Classics > Students > Prospectus Entries for Lecture List

Lecture List Prospectus Entries for Michaelmas Term 2017

Please note that not all lectures and seminars have prospectus entries. Those that do are listed here in alphabetical order.

Caesar, de bello Gallico

Dr T Franklinos

There is a difference in prescription depending on which course is being taken. Those reading for courses IA and IB are encouraged to attend all four lectures (weeks 5–8); material to be covered by those reading for IC and IIA will be covered in weeks 5 and 6, though all are welcome to later lectures. Please bring a copy of the prescribed text (the OCT).

5: introductory material and 3.1–6 (all)
6: 3.7–13 (all)
7: 3.14–29 (IA & IB)
8: 1.1–11 (IA & IB)

Classical Archaeology Seminar: Art and Power, 400 BC – AD 300

Dr S Faust; Prof R R R Smith

Documentary Papyrology Graduate Seminar

Dr A Benaissa

The course is designed to introduce participants to the study of Greek documentary papyri of the Ptolemaic and Roman periods. It will cover historical, palaeographical and linguistic aspects of the subject in a relatively broad way, introducing students to important groups of documents and their socio-historical context within a chronological framework. The subject will be taught primarily through case studies. A modest amount of background reading may be assigned before some sessions. The seminar is open to graduates and advanced undergraduates. A good knowledge of Greek is essential. 

Week 1: Introduction: Materials, Resources, Methods; The earliest Greek documentary papyri
Week 2: Ptolemaic period: The Zenon archive
Week 3: Ptolemaic period: Some important official texts; Electronic resources 
Week 4: Ptolemaic period: Other private archives
Week 5: Roman period: First century 
Week 6: Roman period: Second century
Week 7: Roman period: Third century
Week 8: Roman period: Late Antiquity

Graduate Elementary Greek

Dr M Whitby

The coursebook will be John Taylor, Greek to GCSE Parts 1 and 2.  Note that these volumes have been reissued in a revised edition in 2016, and we will use the new edition.  Blackwell’s offer a 15% discount to new students (you need to show your card) for the first three weeks of term, which should make them cheaper than Amazon.  Please acquire these books and bring the first along to the first class. You will need this second book by the middle of term.  If you have not studied Greek before, please learn the alphabet (Taylor p. 1) before the first class.

No need to register for the course, just come along, with your book, to the first class.  Any questions: contact

Graduate Intermediate Greek

Dr M Whitby

This term we will read passages from D.A. Russell, An Anthology of Greek Prose (Oxford 1991).  Please acquire a copy of this book or a photocopy of the passage for each week.  The programme will be as follows:

Week 1: no. 44
Week 2: no. 18
Week 3: no. 24
Week 4: no. 78
Week 5: no. 17
Week 6: no. 23
Week 7: nos. 40 and 66
Week 8: no. 33

No need to register for the course, just come along, with your text, to the first class. Try to read the passage and at least make a vocabulary list before each class.  Any questions: contact

Greek Coins

Dr V Heuchert

Essential for the CAAH paper on 'Greek and Roman Coins' and for the M. Stud. and M. Phil. options in Greek Coinage / Greek Numismatics, but open to all with an interest in Greek history or coinage. Owing to sabbatical in 2018 the usual series of 16 lectures in MT and HT has been shortened to eight. It will be repeated in this form in HT 2019.

The lectures aim to provide an introduction to Archaic, Classical and Hellenistic Greek coins and to the ways we study them. There will be an opportunity at the end of each lecture to examine a selection of relevant coins.

1) Early Electrum and Silver Coinage
2) Coinage and the Athenian Empire (given by J. Kroll)
3) Greek Coin Iconography
4) Coin Use
5) Cooperative Coinage
6) The Coinage of Philip II and Alexander the Great
7) Hellenistic Ruler Portraits
8) Hellenistic Monetary Policies


Prof R Ash; Prof T Rood

This lecture series is primarily intended for students taking the Historiography option for Greats, but we welcome any others who are interested. The lectures, designed to dove-tail with the Historiography classes running in MT Weeks 5-8 and HT Weeks 1-4, will proceed on an author-by-author basis while paying particular attention to the set-texts for the Historiography option, as follows:

1. Historiography and why it matters (Joint lecture, R. Ash and T. Rood);
2. Herodotus (T. Rood);
3. Thucydides (T. Rood);
4; Xenophon (T. Rood);
5. Caesar (R. Ash);
6. Sallust (R. Ash);
7. Livy (R. Ash);
8. Tacitus (R. Ash).

