The Department of Classics at the University of Cincinnati offers the opportunity for rigorous study in the languages and literatures of ancient Greece and Rome within an innovative and interdisciplinary environment, blending the best of philological education with new methods and approaches. In addition to our curriculum's broad coverage of ancient literature from Homer to late Antiquity, particular departmental strengths include (but are not limited to) philosophical literature, Hellenistic poetry, ancient literary criticism, drama, cultural history, science and medicine, historiography, gender studies, early imperial Latin literature, imperial Greek literature, religion, papyrology and textual criticism.
We currently have five philologists associated with the department:
Lauren Donovan Ginsberg, Ph.D. Associate Professor of Classics. Early Imperial Latin literature (especially drama, epic, and historiography), intertextuality, cultural memory.
Kathryn J. Gutzwiller, Ph.D., Professor of Classics, Affiliated Faculty with Women's Studies. Greek and Latin poetry, Hellenistic literature, literary theory, feminist studies.
Mirjam Kotwick, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Classics. Greek philosophy, science, Homer.
Daniel Markovich, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Classics. Greek and Roman rhetorical and philosophical education, didactic literature, stylistics
Susan H. Prince, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Classics. Ancient Greek thought and literature, Socratic traditions.
Students work closely with faculty members in philology as well as in ancient history and archaeology to create innovative research projects that advance our knowledge of ancient literature and culture.
At the center of our department is the Burnam Classical Library, known to be the best Classics library in North America. It contains over 270,000 volumes, and the collection in philology is particularly remarkable. The core collection includes many early editions, going back to the sixteenth century, and a special paleography section. Our librarians continue to acquire, to the degree possible, all publications relating to ancient Greece and Rome, and some of our serial holdings are rarely found in other major university collections. As a result, students are able to take on projects that would be impossible at many other institutions.
Classical philology is the scholarly study and interpretation of ancient Greek and Latin literature. More broadly, we use texts as a lens through which to understand ancient Greek and Roman cultures. At the core of our courses are several interrelated questions: What did these texts mean to their ancient audiences? Why are these texts still meaningful in the modern world? How does a text reflect and shape the values and experiences of ancient cultures? What questions did the ancients ask of literary texts? What questions do modern interpreters ask?
The practice of philology requires strong linguistics skills as well as theoretical and interpretative knowledge. Our students obtain a high degree of proficiency in Greek and Latin through course work, independent reading with the aid of a reading list, and sight examinations. They also master reading knowledge of at least two modern languages including German and either French or Italian, unless another modern language is more suitable for their specialization.
Our curriculum features a four-year cycle of in-depth reading courses focused on individual authors, genres, or eras and standard works of scholarship (course list). We also teach seminars on cutting edge topics in ancient literature which train students in research involving ancient texts and modern interpretation. Recent seminars include: Greek prose fiction, Roman Imperial drama, Homeric language, travel literature, ancient education, ancient literary criticism, as well as many courses on specific authors and works, such as Menander, Caesar, and Martianus Capella. Students also take courses in Greek and Latin prose composition, ancient history, and archaeology. Through these courses, departmental electives (e.g. paleography, literary theory), or through coursework taken in conjunction with other departments, students of philology become acquainted with the breadth and diversity of ancient literature and are able to tailor their education towards their research goals. We also encourage interested students to participate in other interdisciplinary courses and take courses in such topics as Early Christian or Jewish Studies at Hebrew Union College, which is located within easy walking distance of the UC campus.
Support and Travel
Our students are encouraged to spend their fourth or fifth year studying abroad, and fellowship money may be used for this purpose. In recent years students have chosen to study in Italy, Greece, Germany, and the Netherlands. Our students are also often successful in winning Fulbright Fellowships or Fellowships at the American School in Athens or the American Academy in Rome.
We also regularly fund students to supplement their education with us via intensive programs both domestically and internationally. Within the past five years, students from the Philology program have attended the TLL Summer School, the ASCSA Summer Session, the Classical Summer School at the American Academy of Rome, the Winter School in Greek and Latin Paleography at the American Academy of Rome, and more.
Teaching and Professional Training
Throughout a student's time at UC, faculty work closely with them to train them in professional activities, such as writing abstracts, delivering papers at conferences, and publishing articles. Students may also participate in UC's Preparing Future Faculty Program or in the numerous programs offered by our Center for Teaching and Learning (CETL).
Our department boasts a robust placement record. Recent graduates of the Philology program have obtained tenure track positions at Hamilton College, St. Olaf College, and the College of William and Mary.
Requirements for the Ph.D. in Philology:
- Course work (graduate courses in Philology, Ancient History, and Archaeology)
- Sight examinations in Greek and Latin
- Sight examinations in German and French or Italian
- Comprehensive examinations in Greek literature, Latin Literature, Ancient History
In making our decision we consider the following factors:
*preparation in Greek and Latin language and literature
*preparation in modern languages, especially German, French or Italian
*letters of recommendations from teachers who know the applicant well
*undergraduate GPA and GRE scores