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Faculty of Classics

 

Many of the most exciting questions in the contemporary study of the ancient world cannot be adequately approached by the standard techniques of philology, philosophy, history or archaeology on their own. They require approaching ancient culture simultaneously with the whole range of disciplinary tools. ‘X’ or ‘Interdisciplinary Classics’ was founded in Cambridge to explore these questions at all levels of teaching and research, and offers what has rapidly become one of the most popular groups of courses in the Faculty. It capitalizes on Cambridge's unique range of intellectual resources to provide a different sort of classical study from that offered by other departments in Britain.

For undergraduates

Each year ‘X’ offers two part II courses, each of which takes a central issue in Classics, examining it from several different angles and through diverse genres of evidence (literary, visual, philosophical, linguistic, ancient and modern). Discussion is paramount: lectures are supplemented by two-hour classes in which areas of expertise are shared and ideas tested. Courses change regularly as the most pressing questions in contemporary Classics change. On offer at the moment are ‘Idols? Imagining Gods and Heroes in the Greek and Roman Worlds’ and ‘Prostitutes and Saints’. Previous papers include ‘Myth’, ‘Cultural Identity’, ‘Personal Politics’, ‘Time’, ‘Rhetoric’, ‘The Body in Antiquity’, ‘Death’, and ‘Sexual Ethics’. Many students also elect to do their third-year dissertation in an interdisciplinary area.

For postgraduates

‘X’ teaching, and the collaborations and debates that this has fostered, have helped produce some of the finest recent research and contributed greatly to Cambridge's outstanding reputation for the application of modern approaches to the study of the ancient world. Many successful Ph.D. thesis-projects have been directly inspired by it, and many others have reflected its influence. The Faculty is exceptional in having a large number of its members working on interdisciplinary topics (many of them with a ‘reception’ angle) at any one time.

Who are we?

Initiated by John Henderson and Geoffrey Lloyd in the 1980s, the 'X' Caucus has embraced a broad cross-section of internationally distinguished scholars known for their interdisciplinary interests. Below is a list of faculty-members whose research interests fall under 'X' and who contribute to 'X' teaching.


Professor  Paul  Cartledge
A.G. Leventis Senior Research Fellow, Clare College
Emeritus A.G. Leventis Professor of Greek Culture
Dr Renaud  Gagné
Professor of Ancient Greek Literature and Religion
Fellow of Pembroke College
Director of Undergraduate Studies
Dr Ingo  Gildenhard
Professor of Classics and the Classical Tradition
Fellow and Director of Studies at King's College
Professor of Greek Literature and Culture
Fellow, King's College
Dr Myrto  Hatzimichali
Senior Lecturer in Classics (Ancient Philosophy)
Fellow and Director of Studies at Homerton College
Regius Professor of Greek
Fellow of Trinity College
Dr Rebecca  Laemmle
Associate Professor in Classics (Greek Literature).
Fellow & Graduate Tutor, Pembroke College
Professor Martin  Millett
Laurence Professor of Classical Archaeology
Fellow of Fitzwilliam College
Professor Robin  Osborne
Professor of Ancient History
Fellow at King's College
Dr Nigel  Spivey
Senior Lecturer in Classics (Classical Art & Archaeology)
Fellow, Emmanuel College
Professor Caroline  Vout
Professor of Classics
Director of the Museum of Classical Archaeology (from January 2021)
Fellow and Director of Studies in Classics at Christ's College
From Michaelmas 2019 until 2024, Carrie is also the Byvanck Chair of Classical Archaeology/Art History at the University of Leiden
Professor Andrew  Wallace-Hadrill
Director of Research
Honorary Professor of Roman Studies
Dr Hannah  Willey
Lecturer in Classics (Ancient History)
Fellow & Director of Studies in Prelim and 1A Classics at Murray Edwards
Dr Hannah  Willey
W.H.D. Rouse Fellow at Christ's College
Dr Jingyi Jenny  Zhao
ISF Research Fellow, Clare Hall/Needham Research Institute

Latest news

John Donaldson

27 September 2022

The Museum of Classical Archaeology is very sad to report the death on 21 September 2022 of its former Assistant Curator, John Donaldson. John worked in the Museum from 1988 until his retirement in in March 2013. Indeed, the Museum looks the way it does in large part because of John, who was as happy painting bases as he...

Joyce Reynolds FBA (1918–2022)

12 September 2022

The Faculty of Classics is deeply saddened by the news of the death of Joyce Reynolds FBA. She was Reader Emerita in Roman Historical Epigraphy, Fellow of the British Academy, and Honorary Fellow of Newnham College, where she was Director of Studies in Classics from 1951 to 1979. She was awarded the Gold Medal of the...

BBC Radio 4 - Reflections on Majesty, Mary Beard

12 September 2022

Mary Beard is one of ten writers and scholars invited by the BBC to reflect on their experience of the reign of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Follow the link below to listen: Listen here

Visual Interactions in Early Writing Systems (VIEWS) awarded ERC grant

16 March 2022

Philippa Steele, Senior Research Associate at the Faculty of Classics, University of Cambridge, has been awarded a grant of 2 million euros by the European Research Council (ERC) to investigate the visual properties of pre-modern writing. The five-year project, Visual Interactions in Early Writing Systems (VIEWS), will...