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Chris de L'isle

Christopher de L'isle
Ancient History Postgraduate, October 2015

Since 2013, I have been working on a DPhil on the relationship between traditional and novel forms of rulership in Sicily at the beginning of the Hellenistic period. I travelled all the way from New Zealand to take up my place at Oxford - a journey which I have not regretted. 

The Bodleian and Sackler libraries are unmatched resources for the study of the ancient world, containing almost every work there is. Many of the publications on Sicily which have proven central to my research simply weren't available in New Zealand: Oxford's superlative libraries have made my research possible.

Numismatics - the study of coins - is a central part of my DPhil project. The staff of the Heberden coin room at the Ashmolean freely offered access to their immense collection, instruction in the technical aspects of the study of coins, and opportunities to gain experience of museum work. Similar formal and informal support is available in epigraphy, archaeology, ICT, and foreign languages.

Teaching is one of the great joys of academia and Oxford offers many opportunities in this respect: teaching classes alongside established teachers or alone, running tutorials, and offering lectures. This work has allowed me to broaden my knowledge of ancient history and to develop important pedagogical skills. 

There are many other aspects of life as a graduate student at Oxford which I have found highly rewarding: the busy programme of seminars, the lively social scene offered by MCRs, the financial support for conference travel. The opportunities and resources at Oxford have enabled me to take my long term passion for ancient history and pursue it at a deeper level than ever before."

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