Literae Humaniores

Literae Humaniores

Literae Humaniores

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Literae Humaniores is the name given to an undergraduate course focused on Classics at Oxford and some other universities.

The name means literally "more humane letters", but is perhaps better rendered as "Advanced Studies", since humaniores has the sense of "more refined" or "more learned", and literae means "learning" or "liberal education". It is the archetypal Humanities course.

Lit. Hum. at Oxford

The University of Oxford's classics course — also known as "Greats" — is divided into two parts, lasting five terms and seven terms respectively, the whole lasting four years in total, which is one year more than most arts degrees at Oxford and other English universities.

The course of studies leads to a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree. Throughout, there is a strong emphasis on first hand study of primary sources in the original Greek or Latin.


In the first part (Honour Moderations or Mods) students concentrate on Latin and/or Greek language; in the second part, students choose eight papers from the varied disciplines of Classical Literature, Greek and Roman history, Philosophy, Archaeology, and Linguistics. The teaching style is very traditional and consists of weekly tutorials in each of the two main subjects chosen, supplemented by a wide variety of lectures. Consisting until recently of 11 or 12 three-hour papers set across seven consecutive days, this is no longer the case, due to the...
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