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Classics and Oriental Studies

Students should bring to the course a strong appetite and a commensurate talent for language learning, and are likely besides to be interested in exploring similarities and differences and possible cross-fertilization and interactions between different ancient cultures. The Asian and Middle Eastern languages available to study on this course are: Akkadian, Arabic, Egyptian, Hebrew, Old Iranian, Sanskrit, Aramaic and Syriac, Armenian, Coptic, Pali, Persian, and Turkish.

Classics and Oriental Studies is available to students of all linguistic backgrounds, both those who are taking Greek and/or Latin at school up to A level or an equivalent (‘Course I’) and those who are not taking either Greek or Latin up to A level or an equivalent (‘Course II’). It is not expected that any student will have had prior exposure to the Asian or Middle Eastern language of their choosing. The course duration is in all cases four years. The course structure for the first five terms is identical to that for students of Classics (Literae Humaniores); study of the Asian or Middle Eastern language begins only at the start of the third year (of four). The first five terms of the course involve intensive study of the Greek and/or Latin languages (only one for ‘Course II’ students), of Greek and/or Latin literary texts, ancient history or classical archaeology or comparative philology, and philosophy (ancient or modern). For the last two years, options in Classics and in the Asian or Middle Eastern language are taken in parallel, and it is possible to weight the course in favour of literary, historical, linguistic, or archaeological options, or to aim for a balance between two or more of the sub-disciplines.

Recent students of Classics and Oriental Studies at Oriel have studied Classics and Akkadian, Classics and Arabic, and Classics and Sanskrit. The Oriel Classics tutors themselves have a keen personal interest in the Classics and Oriental Studies course. Professor Bruno Currie has studied extensively the question of the relationship between the mythological poetry of ancient Greece and Mesopotamia; his book Homer’s Allusive Art considers ‘whether there can have been historical continuity in a poetics of allusion from Gilgamesh via the Iliad and Odyssey to the Aeneid and Metamorphoses, despite the enormous disparities of time and place and of language and culture, including that represented by the cuneiform tablet, the papyrus roll, and an oral performance culture.’ The interactions between the Greek and Roman worlds and the great and ancient civilizations of the Egyptians, the Indians, the Persians and the Hebrews are of equal interest and importance.

Admission Criteria

All candidates must take the Classics Admissions Test (CAT) and the OLAT. Written work is also required. The standard offer is AAA at A Level or equivalent. More information about admission requirements for the course can be found on the University website.

Number of places

6 for Literae Humaniores (Classics), Classics, Asian Oriental Studies, Classical Archaeology and Ancient History.

Departments

Faculty of Classics

Teaching Staff

Organising Tutor
Professor Bruno Currie

Mason Monro Fellow in Classics | Professor of Greek Literature

Dr Luca Castagnoli

Stavros Niarchos Foundation Clarendon Fellow in Ancient Greek Philosophy | Tutor in Philosophy & Classics

Dr Panayiotis Christoforou

College Lecturer in Ancient History

Dr Tristan Franklinos

College Lecturer in Classics | Dean of Degrees

Miss Charis Jo

Graduate Teaching & Research Scholar in Classics

Mrs Juliane Kerkhecker

Grocyn Lecturer | Fellow & Tutor in Classics | Senior Dean | Steward of the Common Room

OTHER COURSES YOU MAY BE INTERESTED IN

Classical Archaeology and Ancient History
Number of places 6 for Literae Humaniores (Classics), Classics, Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, Classical Archaeology and Ancient History. Admission Criteria Applicants should usually have AAA at A-Level (or equivalent).

Classics (Literae Humaniores)
Number of places 6 for Literae Humaniores (Classics), Classics, Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, Classical Archaeology and Ancient History. There are additionally 1 place for Classics and English and 1 (usually) for Classics and Modern Languages. Admission Criteria All candidates must take the Classics Admissions Test (CAT). Candidates will also be asked to submit two pieces of written work in English. The standard offer is AAA at A Level or equivalent. More information can be found on the Classics Faculty website.

Classics and English
Admission Criteria All candidates must take the Classics Admissions Test (CAT). Candidates will also be asked to submit two pieces of written work in English. The standard offer is AAA at A Level or equivalent. More information can be found on the Classics Faculty website.

Classics and Modern Languages
Number of places Usually 1 Admission Criteria All candidates must take the Classics Admissions Test (CAT) and the Modern Languages Admissions Test (MLAT). Written work is also required. The standard offer is AAA at A Level or equivalent. More information about admission requirements for the course can be found on the University website.

Modern Languages (and Linguistics)
Number of places Usually 9 Admission Criteria One piece of marked written work is required for each language you plan to study and in which you will have A2 (or equivalent) before university. In addition, all candidates must submit one piece of marked writing in English. If you are applying for a language which you have not taken at A2 (or equivalent) then you do not need to submit anything in that language. All candidates are required to sit a test or tests in November. Conditional offers: AAA at A-level (or equivalent), with A grades required for any language to be studied (except ab initio languages).

Theology and Religion
Number of places 2 or 3 Admission Criteria Typical offer: AAA at A-level (or equivalent). Candidates for places in the Single Honours School of Theology are not required to have backgrounds in particular subjects. Candidates are required to submit one piece of written work.  

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