Epic fail? Oxford may drop Virgil and Homer in interests of ...

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Epic fail? Oxford may drop Virgil and Homer in interests of ‘diversity’

Classics faculty considers cutting iconic poets from compulsory syllabus, and the move is causing ructions

Camilla Turner and Fin Kavanagh

Oxford University could remove Homer and Virgil from the compulsory Classics syllabus as part of a diversity drive, it has emerged.

Homer’s epic poems, the Iliad and Odyssey, are considered central works of ancient Greek literature, while Virgil’s Aeneid is one of the most revered poems in Latin literature. Oxford classicists currently take papers on Homer and Virgil during exams at the end of their second year, known as “Mods”, or Honour Moderations.

But under plans being considered by the Classics faculty, these papers could be removed from the Mods syllabus altogether in a bid to end the disparity between those who took Latin and Greek A-levels and those who did not...

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