A Conversation for Peer Review

A88048182 - Studying Classics and Ancient History

Post 1

SashaQ - happysad

Entry: Studying Classics and Ancient History - A88048182
Author: SashaQ - happysad - U9936370

This is a Flea Market Rescue attempt

Original Entry: Classics and Ancient History - A19093999
Author: bobstafford - U3151547

which was a Rescue Attempt of:
A4168406 - Classics and Ancient History
U199394 - Knowthing Useful

I have narrowed the focus to the study of Classics and Ancient History, and added plenty of links, so I hope this is an improvement.

A88048182 - Studying Classics and Ancient History

Post 2


Did you do Classics? This brought back memories of essays I wrote on Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides and still have my battered copies of translated histories Suetonius, Tacitus and Herodotus. As Robert Graves wrote the translation of 'The Twelve Cæsars' and closely based his 'I, Claudius' on it, when I did my degree in my exam on Ancient Greece I had the trick of remembering what happened in the 1970s BBC adaptation of 'I, Claudius' and then I could get away with writing 'Suetonius wrote that...' No-one's cottoned on that my degree is entirely based on watching 'I, Claudius' and reading 'Asterix', which really is one of the classics smiley - winkeye


A88048182 - Studying Classics and Ancient History

Post 3

SashaQ - happysad

smiley - wow Very impressed that classic texts 'I Claudius' and 'Asterix' helped you to get your degree smiley - ok

I did Classical Civilisation at A-Level, but had to give the core textbooks back at the end of the course. I read Suetonius, Tacitus and Herodotus in translation, too, plus Aristophanes smiley - ok We also studied the Iliad, Aeneid and Satyricon plus Greek Vase Painting and Roman mosaics, so it was a good all-round overview smiley - ok

A88048182 - Studying Classics and Ancient History

Post 4

Dmitri Gheorgheni - Post Editor

This is interesting (I taught Latin for a while, and some Biblical Greek), but can you please make it clear that you're talking about studying Classics and Ancient History at a British university from the get-go? I know you explained what is studied where/when in the UK, but I'd get to it earlier - because dividing the subject like this could be controversial in other cultures.

We might hear from outraged Athenians. smiley - winkeye Or the rest of the planet, which is thoroughly tired of Eurocentrism and I don't blame them.

Would you consider putting paragraph 3 at the beginning? That would eliminate any confusion, I think. Then everybody would know you're talking about the UK to start with. You could start with 'Many European universities...' and go one from there?

By the way, isn't it funny that 'classics' starts with reading about Egypt - and then promulgates the Greek prejudice against Egyptian cultural assumptions? I've always thought that we might have benefitted from the Egyptian viewpoint more if hieroglyphics had been easier to read. smiley - laugh

A88048182 - Studying Classics and Ancient History

Post 5

SashaQ - happysad

Thanks for reading - food for thought...

Good point that I didn't investigate the study of Classics and Ancient History at Greek or Roman Universities, but I did consider the programs at Harvard and Yale alongside the UK subject benchmark statement and syllabuses. True that it is hard to generalise, though - the subject I studied didn't start with Egypt, and included very little Egyptology. Maybe things would have been different if hieroglyphics were easier to read indeed...

At Universita di Roma, they offer History of the Ancient World, and a module in Classical Archaeology. Aristotle University of Thessaloniki also offers Classical Archaeology, plus Ancient History. The University of South Africa offers Classical Studies and the University of Sydney offers Classics, so there is a bit of it around.

I've made a few tweaks to the introduction - possibly hasn't made things any better, but see what you think. I was trying not to make it totally UK-centric, but perhaps would be easier to strengthen the focus on the UK system GCSE to University and add a footnote about other countries' programmes instead...

A88048182 - Studying Classics and Ancient History

Post 6

Dmitri Gheorgheni - Post Editor

It's getting there! smiley - smiley I'd still take that second paragraph and put it after the third one - that kind of criticism is really a UK thing, in my experience. In the US, instead, the debate's going to rage these days as to how central European history should be, and whether Great Zimbabwe isn't just as important as Rome. Believe me, it can be a hot-button issue. Here's an article from Princeton - and I'm not saying you need to include ANY of this, just thought you'd find it interesting to show what people are talking about these days.


The universities you mention - Sydney, South Africa, Thessaloniki - are still Europe-oriented. As are the US and Canada. What happens in countries with a different focus, like, say, Jordan? ('Classical' is likely to refer to Arabic.) What about China? 'Classics' takes on a new meaning when you have 5000 years to draw on. I wonder how they tackle the 'glory that was Greece/the grandeur that was Rome'? (Do they laugh?)

So yeah - I like the idea of making your entry MORE concentrated on the UK - and then adding a note or two about other countries' approaches.

'Classical' and 'ancient' were such nice, convenient labels when all we knew about was Europe, sigh... smiley - winkeye

This is still informative, particularly for readers who don't have this approach to the subject. smiley - smiley

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