The three terms of the undergraduate academic year are each eight weeks long. These three terms are known as Michaelmas Term, Hilary Term, and Trinity Term.
Perhaps in part due to undergraduates’ detachment from the daily life in the city, there is traditionally a rivalry between ‘town and gown.’ In the early days of the university, there were violent conflicts between the two communities, and the colleges were surrounded by walls for their members' safety. An especially notorious fight between town and gown occurred in Oxford in 1355, and this skirmish has become known as the riot of St. Scholastica Day.
Oxford is one of the wetter locations in England. It has a maritime temperate climate, with precipitation evenly distributed throughout the year.
Oxford has a great tradition of fantasy literature written by members of the university. Lewis Carroll (1832-1898), author of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (1865), J.R.R. Tolkien (1892-1973) who wrote The Lord of the Rings (1954-1955), C.S. Lewis (1898-1963), who penned The Chronicles of Narnia (1950-1956), and Philip Pullman, whose trilogy His Dark Materials opens in Oxford, were all academics at the University.
“The Battle of Waterloo was won on the playing-fields of Eton,” is a quotation often attributed to the Duke of Wellington (1769-1852), who was a student at the public school from 1781 to 1784.
Prometheus was a Titan in Greek mythology. He was known for his cunning intelligence and for being a friend to mankind. He stole fire from the gods and gave it to man; in punishment for this act he was chained to a rock where each day an eagle fed on his regrowing liver.
In Greek mythology, Alcestis was a princess who offered to sacrifice her life in order to spare the life of her husband, King Admetus, who had accidentally angered the gods. She was rescued by Heracles.
Juvenal is the anglicized name of Decimus Iunius Iuvenalis, a Roman poet. He is best known as the author of the collection of satirical poems known as the Satires.
Gaius Marius (157 BC – 86 BC) was a Roman general and statesman who played an important part in the transition of Rome from Republic to Empire.
The American painter John Vanderlyn (1775-1852) painted a famous picture of Marius amid the ruins of Carthage.