Philology is the art of reading. While texts are intelligible when their authors and audiences belong to same language community and live at the same time, differences of language, time, and space create difficulties. The goal of Classical Philology is to overcome such difficulties and facilitate the reading and understanding of Greek and Latin literature.
Philology was formed already in classical Greece because the Greeks of that time wanted to better understand Homer. In the course of time, philology engendered the entire field of Classics. At Cincinnati, we take the unity of the field seriously and combine first-rate training in philology with a deep understanding of other sub-disciplines. 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.
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) Greek archaic poetry, drama, philosophical literature, ancient rhetoric and literary criticism, Hellenistic poetry, historiography, Augustan poetry , early imperial Latin literature, science and medicine, imperial Greek literature, gender studies, religion, papyrology, and textual criticism.
We currently have six full-time philologists in the department:
Anna Conser, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Classics. Ancient music and performance, Greek drama and lyric poetry, and the digital processing of ancient texts.
Caitlin Hines, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Classics. Latin and Greek poetry, particularly the works of Vergil and Ovid.
Dylan Kenny, Ph. D., Assistant Professor of Classics. Greek literature and philosophy.
Daniel Markovich, Ph.D., Professor of Classics. Didactic literature, Greek and Roman rhetorical and philosophical education, stylistics.
Susan H. Prince, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Classics. Ancient Greek thought and literature, Socratic traditions.
Kelly Shannon-Henderson, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Classics, Greek and Latin prose literature of the Imperial period, particularly the 1st and 2nd centuries AD.
At the center of our department is the Burnam Classical Library, recognized as the best Classics library in North America. It contains over 300,000 volumes, including a particularly remarkable collection in philology. The core holdings 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 extremely difficult at many other institutions.
There are currently 15 active students in Philology at UC, who have come here from all over the world. We particularly encourage applications from traditionally underrepresented groups and from international students. Students interested in applying for admission to the graduate program should contact the Graduate Advisor for Philology and History, Danielle Kellogg. Select applicants will be invited to campus to participate in a prospective students’ event in late February.
The practice of philology requires strong linguistic 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 guided by a reading list, and sight examinations. They also master reading knowledge of at least two modern languages including German and French or Italian—unless another modern language is more suitable for their specialization.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 multi-year cycle of in-depth reading courses focused on individual authors, genres, or eras and standard works of scholarship (course list). In addition, we offer seminars on cutting edge topics in ancient literature which train students in research involving ancient texts and modern interpretation. Recent seminars include: Ethnography and Geography, Body Metaphors in Latin Literature, Greek Prose Fiction, Higher Education in Greece and Rome, Ancient Literary Criticism, as well as many courses on specific authors and works, such as Sophocles, Homer, the Presocratics, Pliny the Younger, Martianus Capella. Students also take courses in Greek and Latin prose composition, ancient history, and archaeology. Additional options include paleography, literary theory, and courses offered by other graduate departments at UC. Through these courses students of philology become acquainted with the breadth and diversity of ancient literature and are able to tailor their education towards their research goals.
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 regularly fund students to supplement their education with us via intensive external programs both domestically and internationally. In 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 students’ 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, and visiting positions at Dartmouth, the University of Houston, Purdue, and the University of Kansas.
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:
- samples of written work including the statement of purpose
- 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
Students interested in applying for admission to the graduate program should contact the Graduate Advisor for Philology and History, Danielle Kellogg. Applicants are strongly encouraged to arrange to visit the department.