Volume 5, Number 3
November 2000


The graduate Ancient History program has recently been revised and the thrust of its offerings altered to meet changing academic employment needs and scholarly avenues. The new program blends blending traditional and modern approaches to the subject on the solid foundations of linguistic excellence and a thorough knowledge of the ancient source materials.

What is different about Ancient History at Missouri?

Our graduate program offers an exciting blend of traditional and modern approaches, which sets it apart from other programs and is designed to give students expertise in a variety of areas. Ancient history has always been one of the department's strengths (previous scholars include J.A.O. Larsen, Meyer Reinhold, and Fordyce Mitchel), and the department is a pioneer in preserving traditional classical history and connecting it with comparative cultural studies. Some ancient history courses focus on particular periods or authors in Greek and Roman history; others connect classical history with global history and multicultural studies.

Examples include Greek Historiography, Alexander the Great, Provinces of the Roman Empire, Frontiers in Comparative Perspective, and Practicum in Ancient Global History.

The History department is also part of the Ancient Studies Program of the university, which encourages students to take graduate courses in departments such as Classical Studies, Art History & Archaeology, Anthropology, Philosophy, and Religious Studies. Ancient history graduate courses include reading material in Greek and Latin, and students are expected to take language courses.

The university and department

The university was established in 1839; today, it is ranked amongst the nation's highest, and is a Carnegie 1 Research Institution. The Department of History was founded over a century ago; it is housed in the century-old Read Hall, and has over thirty faculty. Work space and computing facilities are provided for graduate students.

Library and resources

The Ellis Library is the university's main library for humanities and social sciences; in addition, the Tate Library holds an exceptionally fine collection of scholarly and rare books. The MU Libraries are the 47th largest research collection in North America with holdings of 2.6 million books and 5 million microforms.

Ancient history faculty

Lawrence Okamura (Ph.D. Michigan) teaches Roman history. His areas of expertise are imperial Rome, provincial archeology, and numismatics. He is the author of articles on these areas, and is now working on soldiers, civilians, and barbarians in the Danube region.

Ian Worthington (Ph.D. Monash) teaches Greek history. His areas of expertise are classical, especially fourth century, Greek history and Greek oratory. He is the author of A Historical Commentary on Dinarchus and Greek Orators 2, Dinarchus 1 and Hyperides 5 & 6, and his edited books include Persuasion. Greek Rhetoric in Action, Ventures into Greek History. Essays in Honour of NGL Hammond, Voice Into Text. Orality and Literacy in Greece, and Demosthenes: Statesman and Orator. He is now working on a commentary on Diodorus Siculus 17 and, with Craig Cooper, a commentary on Plutarch's Demosthenes.

Structure of M.A. and Ph.D.

Graduate students take courses and write a dissertation. Examinations are held between the end of course work and the commencement of dissertation.

Departmental funding

The university and department offer generous scholarships and fellowships on a competitive basis. Students at all levels are eligible. Research assistantships, graderships, and teaching assistantships are also available to qualified graduates. As well, the Dean of Graduate Studies has generously instituted a new ancient studies scholarship of $10,000 for the best new Ph.D. student in the graduate programs in the ancient world at the university.

Preparing graduates for the job market

At Missouri, we do not believe in simply training graduate students; we believe in preparing graduates to give them an edge over the fierce competition in the job market. That's why the graduate offerings in ancient history have been recently streamlined and reworked to produce graduates with a thorough grounding in Greek and Latin as well as an in-depth knowledge of how to apply new methodologies to the ancient world and of the comparative cultural studies arising from it. The resulting graduates can boast strengths in traditional classical history and an ability to teach in distinct, yet inter-related, areas. We keep an eye on what hiring institutions want, and we prepare our students accordingly. That's why graduate study here is the obvious choice - for your degree and especially your future.

Contact details

Greek history: Prof. Ian Worthington (Tel. (573) 882-0780/email: worthingtoni@missouri.edu): Roman History: Prof. Lawrence Okamura (Tel. (573) 882-8365/email: okamural@missouri.edu) Department of History, University of Missouri-Columbia, Columbia, MO 65211, U.S.A.

The University of Missouri-Columbia does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, sex, age, disability, status as disabled veteran or veteran of the Vietnam era, or sexual orientation.

by Kaavya Giridhar