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Summer School Halfway Recap - Week 1

It is now day 3 of the Summer School and we could not be happier about the way it has been running! We have already received some incredibly encouraging feedback about our organisation and school from parents, students and guest speakers alike. We can only hope this momentum keeps going but for now, we wanted to share with you a progress report on how the week has developed.


The Classes

Students have been introduced to the beginnings of ancient literature by our highly skilled tutors Meg and Katie. Ramani, Mia and Mansi have been taking the students through beginners Latin whilst Maeve and Tamsin have introduced our students to Greek. Leone has been leading the Junior school through their programme which has already looked at Pompeii, Athens and Ancient Religion.

11 classes are running this week to cater for different difficulties on Language, Literature and History providing an all-round introduction to the Ancient World. Thanks to our small class sizes, students have been active and engaging in every class and the lectures have been received very positively.


The Talks

We have been able to organise some invigorating talks with leading professionals in their respective fields across the whole week. The opportunity to connect with experts has been incredible with every student able to ask as many questions as they wish and the speakers have been just as keen! They have responded very warmly to our organisation and given very encouraging feedback which has been amazing considering this is our first year running! Here are the speakers we have welcomed so far this week:


Emer O'Hanlon - 'Art in Ancient Greece and Rome'

- Emer gave an insightful overview of classical art, not simply from Greece and Rome, but also from modern day Pakistan bringing into discussion the numerous Greek influences that are present in depictions of the Buddha

Rosie Wyles - 'The Power of the Ballot Box in Ancient Athens'

- Rosie began by explaining how Athenian politics was constantly motivated by personal sentiment and judgement. Rosie continued to talk about how the insertion of anachronistic political ideals from 5th century Athens into the mythological past in Greek Tragedy transformed Theatre from being a solely religious event to being civic and political.


Meg Finlayson – 'Alexander the Great: the Man and the Myth'

- Meg examined the character of the famous general with a focus on his representation in history. Alexander was discussed in antiquity by figures such as Arrian, Plutarch, Diodorus, Justin, Curtius and other lost historians but in contrasting ways. Arrian portrays Alexander as an impressive and heroic figure whereas Curtius prefers a much more flamboyant character.

Dr. Michael Loy - 'Digging up the Past: doing Archaeology in Ancient Greece'

- Michael enjoyed the chance to communicate about art and visual culture and was pleasantly surprised by the engagement of the class. Michael discussed how he ended up doing Classical Archaeology quite by accident but found it was what he enjoyed most. His main piece of careers advice is to say yes to every opportunity that comes your way.


Henriette Willberg – 'Ancient Medicine'

- Henriette discussed ancient concepts of Medicine and also deconstructed the way we think of Medicine today. Where nowadays medicine is tested and checked, in antiquity medicine encompassed a much broader range. It connected philosophy, religion and the well-known figures of Hippocrates and Galen. Henriette explored how these writers who have been influential in later reception were unpopular and frowned upon at the time.

Justine Ryan – 'The Antarctic in the Ancient World'

- Justine talked about the origins of the word 'Antarctic' composed of the word 'Arctic' first implemented by Hesiod and the Greek preposition 'anti' meaning opposite. The talk discussed Ancient Greek science and how the Greeks learnt that the world was circular pulling examples such as Aristotle claiming to see constellations in Egypt which he couldn't in Greece. Justine finally explored how the Greek concept of the Antarctic drove explorers to the discovery of the seventh continent.


The talks have covered such a large variety of subjects which is a testament to what Classical Studies offer at University and beyond. As Michael Loy said in his talk: "Say yes to everything and you never know where that might take you in the Ancient World." Thank you to all our students and donors who have made this possible and please keep following us on social media for more updates!

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