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.)

In the Footsteps of Hercules

Light Night 2011 in Leeds – Friday 7th October

In the Footsteps of Hercules (or should that be Herculeeds?)

Tales of Hercules tells the stories of the Hercules’ life, from his earliest childhood to him becoming a god, offering you an opportunity to read, listen to and ask questions about this ancient – yet very modern – hero.

Iphicles will recount his twin brother’s exploits – from Hercules’ very first heroic act (saving Iphicles’ life) to his last (walking the three-headed dog Cerberus). Hear little-known details of Hercules’ famous 12 Labours and get an insider’s view of what it’s like to grow up with a hero. Story-telling will respond to the audience’s interests and age-group. Particular stories by request.

Dr Emma Stafford, internationally renowned expert on the Greek hero Herakles, who was known to the Romans (and to us) as Hercules, will be on hand to answer any and all of your questions about the hero: from the size of his feet, to how many Labours he actually performed, to whether he performed them at all! Take the opportunity to discuss what it means to be a hero and discover some of the meanings attached to this hero through the ages.

Literary and artistic responses to individual tales of Hercules will be on display, with examples from a number of different media and time periods – from epic poetry to sculpture, from the ancient world to 21st century Yorkshire.

Location: the Classics Departmental Library, 1st floor, Parkinson Building, University of Leeds

Walk in Hercules’ size 14½ shoes to well-known – and less-well-known – Leeds city centre locations to encounter mythical characters and monsters featured in his 12 Labours. In the Footsteps of Hercules brings ancient Greek and Roman myth to life by combining cutting-edge classical research by Emma Stafford and other experts on ancient costume with performance art and story-telling in a “factasy” walking tour of Leeds taking in its public art, architecture, and history. Collect a map of the locations from the young Hercules or his mother, Alcmene, in the Ancient Worlds Galleries of Leeds City Museum or join the route at any location with an information point or costumed character. Each location will have information explaining the link between it and one of the 12 Labours, including illustrations and excerpts from relevant ancient texts. Masked costumed characters, who will tell the story of a Labour and guide interactions with the location, can be found in Leeds City Museum, in Mandela Gardens, on the Town Hall Steps, in Bond Court (off Park Row and East Parade) and in City Square. Will you kidnap Cerberus, kill the Hydra, seek the Cretan Bull, confront the Nemean Lion, capture the cattle of Geryon, cleanse the Augean Stables, dodge the Horses of Diomedes, scare the Stymphalian Birds, spot the Erymanthian Boar, find the Apples of the Hesperides, meet the Amazon Queen, or chase the Keryneian Hind? Above all, will you find Hercules in Leeds?

For more information, see the profect website.

Go Roman in Exeter

Easter family fun in Exeter (From This is The West Country)

* Wednesday, April 8: Romans at Home. Explore Roman home life. Craft activities theme, such as mosaics and artwork.. All children under eight must be accompanied by an adult. Some activities are messy; people taking part are advised to wear old clothes. RAMM in the Library, Castle Street, 10.30am to 12.30pm and 1.30 to 3.30pm, free

* Thursday, April 9: Romans on the march. Talk to a Roman soldier about his kit and make a mini army or some Roman armour. All children under eight must be accompanied by an adult. Some activities are messy; people taking part are advised to wear old clothes. RAMM in the Library, Castle Street, 10.30am to 12.30pm and 1.30 to 3.30pm, free

Pacific Rim comes to London

Rogue Classicism has details of an interesting0looking conference in July, and on our own doorstep.

*Pacific Rim Roman Literature Seminar 2009: “Utopia and Dystopia in Roman Literature”
University College London, 7–9 July 2009 (Archaeology Lecture Theatre)*

It is a great pleasure to announce that the annual Pacific Rim Roman Literature Seminar 2009 will be coming to London this year.
It will discuss the topic of “Utopia and Dystopia in Roman Literature” and will be held at University College London, 7–9 July 2009 (Archaeology Lecture Theatre).

JACT Conference and AGM

See here.

From the University of Oxford Classics Outreach Officer:–


Please USE THE ABOVE LINK FOR  the programme for this event which is taking
place on Saturday 16th May at St John’s College, Durham University.

