Oxford proposes dropping Homer and Virgil

The University of Oxford’s Classics department are proposing to drop traditional authors of classical texts, including Homer and Virgil, in an attempt to reduce the state school intake gap. This is a result of what the university says has been the lower uptake of students taking Latin and Greek studies at A-Level. Traditional subjects such as Classics are very rarely offered at state-school sixth-forms and colleges, and so the university hopes to, “end the gap” between students who had taken the A-level and those who did not. The university has been under some scrutiny for being under the assumption that all students who take up the course have read these texts. Both Homer and Virgil have been on the core Classics syllabus at Oxford since the foundation of the Classics department, and are regarded as two of the essential authors of the classical period. Homer’s The Odyssey and The Iliad along with Virgil’s epic poem, Aeneid  have been integral to the understanding of both Greek and Latin literature.  The university who has taught Classics and included texts such as that of Homer and Virgil for 900 years, and who are ranked second in the country, state that these proposals wouldn’t scrap these texts, but rather not,“make them compulsory”. However, the university says they are to be offered as optional texts on the syllabus in the latter part of the course. 

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Lewis Oxley

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June 2022
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