Admission, Degrees and Requirements

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The field of Ancient History will be defined, at both the M.A. and Ph.D. levels, to include both Greek and Roman history. The field of Ancient History also requires substantial proficiency in Ancient Greek and Latin, reading ability in two modern European languages other than English (usually German and French), as well as training in the ancillary skills of the field, including archaeology, epigraphy, and numismatics. Students interested in pursuing a field in Ancient History at either the M.A. or Ph.D. level must furthermore must meet the requirements specified below in conjunction with the degree requirements for all students set forth in the Department of History's "Graduate Handbook."

  1. For the M.A. in Ancient History:
    1. Two quarters of History 709, Introduction to Methodology in Ancient History, preferably in both Greek and Roman history.
    2. History 808, a two-quarter research seminar in Ancient History.
    3. Demonstrate proficiency in Ancient Greek or Latin through means determined by the Ancient History faculty (see below).
    4. Other courses is Ancient History taken to broaden and improve background knowledge in the field. Formal graduate credit for lecture courses may be arranged by enrollment in History 791. It is always preferable for graduate students to enroll in 700- and 800-level courses.
  2. For the Ph.D. with the major field in Ancient History:
    1. History 709, Introduction to Methodology in Ancient History, in both Greek and Roman history, unless the student has met this requirement at the M.A. level.
    2. A two-quarter History 808 research seminar in addition to that taken for the M.A., normally with an instructor other than the one who taught the first History 808. For students entering with a Masters Degree from another University or from another Department at OSU, two two-quarter History 808 courses are required.
    3. Demonstration of proficiency in whichever ancient language was not examined at the M.A. level. For students entering with a Masters Degree from another University or from another Department at OSU, demonstration of proficiency in both ancient languages is required. In addition, students must demonstrate a reading knowledge of two modern languages other than English.
    4. Passage of written and oral examinations in Ancient Greek and Roman history. The exams will be based on a common reading list (see below), to which the examining faculty members will add books, taking into consideration the student's particular areas of interest.
  3. For the Ph.D. with a minor field in Ancient History
    1. Course work in both Greek and Roman history, including at least on quarter (and preferably two) of History 709, Introduction to Methodology in Ancient History. Other specific courses are to be selected in consultation with the faculty member in Ancient History serving on the student's Ph.D. exam committee.
    2. A knowledge of Ancient Greek or Latin is encouraged but not required.
    3. Passage of written and oral examinations in Ancient Greek and Roman history. The exams will be based on a common reading list (see below), to which the examining faculty members will add books, taking into consideration the student's particular areas of interest.
    4. The minor field will certify that the student is qualified to teach the ancient section of western civilization and undergraduate courses in ancient history.

Review of all individual courses of study and consideration of requests for exceptions to the requirements set forth above rests with the Faculty of Ancient History. Consideration of petitions for exemptions to the Department of History's requirements for graduate degrees and for credit for graduate work undertaken elsewhere are the responsibility of the Graduate Studies Committee of the Department of History, in consultation with the Ancient History Faculty.

Language Requirements

Students seeking their Ph.D. in ancient history must demonstrate proficiency in reading both classical Greek and Latin.  Proficiency in Greek and Latin will be determined by the Faculty in Ancient History. Students who entered the graduate program before June 21, 2010 may elect to demonstration of proficiency through one of the two following means; they may elect to use one or the other for both languages, or choose one option for Greek and the other for Latin.

Option A

This option involves two steps in meeting the language requirements. Graduate students may elect to satisfy the first in one or both languages by taking three courses at the 600-level or above in the appropriate language or languages and passing each with a grade of A- or higher. Independent-study courses such as Greek or Latin 693 or 694 will not count toward fulfillment of this option. At least one of the three courses must be in a prose author, preferably a historian, although we strongly advice students to select as many courses in prose authors as possible. The second stage of the exams will occur in conjunction with a student's general Ph.D. examination. Students in consultation with their advisers will select several ancient authors or texts of central importance to their proposed areas of specialization. We expect that students will then read these carefully and critically in their original language in the course of preparing for their general exams. At the time of the written exam, students will be given a passage from one of these authors or texts and asked a question that requires them to translate the passage in order to answer the question satisfactorily. No dictionary will be allowed at this stage.

