Thursday, September 16, 2021


Oral Examination

Jenny Teichman, "Gertrude Elizabeth Margaret Anscombe 1919–2001," Proceedings of the British Academy 115 (2003) 31-50 (at 38):
Finally there is the true story about Elizabeth’s final viva voce examination. Because of her intense interest in philosophy she tended to neglect the rest of the syllabus and consequently flunked the Roman History paper. The philosophy examiners wanted to give her First Class Honours but the Roman History man objected, and objected even more, no doubt, when his questions in the viva met with a blank face. He eventually asked: ‘Miss Anscombe, can you name a governor or procurator of a Roman province? Any Roman province?’ to which she replied ‘No’, having forgotten all about Pontius Pilate. The historian, in despair, asked: ‘Miss Anscombe, is there any fact at all about the history of Rome which you would like to comment on?’ But again the answer was ‘No’ and a mournful shake of the head. However the other examiners insisted that Elizabeth deserved a First and a First was duly awarded.
Hat tip: Eric Thomson.

<< Home
Newer›  ‹Older

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?