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Honour School of Classics and Oriental Studies

A

  • 1. The Honour School of Classics and Oriental Studies shall be under the joint supervision of the Boards of the Faculties of Classics and of Oriental Studies, which shall appoint a joint standing committee to make, and to submit to the two boards, proposals for regulations concerning the examination.

  • 2. No candidate shall be admitted to the examination in this School unless he or she has either passed or been exempted from the First Public Examination.

  • 3. The Public Examiners in this School shall be such of the Public Examiners in the Honour Schools of Literae Humaniores and of Oriental Studies as may be required, together with any additional examiners who may be required who shall be nominated by the committee for the nomination of Public Examiners in one or both of those Honour Schools as appropriate.

B

Candidates must offer one Main Subject and one Subsidiary Language, of which one must be Classics and the other a subject or language in Oriental Studies as specified below. In addition they may offer, but are not required to offer, a Special Thesis in Classics, Oriental Studies or a subject linking both. 

Classics may be offered either as a Main Subject or as an Subsidiary Language, save that those who have satisfied the Moderators in Honour Moderations or the Preliminary Examination in Classics may not offer Classics as a Subsidiary Language without permission from the Joint Standing Committee for Classics and Oriental Studies; such permission must be sought as early as possible, and in any case no later than noon on the Friday of the first week of Michaelmas Term before the examination.

In Oriental Studies, the following may be offered either as a Main Subject or as a Subsidiary Language: Arabic, Hebrew, Persian, Sanskrit, Turkish.

Egyptology and Ancient Near Eastern Studies may be offered only as a Main Subject.

The following may be offered only as a Subsidiary Language: Akkadian, Aramaic and Syriac, Armenian, Coptic, Egyptian, Early Iranian, Pali and Prakrit.

Any candidate whose native language is not English may bring a bilingual (native language to English) dictionary for use in any examination paper where candidates are required to translate Ancient Greek and/or Latin texts into English.

All Subjects and Languages other than Classics will be examined in accordance with the Regulations for the Honour School of Oriental Studies.

The subjects available in Classics are listed below. Those offering Classics as their Main Subject must offer five of these, of which at least two (or, in the case of those offering Greek or Latin for Beginners, at least one) must be drawn from 130-6, 401-6, 414, 501-13, 515, 517-8, 524-5, 541-2, 551-2, and 581. Those offering Classics as their Subsidiary Language must offer three, of which at least one (unless they are offering Greek or Latin for Beginners) must be drawn from 130-6, 401-6, 414, 501-13, 515, 517-8, 524-5, 541-2, 551-2 and 581.

Subjects 130-9 will be set in accordance with the regulations for Philosophy in all Honour Schools including Philosophy. Subjects 401-15, 501-13, 515, 517-18, 524-5, 551-4, 566-9 and 601-5 below will be set in accordance with the regulations for the Honour School of Literae Humaniores. For each subject, a detailed specification and (where applicable) prescribed texts will be given in the Greats Handbook applicable to the relevant year of examination. The handbook will be published by Monday of Week 5 of Hilary Term two years preceding the examination.

NOTE: (i) Greek or Latin for Beginners counts as two subjects. It may not be offered by candidates who have satisfied the Moderators in Course IA, IB, or IC of Honour Moderations in Classics or of the Preliminary Examination in Classics. Candidates who offer Greek or Latin for Beginners must offer either both subjects in Greek (566/568) or both subjects in Latin (567/569), and may not offer either subject in the same language as they offered in Course IIA or IIB of Honour Moderations or the Preliminary Examination in Classics, if they sat either of those examinations. If they offer Greek for Beginners they may, if they wish, offer Greek Core as non-text-based (521); in that case, they must also offer at least one of subjects 130-6, 401-6, 414,  502-13, 515, 517-8, 524-5, 541-2, 551-2, or 581 if they are offering Classics as their main subject. If they offer Latin for Beginners they may if they wish offer Latin Core as non-text-based (522); in that case, they must also offer at least one of subjects 130-6, 401-6, 414, 501,  503-13, 515, 517-8, 524-5, 541-2, 551-2, or 581 if they are offering Classics as their main subject.

