow at Wolfson from 1997 to 2004. I came to Queen’s in 2010 after my appointment as University Lecturer in Greek Epigraphy.

Teaching

At Queen’s I teach the principal Greek history period and thematic papers for Classics and Ancient and Modern History undergraduates. I also teach a graduate seminar in Classical Greek and Latin epigraphy, and supervise graduate students studying Hellenistic history and Greek epigraphy.

Research

My research interests are in Hellenistic Greek history, in particular in the history of institutions, and more generally in Greek and Latin epigraphy. I have current museum and field projects in Chios and in the Commagene region of south-eastern Turkey.

I have been associated with the Centre for the Study of Ancient Documents, a research unit in the Classics Faculty for epigraphy and papyrology, since its establishment in 1995, and have worked closely with Professor Alan Bowman in a series of projects to improve the reading and decipherment of ancient documents written on wood, lead, stone and other surfaces.

Publications

  • “Inscriptions from the Necropolis of Perrhe”, in Von Kummuh nach Telouch. Historische und archäologische Untersuchungen in Kommagene. (Asia Minor Studien 64, Bonn 2011), 367-394, [with M. Facella]
  • The Customs Law of Asia (OUP, 2008) [joint editor with M. Cottier, M.H. Crawford, B.M. Levick]
  • “The Dionysia at Iasos: its artists, patrons and audience”, in The Greek Theatre and Festivals. Documentary Studies (OUP 2007), 294-334
  • “New Evidence for the Ruler Cult of Antiochos of Commagene from Zeugma”, in Neue Forschungen zur Religionsgeschichte Kleinasiens. (Asia Minor Studien 49, Bonn 2003), 41-80, [with M. Facella]
  • “Minoan Dikta”, ch. 12 of The Palaikastro Kouros. A Minoan Chryselephantine Statuette and its Aegean Bronze Age Context (BSA Studies 6, 2000), 145-148.