The St. John’s College Classics and Ancient History Essay Competition will be running for the eleventh time during the academic year 2020-21.
This 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. Each student may submit one essay (only) of up to 2,000 words on any of the following four questions:
- ‘Nice guys finish last.’ Is this statement true for characters (of any gender) in ancient literature?
- Did Greek and/or Roman elections express the will of the people?
- Plato thought that democracy was the rule of the ignorant. Was he right?
- In the ancient world, did the art of democracies express the same concerns as the art of the autocratic regimes?
The competition gives students of any subjects an opportunity to write an essay on the classical world. The organisers 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.
Essays must be submitted by Thursday 25th February 2021 and all entrants will also be invited a virtual Study Afternoon at hosted by St John’s College, Oxford on Thursday 22nd April 2021. There are no special academic requirements and no limit on the number of students from each school able to attend for this event; we encourage anyone interested in Classics or Ancient History to send in their essay submissions.