Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS: http://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?uin=uk.bl.ethos.730468
Title: Ancient history in British universities and public life, 1715-1810
Author: Marsden, James
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2016
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Abstract:
Over the eighteenth century, ancient history was increasingly read in English, appearing in new forms and interpretations. This reflected the development of history in universities as a subject not merely read, but taught. This teaching took on many forms: serving as a predecessor to other studies, building a knowledge base of case studies for 'higher' subjects, or (increasingly) an independent subject. What ancient history was taught, how was it taught, why was it taught, and what did students go on to use it for? Ancient history as an independent subject had a limited role in the curriculum despite the foundation of Chairs of History in most universities. When it was taught as such, the focus was on explaining modern institutions via ancient comparisons; on the training of statesmen by classical examples; or, more rarely, on demonstrating a particular conception of social development. These uses of history could be seen across both national and subject boundaries. Whilst differences between universities are evident, evidence in the teaching of history suggests the absolute dichotomy between the English and Scottish systems has been overstated. The interesting case of Trinity College Dublin suggests common features across Britain in how 'liberal education' was conceived of and how history fit into it. The practical application of ancient history to the education of statesmen may be seen in the variety of ways it was used in political discourse. This is explored mainly in Parliament, the ultimate destination of the "statesmen" in whose training history was supposed to play a large part, via debates over questions of empire and imperial rights in the second half of the eighteenth century. Superior knowledge of ancient history constituted a rhetorical claim to the twin statuses of gentleman, being classically-educated, and statesman - showing understanding of historical context and precedent.
Supervisor: Young, Brian Sponsor: Arts and Humanities Research Council
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.730468  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Education ; History ; historiography ; eighteenth-century ; universities ; reception studies ; classical reception ; cultural history ; british
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