Ralph Doty

Ralph Doty


Email: rdoty@ou.edu | Phone: 325-6921 | Office: CARN 118 | Full CV


Students come to college for many reasons, but among the most important are the desire to find one’s place as a productive member of society and the desire to be a leader in that society. These were also the desires that animated the youth of Greece and Rome. When I teach classical mythology, I try, first, to give my students some idea of what the stories meant to the people who first told them, and second, what they still have to say to us today: most of these stories are about young people learning to fit into their society and commit to its values, and I try to show their contemporary relevance. In my course on Plato we explore that thinker’s views on citizenship, leadership, and education and the influence those views had, and continue to have, in our own society. I also teach courses in Greek, but those are just for fun.


My principal research interest is the manuscript tradition of Xenophon. The most readily accessible critical edition of his works is the Oxford edition compiled by E.C. Marchant ninety years ago, and the only readily accessible facing-page edition in Greek and English is the Loeb. There are several minor problems with the Oxford edition, mainly inaccuracies in Marchant’s apparatus criticus, but also stemming from the facts that (1) the Oxford text has never been revised to include recent scholarship, and (2) as the English language has changed since 1920, American English has replaced British English as the world’s principal second language. I am engaged in preparing a new critical edition of Xenophon’s minor works which will incorporate recent scholarship; the format will be facing-page edition in Greek and American English, which I hope will be an improvement on the Loeb edition. Of Xenophon’s seven minor works, I have so far completed Cynegeticus, Hiero, and Poroi, and my colleague Prof. D.F. Jackson has done The Consititution of the Lacedaemonians. If God spare me you may look forward to The Cavalry Commander’s Handbook, On Horsemanship, and Agesilaus.