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Summer School Halfway Recap - Week 2

Updated: Aug 6, 2020

Halfway through the second week of our knowledge-packed Summer School! Our students have been having a wonderful time covering the Ancient World from Bronze Age Mycenae all the way through to the Byzantine Empire. This week we had 38 students take part in our Senior Summer School.

We have also had the pleasure of welcoming back 8 students from Week 1 because they enjoyed the course so much. Many are attending modules that clashed with their timetables last term whilst other students are returning to hear the Week 2 Guest Speakers.


The Classes

So far this week students have had an introduction to Greek with Maeve and Tamsin where they have transliterated words from Greek into English and were able to see direct etymologies between the ancient language and modern English. In Latin, our students are at the point where they are able to translate entire passages using the present tense with Ramani and Mansi.

Meanwhile, in Latin Literature with Emily, students discussed the resonance of Roman Comedy in modern theatre and used the techniques they learnt to try writing their own comedy plots- some of our favourites we have shared below! AJ introduced our students to the Punic Wars and Chloe introduced them to Roman Social History. On the Greek side Ella introduced Greek ideas surrounding death and funerary ritual whilst Jude discussed Lyric poetry.

Comedy play 2
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roman play plot summary
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The Talks

We have had the privilege to welcome such incredible guest speakers on subjects that even our tutors have been surprised and excited about! We have also been so fortunate to get so many speakers from different backgrounds and institutions who have been willing to speak to us. Here are some of the talks that we have had 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.

Prof. Kate Cooper- 'Difficult sons and defiant daughters'

Kate spoke about how for the early Christians, following their faith was truly 'anti-social'. She suggested that often, in the manner of teenage rebellion, son and daughters would defy their parents in following Christianity, and we discussed the example of Perpetua, who in defiance of her father's advice, would not renounce her faith, and was decapitated for her faith. 


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.

Adele Geras - A 'Q&A' on her careers and works: Troy, Dido and Ithaka

Adele discussed the importance of literature with our students whilst discussing her own works set in the Classical World. She demonstrated that the study of Classics can take you to many places. The discussion was incredibly engaging and many of our students are keen to go away and read her works if they haven't already.


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.

Dr Arlene Holmes-Henderson - 'What to do with a Classics degree?'

Arlene gave our students an invaluable insight into all the opportunities that a Classics degree can create. She discussed the various professions that her students had ventured into through their Classics degrees, highlighting just how many doors Classics opens. She also reminded our students that it is the interdisciplinary nature of Classics and the wide array of skills that come with a Classics degree that make Classicists so employable, regardless of what judgement you may receive for your degree choice.

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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