Sex slaves, public executions – yet

glorious art like this: A majestic Roman eagle, newly unearthed in London, believed to be the best-preserved ever in London

and a gripping account of life in AD100

At a cemetery on the eastern fringes of Roman London in AD100, a sombre, yet grand ceremony was taking place.

A prosperous citizen was being buried just outside the city boundaries – no Roman, however rich, could be buried within the city walls to prevent the spread of disease.

Mourners muttered prayers to the sun god, Mithras, as the body was laid to rest in its dark mausoleum.

Overlooking the body, at the far end of the tomb, loomed a majestic stone sculpture of a Roman eagle clutching a writhing snake in its beak. This noble eagle would guarantee the protection of Jupiter, king of the gods, in the afterlife. ……

Read more from Harry Mount

“Sicily: the Land of Gods”

I’m a Greek and Latin teacher. I work as teacher in a Sicilian Liceo Classico and I cooperate with Catania University about these subjects: Greek Literature, Ancient Greek and Latin Grammar, Classical Philology, History of ancient theatre. UE financed me a project of 10.000 euros to promote a cultural exchange between an Italian and an English school about classical themes. Title of my project is “Sicily: the Land of Gods”. If you are interested in this project, please contact me!  Here is a brief presentation of the project.

scaliarosariogiovanni@gmail.com

Disappearance of Classics in education

Hard on the heels of the  “Ad hoc Latin club has ‘cultappeal” and the “Latin at Bilborough College” success stories comes this awful reminder of what we, as guardians of the Classical tradition, and the next generation of would-be Classics teachers are up against.

If this young man doesn’t have the opportunity to train as a Classics Teacher it will be a great loss.  writes Shona Harrison, with regard to this letter from Lee Baker,  from the TES dated 30th August 2013

It is with great sadness that I write with regard to the situation of Classics and classical education in Scotland. I am a student at the University of Glasgow, living in Lanark, studying Classics and English literature. It was always my intention, after completing my degree, to continue in education and become a Classics teacher. Having been a pupil at Lanark Grammar School, I was privileged to see the great benefits of Classics teaching and education at its finest under the guidance of some excellent teachers.

However, the situation for training Classics teachers in Scotland is currently non-existent. This is a great loss to Scottish children as Classics education is fast becoming a discipline for the private sector. Some independent schools already employ people without any formal teaching qualifications as Classics teachers, as there is no supply from the teacher training institutes.

This cannot surely be condoned by the Scottish government, when there are people wanting to be trained in this field. It is not because of a decline in interest from students that Classics has disappeared from the state sector, as most schools that still offer it have high presentation numbers (“Ad hoc Latin club has ‘cult’ appeal”, 23 August). Where is freedom of choice and equal opportunity for the children of Scotland? The University of Glasgow was the last place in Scotland where a Classics PGDE was delivered, and it seems as though it has just vanished from the offered curriculum without due cause.

With Latin being one of Scotland’s heritage languages and the rich tradition of Classical learning and influences in the Scottish culture, it seems unthinkable that there is no provision for teaching children the key foundations of our past, when so much time, money and publicity is spent on the benefits of the Gaelic medium. Latin provides an equally beneficial, if not greater, learning environment, as it allows us to recognise and understand not only our own culture and heritage, but also our place in the international European community.

http://www.tes.co.uk/article.aspx?storycode=6352788

Latin at Bilborough College

I am so pleased. I want to share my delight with colleagues who will appreciate it, because my college has not responded. This is the third year that Latin GCSE has been offered as an additional subject to year 13 A level students at my state sixth form. I make no bones; I love Latin and I am dedicated to state students having the same opportunities as private school students. We have in effect 8 months to prepare for the higher tier GCSE OCR Latin. 31 took the exam this year. 23 achieved A*-C with 2 A*s, 10As 7Bs and 4Cs. I am so proud and if other teachers would like advice regarding introducing GCSE Latin into the curriculum, I would love to talk with them about promoting so important a subject.

Sean Cormac

Languages – Ad hoc Latin club has ‘cult’ appeal

Members achieve impressive results without qualified teacher

Students at an East Dunbartonshire secondary are scoring top grades in Latin – even though the school has no qualified teacher in the subject and no timetabled classes.

Bearsden Academy depute headteacher Annette MacKay said that Latin has become a “cult” favourite among high-achieving students since an after-school club was set up in 2011-12.

Five students sat Intermediate 1 Latin that year, with another five doing so last year – and all achieved the highest award of A at band 1. Both times they were the only Intermediate 1 Latin candidates anywhere in Scotland. One student even took Intermediate 2 last year, also earning an A at band 1.

The club, which meets for about an hour every second week, was set up at the request of a student who wanted to study at Oxbridge. Ms MacKay had told the student, Anna McDonald, that her application could do with “something to make it stand out”, and suggested Latin or Mandarin – although “whether I could find someone to teach it was another matter”.

The club that emerged has proved attractive to aspiring law, medicine and languages students. It is run by Ms MacKay, who read languages at university but whose last sustained experience of Latin was sitting the Higher some years ago. In the first year, a regular group of eight S6 students worked through Cambridge Latin Course textbooks. There were nine regulars last year and Ms MacKay expects a similar number in 2013-14………….

read the rest of the story here

New A-Level league tables to rank key subjects preferred by leading universities

With bated breath:

“The list of “key subjects” or so-called “facilitating subjects” includes : maths, further maths, English literature, physics, biology, chemistry, geography, history and modern or classical languages. 

Follow the story here:

More primary schools to offer Latin and ancient Greek

Good news!

Latin and ancient Greek are to make a comeback in state schools under Government plans to introduce compulsory language lessons for seven-year-olds.

All primary schools will be expected to teach foreign languages to pupils from 2014 as part of a major drive to boost education standards, it emerged.

At least one subject from a seven-strong shortlist – French, German, Spanish, Italian, Mandarin, Latin and ancient Greek – will be offered to seven- to 11-year-olds.

The move – outlined in a consultation document published by the Department for Education – could result in a major rise in the number of pupils studying the classical languages at a young age.

According to officials, Latin and ancient Greek were included to “give primary schools further options”, with claims that they can provide a good grounding in grammar, syntax and vocabulary which can boost pupils’ understanding of other modern languages.

It comes after a major study found that schoolchildren in England were less likely to study foreign languages to a decent standard than in any other European country.

Read the full story from The Daily Telegraph here:  http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/educationnews/9683536/More-primary-schools-to-offer-Latin-and-ancient-Greek.html#

 

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