Classics is a subject of unmatched range. Undergraduates explore literature, history, art, archaeology, philosophy, comparative philology… And the works and ideas they study are particularly powerful and significant. The tragedies and comedies, the epics and histories, the sculpture and architecture, the politics and philosophy of the Greeks and Romans have stamped our own culture decisively.
The Oxford undergraduate course gives depth and precision as well as breadth and sweep. The languages are carefully mastered, in all their refinement and force, as the indispensable basis for a proper understanding of the ancient world. Historical, philosophical, literary, and archaeological approaches and skills are all imparted and allowed to interact. The atmosphere of debate and scholarship, and the appeal of ancient literature, thought, and history, make the course a deeply enriching experience—one that leaves a permanent imprint.
Oxford is a matchless place for graduate study too. Graduates, like undergraduates, benefit from close and friendly supervision by leading classicists. Oxford has by far the greatest concentration of classical scholars in the world; it enjoys spectacular resources in libraries, papyri, vases, manuscripts, coins, and so on. The graduate community is cohesive and thoroughly international, and there is on offer an overwhelming number of seminars, lectures by distinguished visitors, and other excitements.
Exeter is ideally placed for the classicist: next to the Bodleian Library, close to the Sackler Library and Classics Centre, with Blackwell’s bookshop beckoning by the back gate. The classicists form a tight-knit and happy crowd. The College library has been built up to provide considerable resources for undergraduates in particular.
Exeter has a strong tradition in Classics: one could mention famous scholars like I. Bywater, L. Farnell, E. A. Barber, S. Weinstock, J. P. V. D. Balsdon, M. D. Reeve. Among former undergraduates who are now classical scholars are Dr Dominic Berry, Dr Philomen Probert, and Dr Luke Pitcher. Teaching in Greek and Latin literature and languages is done by Professor Gregory Hutchinson; in Ancient History by Mr Robin Lane Fox; in Philosophy (the course includes ancient and modern philosophy) by Dr Andrew Huddleston and Dr Simona Aimar. Like all colleges, we also draw on expertise elsewhere in the university: after all, in the second half of the main Classics course there are 76 options available.
We are glad to take undergraduates for all forms of the main Classics course, for Classical Archaeology and Ancient History, Ancient and Modern History, Classics and English, Classics and Modern Languages, and graduates for all classical subjects including classical archaeology. Applicants with questions should feel free to email Professor Hutchinson; the College Open Days give a good chance to get an idea of the college, and meet the natives.