Option B

This option also involves two steps in meeting the language requirements. The first consists of a translation exam or exam in Greek and/or Latin on which students will be asked to translate at sight and with the aid of a dictionary two passages, each of between approximately 20-30 lines in length, from anywhere in the corpus of the following authors: Homer, Herodotus, Thucydides, and Demosthenes for the Greek exam, and, for the Latin exam, the speeches of Cicero, Livy, Virgil's Aeneid, and Tacitus' Annales. These exams will each be three hours in length. As passing exam must not only translate the passages correctly but demonstrate a sound understanding of grammar and syntax, accurate recognition of forms, and an ability to render the ancient language into good English prose. Students must pass the entire exam; no "half-passes" will be given. Exams in each language will be administered only once each quarter, on the second Friday following the first day of classes. The second stage of the exams will occur in conjunction with a student's general Ph.D. examination. Students in consultation with their advisers will select several ancient authors or texts of central importance to their proposed areas of specialization. We expect that students will then read these carefully and critically in their original language in the course of preparing for their general exams. At the time of the written exam, students will be given a passage from one of these authors or texts and asked a question that requires them to translate the passage in order to answer the question satisfactorily. No dictionary will be allowed at this stage.

Students Entering After June 21, 2010

Students who enter the graduate program in ancient history on or after June 21, 2010 will be expected to demonstrate their proficiency in the following two stages.

  1. First, they will pass reading proficiency exams in each language.  Proficiency is demonstrated by written translations of ancient texts which faithfully and fully render their meaning, grammar, and syntax into good English prose.  Each exam will consist of two passages of text of approximately 30-40 OCT lines each drawn from a list of authors and works compiled by the student in consultation with his or her advisor and containing both required and optional authors and works.  The Latin list must contain at least one forensic speech by Cicero (aprox. 40-50 OCT pages) and one complete book from the Annales of Tacitus (aprox. 50 OCT pages), as well as substantial portions of works by these and/or other authors or documents for a total of 200-250 OCT pages.  Students will be given two hours in which to complete the exam and may use a Latin-English dictionary.  The Greek list must contain one or more forensic speechs by Lysias (aprox. 40-50 OCT pages) and a substantial portion of one book of Herodotus (aprox. 50 OCT pages), as well as substantial portions of works by these and/or other authors or documents for a total of 200-250 OCT pages.  Students will be given two hours in which to complete the exam and may use a Greek-English dictionary.
     
  2. The second stage of the exams will occur in conjunction with a student's general Ph.D. examination. Students in consultation with their advisers will select several ancient authors or texts of central importance to their proposed areas of specialization. We expect that students will then read these carefully and critically in their original language in the course of preparing for their general exams. At the time of the written exam, students will be given a passage from one of these authors or texts and asked a question that requires them to translate the passage in order to answer the question satisfactorily. No dictionary will be allowed at this stage.

All M.A. students must demonstrate the first stage of proficiency in Greek or Latin before the M.A. examination may be scheduled.

All Ph.D. students must demonstrate the first stage of proficiency in Greek and Latin before the general examination may be scheduled.

Other Languages: Proficiency in two modern European languages other than English must be demonstrated by all Ph.D. students before the general examination my be scheduled. Proficiency may be demonstrated by earning a B or higher in a 572 course in the appropriate language or by passing a proficiency examination offered either by an OSU language department or by demonstrating knowledge and use of the language in connection with a research project for an 808 seminar offered by a member of the OSU faculty in Ancient History. Normally, German and French are the required languages, although students may, with the permission of their advisers, substitute other languages, such as Italian or Modern Greek, when this is appropriate.

