Meet the 2021 BA Medal winner Adam Moore

The Faculty of Arts at the University of Melbourne is proud to announce Adam Moore as the winner of the 2021 Bachelor of Arts (BA) Medal. Each year the Bachelor of Arts Medal is presented to a graduate determined to be the highest achieving student across the three years of the course. In November 2021 Adam completed his Bachelor of Arts majoring in Classics and Ancient World Studies. Here he tells us about his BA experience.

2021 BA Medal winner Adam Moore

I had originally intended to pursue a scientific career, as my best marks in secondary school were in Chemistry and Biology. However, once I realised that one’s career should be both enjoyable and meaningful to oneself, my thoughts turned to my secondary-school Latin classes. Subsequently, I decided to pursue a double major in Classics and Ancient World Studies.

Many will ask: ‘why study the Classics?’ – and admittedly I began my degree considering my majors as little more than self-contained disciplines to be mastered. However, I have come to appreciate the importance of this area of study, how the Classical world lies at the foundations of literature and many of our institutions, both through long-standing tradition and modern imitation, and how it aids our understanding of them. It only now appears to me that there is no one who might not learn something about the present through the inextricably connected Classical past.

The best part of studying at the University of Melbourne belongs squarely to its vast libraries, especially, as an Arts student, the Baillieu Library, adjacent to Arts West. The Baillieu Library was an invaluable resource for my research throughout my degree, and even when my fellow students and I were occasionally unable to access it physically across 2020 and 2021, its online collections proved indispensable.

The past three years have taught me one thing above all. When I was in secondary school, I had often heard that STEM subjects had definitive answers to their questions, whilst, in the arts, ‘there are no wrong answers’. As a prospective university student, the certainty of the former seemed more attractive than the daunting implication of the latter: that ‘there is no correct answer’ either. I can now confidently say that, whilst your Arts essays will never be ‘correct’, every person indeed has a single answer for each research question within themselves, it being what they believe, after writing and rewriting, to be closest to the truth.

I was always interested in the manuscript tradition of the ancient works studied in Classics. Since these texts are often transmitted to us through a long tradition of differing and fragmentary sources, there is ample opportunity for interpretation of the original text, as was often assigned to us in Latin and ancient Greek classes. I should like to pursue a career in this field, if possible.

I am presently undertaking an Honours year, receiving Classics and Ancient World Studies classes alongside writing my own 15,000-word thesis. Once that is finished, I will consider my options for further study, both in Australia and abroad.

I wish to extend my deepest thanks to the staff of the Faculty of Arts and the School of Historical and Philosophical Studies, by whose support, dedication, and palpable passion I was able to learn and achieve as much as I have, and by whom undoubtedly the University shall postera crescam laude.

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Susanna Ling