NOTE: (ii) It cannot be guaranteed that university lectures or classes or college teaching will be available on all subjects in every academic year. Candidates are advised to consult their tutors about the availability of teaching when selecting their subjects.

A. Subjects in Greek and Latin Literature

Candidates offering three or more of these subjects must offer 501 or 502, and may offer both.

The following restrictions on combinations of subjects will apply:

(1) Only one of subjects 503, 504, and 507 may be taken.

(2) Only one of subjects 505 and 541 may be taken.

(3) Only one of subjects 512 and 525 may be taken. Note: University classes will be given for only one of these subjects each year.

(4) Only one of subjects 515 and 524 may be taken. Note: University classes will be given for only one of these subjects each year.

(5) Only one of subjects 517, 518, and 581 may be taken.

Each of subjects 503: Historiography, 504: Lyric Poetry and 507: Comedy will be examined by an extended essay of up to 6,000 words and a one-and-a-half hour translation paper. For each of these subjects, version (a) as specified for the Honour School of Literae Humaniores is the only version available to candidates who have satisfied the Moderators in Course IA, IB, or IC of Honour Moderations in Classics or of the Preliminary Examination in Classics. 

501: Greek Core. One paper of three hours (commentary and essay) with an additional paper (one-and-a-half hours) of translation.

502: Latin Core. One paper of three hours (commentary and essay) with an additional paper (one-and-a-half hours) of translation.

503: Historiography. This subject may not be combined with 504 or 507.

504: Lyric Poetry. This subject may not be combined with 503 or 507.

505: Early Greek Hexameter Poetry. This subject may not be combined with 541.

506: Greek Tragedy.

507: Comedy. This subject may not be combined with 503 or 504.

508: Hellenistic Poetry.

509:  Cicero the Orator.

510: Ovid.

511: Latin Didactic.

512: Neronian Literature.

513: Euripides, Orestes: papyri, manuscripts, text.

515: Catullus: manuscripts, text, interpretation. This subject may not be combined with 524.

517: Byzantine Literature. This subject may not be combined with 518 or 581.

518: Modern Greek Poetry. This subject may not be combined with 517, 566/568, 567/569 or 581.

524: Seneca, Medea: manuscripts, text, interpretation. This subject may not be combined with 515.

525: Latin Literature from Titus to Trajan. This subject may not be combined with 512.

541: Homer, Iliad [Honour Moderations in Classics, Course 1A, paper 1]. This option may not be offered by candidates who have satisfied the Moderators in Course IA, IB, IC, or IIB of Honour Moderations in Classics. It may not be combined with 505.

542: Virgil, Aeneid [Honour Moderations in Classics, Course 1A, paper 2]. This option may not be offered by candidates who have satisfied the Moderators in Course IA, IB, IC, or IIA of Honour Moderations in Classics.

581: The Latin Works of Petrarch. [Honour School of Classics and Modern Languages, subject 6, 7 (xiv) (d)]. This subject may not be combined with 517 or 518.

599: Thesis in Greek and/or Latin Literature. This subject may not be combined with 499, 598 or 699.

B. Subjects in Greek and Roman History

Candidates offering more than one of these subjects must offer at least one of 401-6; those offering more than three of these subjects must offer at least two of 401-6; those offering five of these subjects must offer three of 401-6. Each of subjects 401-6 will be examined in a three-hour essay paper and a one-and-a-half-hour paper comprising passages for translation and comment from the prescribed texts, as specified for the Honour School of Literae Humaniores. Candidates without competence in the relevant language may apply to the chair of the Joint Standing Committee for dispensation to sit any of these six subjects as non-text-based (subjects 421-6 as specified for the Honour School of Literae Humaniores) by noon on the Friday of the first week of Michaelmas Term before the examination, setting out the full range of their intended options and stating why they think it educationally desirable to offer them.

