The St. John’s College Classics and Ancient History Essay Competition will be running for the eleventh time during the academic year 2020/21.
  • Date 22 April 2021 - 22 April 2021
  • Location Online event

acropolis-2756485_1920.jpgThe St. John’s College Classics and Ancient History Essay Competition will be running for the eleventh time during the academic year 2020/21. The competition is open to all UK students currently studying in Year 12 (Lower Sixth) or equivalent, whether or not they are currently studying a Classical or Ancient subject. All entrants will be invited to attend a virtual Study Afternoon hosted by St John’s College, Oxford on Thursday 22nd April 2021.  Each student may submit one essay (only) of up to 2,000 words on any of the following four questions:

  1. 'Nice guys finish last.' Is this statement true for characters (of any gender) in ancient literature? 
  2. Did Greek and/or Roman elections express the will of the people? 
  3. Plato thought that democracy was the rule of the ignorant. Was he right? 
  4. In the ancient world, did the art of democracies express the same concerns as the art of the autocratic regimes?

 

Aims and Guidelines:

The competition gives UK students of any subjects, currently studying in Year 12 or equivalent, an opportunity to write an essay on the classical world. The organizers are interested in providing an occasion for independent research, to encourage curiosity and reflection in those who have studied the ancient world before and those who have not. 

The essay titles have been chosen to take account of research interests of our tutors and to encourage the widest possible approach to investigation of the ancient world. A £100 book token will be awarded to the best essay in each category and an additional £75 book token to the overall winners. All applicants will receive a certificate of entry. 

All primary texts can be considered in translation or in the original language. Where either primary or secondary sources have been used they should be acknowledged with full references given. 

All essays should: 

  • Be word-processed with doubled-spaced lines. 
  • Include ONLY your initials and date of birth in your header or footer (to allow anonymous marking). 
  • Be submitted, together with a cover sheet by 4pm on Thursday 25th February 2021 to the following address: Classics Essay Competition, College Office, St John's College, Oxford, OX1 3JP, or by email to access@sjc.ox.ac.uk.

If you have any outstanding questions, please contact access@sjc.ox.ac.uk.

Information about last year's winners, including the markers' report, is available here.