Friday, 29 January 2016


This week, we are in the unfortunate position of having to inform you of two worrisome developments that call for both our attention and our action.


Firstly, we would like to make you aware of the threat to smaller study programmes, including Ancient Greek, at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark.

Barbara Borg, Lynette Mitchell, Daniel Ogden, Robin Osborne, Robert Parker, and Peter Rhodes, who have collectively launched a petition for the preservation of the study of Ancient Greek, give the following background information on the matter:

“The Copenhagen Department of Greek and Latin is the largest and the premier department for the study of Classical subjects in Denmark, and one of the world’s most distinguished Classics depts. In recent times alone it has hosted M.H. Hansen’s Polis project and S. Ebbesen’s projects on the Aristotelian tradition (the latest manifestations only of a great tradition: in the nineteenth century Copenhagen was home to J.N. Madvig and K. Hude). The department also offers vital support to Copenhagen’s Department of History, home to V. Gabrielsen’s Associations project. All of the Greek and Latin Department’s current permanent staff have published on the Greek side.

The new Danish government has cut the funding of Copenhagen’s Faculty of Humanities by a fifth (125M kroner), leading the Dean of the Faculty, Prof. Ulf Hedetoft, to initiate the closure of the 13 ‘uneconomic’ undergraduate degree programmes the Faculty currently offers, including Ancient Greek. It has already been decided that the undergraduate programme in Ancient Greek will admit no students in 2016, whilst further stock is taken. A number of options remain under consideration, including the complete and final closure of the programme or the restriction of it to biennial entry only from 2017 onwards. Needless to say, the abolition or diminution of Greek will put extreme pressure on the related degree programmes for Latin and Classical Archaeology, on the teaching of Classical subjects in other Danish universities too, and indeed on the provision of these subjects in Danish high schools, which depend upon the universities to supply them with teachers. “
The petitioners as well as FIEC invite you to consider signing the petition which aims at saving the study programme of Ancient Greek in its current state:
Please follow the link in order to read and sign the petition
Please note that the petitioners ask you, if applicable, to “supply your academic title and/or post in the ‘name’ box, but note that the box does not accept commas (hyphens offer a crude alternative).”
In case you would like to get more information on the matter, you may follow this link.


Secondly, we need to inform you of an alarming development taking place in Italy:

The Italian Ministry for Cultural Heritage is planning on implementing major structural reforms. This would include the closure of all local Archaeological Heritage Offices by merging them with those offices dedicated to territory and artistic heritage. There is compelling reason to fear that this reform would put the safeguarding of archaeological heritage at risk. 

In fact, it would strike a dramatically severe blow to the Italian system of the protection and promotion of Cultural Heritage whose efficiency and functionality has already been considerably reduced in recent years.

Therefore, we would like you to consider signing the petition opposing the reforms planned by the Ministry for Cultural Heritage

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