Please check this page regularly for news! If you
would like to submit an item, please email the office:
There are new job adverts for teaching or examining on the jobs page
Excellent News from WJEC
WJEC is pleased to announce that the Department for
Education (DfE) in England has confirmed that the WJEC Level 2 Certificates
in Latin Language and Latin Language and Roman Civilisation will be
recognised in the English Baccalaureate (EBacc) performance measure from
The impact of this is as follows:
WJEC Level 2 Certificate in Latin Language is recognised in the EBacc
as a language
WJEC Level 2 Certificate in Latin Language and Roman Civilisation is
recognised in the EBacc as a language
Decisions relating to performance measures from 2017 will
be made by DfE in the light of the recent consultation on secondary
Full details of these qualifications are available on the
Please contact the admin support officer, Matt Oatley
should you have any questions.
Hugh Lester Assistant Director, WJEC
JACT CONFERENCE (& AGM)
Saturday 18th May 2013
This year’s JACT Conference (with AGM) will take
place at Manchester Grammar School. This years conference
explores a number of exciting ways in which Classics can adapt to the
Twenty-First Century, along with session on teaching and writing and the
inaugural address of JACT’s new president Caroline Lawrence. There will also
be a number of exhibitors present (including the Hellenic Bookservice) and
representatives from exam boards. The day will end with a fantastic chance
for a visit to Manchester Museum for exclusive guided sessions and
Proposed Itinerary for the day:
Registration and Coffee;
Stall browsing time
JACT Annual General
Presidential Address –
Caroline Lawrence "Homer, Twitter, Virgil & Facebook; the four
elements of classics networking"
Round table discussion
on the effect of political changes on Classics
Buffet Lunch and Time
for visiting Stalls
A Session on Ancient
History with Penny Goodman
Relocate to Manchester Museum
Optional Museum Session
Kate Cooper "Daily Life in the Roman Provinces"
OR Roberta Mazza "Life in Egypt
under the Roman Empire'
“Sources in the Classroom: A
In Latin OR Classical Civilisation
For application form please
click here for
Word document or
University of Sunderland Hadrian's Wall Discovery Tour
18th-23rd August 2013
Further details on the Summer Schools page or go to
The Times Stephen Spender Prize
Translate a poem from any language,
classical or modern, into English
Three categories: Open, 18-and-under
Closing date Friday 24 May 2013
New Latin courses at Gloucester Cathedral in April on conferences and
The Pope's Latin speech (see below)
THE BRITISH SCHOOL AT ATHENS
INTENSIVE COURSE FOR SCHOOL TEACHERS
Thursday 11th – Sunday 14th
: conferences and courses page.
Drama page: aod 20th birthday celebrations
Conferences and courses page: courses at Herculaneum March 2013 also
Classics For All Video:
Imago, the Roman Society's Centenary Image Bank:
INSET page: Birmingham January 26
Competitions page: St John's essay
The Pope's resignation speech
Non solum propter tres canonizationes ad hoc Consistorium vos
convocavi, sed etiam ut vobis decisionem magni momenti pro Ecclesiae vitae
communicem. Conscientia mea iterum atque iterum coram Deo explorata ad
cognitionem certam perveni vires meas ingravescente aetate non iam aptas
esse ad munus Petrinum aeque administrandum. Bene conscius sum hoc munus
secundum suam essentiam spiritualem non solum agendo et loquendo exsequi
debere, sed non minus patiendo et orando. Attamen in mundo nostri temporis rapidis
mutationibus subiecto et quaestionibus magni ponderis pro vita fidei
perturbato ad navem Sancti Petri gubernandam et ad annuntiandum Evangelium
etiam vigor quidam corporis et animae necessarius est, qui ultimis mensibus
in me modo tali minuitur, ut incapacitatem meam ad ministerium mihi
commissum bene administrandum agnoscere debeam. Quapropter bene conscius
ponderis huius actus plena libertate declaro me ministerio Episcopi Romae,
Successoris Sancti Petri, mihi per manus Cardinalium die 19 aprilis MMV
commissum renuntiare ita ut a die 28 februarii MMXIII, hora 29, sedes
Romae, sedes Sancti Petri vacet et Conclave ad eligendum novum Summum
Pontificem ab his quibus competit convocandum esse.
Fratres carissimi, ex toto corde gratias ago vobis pro omni amore et
labore, quo mecum pondus ministerii mei portastis et veniam peto pro omnibus
defectibus meis. Nunc autem Sanctam Dei Ecclesiam curae Summi eius Pastoris,
Domini nostri Iesu Christi confidimus sanctamque eius Matrem Mariam
imploramus, ut patribus Cardinalibus in eligendo novo Summo Pontifice
materna sua bonitate assistat. Quod ad me attinet etiam in futuro vita
orationi dedicata Sanctae Ecclesiae Dei toto ex corde servire velim.