  • 401:   Archaic Greek History: c.750 to 479 BC

  • 402: Thucydides and the Greek World: 479 to 403 BC

  • 403: The End of the Peloponnesian War to the Death of Philip II of Macedon: 403 to 336 BC

  • 404: Polybius, Rome and the Mediterranean: 241–146 BC

  • 405: Republic in Crisis: 146–46 BC

  • 406: Rome, Italy and Empire from Caesar to Claudius: 46 BC to AD 54

  • 407: Athenian Democracy in the Classical Age

  • 408: Alexander the Great and his Early Successors (336 BC -302 BC)

  • 409: The Hellenistic World: Societies and Cultures c.300–100 BC

  • 410: Cicero: Politics and Thought in the Late Republic

  • 411: Politics, Society and Culture from Nero to Hadrian

  • 412: Religions in the Greek and Roman World (c.31 BCAD 312)

  • 413: Sexuality and Gender in Greece and RomeThis subject may only be taken by candidates who are offering at least one Ancient History period subject from subjects 401-6 and 421-6.

  • 414: The Conversion of Augustine

  • 415: The Achaemenid Empire, 550-330 BC.Candidates are not permitted to offer both Classics paper 415 and Early Iranian paper 6.

    499: Thesis in Ancient History. This subject may not be combined with 598, 599 or 699. 

C. Subjects in Philology and Linguistics

Candidates may offer one or two of subjects 551-4, and may if they wish offer subject 598 as well. They may also offer subject 598 as their sole Philology and Linguistics subject. Candidates taking Classics as their Subsidiary Subject may not offer all three of subjects 553, 554 and 598.

  • 551: Greek Historical Linguistics

  • 552: Latin Historical Linguistics

  • 553: General Linguistics and Comparative Philology

  • 554: Comparative Philology: Indo–European, Greek and Latin. This subject may not be offered by candidates who offered the paper Historical Linguistics and Comparative Philology (paper VI. F. 1 under Honour Moderation in Classics, Course IA) for their First Public Examination.)

  • 598: Thesis in Philology and Linguistics. This subject may not be combined with 499, 599 or 699.

D. Subjects in Greek and Roman Archaeology

Candidates taking Classics as their Main Subject may offer one or two of subjects 601-5, and may if they wish offer subject 699 as well. They may also offer subject 699 as their sole Greek and Roman Archaeology subject. Candidates taking Classics as their Subsidiary Subject may offer any one or two of these subjects.

  • 601: The Greeks and the Mediterranean World c.950 BC – 500 BC

  • 602: Greek Art and Archaeology, c.500–300 BC

  • 603: Hellenistic Art and Archaeology, 330-30 BC

  • 604: Art under the Roman Empire, AD 14-337

  • 605: Roman Archaeology: Cities and Settlement under the Empire

  • 699: Thesis in Greek and Roman Archaeology. This subject may not be combined with 499, 598 or 599.

E. Subjects in Ancient and Medieval Philosophy

These subjects are specified in Regulations for Philosophy in all Honour Schools including Philosophy. One or two subjects may be offered. In the list below, numbers in parentheses after a subject's title indicate other subjects with which it may not be combined.

  • 110: Aquinas (111)

  • 111: Duns Scotus, Ockham (110)

  • 115: Plato, Republic (in translation) (130)

  • 116: Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics (in translation) (132)

  • 130: Plato, Republic (in Greek) (115)

  • 131: Plato on Knowledge, Language, and Reality in the Theaetetus and Sophist (in Greek) (137)

  • 132: Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics (in Greek) (116)

  • 133: Aristotle on Nature, Life and Mind (in Greek) (138)

  • 134: Knowledge and Scepticism in Hellenistic Philosophy (in Greek) (136, 139)

  • 135: Latin Philosophy (in Latin)

  • 136: Knowledge and Scepticism in Hellenistic Philosophy (in Latin) (134, 139)

  • 137: Plato on Knowledge, Language, and Reality in the Theaetetus and Sophist (in translation) (131)

  • 138: Aristotle on Nature, Life and Mind (in translation) (133)

  • 139: Knowledge and Scepticism in Hellenistic Philosophy (in translation) (134, 136)

F. Greek or Latin for Beginners

  • [Honour School of Literae Humaniores, subject VI, Second Classical Language] (see note (i) above).

