PhD Studentship Announcement: ‘Latin and Latin Culture in Scotland’

Published: 31 January 2014

The University of Glasgow’s School of Humanities is pleased to announce a three-year PhD Studentship to begin 1 October 2014 in History and Classics.

The University of Glasgow’s School of Humanities is pleased to announce a three-year PhD Studentship to begin 1 October 2014 in History and Classics, which will focus on any aspect of research into the role that Latin and the Classical past played in Scottish culture, broadly defined. The award covers Home/EU tuition fees and provides a maintenance award of £6,000 per annum for three years, with some research and training expenses and the opportunity to apply for work as a Graduate Teaching Assistant. Applications for the studentship are due no later than Thursday 12 June 2014.


The University of Glasgow is the leading international centre for research in the field of Scottish Latin, and the research community includes a range of scholars working across two funded projects (the AHRC-funded ‘Bridging the Continental Divide’ Project and the Leverhulme-funded  ‘Scottish Philosophers in Seventeenth-Century Scotland and France’ Project), and the weekly Scottish Latin Reading Group that meets within the College of Arts. To sustain and build on this momentum, History and Classics are offering a funded PhD studentship that focuses on any aspect of Latin or Latin culture in Scotland, broadly defined. 

There is considerable scope for the applicant to shape the project according to their scholarly interests and academic background, and topics could include:

  • Study of a single author or set of authors, for example Hector Boece, George Buchanan, Andrew Melville, Arthur Johnston, etc. 
  • Translation and critical analysis of a corpus of Scottish Latin texts, whether poetic or prose; or of a single genre type, for example love elegy, epic, or legal or rhetorical texts.
  • A project that looks at the reception of the Classics and of Classical culture in Scotland, for example the reception of Virgil, Ovid, Cicero or Catullus in Scottish Latin texts, etc. 
  • A study that focuses on renaissance humanism and renaissance culture in Scotland, with an emphasis on Latin sources or Latin culture.
    The candidate may also choose to develop a research project that uses as its core the poems of the 13 poets translated as part of the ‘Bridging the Continental Divide’ project from the Delitiae Poetarum Scotorum (see image below: full list of poets available here), and which engages with the central research questions of the project regarding the role Latin played in post-Reformation Scotland:
    • Status
      • Who used Latin, when and why? Did the use of Latin vary according to social standing and profession?
    • Religion
      • When, where and in what forms did the new Protestant church deem the use of Latin poetry acceptable?
    • Culture
      • What role did scripture, Greco-Roman literature, and renaissance advances in philology play in these texts?
    • Language
      • How did Latin interact with the two dominant languages of early modern Scotland, Scots and Gaelic?

The successful candidate should expect to take part in the Scottish Latin reading group, and will also be given every opportunity to publish essays, blogs and short articles on the ‘Bridging the Continental Divide’ project website in relation to their research as it develops, and to appear in print publications on Scottish Latin culture arising from the project if appropriate.

The Student

This studentship will be of interest to applicants with backgrounds in either History or Classics. Applicants should hold (or expect to achieve in 2013) a Masters degree with Merit or Distinction and an undergraduate degree with first-class or upper second-class Honours in a relevant field. Knowledge of Latin and Latin translation to at least intermediate level will be a prerequisite for students planning to use un-translated sources for the bulk of their research, though there will be opportunities to take additional Latin courses in the first year of the PhD to enhance existing skills, and to develop skills in Greek if appropriate. However, the level of experience in Latin required will depend on the nature of the project outlined by the student, and applications will also be accepted from students who can make a convincing proposal for a project that utilizes Latin sources already in translation and which is sufficiently original. Preference may be shown to projects with a focus on late-medieval or early modern Scotland (c. 1400-1700).

Supervision and Regulation

Primary supervision will be supplied by Dr Steven Reid (History), with secondary supervision provided by a member of the Classics subject area.

The studentship is governed by the terms and conditions of AHRC postgraduate studentships. Applicants must therefore have a relevant connection with the United Kingdom, usually through residence. For full details of eligibility, please see the AHRC’s Guide to Student Funding.

How to Apply

Applications should include the following materials:

  • CV
  • Covering letter describing in detail your interest in and suitability for undertaking a project in Scottish Latin, with specific evidence of linguistic abilities if the proposed project is utilizing un-translated material
  • An example of scholarly work up to 4,000 words in length (e.g. coursework essay, or a dissertation chapter)
  • Degree transcripts (this may be an interim transcript if you are still studying)
  • 2 academic references (these may be sent directly from your referees if they would prefer)

Please send application materials to with the subject line ‘Scottish Latin PhD Application.’


Candidates proposing a topic using previously un-translated materials may also be asked to sit a short Latin comprehension test, using an unseen extract of verse or prose.

Further Information

First published: 31 January 2014

<< 2014