Ex Aedibus Vaticanis, die 10 mensis februarii MMXIII
For a Latin scoop, see the report at
23rd January 2013 SANT at 200
On this day The Society of Antiquaries of Newcastle upon
Tyne celebrated its 200th birthday. The original 17 members
gathered in the Turk’s Head in Newcastle could hardly have foreseen the
expansion of their new society (now over 700 members), nor its enormous
contribution to the study of the history and archaeology of the region. Its
primary significance for classicists is the role it has played not only in
the understanding of Hadrian’s Wall but also in its conservation. Its
journal Archaeologia Aeliana has published many of the most important
papers on the archaeology of the Wall and the current issue (2012) is no
exception. It contains a revolutionary new assessment of the building of the
wall (conditioned by security and topography) by Erik Graafstal, who also
argues that it was conceived as early as AD119 and that the ‘fort decision’
was the result of Hadrian’s visit of 122.
From February 16th – April 30th
there will be a special exhibition at the Great North Museum to present the
work of the Society and its significant collections (much of the Roman
material in the GNM belongs to the Society). A fully illustrated centenary
book 200 Years: the Society of Antiquaries of Newcastle upon Tyne
1813-2013 edited by David Breeze to celebrate the
history and activities of the Society will be on sale at the exhibition.
For further information visit the Society’s
Golden Sponge-Stick Competition
last chance for entries: closing date Friday 21st December 2012
email entries to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Primary School Language Consultation
As you will know, the government is proposing to allow Latin and Greek to
fulfil the requirements for learning a foreign language in primary schools.
But as Lord Aberdare, who led the Classics Debate in the Lords on November
6th has informed me, this proposal is only at the consultation stage.
The government is inviting responses, which must be in by December 15.
Friends of Classics
(1) the draft Order making modern foreign
languages statutory for Key Stage 2;
(2) a proposal that requires schools teach one or
more of seven languages at Key Stage 2
Updated: 16 November
Start date: Friday 16 November 2012
End date: Sunday 16 December 2012
On 6 July 2012 the Rt. Hon. Michael Gove MP, Secretary of
State for Education, launched a public consultation on the Government’s
proposal to make languages a compulsory subject at Key Stage 2 in maintained
schools from September 2014. The consultation closed on 28 September 2012.
The vast majority of respondents agreed with the
Government’s intention to introduce foreign languages at Key Stage 2. That
consultation provided the Government with an opportunity to reflect on and
reconsider its initial views in relation to specifying the choice of
language at Key Stage 2.
Having carefully considered the responses to the consultation, as well as a
range of relevant factors, the Government has confirmed its intention to
make the study of a foreign language compulsory at Key Stage 2 and now seeks
- The draft of the
Order necessary to make foreign languages a statutory subject at Key
Stage 2 from September 2014.
- A new
proposal that requires primary schools teach one or more of French,
German, Italian, Mandarin, Spanish or a classical language (Latin or
Ancient Greek) to pupils at Key Stage 2. Schools would, of course, be
free to teach other languages in addition if they wish to do so.
You can download the
consultation response Word form from this page, and submit your
completed response via the
Life and Death in Pompeii and Herculaneum
Although it doesn’t open until March next year, The
British Museum has opened ticket sales for this forthcoming exhibition . It
is the first major exhibition held by the BM on Ancient Rome since the
highly successful ‘Hadrian’ in 2008. The exhibition will feature hundreds of
artefacts from the ancient cities, many never seen outside of
Early booking is recommended!
Saving Greek in Spain
Cristina and Milagros from the Association of Latin
and Greek teachers of Murcia have asked us to help their campaign to prevent
the teaching of Greek from being removed from the school curriculum.
Cristina and Milagros are the organisers of the
CICERO competition in Spain.
from Anne Dicks
CICERO international Classics competition www.ciceroconcordia.com
Schola Latina Universalis
Latine loqui disce sine molestia! Learn to speak Latin with ease!
For further details about this one or two year course and the course
New CfA Promotional Video
This outstanding promotional video is available to watch on Youtube.
Commentary is delivered by Bettany Hughes
This is an excellent video for selling our
subject as well as creating interest in Classics for All.
Michael Gove at the Mansion House
This is the message that Michael Gove delivered
to Classics for All on Wednesday July 18 at the Mansion House in
It’s fantastic news that more and more state
schools are offering pupils the chance to study Latin. The classics offer
students a chance to commune with some of the finest minds of all time, they
offer intellectual training of the most rigorous kind and endless pleasure
throughout life. It must also be noted that employers value the logical
thinking, clear writing and enquiring nature shown by students who choose to
study the classics. Which is why I wish Classics for All every success.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/culture/charlottehigginsblog for comment on
Boris and Pindar.
Mayor to read out Oxford Classicist’s Olympic Ode
An Olympic Ode in ancient Greek composed by an
Oxford University academic for the London 2012 Olympics will be declaimed by
London Mayor Boris Johnson at the Opening Gala for the International Olympic
Committee on Monday 23 July.
The full text of the Ode, written by Dr Armand
D'Angour of Oxford University's Classics Faculty and due to be engraved in
Greek and English on a bronze plaque in the Olympic Park, can now be
revealed for the first time.
This Ode was written at the instigation of Mayor
Boris Johnson, who took his degree in Classics at Balliol College Oxford.
The Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: 'I am
delighted to have the opportunity to declaim Dr D’Angour’s glorious Olympic
Ode at the Opening Gala, a work that breathes new life into the ancient
custom of celebrating the greatness of the Games through poetry.
