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Hey y’all, I’m reading Seneca’s Medea in translation for my Roman Drama class and going to compare it with the Euripides (in translation) version, but the paper I’m writing is going to focus on marriage law, citizenship law, and custody of children in ancient Greece versus ancient Rome. Does aaaaaanyone have any recommendations for articles relevant to this (preferably for ones I can access or a PDF y’all can share would be awesome!) or any primary sources (in translation) about laws during the times the plays were written suggestions would be appreciated. Thank you all in advance! (I’m going to be hunting for some stuff on my own, of course, but if anyone wants to suggest things, I would appreciate it! I already have “Roman Marriage Law and the Conflict of Seneca’s ‘Medea’” by Laura Abrahamsen, so I’m going to delve into some other stuff and re-read Euripides’s Medea today).

Heyy, I’m currently an a-level student i…

Heyy, I’m currently an a-level student in England hoping to take classics at university. Do you have any tips for this course, or any advice on how to structure studying or help yourself at all? I know what the course entails and I absolutely love the sound of it, I’m just not sure how strenuous or difficult it is overall.

Sorry for the delay in answering, Nonny! It’s been a busy week, and I’ve been having some issues with productivity. 

Here are some of the asks from the past that might help you a little bit in navigating this question: 

Advice for Aspiring Classicist Ask: https://theancientgeekoroman.tumblr.com/post/179847323830/hi-im-a-high-schooler-who-wants-to-pursue-a

Suggested Reading List Ask: https://theancientgeekoroman.tumblr.com/post/179972282550/hey-sorry-to-bother-you-but-i-recently-went-to-a

Where to Start: https://theancientgeekoroman.tumblr.com/post/183617460805/hello-im-a-high-school-student-interested-in (Includes the two links above in this one)

Advice for Studying Classics at University: https://theancientgeekoroman.tumblr.com/post/183612328890/hey-there-im-about-to-start-university-in-the

And this ask is about History/Museum Studies but might be relevant to your interests because these coincide fairly often: https://theancientgeekoroman.tumblr.com/post/183621851835/while-this-might-not-be-your-area-of-expertise

A lot of the above will answer your questions for tips/tricks/advice for studying and being a Classics student. But I’ll address the strenuous/difficult part here for you. Please also remember that this is coming from someone who attended an American university that is well-known, but not anywhere near “Ivy League” or Oxbridge levels of experience. Since you’re in England, your structure will probably be different, but any of my English followers who would like to add on, please do so! 

I’m going to go by the different courses I had to take for my Classics major and let you know how strenuous/difficult it was for me and I’ll go by least difficult to most difficult. I’m leaving out coursework that was for “general education requirements” because I don’t think English schools have that element and won’t really apply unless you end up at an American school (and the levels of difficulty varies for me depending on how much math was required, lol). 

The Easiest Coursework: 

For me, the easiest coursework were the courses that had to do with culture (i.e., no language requirements). These courses for me were things like “Biblical and Classical Literature” (we had comparisons of the Bible and The Iliad, and it was a cross-listed as a Jewish Studies and English, so it was a lot of textual analysis, which I’m good at), “Prehistoric Archaeology” (a really cool anthropology course that delved into prehistory all over the world and touched on contemporary Paganism, too), “Women in Antiquity” (a 400-level art history seminar that had fun and creative aspects to it – including reading for Lysistrata for which I had a pool noodle sticking out of my tunic because I was reading as Kinesias), and Literature in Translation courses; I took “Greek Mythology” and “Greek Tragedy,” which were simple because it was more textual analysis. 

The reasons I found all of these courses, the least difficult are 1. I am good at textual analysis, which is a big part of Classics in general, so it was good to be exposed to it continuously because if you’re not good at it now, you will be. 2. These classes mainly dealt with things that really interested me, so even if the material was a little difficult, I was interested in it enough that it didn’t feel that difficult.

Mid-Level Difficulty Coursework:

The classes that I had the most difficulty with that were not the language courses were the history courses. The reason I found these more difficult than the above courses because they were more specific and a lot of material. There’s a lot of people to remember, a lot of dates to remember, people you’re going to confuse because so many people basically have the same name. And in undergrad, you have those “survey” classes where you do an overview of an entire civilization, which is A Lot. When I took my Ancient Rome class, it was really overwhelming because we started with the Period of Kings, the “mythological” beginnings of Rome, all the way to the Fall of Rome, in one semester. It felt so fast and so slow at the same time, and I feel like I didn’t retain much from it. Only two of my History courses had to be ancient-related, so most of my other History coursework was Medieval, so that was also a lot of information. You might get overwhelmed easily from how much information you have to take in and remember for assessments/exams/papers. These courses were probably the most time-consuming study and assignment-wise.

Most Difficult Coursework:

For me, the most difficult coursework was Latin and then Ancient Greek (as in, Ancient Greek was the most challenging overall for me). This may not be the same for everyone, and I was relatively good at languages when I was younger, but when I got to university, things were more complicated. Since I started learning new languages in my 20′s, it was not as easy for me to pick up on them as I was when I was in high school. Ancient Greek was difficult because we learned both Classical Greek and Koine Greek, so I had to make sure I didn’t confuse them (we didn’t do a lot of Koine Greek, but I still had to do some work in it, and I was super worried I’d confuse the pronunciations). That and all the accents you have to remember and learning a new alphabet is a lot, too. 

Latin, luckily, was a little easier. It was still difficult, but I knew a little bit of the grammar rules/alphabet differences before I began, but admittedly only knew a little bit of Latin from Catholic masses, but nothing beyond that. It was easier than Ancient Greek, but the difficulty lay in the fact that I was taking both of them at the same time, having never taken either of them before, whereas I knew quite a few people who had four years of Latin in high school before they went to university. My sequence was 101-102-201-202 for both of the languages, but a lot of universities are going to require more courses than just 2nd level languages, especially if you want to focus on the languages in graduate school or teach it. 

What it all really boils down to is knowing how to properly manage your time. Which I am still really bad at, but you should write out a schedule for classes, homework, outside activities, and remembering to take time to take care of yourself and do necessary things. 

One of the things I learned to do early on was to get through the difficult or more time-consuming assignments first, so then the next assignment would go by a lot faster once I had finished the harder homework. It will also make the next assignment seem much easier. But, remember to prioritize things that are due sooner and to try and break down long-term projects if the professor doesn’t (e.g., make sure you have articles/books picked for final papers if you know what your subject is going to be; some professors will basically outline check-ins by making things due for a grade over the semester, such as a proposal, then annotated bibliography, rough draft, and then the final draft). 

I hope this helps, and please let me know if you’d like me to clarify anything or ask any more specific questions!

All the best,

Tychon, the Ancient Geeko-Roman        

Hey, y’all, I need suggestions again!

Since we’re doing Roman drama and focusing on Seneca the Younger’s tragedies, I was thinking about looking for sources for Ancient Roman law in the time of Nero. Does anyone have any suggestions that they think would be a good place to start for something like this? I’ve got a good article from the University of Michigan that’s about how rape trials were conducted, but I’m still on the hunt for either general information or more focused information that has to do with the crimes outlined in the play (murder of your nephews, false accusations, suicide, etc.) since this class is accelerated I basically need to get all my info asap and start outlining now since I have a 7-8 page paper to write in the next couple weeks. 

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