Preliminary Examination in Classics and English

A

  • 1. The Preliminary Examination in Classics and English shall be under the joint supervision of the Boards of the Faculties of Classics and English Language and Literature and shall consist of such subjects as they shall jointly by regulation prescribe.

  • 2. The Chair of Examiners for the Preliminary Examination in English Language and Literature shall designate such of the number of examiners as may be required for the English subjects of the examination for the Preliminary Examination in Classics and English, and the nominating committee for examiners appointed by the Board of the Faculty of Classics shall nominate such of the number of examiners as may be required for the Classics subjects of the examination. When these appointments shall have been made the number of examiners shall be deemed to be complete.

  • 3. Candidates must offer all the papers at a single examination, provided that: (i) a candidate who fails to satisfy the Examiners in one or two papers may offer those subjects at one subsequent examination, and (ii) a candidate who fails to satisfy the Examiners in three or more papers must offer all five subjects at one subsequent examination.

B

The committee appointed by the Boards of the Faculties of English Language and Literature and Classics to advise on the examination for the Honour School of Classics and English shall make proposals to the two boards for regulations for this examination.

Any candidate whose native language is not English may bring a bilingual (native language to English) dictionary for use in any examination paper where candidates are required to translate Ancient Greek and/or Latin texts into English.

Candidates shall take one of the following courses:

I. Course I

Each candidate shall offer five papers, each of three hours duration except where specified, as follows:

  • 1. Introduction to English Language and Literature (a portfolio submitted in Trinity Term year 1)

    The paper will be examined by a portfolio of work, comprising one commentary answer and one discursive essay, of not fewer than 1,500 and not more than 2,000 words each. Footnotes will be included in the total word count, but bibliographies do not count towards the limit. The list of questions for this paper will be divided into Section A (Language) and B (Literature) and will be published on Monday of the fourth week of the Trinity Term of the first year. Candidates must select one question from Section A and one question from section B.

    Questions in Section A (Language) invite candidates to make their own selection of texts or passages of texts for commentary, in accordance with the terms of the particular question chosen. Copies of the texts or passages used must be included as an appendix to the portfolio. The combined length of all texts or passages chosen must not exceed 70 lines. The texts or passages used will not count towards the word limit for the commentary answer.

    Two typed copies of the portfolio must be delivered to the Chair of Examiners for the Preliminary Examinations in English Language and Literature, Examination Schools, High Street, by noon on Thursday of the fifth week of the same Trinity Term. A certificate, signed by the candidate to the effect that each answer is the candidate's own work, and that the candidate has read the Faculty guidelines on plagiarism, must be presented together with each portfolio.

    Following the publication of themes for this subject on Monday of the fourth week of Trinity Term, the candidate must neither discuss his or her choice of themes nor the method of handling them with any tutor. Every portfolio must be the work of the candidate alone, but he or she may discuss with his or her tutor the subjects and approach to the essays up until the stated publication date of the portfolio themes.

    Portfolios previously submitted for the First Public Examination in English Language and Literature may be resubmitted. No answer will be accepted that has already been submitted, wholly or substantially, for a final honour school or any other degree of this University, or degree of any other institution.

    Work deemed to be either too short or of excessive length may be penalised.

    Candidates must avoid duplicating material used in this paper when answering other papers. In addition, candidates are not permitted to duplicate material between Section A and Section B of the portfolio.

  • 2. Literature in English 1550 – 1660 (excluding the plays of Shakespeare)

  • 3. Unseen translation from Greek and Latin

    Candidates may offer either Latin or Greek or both. Two passages must be offered and in each language one prose passage and one verse passage will be set.

  • 4., 5. Greek and Latin Literature

    Candidates must offer two of the following.

    They must offer either (a) or (b), but may not offer both.

    • (a) Homer, Iliad, I, VI, IX, XVI, XVIII, XXII-XXIV;*

    • (b) Virgil, Aeneid, I, II, IV, VI;*

    • (c) Euripides, Bacchae 1 – 1167; Aristophanes, Frogs 1 – 459, 830 – 1533; Herodotus 7.1 – 53; 8.56 – 110;**

    • (d) Cicero, Pro Caelio 17 – 53 (...dedisti.); Catullus 1 – 16, 31 – 7, 42 – 5, 48 – 51, 53, 69 – 70, 75 – 6, 79, 83 – 6, 95, 99 – 101, 116; Propertius I.1 – 3, 6, 11, 14; Petronius, Cena Trimalchionis 26.7 – 36, 47 – 78; Juvenal 3, 5.***

    • Paper 4 will consist of essay questions; all candidates will be required to answer questions on each of: Homer or Virgil; other texts; general topics. Paper 5 will comprise passages for translation and comment; all candidates will be required to answer on three passages, at least one passage of Homer or Virgil and at least one from the other texts.

  • The Examiners shall publish the names of candidates who have satisfied them in all five papers, or all of papers 1 and 2 or all of papers 3, 4 and 5.

  • N.B For prescribed editions, see the Classics and English handbook.

  • * For the purposes of the essay paper (paper 4), candidates who offer these texts will be expected to have knowledge of the whole work and not merely the prescribed portions.

    ** For the purposes of the essay paper (paper 4), candidates who offer these texts will be expected to have knowledge of the whole of Bacchae, Frogs, and Herodotus 7 – 8 and not merely the prescribed portions.

    *** For the purposes of the essay paper (paper 4), candidates who offer these texts will be expected to have knowledge of the whole of Pro Caelio, Propertius I, and the Cena Trimalchionis and not merely the prescribed portions.

II. Course II

Candidates for Course II shall be required:

  • (a) during their first year of study to have passed an examination under the auspices of the Board of the Faculty of Classics during the Trinity Term. This examination is also available for appropriate candidates intending to offer papers in the Preliminary Examination for Modern Languages in their second year of study. Candidates who fail to satisfy the examiners shall be permitted to offer themselves for re-examination during the following September. Each candidate shall offer two papers, each of three hours' duration, as follows:

    • 1. Greek or Latin texts. Candidates must offer either (a) or (b):

      • (a) Homer, Iliad 24; Lysias 1 and 3; Euripides, Bacchae 1-63, 180-369, 434-518.

      • (b) Virgil, Aeneid 6; Seneca, Epistles 54, 57, 79, 114 and 122; Catullus 1-16, 31-4.

    • For a list of prescribed texts, see the Classics and English handbook. The paper will comprise passages from these texts for translation and comment.

    • 2. Greek or Latin Language. The paper will consist of passages for unseen translation out of Greek or Latin and sentences for translation from English into Latin or Greek.

  • (b) during their second year of study, to offer papers as for Course I.