'I have no doubt that the members of the
International Olympic Committee are fully versed in ancient Greek, but to
ensure the elaborate puns can be fully appreciated I shall have the pleasure
of vocalising the Ode twice, once in Greek and then again in English. I
shall try to resist the temptation to regale the attendees a further time in
Latin, though I cannot make any promises.'
Dr D'Angour, who wrote the Ode in the style of
the poet Pindar, said: 'I hope that these Odes will help to raise the
profile of the Classics, which is an endlessly fascinating and inspiring
subject. It will certainly be fun to hear the Ode read by the Mayor in his
inimitable style, and I hope people will enjoy seeing the plaque when
visiting the area in years to come.
'Writing an Ode for the Games revives a musical
and poetic tradition from ancient Greece, where Odes were commissioned to
celebrate athletic winners at the Games. Pindar was the greatest poet of his
time, and sponsors paid a great deal of money for athletic victors to be
honoured with an Ode by him'.
He added: ' I have aimed to be faithful to
ancient style and form, and used alcaic metre. Of course the puns may make
people groan, but Pindar's audiences may have done so too!'
Dr D'Angour has written the Ode in ancient Greek
with modern lyrics. The six English stanzas are written in rhyming couplets
and include references to Usain Bolt ('the lightning bolt around the
track'), to London's Mayor (Boris's name is punned on by barus in
Greek, which means 'weighty'), and the chairman of the London Organising
Committee of the Olympic Games Lord Coe ('Join London's Mayor and co.
There are also allusions to British athletes,
including volleyball captain Ben Pipes and diver Tom Daley. Cryptically
embedded in the Greek text are the names of over a dozen athletes, including
Britain's Tessa Sanderson, Paula Radcliffe, Mo Farah, and Jessica Ennis.
The Ode will be read out by the Mayor in both
Greek and English, as the introductory item of the IOC's Opening Gala in the
Royal Opera House on 23 July. The permanent plaque in the Olympic Park,
funded privately by supporters and friends of the Classics, will be unveiled
at a later date by Mayor Johnson and the Lord Mayor of London, David Wootton.
Dr D'Angour was trained as a cellist at the Royal
College of Music before reading Classics at Oxford. Now a Classics don at
Jesus College Oxford, he previously composed the ancient Greek Ode for the
Athens Olympics in 2004 on commission from Dame Mary Glen-Haig, a senior
member of the IOC.
for the London Olympics 2012
by Boris Johnson, composed by Armand D’Angour
This new Olympic flame behold,
that once burned bright in Greece of
with happy hearts receive once more
these Games revived on London’s
Praise rival teams, in sport allied,
as athletes stream from far and
the poet too must take the road
conveying praise to victory owed.
Millions of watchers will embrace
the passion of each close-run race,
the efforts of the rowing teams
and gymnasts balancing on beams.
They will observe with
the archer draw his bowstring tight,
the skillful rider guide her horse,
and lightning bolt around the
The pipes will play, the drum
as medallists are daily crowned;
the crowd’s hurrah will reach the
when victors hoist the golden prize.
Now welcome to this sea-girt land,
with London’s Mayor and co. at hand.
Good luck to all who strive to win:
applaud, and let the Games begin!
πῦρ τόδ᾽ Ὀλυμπικόν,
ὅ γ᾽ ἐξέλαμψε πρόσθε καθ᾽ ῾Ελλάδα.
ἀλλ᾽ ἡδέως δέχεσθε τἆθλα
Λονδινίου ποταμοῦ παρ᾽ ὄχθας.
ὑμνεῖτε δ᾽ αἴγλην ἀντιπάλων σοφῶν,
στρατὸς γὰρ ἦλθεν ἐκ περάτων χθονός·
καὶ χρὴ μεγίσταις ὧδ᾽ ἀοιδόν
ἀμφ᾽ ἀρεταῖσι καθ᾽ ἅρμ᾽ ἐλαύνειν.
πλῆθος θεατῶν μυρίον ὄψεται
ὁρμὴν τρεχόντων καὶ λιπαρὰν χάριν,
σπουδήν τ᾽ ἐρεσσόντων ἑταίρων
ἀκροβατῶν τε δοκοὺς πατούντων.
θεάσεται δὲ χάρματι τοξότην
τείνοντα νευράν, καὶ ποδὶ σωφρόνως
τὸν ἱππότην στρέφοντα πῶλον
ἀστεροπῆς τε σέλας θεούσης.
πρέψουσι δ᾽ αὐλοὶ καὶ τύπανον βρόμῳ
τιμῆς φλεγούσης πολλὰ καθ᾽ ἡμέραν·
ὄχλος δ᾽ ἀΰσει καλλίνικε
χρύσε’ ἄεθλ᾽ ἐσιδὼν φέροντας.
δεῦτ᾽ αὖτε γῆν ἐς τήνδε περίρρυτον·
ἄρχων γὰρ ἄγχι καὶ πρύτανις βαρύς.
νίκη δ᾽ἀρίστοις αἰὲν ἔστω·
νῦν κρότος, αἶψα δὲ τἆθλ᾽ ἀγέσθω.
Colin Leach's anti-Olympic ode
διηνεκὲς ἄνδρες ἀγῶσι
οὔ τις ἔχει μελέτην.
ἀγαλλομένοισι τανῦν μένει ὕστερον Ἄτη -
χἢ πόλις οὐλομένη.