The Joint Association of Classical Teachers (JACT) is a national
organisation committed to supporting teachers of Classical subjects
in the UK.

If you are interested in attending the conference and/or AGM please
see the above link with details of the day’s programme and
how to book. The cost of attendance is £25 per person (including teas,
coffees etc. and lunch).

With all best wishes
Lizzie Sandis

It’s CICERO tomorrow – download the programme.

Programme here.


NEW Roman Gallery at Lancaster City Museum

Media Newswire

A NEW Roman Gallery and exhibition will be unveiled to the public on Saturday 4 April at Lancaster City Museum. The Roman Gallery has been developed and revitalised, thanks to a £5000 grant from the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA) to support the museum’s star attraction th an iconic Roman cavalry tombstone.

( – A NEW Roman Gallery and exhibition will be unveiled to the public on Saturday 4 April at Lancaster City Museum.

The Roman Gallery has been developed and revitalised, thanks to a £5000 grant from the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council ( MLA ) to support the museum’s star attraction – an iconic Roman cavalry tombstone.

The tombstone, dating back to 100AD, was discovered in Lancaster in November 2005 during an excavation in Aldcliffe Road by the Greater Manchester Archaeology Unit.

Specialist staff at Lancashire County Council’s conservation studio in Preston worked to fully restore the tombstone so that it could take pride of place on permanent display at Lancaster City Museum last year.

The new gallery will feature information and artefacts depicting Roman life in Lancaster such as jewellery, clothing and domestic utensils, a dressing up corner for children where they can try on traditional Roman costume, and a range of fun family friendly activities to get involved in.

To mark the unveiling a traditional Roman funeral procession will take place in Lancaster City Centre.

Staff from the museum, along with professional interpreters from Roman Tours Ltd, will re-enact a funeral procession, carrying a stretcher through the streets in full Roman costume and dressed as Roman Soldiers.

The march will start at Lancaster Castle, past the Judge’s Lodgings, down Church Street, onto Cheapside and finish at Lancaster City Museum.

The public can watch the procession taking place, also on Saturday 4 April, from 11.30am to 1.00pm.

Following the procession, people are invited to look around the new gallery and take part in a free family drop in session to create your own Roman Sculptures, from 1.30 to 3.30pm.

Lancaster City Museum is open Monday to Saturday from 10am to 5pm and entry is free to all visitors.

For further information please contact the museum on 01524 64637 or visit

For further media enquiries only contact:
Andrew Lynn, Communication manager, 01772 534372 or email

Chichester pupils have a blast playing at Romans

More pupils having fun. Bognor Regis Observer

ROMANS and Barbarians took over a Chichester school for a day as part of cross-curricular activities.

Students at Chichester High School for Boys got to experience life as it was around 2,000 years ago.

As well as a Roman market and banquet, Year 7 pupils created Roman mosaics, to be displayed around the school, and watched a play with gladiators and a slave auction.

The themed-day was organised by teachers to bring together several subjects including art, history, drama, and ICT.

‘Clouds’ in Fleet Street

By an oversight I never posted this one, I fear. Hope it’s not too late. We are talking March – not all the dates make that clear.

flytheatre presents
a dazzling new musical comedy

Pre-show speakers announced! See below for details…
BOOK NOW for special schools offers – Friday 27th already SOLD OUT!

Tuesday 24th – Saturday 28th March 2009 (Friday 27th SOLD OUT)
At The Bridewell Theatre, Fleet Street, London

Evening performances at 7pm
Matinee Thursday March 26th at 3.45pm


Idiotic bumpkin Strepsiades has a problem – he’s in terrible debt
and his creditors are about to crunch. Only Socrates (philosopher, teacher, madman) can help.

Following last year’s hugely successful premiere, Clouds is back in
London for one week only and the tickets are selling fast…

Don’t miss this chance to see Aristophanes at his absurd best!

Follow this link for more information:

Special prices for Schools:
Tickets for school students are priced at £8.50 each.
School groups can book tickets now via our group sales line:
Call 01568 613823 or email

Please note: this production contains strong language and sexual
(It is Aristophanes after all!)