Homer, Iliad

Dr C Metcalf

1. Homer and the Iliad: Who?
2. Homer and the Iliad: Where?
3. Homer and the Iliad: When?
4. Homer and the Iliad: What?
5. Homer and history: The Iliad and Mycenae
6. Homer and history: The evidence for the Trojan War
7. The Iliad in ancient Greek literature and culture (i)
8. The Iliad in ancient Greek literature and culture (ii)

Introduction to Oscan and Umbrian

Prof A Willi

This series is aimed at those taking Option V.2 (Latin historical linguistics) in the Classics FHS and joint schools, as well as anyone else interested in the languages of Ancient Italy. Oscan and Umbrian are the two best-attested Indo-European languages of Ancient Italy next to Latin, and together with Latin our main witnesses for the Italic branch of the Indo-European language family. Oscan is primarily attested through a substantial number of inscriptions from Central and Southern Italy, Umbrian through one very long ritual text, the so-called Iguvine Tables. In this class we will read selections from these texts, look at the grammatical structure of both languages, and consider their relationship with Latin.

Ronald Syme Lecture: "Migration and the Metropolis: How Ancient Rome stayed great"

Prof G Woolf

Romans told many myths of their civic inclusiveness, myths repeated from Machiavelli to modern times. The growth of their capital to a city of nearly a million has been understood as dependent on migrations of different kinds. Imperial Rome is often portrayed as a cosmopolitan society in which hundreds of languages, cults and styles rubbed shoulders in cheerful chaos, microcosm of empire, orbis in urbe. Greg Woolf, in his Syme lecture, asks how much of this we can believe given what we know about the scale and nature of human mobility in the classical Mediterranean, and the structure of Roman society. Modern analogies have taken us so far, he will argue, but compared to the capitals of modern empires ancient Rome was an Alien Metropolis.

Sexuality and Gender in Greece and Rome

Dr C Atack

These lectures are primarily intended for students taking the CAAH/Lit Hum paper ‘Sexuality and Gender in Greece and Rome’, but all are welcome.

The prescribed texts and materials for this paper cover a broad sweep of chronology, from disparate voices of the archaic Greek world heard in lyric poetry to the late antique stories of women in the early Christian church. The lectures aim to show how the authors of differing modern theoretical approaches have responded to this varied evidence, and how these approaches can be applied to the history of gender and sexuality, which has itself developed as a field of study that draws on theory and methodology from many disciplines, including psychology, anthropology, philosophy and literary theory. We will explore the work of major theorists such as Michel Foucault and Judith Butler, and the reshaping of ancient history by feminist scholars such as Sarah Pomeroy and Amy Richlin, in relation to the prescribed texts for the paper.

Studying this history offers the opportunity to engage in truly interdisciplinary study, to integrate contemporary theory into study of the past, and to consider how changes in the modern world have reshaped the way in which we approach the history of the classical world. The lectures will situate major theorists and their work in context, evaluate their own readings of ancient texts and their responses to ancient material culture, and explore how their ideas have been applied to the study of the ancient world by classical scholars.

Week 1: Sex, Gender, Sexuality: constructing and deconstructing concepts
Week 2: Histories of Feminisms and Classics
Week 3: Foucault and the History of Sexuality
Week 4: Psychoanalysis and Critical Theory: Freud, Lacan, Irigaray, Kristeva
Week 5: Bodies That Matter: Butler, phenomenology and the body
Week 6: Gendered Identities: masculinity, queer theory
Week 7: The Gendered Gaze: ways of seeing
Week 8: Women and Religion: from the Thesmophoria to the early church

Tacitus and Tiberius

Prof R Ash

These four lectures are primarily intended for those taking the Tacitus and Tiberius special subject for Mods (hence Annals 1-6 will be under the spotlight), but all are welcome. The lectures will introduce students to Tacitus' distinctive approach to writing about the history of the Julio-Claudian principate. Close attention will be paid to Tacitus' narrative techniques, including his (often provocative) organisation of the historical material, his suggestive interplay with the established traditions of Roman historiography, his characterisation of the main protagonists (and the related questions he raises about Roman identity), and his allusive and unusual use of the Latin language to bolster his interpretation of historical events. The sequence of individual lectures will run as follows:

1. Begin at the Beginning? The Prologue of the Annals and Tacitus' Vision of History.
2. Making a Drama out of a Crisis: Germanicus and the Mutinies in Annals 1.
3. Doing Things by the Book: Tacitus Annals 3 and Annalistic History.
4. Patterns and Problems: Structure and Meaning in the First Hexad of the Annals.