Classical philology is the scholarly study and interpretation of ancient Greek and Latin languages and literatures. More broadly, it is concerned with understanding Greek and Roman culture through texts. Typical questions asked in philology classes are: What did this text mean to the ancient audience? Why is this text still meaningful in the modern world? How does this text reflect and shape the values and experiences of ancient culture? What questions did the ancients ask of literary texts? What questions do modern interpreters ask?
The Department of Classics offers M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in Classics with a specialization in Greek and Latin Philology. The Ph.D. degree prepares students to become active, publishing scholars and instructors in colleges and universities. The M.A. degree may be used as a preparation for the Ph.D. program, for a degree program in other discipline, or as additional preparation for K-12 teachers.
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. German and French are essential tools for reading secondary scholarship, and students are encouraged to learn Italian or another modern language as well.
Course work involves reading classes, which are offered in a four-year cycle of author and genre courses (course list), and seminars, in which students engage in research involving both ancient texts and modern interpretation.
Besides standard author and genre based courses, seminars are offered in every term. A recent selection of seminar topics includes courses on 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.
The Burnam Classical Library, in which graduate student carrels are located, is arguably 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.
The UC philology program places a special emphasis on understanding ancient texts in their cultural contexts. To this end, philologists are required to do course work in ancient history and in archaeology. Our students are encouraged 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.
There are currently 14 active students in Philology at UC. We particularly encourage foreign students to apply to our program. Recent graduates of the Philology program have obtained positions at College of William and Mary, St. Olaf College, The University of Tennessee, Miami University, Hamilton College, University of California at Davis, Grand Valley State University, the Ohio State University, and Brooklyn College (CUNY).
Admission and Fellowship
For application guidelines click here.
Teaching and Research Personnel
We currently have five philologists associated with the department:
Lauren Donovan Ginsberg, Ph.D. Associate Professor of Classics. Early Imperial Latin literature, 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.
Support and Travel
We offer fellowships (with tiers between $20,500 to $22,500 per year) for up to seven years for Ph.D. students entering with a relevant BA degree or up to six years for students entering with a relevant M.A. degree. An additional stipend of $2,000 is routinely available for independent study during the summer for students resident in Cincinnati or traveling to study abroad.
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.
Teaching and Professional Training
All philology students are given opportunities to teach as part of their training. The UC Classics Department does not draw a distinction between students on fellowship and students supported through teaching assistantships. Generally, students do not teach in their first year, but in later years students normally spend some, but not all, semesterss teaching one course. Philologists teach Latin and Greek courses and more advanced students may also teach undergraduate lecture courses, such as Classical Civilization. Experience in teaching and other service, often involving library research, are considered essential forms of preparation for careers in the academic world.
Faculty work closely with students to train them in professional activities, such as writing abstracts, delivering papers at conferences, and publishing articles. Some students participate in the Preparing Future Faculty Program. Service to the department includes a variety of professional activities, such as editing journals or manuscripts.
The Department receives many applications each year from students interested in pursuing a graduate degree in Philology. We are highly selective in our admissions policy. To be seriously considered for admission, a student should hold a B.A. in Classics or the equivalent.
In making our decision we consider the following factors:
*extent of knowledge of Greek and Latin
*facility in modern languages, especially German and French
*letters of recommendations from teachers who know the applicant well
*samples of written work
*statement of purpose
All candidates for admission are required to take the Graduate Record Examination and submit their scores with their application.
We are particularly eager to receive applications from students at foreign institutions. A number of foreign students are currently in residence from such countries as Italy, Greece, and Brazil.
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
- Comprehensive examinations in Greek Literature, Latin Literature, Ancient History
M.A. students may choose to specialize in Classical Philology (both Greek and Latin), or Greek or Latin Philology. All M.A. students are required to complete 30 credit hours of course work, including one seminar in the field of primary interest, one course in Archaeology, and one course in Ancient History. The M.A. degree normally requires a two-year course of study.