EDUCATION PROGRAMME in association with the Oxford University Classics Outreach Programme

An education pack will shortly be available to download (free of
charge) from the Clouds website:

Pre-show Talks (free of charge for audience members!)

Weds 25th – “An Introduction to Aristophanic Comedy” by Dr James Robson (Open University)

Thurs 26th Matinee – “Cloudcuckooland or Subversion? Philosophy and
Science in Aristophanes’ Clouds” by Professor Chris Emlyn-Jones (Open

Thurs 26th Evening – “The Cloudspotter’s Guide to Comedy Ancient and
Modern” by Dr Nick Lowe (Royal Holloway)

Fri 27th – “But What Did It Really Sound Like? Music and Voice in the
Ancient Comic Theatre” by Dr Armand D’Angour (Jesus College, Oxford University)

Our in-school workshops can be tailored to your requirements and
complement important modules in the Classical Civilisation, Drama, Theatre Studies and Ancient History syllabuses. Please contact our Education Officer, Simon Andrews, to make enquiries.

For more information on any of these events, or to enquire about a
workshop, please contact our Education Officer, Simon Andrews,
at education(AT)

What the Romans learnt from Greek mathematics

Someone is defending a thesis on this. Meanwhile it’s quite interesting to see the outline.

Greek mathematics is considered one of the great intellectual achievements of antiquity. It has been decisive to the academic and cultural development of Western civilisation. The three Roman authors Varro, Cicero and Vitruvius were all, in their own way, influenced by Greek knowledge and transferred it to Roman literature. In his dissertation, Erik Bohlin, at the University of Gothenburg – Göteborg -, Sweden, studied the traces of Greek influence on these authors with regard to the mathematical branch of geometry.

Most people have heard of the great Greeks Euclid and Archimedes. And who is not familiar with Pythagoras’ theorem? When Rome usurped political power around the Mediterranean, the Romans came into close contact with Greek culture, its literature and science.

According to some sources, the Roman author Varro is supposed to have written a book on the subject of geometry. This book has not been preserved however. In Erik Bohlin’s view, after critical examination of the collective historic evidence, very little can be established with reasonable probability about its contents. Earlier research has attempted to claim, for example, that Varro’s book was used by later Roman authors as a source of geometric teaching matter. This assertion does not stand up to critical examination, however, and must be seen as a more or less unfounded hypothesis according to Bohlin.

Cicero’s rhetorical and philosophical writings contain many passages that deal with or touch on the subject of geometry. Geometry and geometric knowledge are fundamental in Vitruvius’ De architectura (On architecture). There are many passages in which geometry is applied practically or which assume that the reader is familiar with it. The dissertation comments on and interprets a selection of significant passages from both these authors.

For Vitruvius, the practical use of geometry does of course come first: geometric designs are required in architecture, not least, to achieve exact drawings. In general, the scientific view of the Romans was strongly influenced by limiting utilitarianism: only knowledge with immediate practical use was worth cultivating.

According to the author of the dissertation, this picture ought to be nuanced, however, especially with regard to the authors Cicero and Vitruvius who essentially had an open and appreciative attitude to the Greek advances in mathematics and studies of geometry – even if practical use came first. Bohlin finds a clearly expressed ideological dimension to the significance of geometry in both Cicero and Vitruvius. Geometry is regarded as an integrated part of civilisation and refined human culture. As such, an inherent cultural value, which is thereby also universal, is attached to geometry.

For Cicero and, in particular, for Vitruvius, this ideological dimension was not independent of practical use, but both aspects were seen as linked.
“With this perspective, the actual differences between that which is Roman and that which is Greek can be toned down, and in this we find a motivation for Cicero’s and Vitruvius’s more open attitude to geometry and Greek knowledge in general,” says Bohlin.

Title of dissertation: Geometry in Varro, Cicero, and Vitruvius. A Philological Study.

The public defence will take place on Saturday, 7 March 2009 at 10 am.
Place: Room T 302, Arkeologen, Olof Wijksgatan 6, Gothenburg, Sweden

Faculty examiner: Professor Micheline Decorps-Foulquier, Clermont-Ferrand, France

For more information, contact Erik Bohlin, tel. +46(0) 31-786 46 91 (work),