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Literae Humaniores is the name given to an undergraduate course focused on Classics (Ancient Rome, Ancient Greece, Latin, ancient Greek and philosophy) at the University of Oxford and some other universities.
Classics or classical studies is the study of classical antiquity. It encompasses the study of the Greco-Roman world, particularly of its languages and literature but also of Greco-Roman philosophy, history, and archaeology. Traditionally in the West, the study of the Greek and Roman classics is considered one of the cornerstones of the humanities and a fundamental element of a rounded education. The study of classics has therefore traditionally been a cornerstone of a typical elite education.
The University of Oxford is a collegiate research university in Oxford, England. There is evidence of teaching as early as 1096, making it the oldest university in the English-speaking world and the world's second-oldest university in continuous operation. It grew rapidly from 1167 when Henry II banned English students from attending the University of Paris. After disputes between students and Oxford townsfolk in 1209, some academics fled north-east to Cambridge where they established what became the University of Cambridge. The two 'ancient universities' are frequently jointly called 'Oxbridge'. The history and influence of the University of Oxford has made it one of the most prestigious universities in the world.
The Latin name means literally "more human literature", and was in contrast to the other main field of study when the university began, i.e. res divinae, also known as theology. Lit. Hum. is concerned with human learning, and Lit. Div. with learning that came from God. In its early days, it encompassed mathematics and natural sciences as well. It is now an archetypal Humanities course and is colloquially called Greats.
Humanities are academic disciplines that study aspects of human society and culture. In the Renaissance, the term contrasted with divinity and referred to what is now called classics, the main area of secular study in universities at the time. Today, the humanities are more frequently contrasted with natural, and sometimes social, sciences as well as professional training.
The University of Oxford's classics course, also known as "Greats", is divided into two parts, lasting five terms and seven terms respectively, the whole lasting four years in total, which is one year more than most arts degrees at Oxford and other English universities.
The course of studies leads to a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree. Throughout, there is a strong emphasis on first hand study of primary sources in the original Greek or Latin.
A Bachelor of Arts is a bachelor's degree awarded for an undergraduate course or program in either the liberal arts, sciences, or both. Bachelor of Arts programs generally take three to four years depending on the country, institution, and specific specializations, majors, or minors. The word baccalaureus should not be confused with baccalaureatus, which refers to the one- to two-year postgraduate Bachelor of Arts with Honors degree in some countries.
In the first part ( Honour Moderations or Mods) students concentrate on Latin and/or Greek language; in the second part students choose eight papers from the disciplines of Classical literature, Greek and Roman history, Philosophy, Archaeology, and Linguistics. The teaching style is very traditional and consists of weekly tutorials in each of the two main subjects chosen, supplemented by a wide variety of lectures. The main teaching mechanism remains the weekly essay, one on each of the two main chosen subjects, typically written to be read out at a one-to-one tutorial; this affords all students plenty of practice at writing short, clear, and well-researched papers.
Honour Moderations are a set of examinations at the University of Oxford at the end of the first part of some degree courses.
Latin is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. The Latin alphabet is derived from the Etruscan and Greek alphabets and ultimately from the Phoenician alphabet.
Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages, native to Greece, Cyprus and other parts of the Eastern Mediterranean and the Black Sea. It has the longest documented history of any living Indo-European language, spanning more than 3000 years of written records. Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the major part of its history; other systems, such as Linear B and the Cypriot syllabary, were used previously. The alphabet arose from the Phoenician script and was in turn the basis of the Latin, Cyrillic, Armenian, Coptic, Gothic, and many other writing systems.
Changed in the late 20th century, a strong emphasis remains on study of original texts in Latin and Greek, assessed by prepared translation and by gobbet. In a typical "text" paper candidates will be expected first to translate into English three or four long passages selected by the examiners from the set books; and secondly to comment on each of an extended set of short paragraphs or sentences from the same set texts; marks are awarded for recognising the context and the significance of each excerpt.
The Mods (Moderations – exams conducted by moderators) course runs for the first five terms of the course. The traditional aim was for students to develop their ability to read fluently in Latin (especially the Aeneid of Virgil) and Greek (concentrating on the Iliad and the Odyssey ); this remains the case today, but the course has changed to reflect the continuing decline in the numbers of applicants who have had the opportunity to study Greek and Latin at school.
Since the early 1970s, it has been possible to begin learning Greek during the preparation for Mods (an option originally called Mods-B, the brainchild of John G Griffiths of Jesus). More recently, due to the omission of Latin and Greek from the National Curriculum since 1988, options have been added for those without Latin either.
There are now five alternative paths through Mods.
Language tuition is now organized centrally within the University by the Faculty of Classics; this leaves the colleges free to concentrate on teaching classical literature/rhetoric, history and philosophy.
The Mods examination has a reputation as something of an ordeal: it evolved in the 21st century from 11 or 12 three-hour papers across seven consecutive days into 10 or 11 three-hour papers across seven or eight days. Candidates for Classical Mods thus still face a much larger number of exams than undergraduates reading for most other degrees at Oxford sit for their Mods, Prelims or even, in many cases, Finals.
Students who successfully pass Mods may then go on to study the full Greats course in their remaining seven terms. Those choosing the 'Course II' version are expected to read as many of their Finals texts in the original of their chosen language as those on Course I; there is, moreover, the option of studying the second Classical language as two papers at Finals.
The traditional Greats course consisted of detailed study of Roman and Greek History and Philosophy, contrasting ancient (Plato and Aristotle) philosophers with modern philosophers. In 1968 an elective 'Latin and Greek Literature' was added; students chose two of the three.