OFQUAL CHANGES TO A LEVELS
URGENT NEED FOR RESPONSES FROM MEMBERS OF JACT via THE CLASSICS
The full Ofqual
A summary of the main points and a discussion group can be found on The
Classics Library site:
To contribute to the discussion group (you need to log in as a member of
The Classics Library which is easy for teachers to join):
JACT INSET DAY - BOOKING OPEN!
Booking is now open for the 2012 JACT INSET Day,
which is being arranged by the JACT Ancient History Committee.
Please find the proposed schedule and application form in word
here or pdf
here. The date of the event is Saturday 29th September, and the
fee is just £25 (£15 for PGCE students).
The new Why Study Ancient History? Why Study Latin? and
Why Study Greek?
leaflets have now arrived at the JACT office. If you would like to order a
batch, please email email@example.com. We
shall charge only the price of the postage (happy to invoice your school
ON THE ROAD TO OLYMPIA
JACT President, Professor Paul Cartledge, discusses (and in some way
participates in...) the ancient Olympics for the BBC:
BRITISH MUSEUM STUDY DAYS
See Teaching Classics -
mortal and mythological words collide
A new work by Eve Harrison and Ignite Music
August 2012 , 20.10 - 20.40
As part of Tête à
Tête: The Opera Festival, Hammersmith, London.
For further details see Drama
POSTGATE AND WALBANK PRIZE COMPETITION
The prize is aimed at students
from any part of the United Kingdom
who are – at the time of the deadline - entering
their final year of secondary education,
i.e. who have completed their AS year and are
(or their equivalent if studying for other
For further details see Competitions page under
Summer Schools and Events)
First Modern Olympics Exhibition
July to 10th
The Hellenic Centre,
16-18 Paddington Street, Marylebone
The First Modern Olympic
Games, Athens 1896
An exhibition of rare photographs from the archives of
the Benaki and National Historical Museums of Athens depicting the very
first Modern Olympic Games, held in Athens in 1896. These rarely seen images
depict the Games, from the Stadium's restoration right through to the
Winners' Parade during the Award - Giving Ceremony
and the Closing of the Games.
Opening Hours: Monday to Friday,
4pm-6pm. Morning school visits welcome; by appointment only. For late
evening and weekend openings call 020 7487 5060. Organised by the Hellenic
Centre in celebration of the 2012 Olympics. Sponsored by the Hellenic
Open Book Publishers have recently launched a free
interactive edition of 'Cicero against Verres' to be found here:
It allows readers to read it for free, to leave their
comments by paragraph and browse through others' comments. For more
For the Guardian obituary for Professor Brian Shefton:
Classics for All
Classics for All is
a charity whose aim is to raise funds to give
every state-educated pupil in the country the opportunity to study Classics
by awarding grants to projects across the UK.
Last year, students and teachers from Bristol
University’s Classics department raised £880 for Classics for All by running
in the annual Bristol Half Marathon in September. They were initially
sponsored by its Institute of Greece, Rome and the Classical Tradition, led
by Professor Robert Fowler, but subsequently drew sponsorship from a wider
audience. 2010 was the 2,500-year anniversary of the legendary first
marathon in 490BC, which particularly inspired the team to run.
In 2011, funds raised by Classics for All were
used to provide support to a range of classical projects in locations across
the country; one of these projects was the introduction of Latin to seven
village primary schools and their local secondary school in North Walsham,
Norfolk. Our grant paid for staffing costs for two years, and will mean that
seventy primary school pupils and twenty GCSE students will be able to learn
Latin for the first time.
If you have the chance to participate in – or even
organise – a sponsored event this year, why not do the same as the Bristol
team and make Classics for All your chosen charity? This will allow
you to show your support for classical subjects in state
schools, and the money you raise will help Classics for All continue to
provide much-needed grants. If you are planning a sponsored event, or have a
particular activity in mind that could raise funds for Classics for All and
the work the charity does, you can easily register it online at
In addition, please do not hesitate to contact Maxwell
Singh, Classics for All’s new Development Director on 07740 482765, or email
firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like further information
about sponsorship or fundraising for Classics for All.
You are also invited to visit the Classics for
All website at
www.classicsforall.org.uk for details of how to apply for
grants and how to donate money directly.
The Liverpool Classical
Association Invites you to:
The third annual John Percival Postgate
Professor Henk Versnel
(University of Leiden)
Coping with the Gods.
Implications and complications of Ancient
Tuesday April 17th, 5.45 pm in Sherrington Lecture
The Sherrington Lecture Theatre is Building 311
on the Campus map (http://www.liv.ac.uk/files/docs/maps/liverpool-university-campus-map.pdf)
The lecture will be followed by a drinks reception.
If you would like to attend the event, please RSVP to
Do the Classics Have a Future? by Mary Beard
New publication for AS Latin available online
New publication of In Verrem
Cicero, Against Verres, 2.1.53–86: Latin Text with
Introduction, Study Questions, Commentary and English Translation is
written by Ingo Gildenhard, Professor of Classics and the Classical
Tradition at Durham University, and published by Open Book Publishers
(www.openbookpublishers.com). This textbook provides a portion of the 2nd
book of Cicero’s speeches against Gaius Verres, who was a former Roman
magistrate on trial for corruption. Cicero presents the lurid details of
Verres’ alleged crimes in exquisite and sophisticated prose. As a literary
artefact, the speech gives us insight into how the supreme master of Latin
eloquence developed what we would now call rhetorical "spin". As an
historical document, it affords insights into the dark underbelly of Rome’s
imperial expansion and exploitation of the Near East.
