Friday, December 23, 2011

Seven Olympians

Monday 16th January 2012,

6:15 pm (supper with wine) for 6:45 pm start (ends 8:30 pm)

St Olave's, Hart Street, London EC3 (near Tower Hill)

A brand new series of supper lectures by Graham Fawcett on seven poets in history whose achievements on the page have made them national heroes, each evening also including the performance of a piano sonata by Beethoven

Seven Olympians 1


and Simon Watterton plays Beethoven's Piano Sonata Op. 14 No. 1 in E major

£15 (includes supper) on the door


Monday 16th January 2012

at 6:15pm for 6:45pm


Publius Ovidius Naso

"We are slow to believe that which if believed would hurt our feelings”.

All welcome, including those who will be coming for the first time.
These lectures are written to be enjoyed one by one.
You do not need to have attended the preceding lecture(s)

Perfer et obdura; dolor hic tibi proderit olim.
Be patient and tough; one day this pain will be useful to you.

(Ovid, Elegy XIa)

About Ovid

Consummate showman and stand-up comic that he was, and still is, nearly 2000 years on, Ovid would have relished the fact that the English-speaking world’s short version of his name is divo, male equivalent of a diva, but only when spelled backwards.

Publius Ovidius Naso was born the year after Caesar’s assassination, was educated in Rome , and started reading his poems in public at the age of 16. His work gives us master-classes in how to write with profound and rollicking delicacy about love and sex, put on a spectacular poetic pageant of transformation myths, and sing with great pathos from direct experience of the heartache of exile.

In BBC Radio 4's programme 'Archive on 4: Ted Hughes: Memorial Tones' on Saturday 10th December 2011, Seamus Heaney said of Ovid's importance to Ted Hughes, "I think the Metamorphoses, man into beast, or tree, or whatever, suited everything in him, you know. It wasn’t English but it was part of his inheritance in a way, Ovid having been part of the furnishings of the Renaissance mind with the corroboration of Shakespeare: the mythological part of himself responded to Ovid; a lot of energy released".

Hughes’s Tales From Ovid (1997) is one of the latest poetry books to attest to Ovid’s powerful influence on English poets and poetry especially through his Metamorphoses, while Chaucer, Spenser, Marlowe, and Shakespeare are among the earliest, Francis Meres declaring that that “the sweet witty soul of Ovid lives in mellifluous and honey-tongued Shakespeare”.

But so often the Ovid we admire is the metrical gymnast making us gasp over and over again at the outrageous virtuosity of his mastery of form and content, the parallel bars of a poetry which fine translations reveal as speaking to our own times. So modern does he go on sounding, indeed, that the Italian writer and critic Giuseppe Pontiggia has even described him as a “contemporary of the future”.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Summer School for Teachers of Ancient History GCSE (OCR)

Summer School for Teachers of Ancient History GCSE (OCR)

August 7-9 2012, University of Liverpool

This three-day residential summer school is intended both to support existing teachers of the OCR GCSE in Ancient History and to help to equip other teachers (including those undertaking training, in whatever subject) who are planning to teach it in the future. Thanks to the generosity of the university’s John Percival Postgate fund, we are able to offer a substantial number of bursaries to cover the cost of attendance.

Thursday, September 15, 2011


173 Euston Road, London NW1 2BJ

2.15 to 5.30 and 7.00 to 9.15

The success of Royal Holloway depends on its reputation as a mature centre for Higher Education and research of towering intellectual calibre. The study of ancient Greece and Rome, at a superlative scholarly and professional level, has always played a crucial role in the international perception of Royal Holloway’s standing as an institution which fosters intellectual activity of the highest quality. The value Classics adds to Royal Holloway’s brand is literally immeasurable, in that its enhancement of the college’s reputation may not be directly translated into monetary terms. By its nature, intellectual prestige takes many decades to take root and mature. It takes only weeks to destroy.

This event has been made possible only by the extraordinary generosity, hard graft and collaboration of a very large number of people and organisations. The staff of the Department of Classics & Philosophy at Royal Holloway University of London is particularly grateful to the Classical Association, Peter Bing and Philip Hooker for their financial support, and for all kinds of energetic input from PhD students Mario Creatura, Lottie Parkyn, Matt Shipton, Laura Wood, as well as from Sarah Honeycombe and everyone on the Facebook Group.

2.15 to 5.30 pm Classics at Royal Holloway and Bedford Colleges

2.15 Welcome and Introduction Prof. Edith Hall (RHUL)
2.30 George Eliot Prof. Pat Easterling (Cambridge)
2.40 Sarah Parker Remond Dr. Justine McConnell (Oxford)
2.50 Anna Swanwick Prof. Oliver Taplin (Oxford)
3.00 Sybella Gurney Dr Sarah Butler (RHUL)
3.10 Frances Stevenson Dr. Fiona Macintosh (Oxford)
3.20 Richmal Crompton Helen Eastman (RHUL)
3.30 Dorothy Tarrant; Hugh Tredennick Prof. Anne Sheppard (RHUL)

3.45 Break

4.00 Rosemary Manning Adam Ganz (RHUL)
4.10 Classics and Popular Culture Dr. Nick Lowe (RHUL)
4.20 Classics and the Material World Dr. Janett Morgan (RHUL)
4.30 Classics and the Feminist Voice Dr. Efi Spentzou (RHUL)
4.40 A.N. Other
4.50 What next: the undergraduate view Sarah Honeycombe

5.30 Break for sustenance at local cafes and pubs of your choice
6.00-7.00 Convene to the accompaniment of music by Charlie Rose

7.00 to 9.30 pm Classics Internationally

7.00-7.30 Five-minute messages
Welcome and Introduction Prof. Edith Hall (RHUL)
Watching the department grow Prof. Anne Sheppard (RHUL)
Message from the University of London Prof. Maria Wyke (UCL)
Messages from Europe Prof. Ineke Sluiter (Leiden)
Prof. Kai Brodersen (Erfurt)
Message from America Prof. Ruth Scodel (Michigan)

7.30 Education and Longterm Thinking Prof. Greg Woolf (St.
7.45 A Poet on Classics and Being Closed Tony Harrison (currently
8.00 Histories that Make Us Tom Holland (classicist and novelist)
8.15 Classics as Living Word Live Canon, dir. Helen Eastman (RHUL)
8.30 The Politics of the Real World Prof. Paul Cartledge (Cambridge)
8.45 The Ancient Guide to Modern Life Natalie Haynes (classicist
and comedian)
9.00 Messages from Planet Classics Lottie Parkyn (RHUL) and team

No need to register—just turn up wearing something purple

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


From January-March 2011, the Moor plays host to an exhibition of Latin poetry in the old Sunwin House department store windows.

Rockingham Street writer James Blackwell, who studied Latin at the University of Sheffield, is exhibiting his new translation of a famous Horatian ode in bright, eye-catching colours.

It is hoped that the 7-foot-high, 22-foot-across poem will attract the attention of both passers-by and commuters on their bus-ride home.

Fittingly, in view of the regeneration currently undergoing at The Moor, the poem is about renewal and the ever-changing seasons.

The poem has been called the most beautiful in classical literature (by A.E. Housman), and was chosen by James because the ancient poet Horace’s self-deprecating humour and love of life closely echo the outlook of many present-day Sheffielders.

Anyone interested in the exhibition or Latin in general can email James at, or check out the facebook page ‘Sheffield Latin’ where there are pictures of the poem and some notes saying what all the things mean.