    566/568: Greek for Beginners

    567/569: Latin for Beginners

Regulation on Dissertations and Theses

The regulations on dissertations and theses will be as follows:

(a) The regulations on dissertations in Oriental Studies main subjects will be as specified for the Honour School of Oriental Studies.

(b) Any candidate may offer a thesis in Classics (subjects 499, 598, 599 or 699) as one of their Classical subjects, subject to the restrictions on permitted combinations of subjects set out in A-D above. Such theses will be examined in accordance with regulations 1-8 below.

(c) Any candidate may offer an optional Special Thesis in addition to the requirements for their Main and Subsidiary Subjects. The subject of a Special Thesis may be Classics, Oriental Studies or a subject linking both. A Special Thesis may be offered in combination with a Thesis or Dissertation under the regulations for the candidate’s Main Subject. Special Theses will be examined in accordance with regulations 1-8 below.

The following regulations shall apply to Theses in Classics and Special Theses in all subjects:

1. The subject of every thesis shall, to the satisfaction of the Joint Standing Committee, fall within the scope of the Honour School of Classics and Oriental Studies. The subject may but need not overlap any subject or period on which the candidate offers papers. Candidates should avoid repetition in examination essays of material used in their theses and may be penalised for substantial repetition. Candidates who offer a Special Thesis and another thesis must avoid all overlap between them.

2. Candidates proposing to offer a thesis must submit to the Academic Administrative Officer of the Faculty of Classics, on a form obtainable from the Classics Office which must be countersigned by their tutor and (if different) by their proposed supervisor, the title of the proposed thesis, together with a synopsis of the subject in about 100 words, not later than the Wednesday of the first week of the Michaelmas Full Term preceding the examination. The Joint Standing Committee shall decide whether or not to approve the title and shall advise the candidate as soon as possible.

3. Candidates wishing to change the title of their thesis after it has been approved may apply for permission to make the change to the Chair of the Joint Standing Committee for Classics and Oriental Studies, c/o the Academic Administrative Officer (email: undergraduate@classics.ox.ac.uk) no later than 5 pm on the Friday two weeks before the submission deadline.

4. Every thesis shall be the candidate's own work. Tutors may, however, assist candidates by discussing with them, for example, the field of study, the sources available, bibliography, and the method of presentation, and may also read and comment on drafts. The amount of assistance a candidate may receive shall not exceed an amount equivalent to the teaching of a normal paper. All quotations from primary or secondary sources, and all reporting or appropriation of material from those sources, must be explicitly acknowledged. Candidates must submit a signed declaration that the thesis is their own work.

5. Theses previously submitted for the Honour School of Classics and Oriental Studies may be resubmitted. No thesis shall be accepted which has already been submitted, wholly or substantially, for another Honour School or degree of this or any other institution, and the certificate shall also state that the thesis has not been so submitted. No thesis shall, however, be ineligible because it has been or is being submitted for any prize of this university.

6. No thesis shall exceed 10,000 words. The word limit excludes the bibliography and any appendix consisting of a catalogue of data, any research instrument used to gather data (for example, a computer programme), any extensive text which is specifically the object of an edition (e.g. a papyrus) or commentary, and any translation of that text, but includes quotations and footnotes. No person or body shall have authority to permit the limit of 10,000 words to be exceeded.

7. Candidates shall upload a copy of their thesis, identified by their candidate number only, not later than noon on Friday of Week 0 of the Trinity Full Term of the examination to the University approved online assessment platform