Since then, various combined courses have also been developed including:
In 2004 the full Lit. Hum. course was revised; students examined since 2008 now choose eight papers from a wide range of subject areas:
The regulations governing the combinations of papers are moderately simple: students must take at least four papers based on the study of ancient texts in the original Latin or Greek; otherwise they can choose what they want, provided only that if they offer literature papers, they must offer the appropriate "core" papers too, and if they choose to offer "period" papers in history then they must offer one of the approved combinations.
In the past it was compulsory also to offer papers in unprepared translation from Latin and Greek into English; these papers counted "below the line" — candidates were required to pass them, but they did not otherwise affect the overall class of the degree. This requirement has now been dropped, and it is possible to pass Greats without offering any unprepared translation papers. The formerly optional prose and verse composition papers (English into Latin and Greek) have been removed from the Greats syllabus entirely.[ citation needed ]
A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy. The term "philosopher" comes from the Ancient Greek, φιλόσοφος (philosophos), meaning "lover of wisdom". The coining of the term has been attributed to the Greek thinker Pythagoras.
Greek literature dates from ancient Greek literature, beginning in 800 BC, to the modern Greek literature of today.
A gymnasium is a type of school with a strong emphasis on academic learning, and providing advanced secondary education in some parts of Europe comparable to British grammar schools, sixth form colleges and US preparatory high schools. In its current meaning, it usually refers to secondary schools focused on preparing students to enter a university for advanced academic study. Before the 20th century, the system of gymnasiums was a widespread feature of educational system throughout many countries of central, north, eastern, and south Europe.
The Classical Tripos is the taught course in classics at the Faculty of Classics, University of Cambridge. It is equivalent to Literae Humaniores at Oxford. It is traditionally a three-year degree, but for those who have not studied Latin and Greek at school a four-year course has been introduced. It is not essential to have a Greek A-Level to study for the three year degree as intensive Greek teaching is available, but most students will have a Latin A-Level.
Liceo classico is the oldest, public secondary school type in Italy. The educational curriculum lasts five years, and students are generally about 14 to 19 years of age. Due to its rigorous curriculum and numerous notable alumni, it is considered the most prestigious secondary school students can attend throughout Italy.
The Classical Gymnasium is a gymnasium high school situated in Zagreb, Croatia. It was founded by the Society of Jesus in 1607. In its first year it had 260 students and it operated on the basis of the Jesuit programme "Ratio atque institutio studiorum societatis Jesu".
The Latin language is still taught in many parts of the world. In many countries it is offered as an optional subject in some secondary schools and universities, and may be compulsory for students in certain institutions or following certain courses. For those wishing to learn the language independently, there are printed and online resources.
Sir Peter Hugh Jefferd Lloyd-Jones FBA was a British classical scholar and Regius Professor of Greek at Oxford.
Anthony Arthur Long FBA is a British and naturalised American classical scholar and Chancellor's Professor Emeritus of Classics and Irving Stone Professor of Literature Emeritus, and Affiliated Professor of Philosophy and Rhetoric at the University of California, Berkeley.
Hellenic Studies is an interdisciplinary scholarly field that focuses on the language, literature, history and politics of post-classical Greece. In university, a wide range of courses, expose students to a viewpoints that help them understand the historical and political experiences of Byzantine, Ottoman and modern Greece; the ways in which Greece has borne its several pasts and translated them into the modern era; and the era's distinguished literary and artistic traditions.
The Faculty of Medieval and Modern Languages at the University of Oxford, England, was established in 1903. It is part of Oxford's Humanities Division.
The Faculty of Classics, University of Oxford previously the Faculty of Literae Humaniores. The Faculty was renamed "Classics" in 2001 after Philosophy, which had previously been a sub-faculty, became a faculty in its own right. The Faculty of Classics is divided into two sub-faculties of Classical Languages & Literature and Ancient History & Classical Archaeology. The teaching of classics at Oxford has been going on for 900 years, and was at the centre of nearly all undergraduates' education well into the twentieth century. The Faculty organises teaching and research - the main undergraduate programme being known as Literae Humaniores. It also runs a BA programme in Classical Archaeology and Ancient History. The Faculty of Classics is part of the Humanities Division. It runs projects including the Oxyrhynchus Papyrus Project and the Archive of Performances of Greek and Roman Drama. It is the largest Classics department at any university in the world.
Gregory Owen Hutchinson, known as G. O. Hutchinson, is a British classicist and academic, specialising in Latin literature, Ancient Greek literature, and Latin and Ancient Greek languages. Since October 2015, he has been the Regius Professor of Greek at the University of Oxford, and a Student of Christ Church, Oxford.
The Faculty of Classics is one of the constituent departments of the University of Cambridge. It teaches the Classical Tripos. The Faculty is divided into five caucuses ; literature, ancient philosophy, ancient history, Classical art and archaeology, linguistics, and interdisciplinary studies.
The Department of Classics is an academic division in the Faculty of Arts and Humanities at King's College London. It is one of the oldest and most distinguished centres for the study of classical languages, literature, thought, religion, art, archaeology and history in the United Kingdom.
Tobias Reinhardt is a German classical scholar, specialising in Latin literature and ancient philosophy. Since 2008, he has been the Corpus Christi Professor of Latin at the University of Oxford and a Fellow of Corpus Christi College, Oxford.
Simon Charles Robert Swain, FBA, is a classicist and academic. Since 2000, he has been Professor of Classics at the University of Warwick, where he has also been Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Arts and Social Sciences since 2014.
Catherine Joanna Rowett is Professor of Philosophy at the University of East Anglia. She is known in particular for her work on Greek Philosophy, especially the Pre-Socratic philosophers.