History 709, Introduction to Methodology in Ancient History

The Faculty in Ancient History offer History 709, Introduction to Ancient History every autumn. The course is designed as a prologue to the advanced study of ancient history. It focuses on a cluster of significant problems within fairly narrow chronological limits in either Greek or Roman history (usually in alternat years) , the close study of which will acquaint students with the discipline's essential research techniques, methods and tools, including standard bibliographic reference works, epigraphic corpora, encyclopediae, prosopography, source criticism, and the ancillary sciences such as numismatics and archaeology. All beginning graduate students will be expected to take this introductory course the first autumn they are enrolled in the graduate program. Periodically, History 708 will also be offered on more specialized topics, and graduate students are encouraged to take as many of these courses as possible.

Admission to the Program in Ancient History and Progress Toward Degrees

Students enter the program in Ancient History in one of the following ways:

  1. By admission directly into the Ph.D. program immediately after receiving a BA
  2. By admission into the Ph.D. program after receiving an M.A. elsewhere
  3. By admission into the M.A. program after receiving a BA degree

The Faculty in Ancient History assume that all students admitted into the program in Ancient History intend to proceed to the Ph.D. and will arrange their schedules and programs with this long-term goal in mind. Ideally, we would like beginning graduate students to enter our program with 3-4 years of Greek and/or Latin and a reading knowledge of French and/or German. This preparation would allow research to be undertaken immediately and make completion of the M.A. in two years possible. Realistically, we expect to admit some applicants who have had only 1-2 years of Greek or Latin, and for these students obtaining an M.A. degree will probably take between two and a half and three years, owing to the need for additional course work in one or both of the ancient languages during that time. Ultimately, this language training will assist a student in making timely progress toward a Ph.D. at Ohio State.

Students admitted into the Ph.D. program in Ancient History at OSU without an M.A. in Ancient History from OSU are required to pass a one-hour oral examination at the end of their first year of classes as a condition of their continuing enrollment in the program.

Essential Bibliography for Ancient History Students in preparation for general examinations

Greek History

Andrewes, A. The Greek Tyrants. London 1956

Connor, W. Robert. The New Politicians of Fifth-Century Athens. Princeton 1971.

Cackwell, George. Philip of Macedon. London 1978.

Emlyn-Jones, C. J. The Ionians and Hellenism. London 1956.

Finley, J. I. The World of Odysseus, 2nd ed. London 1977.

Hamilton, J. R. Alexander the Great. London 1973.

Hooker, J. T. Mycenaean Greece, London 1976.

Kirk, Geoffrey. Homer and the Epic. Cambridge 1965.

Meiggs, Russell. The Athenian Empire. Oxford 1972.

Snodgrass, A. Archaic Greece: The Age of Experiment London 1980.

Waters, Kenneth. Herodotos the Historian: His Problems, and Originality. Norman 1985.

Woodhead, Geoffrey. Thucydides on the Nature of Power. Cambridge, Mass. 1970.

Roman Republic

Badian, Eernst. Publicans and Sinners. Ithaca 1972.

Finley, Moses I. The Ancient Economy. London 1985.

Gabba, Emilio. Republican Rome: The Army and the Allies. Berkeley 1976.

Gruen, Erich. The Last Generation of the Roman Republic. Berkeley 1974.

Gruen, Erich. The Hellenistic World and the Coming of Rome. Berkeley 1984.

Kunkle, Wolfgang. An Introduction to Roman Legal and Constitutional History. Oxford 1973.

Rawson, Elizabeth. Cicero. London 1975.

Stockton, David. The Gracchi. New York 1979.

Syme, Ronald. The Roman Revolution. London 1960.

Roman Empire

Bowersock, Glen W. Augustus and the Greek World. Oxford 1965.

Brown, Peter. The World of Late Antiquity. New York 1971.

Duncan-Jones, Richard. The Economy of the Roman Empire. New York.

Garnsey, Peter. Social Status and Legal Privilege in the Roman Empire. Oxford 1970.

Jones, Arnold H. M. The Later Roman Empire. Norman 1964.

Meeks, Wayne A. The First Urban Christians. New Haven 1983

Millar, Fergus. The Emperor in the Roman World. Ithaca 1977.

Rostovtzeff, Michael. The Social and Economic History of the Roman Empire. Oxford 1996.

Sherwin-White, Adrian N. The Roman Citizenship. Oxford 1973