Prof Ingo Gildenhard's illuminating commentary will be
of particular interest to students of Latin at both high school and
undergraduate level. It will also be of help to Latin teachers and to anyone
interested in Cicero, language and rhetoric, and the legal culture of
To be published by Open Book Publishers on 18 Nov 2011:
All digital editions (pdf, epub, mobi) £4.95 from our site.
The complete version of Cicero against Verres is now
available for free reading on Google Books. It can be found at
The new Lactor, a brilliant resource book for
students and teachers of Classics and Ancient History, is now available.
Please see flyer attached for more details and information
about how to obtain a copy. NB the 13 Digit ISBN number printed on the flyer
should end in 0 not 2 - 9780903625 34 0.
A message from the Iris Project:
We're very pleased to announce that our new
website Iris online is now live! Iris online is the new website for Iris
magazine, our termly magazine which has been sent free to state schools
across the UK for some years. Over the next few weeks we will be putting up
the archives of the past five years of Iris magazine, as well as adding new
content to the site every day. You will also find videos and other extra
material which will be regularly updated.
You can find Iris online at
http://irisonline.org.uk/ - we hope you enjoy the site, and welcome any
comments or ideas about it - you can reach us via this email or at
Request from JACT
One of our members is seeking past papers from
the Oxford and Cambridge School Examinations Classical Civilisation O Level
(1974-1987). If anyone has any copies of these papers or notes about the
syllabus/recommended materials for teaching this syllabus they would be
willing to share with a fellow JACT member, please get in touch.
Mary Beard at the Cheltenham Literary festival on the
value of Classics
Friends of Classics Survey
A new and potentially helpful
Friends of Classics
survey has just been published. I append the (full version of the) piece I
wrote about it, in association with the
Classics for All grants, in this week's
The market researcher's full report on the survey can be found via the
button on the home page at <www.friends-classics.demon.co.uk>,
where there is another button leading to a government petition relating to
Classical Studies in schools.
September 24 2011
Some fifteen years ago, at the behest of the then editor
Charles Moore, I wrote a jovial twenty-week QED: Learn Latin column for the
Daily Telegraph. It attracted a huge following, and I still have four large
box-files full of letters from users. The majority of them expressed one of
three sentiments: ‘I learned Latin at school x years ago, loved it and am
delighted to renew my acquaintance’; ‘I learned Latin at school, hated it,
but now realise what I have missed’; and ‘I never learned Latin at school
and have always regretted it’.
These responses, quite a few from people well advanced in years, have stayed
with me ever since, but they prompt a question: anecdotal evidence about the
value people place on Latin is all very well, but would it be possible to
produce something a little more objective? Can we demonstrate
unconditionally that, as Gilbert Murray once argued, our pearls are real?
This week the fund-raising charity Classics for All announced its first
round of grants to projects that over the next the years will, if we can
raise the funds, open up the classical world to many of the three thousand
state schools (75% of our pupils) that currently come into no contact with
it whatsoever. What such schools have against the people who gave us the
magnificent and deeply influential Latin and Greek languages, democracy,
philosophy, atomism, our alphabet, tragedy, the form and concept of the
republic, the idea of universal citizenship, building in concrete with
arches, cupolas and barrel vaults, history, the book, the West’s first
literature (Homer), Antigone, and eventually underpinned the rise of
Christianity (continue for many pages), is beyond me. We are (rightly)
concerned about our physical environment. How can our educational
establishments be so heedless of our cultural environment - what men have
said, felt, thought and created over thousands of years? Such shameful
cultural, intellectual and social deprivation is not visited on the 7% of
pupils attending private schools. Perhaps they know something many state
schools do not. Of course our pearls are real.
But then, whose pearls aren’t? It boils down to a question of credibility.
So at the start of this year, Jeannie Cohen and I, as co-founders of the
charity Friends of Classics (instrumental in setting up Classics for All),
took a deep breath and decided to test the proposition. For the first time
ever, we would find out what influence a school subject had actually had on
people, many years after they had sat it. We invited the highly experienced
market researcher Colin McDonald (of McDonald Research) to see what could be
done. He found that YouGov, uniquely, held the educational details of an
80,000+ survey panel that could provide us with the answer to our question.
Going for the largest survey available, Colin asked them to sample the
10,000 who had done something classical in the course of their education –
Latin, Greek, classical civilisation or ancient history - and discover what
value, if any, they placed upon it. Out of 2,700 sampled, 2,182 replies were
received, an astonishing 81% response. There was no going back. This was
going to be definitive.
When the results came in, Jeannie and I could hardly believe our eyes. Let
me quote just one from a vast range of statistics. It concerns those who had
studied classics to School Cert/O level /GCSE and no further, i.e. those
most likely to have had a minimal commitment to it (c. 45% of the total). On
the usual five-point scale – useless, fairly useless, OK, quite beneficial,
very beneficial - those who said classics had benefited or greatly benefited
their subsequent quality of life came out at 77%. The results in relation to
their influence on work-life and skills were equally impressive. Given that
two-thirds of the respondents were over fifty, many of them must have sat
those subjects for the last time at least 35 years earlier.
