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Reading Greek Level?

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Reading Greek Level?

Postby akratic399 » Tue Oct 04, 2011 5:07 pm

Hi, y'all. I was hoping that someone would be able to help me with this. I'm applying to political science PhD programs in December to study ancient political thought. I was wondering what level to put myself as being at (how many semester-equivalents I've finished). As of now, I've made it through section 12 of the Reading Greek series.

Anyone know how many semesters that is equivalent to? Is that intermediate or beginner?

Thanks in advance,

Jonathan
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Re: Reading Greek Level?

Postby Scribo » Tue Oct 04, 2011 8:40 pm

Section 12 is the Demosthenes section right? The beginning of it? It varies by institution, I'd wager somewhere in between? For us the first year was all grammar, sizeable vocabulary and the most common syntax with testing in unseen translations and reading with basic sentence composition. Second year was more complex syntax, specialist vocabulary and much more reading.
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Re: Reading Greek Level?

Postby akratic399 » Tue Oct 04, 2011 10:05 pm

Yes, it is the Demosthenes section. I'm mostly concerned so that I can put something in my application where it asks what level of Greek knowledge I have.
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Re: Reading Greek Level?

Postby pster » Fri Oct 07, 2011 4:14 pm

In the US, you would be much better off in a philosophy department. Philosophy job market is much much better for political theory than the political science job market. Philosophy job market is much much better for ancient philosophy than the classics job market. I'm not sure about the UK, but definitely in the US. Perhaps there are some facts about your situation that make this non applicable, such as you are independently wealthy and won't be going on the job market. But assuming you eventually want to find a good job teaching oh say Aristotle's Politics you want to be in philosophy. This is very valuable information and if you ask around, you should find that it is quite accurate. Political science departments don't like their theory people generally and probably don't even have space for someone doing ancient theory. Classics departments are competitive and continually shrinking. Philosophy departments, however, will ALWAYS need somebody to teach Plato and Aristotle and they really want someobody who works in the area and knows Greek. If you don't care about your work load and don't mind cobbling together mutliple assistant professor positions and don't give a damn about $$$, then ignore everything I have just said. But basically, ancient philosophy is the easiest job market in the humanities. Shhh. Don't say it too loud. Hehe.
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Re: Reading Greek Level?

Postby akratic399 » Fri Oct 07, 2011 5:50 pm

*
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Re: Reading Greek Level?

Postby pster » Wed Oct 12, 2011 5:47 pm

Well, I'd be very careful. I'd wager there are twenty times as many people doing ancient political philosophy in phliosophy departments. You may like political scientists better than philosophers, but the philosophers like you much better than the political scientists. And as for your pragmatic reason, philosophy departments are going to be just as impressed with a publication. More generally, I would argue that you are proceeding in about as unpragmatic a fashion as possible. How many people can you name who do ancient political theory in political science departments? Getting into a great program is great, but the job market is no joke. And just because you write a great thesis on Aristotle at say the Princeton politics department and have somebody from classics on your committee writing a letter for you, there is no guarantee that you will get a good job. When you go on the market, you will find that most political science departments are not looking for a theory person. The few that are looking for a theory person probably won't want an ancient theory person. The few that are open to such a person will be swamped with applicants because political science theory is a super tough market. Nobody in classics is going to want you because you come from outer space. Perhaps a philosophy department with a desparate need of someone to teach Greek philosophy will look favorably on you, but it will likely be lesser school and you will be back in philosophy anyway. You will be an oddball and oddballs are a problem. Academia has been professionalized and oddballs are not welcome. I repeat, there is nothing pragmatic in the way you are approaching this. Indeed, it is unpragmatic in more ways than one.
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