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.

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.

Ludi Scaenici 2012

Ludi Scaenici 2012

Sancton Wood School’s Year 8 Latin burst on to the stage at the Ludi Scaenici competition held in the city of Cambridge.

Judge Alexander Welby Head of Classics at the Leys School said; “ The Sancton Wood play went to the core of what Classics is about.”

“It explored the tensions between the Modern and the Ancient World.”

Xan Hill of Year 8 was singled out for praise. “To pronounce well when screaming as Laocoon (Xan) did showed enormous skill. Hard work had clearly gone into the whole cast’s learning.

In the play Xan was declaiming in Latin whilst simultaneously being strangled by a sea serpent.

“There were some wonderful examples of pronunciation particularly on the words Pugnax and magnus. The pronunciation was beautiful,” said Mr. Welby.

Second Judge actress Elisabeth Donnelly commented:

“We wanted to see you perform. The characterisation was excellent. You made the Latin your own”.

Charlie Fynn as an outraged Hercules was praised highly.

The play was co-written and co-directed by Darin Mount and Russell Lord.

Teams travelled from as far away as Ipswich, Norwich and Rugby to compete.

 (Russell Lord is Latin teacher at Cambridge International School and Sancton Wood School in Cambridge. He is a keen supporter of ARLT and has taught options groups at the ARLT Summer School.)

Archaeology a burden on debt-stricken Greece

When the news bulletin in February announced that over 70 objects of inestimable value had been looted from the Olympia Museum, we might have thought that this was a regrettable but isolated occurrence. Apparently not. According to the Daily Star of Lebanon, Greece is struggling to preserve and protect the archaeological remains it has, let alone sanction any new archaeological digs. In consequence, illegal digs are beginning to flourish.

“Let us leave our antiquities in the soil,” Michalis Tiverios, a professor of archaeology at Thessaloniki’s Aristotelio University, told Ta Nea daily, “to be found by archaeologists in 10,000 A.D., when Greeks and their politicians will perhaps show more respect to their history.”

Read more:
(The Daily Star :: Lebanon News ::

10 Greek Plays That Are Essential to Any Education

Whether you love Greek history and culture or find it dull beyond words, there’s no denying that classical scholarship has had a big impact on just about every succeeding aspect of Western culture. College students pursuing degrees in fields like history, philosophy, theater, creative writing and art history (among others) will be especially well-served reading these works, as they inspired many other later artists, writers and thinkers and are referenced in numerous ways today– a testament to their enduring power.

But what are the 10 plays?  Find out here:

Schools’ events at Liverpool

Language Taster Day
Friday 18 February

Ancient Worlds Summer School
25 July – 5 August