The reasons they gave for their replies were equally revealing:
overwhelmingly, they cited firm linguistic grip on English and other
languages, verbal sensitivity, the capacity to communicate clearly and
concisely and a broad perspective on the intellectual, political and
cultural foundations of our world. Not a bad return, twenty, thirty, forty,
fifty or more years on, from subjects studied up to age 16 - and no further.
Are our pearls real? You bet they are. Can it be done? Of
course it can. In the past ten years, 600 state secondary schools have
started Latin. Boris’s ‘Latin in London’ push has attracted swaths of
volunteer helpers (including over 50 Oxford undergraduates). The Minimus
primary school Latin course is flourishing (130,000 copies sold). The
fenestra opportunitatis (as no Roman ever said) is wide open. With your
help, Classics for All can lavish on our schools an inheritance to last a
Classics for All (www.classicsforall.org)
is sponsored by Cambridge University Press, Penguin and Westminster Classic
Tours. For Colin McDonald’s full survey report, go to
If you can help us, please contact me at
Discounts at Roman Sites
for JACT members
Some of our members have recently brought it to our
attention that JACT membership may entitle one to discounted entry rates to
certain attractions in Rome. JACT membership recently entitled one of
our members half price entry to the Ostia site, and 7.50 Euro entry (full
price is normally 12 Euros) to the Flavian Amphitheatre (Colosseum)/Palatine/Forum
area. We suspect that it should also enable cheaper entry to other
municipal museums and sites in Rome - and we would encourage you to try it!
If you are planning a trip to Rome, please e-mail and
we'll send you proof of your JACT membership in the form of your name and
membership number on JACT headed paper. This should be sufficient to
entitle you to reduced entry rates. Do let us know how you get on!
Special offer for JACT members
Pen and Sword books are offering members of JACT the
chance to purchase David Breeze's book, The
Frontiers of Imperial Rome, Click
Coming soon: CLASSICS and FOOTBALL on RADIO
Every Friday at 9pm from 2 September forward tune in to
Resonance 104.4FM to hear lively discussion about football today and its
roots in the Classical world. JACT has recently translated into Latin
a number of passages to prompt stimulating discussion on the radio show –
ranging from mottos and referrees to homosexuality and weather in sport!
These will be available online before each show with English translation
(LOEB style). Unconventional, but fun, they should become innovative
resources suitable for further use in the classroom. See this link for
The passages themselves will be available on the show’s
website – link coming soon!
If you miss the show on the Friday
evenings, it’s repeated each Saturday at 11am.
LATIN IN LONDON
In the run-up to the 2012 Games and
thereafter, the Mayor wants to give London pupils a chance to meet the
Greeks and Romans in school. He is therefore looking for volunteers to:
1. Teach Latin in primary schools, one hour a week for thirty weeks. The
Iris Project is administering this side of things; but you may use
Minimus if you prefer (the Iris primary course teaches from handouts,
not a book).
2. Give one-hour talk(s) to primary and/or secondary schools on a topic:
those proposed are the Olympic Games, Latin in English, Famous Greeks and
Romans, Athenian Democracy and Gladiators.
If you are interested, please e-mail me with name, e-mail, telephone and
relevant experience and I'll pass the information on to Boris's team.
Science News. The story is reprinted (with editorial adaptations by
Science Daily staff) from materials provided by
Olympia Hypothesis: Tsunamis Buried the Cult Site On the Peloponnese
ScienceDaily (July 10, 2011) —
Olympia, site of the famous Temple of Zeus and original venue of the Olympic
Games in ancient Greece, was presumably destroyed by repeated tsunamis that
travelled considerable distances inland, and not by earthquake and river
floods as has been assumed to date. Evidence in support of this new theory
on the virtual disappearance of the ancient cult site on the Peloponnesian
peninsula comes from Professor Dr Andreas Vött of the Institute of Geography
of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, Germany.
Vött investigated the site as part of a project in which he and his team
are studying the paleotsunamis that occurred along the coastlines of the
eastern Mediterranean over the last 11,000 years. According to his account,
the geomorphological and sedimentological findings in the area document that
Olympia and its environs were destroyed by tsunami impact. The site of
Olympia, rediscovered only some 250 years ago, was buried under a massive
layer of sand and other deposits that is up to 8 meters deep.
"Both the composition and thickness of the sediments we find in Olympia
do not go with the hydraulic potential of the Kladeos River and the
geomorphological inventory of the valley. It is highly unlikely that this
could have been the work of this creek," states Vött. To date, it has been
assumed that the cult site was finally destroyed by an earthquake in 551 AD
and later covered by flood deposits of the Kladeos River. In this scenario,
however, it remains mysterious how the tiny Kladeos that passes by could
first have buried Olympia under several meters of sediment, only to
subsequently get incised by 10 to 12 meters down to the flow level used in
ancient times. Working in collaboration with the local Ephorate for
Classical Antiquities, the German Archaeological Institute, and colleagues
from the universities of Aachen, Darmstadt, Freiburg, Hamburg, and Cologne,
Vött and his team examined the location using geomorphological and
geoarcheological methods and techniques.
