Classics

Wadham is one of the colleges most committed to Classics and Ancient History. We typically have three fellows, around 6 to 8 graduates, and about 32 undergraduates taking the range of classics and ancient history courses.

  • Athena overlooking Plato
    Photo by Sebastien Betrand via Wikimedia Commons 

Classics at Wadham

We admit graduates for the one-year M.St. and two-year M.Phil. courses in Greek and/or Latin Languages & Literature, in Greek and/or Roman History, and in Classical Archaeology, as well as for D.Phils in all three subject areas.

With the support of alumni and the university, the College currently funds two Classics graduates in full, and expects to have similar awards in future. In addition there are trust funds that support current Classics and Ancient History students, e.g. by helping with book purchases or contributing to fees for Summer Schools. There is an excellent tradition of integration across courses and years, promoted through regular social and academic events through the year. The college also has a distinctive commitment to outreach; our students are regularly involved in teaching Latin in local schools through the Iris project, and we host the East London Classics Summer School.

The Tutors

Amongst the current tutors Stephen Heyworth concentrates on Latin literature, and particularly on the Augustan poets: his Oxford Classical Text of Propertius was published in 2007. His major current projects are an investigation of the manuscripts of Ovid’s Fasti, which will lead to an edition of the whole poem, and a commentary on book 3. Peter Thonemann teaches Greek and Roman history; he is particularly interested in ancient social and economic history, with a focus on the Greek-speaking East, from the Aegean to Afghanistan and from Homer to Muhammad; as a student of Greek epigraphy (inscriptions on stone) he continues a strong Wadham tradition. Philosophy tuition is overseen by Alexander Paseau, whose main focus is on logic and the philosophy of mathematics, and Tom Sinclair, who works on political and moral philosophy, especially questions of justice and the legitimacy of states. James Morwood, a retired fellow who still teaches for the college, is one of the authors of the Oxford Latin Course; he has also translated Euripides for the World’s Classics series, and composed Latin and Greek grammars and dictionaries. He and Stephen Heyworth have collaborated on commentaries on Propertius 3, and (currently) on Aeneid 3.

Wadham thus has broad coverage of ancient Greece and Rome, and the different ways of studying them.  In addition, because of the strength of the college in Oriental Studies and the presence of experts in medieval history and English, the college is a particularly appropriate home for those working on geographical or historical boundaries of the Classical world. It is close to the Bodleian Library, and about five minutes’ walk from the Ioannou Centre on St Giles, which houses the Faculty of Classics and a number of research projects. Close by are the Ashmolean Museum, the Sackler Library and the Faculty of Archaeology.

If you have any queries, please contact the tutors, preferably by email.