The results indicate that Olympia was repeatedly hit by catastrophic
floods during its history resulting in the site being buried under huge
masses of sediment. The presence of mollusc and gastropod shells and the
remains of abundant micro-organisms such as foraminifera are clear evidence
of a marine origin of the sediment. The sediments were obviously transported
inland at high velocity and high energy, reaching Olympia although the site
lies some 33 meters above sea level. The most probable explanation is that
tsunami waters overflowed the narrow range of hills between Olympia and the
sea through low-lying saddles.
"In earlier times, Olympia was not 22 kilometers away from the sea as it
is today. Back then, the coastline was located eight or perhaps even more
kilometers further inland," explains Vött. In his scenario, tsunamis came in
from the sea and rushed into the narrow Alpheios River valley, into which
the Kladeos River flows, forcing their way over the saddles behind which
Olympia is located. The cult site was thus flooded. Vött assumes that the
flooding decreased only slowly because the outflow of the Kladeos through
the Alpheios valley was blocked by incoming tsunami waters and corresponding
deposits. The analysis of the various layers of sediments in the Olympia
area suggests that this scenario came true on several occasions during the
last 7,000 years. It was during one of the more recent of these events in
the 6th century AD that Olympia was finally destroyed and buried.
The Olympia tsunami hypothesis is further supported by the fact that
high-energy sediments of undoubtedly tsunamigenic origin were found on the
seaward side of the hill range and these deposits are identical to those in
Olympia itself. Vött points out that "the sediments around Olmypia have the
same signature as the tsunamite in the lower Alpheios valley." Vött says
that the cause of Olympia's destruction could not have been an earthquake
because in this case the fallen fragments of the columns of the Temple of
Zeus would directly lie on top of each other, but in fact they are
"floating" in sediment. All the sedimentological, geochemical,
geomorphological, and geoarcheological findings obtained by the study
support the new and sensational hypothesis that Olympia was destroyed by
tsunamis. Detailed analyses of associations, origin, and age of microfauna
as well as geochronological studies are currently in progress. Results are
Tsunamis are well known from the eastern Mediterranean and are mainly the
result of extensive seismic activities along the Hellenic Arc. Here, the
African plate is being subducted by the Eurasian plate, repeatedly
triggering major earthquakes that are followed by tsunamis. The most recent
mega-tsunami in the Mediterranean occurred in 1908 related to an earthquake
in the Straits of Messina in southern Italy, devastating the neighboring
coastal region, more than 100,000 people were killed. A 30 meter-high
tsunami wave was recorded in the southern Aegean in 1956. "The evaluation of
historical accounts has shown that in western Greece there is one tsunami
every eight to eleven years on average," specifies Vött.
Professor Dr Andreas Vött is specialized in paleotsunami and
geoarcheological research in the Mediterranean. In September 2011, he will
be presenting the Olympia tsunami hypothesis at an international academic
conference in Corinth in Greece. Before coming to Johannes Gutenberg
University Mainz in October 2010, Vött was professor of Physical Geography
with a focus on Quaternary Research and Geoarcheology at the Institute for
Geography at the University of Cologne. As professor of Physical
Geography/Geomorphology at Mainz University, Vött also heads the Natural
Hazard Research and Geoarcheology teaching and research section. His
research also comprises aspects of coastal geomorphology such as sea level
fluctuations during the Holocene, but also the spatial effects of
human-environment interactions over the past millennia. Vött's work is
coordinated with that of the JGU research center "Geocycles" and the Cluster
of Excellence "Earth and the Anthropocene" (ERA), which has been invited to
submit a full proposal for funding in the second phase of the German
the west of the central Kladeos River valley and the range of hills which
separate Olympia from the wider coastal area. In the background the narrow
Apheios River valley (left) and the coast of the Gulf of Kyparissia can be
seen. The site of ancient Olympia was hit by tsunami impact and buried under
a massive layer of sand and other deposits in the 6th century AD. (Credit:
Photo by Andreas Vött)
JACT Members' E-Newsletter
JACT Members' E-Newsletter is now up and running (since April 2008). Be
more in touch between mailings: to sign up to receive these mailings
please email the office, listing 'E-Newsletter' in the subject line to email@example.com.
You must be a JACT member to sign up to this service. To join, see
JACT would also like to inform you of a new
produced by educational charity The
Iris Project, and intended for younger children. Please
Dream School Latin
To read Mary Beard's article
Latin for Jamie Oliver's Dream School, go to the Guardian
Classics for All
For information about the new charity click
News from Bristol University
Department of Classics & Ancient History is delighted to announce the
inauguration of Bristol Classical
Podcasts, featuring members of staff and postgraduates discussing their
ideas about different classical texts.
Our intention is to focus on works that are currently being
studied in schools and colleges, so that these short (c. 20 minutes)
discussions can help students think about some of the key themes and issues
in their set texts – including the way that they have been read and
interpreted by later readers, drawing on the department’s well-established
expertise in the study of reception.
The current series focuses on Vergil’s
Aeneid: to listen to a
podcast, to download one for later listening or to subscribe to the series
(so that you’ll be alerted when new episodes appear), just go to:
We are very happy for teachers to make use of these podcasts in class, as
well as encouraging students to listen to them privately.
Press Release by Politeia
The JACT Officers would like to draw the attention
of members to the recent press release by Politeia and the comments on
it by various newspapers. The text of
the press release and links to the articles are given below.
Members are reminded that it is possible to contribute to the discussion
fora generated by these articles and to write to Mr Gove (firstname.lastname@example.org),
as the Chair of JACT Council has. JACT was pleased to see the response
from its President, Bettany Hughes, in The Guardian. (http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2010/jun/14/latin-language-in-schools)
Politeia is pleased to announce the release of its latest publication on
the importance of teaching Latin. You can view an electronic copy of the
pamphlet by clicking on the link at the end of the press release. This
publication has already had a very good response in the media. Recent
press reports are listed as follows:
Daily Mail - Laura Clark:
14/06/2010 - Writers demand return of Latin to Curriculum
Press Association - Alison Kershaw: 14/06/2010
- Call for schools "to teach Latin"
The Independent - Alison Kershaw: 14/06/2010 -
Primary Schools "should teach Latin"
London Evening Standard - Alison Kershaw:
14/06/2010 - Primary Schools "should teach Latin"
BIG ON Glasgow - Alison Kershaw: 14/06/2010 -
Call for schools "to teach Latin" http://www.bigonglasgow.com/2010/call-for-schools-to-teach-latin-143447
Harry Mount - Daily Telegraph Blogger:
14/06/2010 - Bring Back Latin: The only way forwards is backwards http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/harrymount/100043362/bring-back-latin-the-only-way-forwards-is-backwards/
PRESS RELEASE: Monday 14th
22 Queen Anne's Gate, London SW1H
Telephone: 0207 799 5034
Allow Latin for Language Learners!
Writers, public figures and primary
teachers endorse plea by Oxford Classicists to Education Secretary in
Politeia pamphlet. Michael Gove urged to reverse Labour's
discrimination against Latin in the primary curriculum
The Education ministers have now confirmed they will
drop Labour's new primary curriculum.
But already, the plan for modern foreign language teaching has
been brought in by the back door. Whatever the general pros and cons of
this plan, it has one alarming feature: it vetoes Latin. Politeia's
new pamphlet, Latin for Language Learners:
Opening Opportunity for Primary Pupils,
urges the Secretary of State to reverse the status quo. The call
is endorsed by a group of distinguished writers and public figures,
including the playwright Tom Stoppard and Ian Hislop, editor of
Private Eye, as well as by primary teachers from some of London's
inner city schools.
The authors, Professor Christopher Pelling and Dr Llewelyn Morgan,* explain
the academic and educational advantages of learning Latin. It helps with
written and spoken English and with foreign languages. It improves the
skills needed for maths
and other subjects. It helps to overcome social disadvantage, and it
provides the cultural background needed to understand the literary and
historical heritage neglected by the dumbed-down curriculum of today's
schools. Teaching materials are readily available (some of the details
are given in the pamphlet) and in London the Iris Project has brought
Latin teaching to a number of inner city primary schools, whilst in
Oxford the Faculty offers free Latin teaching to local schools.
Detailed research from the US bears out
statistically that the academic standards of pupils learning Latin are
higher than for their peers who did not learn Latin. In particular,
Improves standards in reading, comprehension and
Improves maths and logical thinking.
Leads to higher than average scores in standard
Helps the acquisition of other foreign languages.
The authors also show that Latin will fit
the official remit for primary-school foreign-language teaching, and
that its teaching and assessment could be presented under the approved
headings of 'Literacy',
'Oracy' and 'Intercultural Understanding'.
As the Secretary of State
prepares for the next announcement on the primary curriculum, the
authors urge that the government allows Latin to have the same
official support as already given to modern foreign languages in primary
In particular, the DfE veto on Latin should be removed and official
guidance changed to give Latin the same support as given to other
foreign languages. In any future measures or guidance, Latin should be
treated on a par with other foreign languages.
Latin for Language Learners: Opening opportunity for
primary pupils is available online from Politeia at
*Christopher Pelling is Regius Professor
of Greek at Oxford and Dr Llewelyn Morgan is Fellow and Tutor in
Classics at Brasenose College, Oxford.
Enquiries to Politeia on 0207 799 5034
or by email to
The authors can be contacted at the following addresses:
Dr Llewelyn Morgan:
Sheila Lawlor: email@example.com
Hard copies are available to
journalists on request from
JACT members will be pleased to know that JACT has been
invited to be the official Classics representative on the working
parties developing the new Humanities and Languages Diplomas, which are
likely to come on stream in 2011.
We are therefore seeking the help of one or two JACT members
with an interest in this development to volunteer to support the
Officers by attending occasional meetings in London (expenses paid) and
thus ensuring that the Classics community is represented in what might
be a significant item in 14-19 education.
If you are interested, please
send an email to
New Ancient History Teachers' Notes
The JACT Ancient History Committee is currently preparing
teachers' notes for the new AS specification. These are available to
JACT members (only) and provide background knowledge and orientation for
teachers. They are designed to complement the week-by-week schemes of
work available from OCR. Notes on AH1 Options 1, 2 and 3 and AH2 Options
1, 2 and 3 are available now. The rest will become available soon.
Please see the Ancient History resources page for further details on how
to order the notes: