Classics Outreach at Oxford, with Mai Musié

What do Classics students do after they graduate? This was one of the questions we asked Mai Musié, Outreach Officer for the Faculty of Classics in Oxford, when we caught up with her earlier in the autumn at the Festival of Ancient Tales. Mai was at the festival promoting Oxford’s Classics Outreach programme, which offers a wide range of activities for schools from taster days and cross-disciplinary days to talks and workshops. If you are a teacher, parent or school student and interested in what the largest Classics faculty in the world has to offer, please do get in touch with Mai by email at outreach@classics.ox.ac.uk

ps. Mai is also part of the Classics in Communities project – we’ll ask her to tell us about that next time!

Follow this link to watch our interview

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Roman Fragments, with Gesine Manuwald

Portrait of Quintus Ennius (239-169 BC) (mosaic)

Returning to UCL’s Department of Greek and Latin Anastasia Bakogianni talks with Professor Gesine Manuwald about her work on fragments from early Roman tragedy. Gesine tells us about some of the challenges, as well as the rewards, of working with this fragmentary evidence.

Some questions will always remain unanswerable, but Gesine reveals that the fragments offer us an insight into an earlier stage in the development of Roman drama. These plays were not simply translations of their Greek models, but underwent a process of ‘Romanization’. Dramatists like Ennius hoped to use these new versions of Greek drama to win over their Roman public and to secure more commissions. Gesine talks about the popularity of Roman drama, which was enjoyed by all sections of society.

Follow this link to watch our interview, and to learn more about how Latinists assemble this jigsaw puzzle of fragments. Join us to find out more about the Roman versions of tragic heroines such as Andromache and Medea!

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Herodotus on Thermopylae, with Chris Carey

Anastasia Bakogianni joins Professor Chris Carey at UCL’s Department of Greek and Latin to talk about his forthcoming commentary on Herodotus’ Book 7. A highpoint in Herodotus’ Histories, the subject of this book is the inexorable march of the Persian forces against Greece, which culminates in the famous battle at Thermopylae. Chris’ commentary will join those of a number of other eminent scholars currently working on Herodotus’ Histories for Cambridge University Press’ Green and Yellow series.

Chris describes Herodotus’ account of the battle as a ‘riveting story of courage and treachery’. He talks about the recent resurgence of interest in Herodotus’ Histories and how new scholarship is uncovering hidden depths in the work of this less well-explored ancient author. For Chris, Herodotus’ Histories is the book he would choose as his Desert Island pick, simply because every time he returns to it, he discovers something new in Herodotus’ account of the Persian Wars.

Follow this link to watch our interview, and to learn more about Chris’ personal journey in the footsteps of Xerxes and how it deepened his appreciation of Herodotus’ abilities as the narrator of a famous story. Join us to discover more!

References

His journey tracing part of Xerxes’ route and its impact on his work on the commentary was also the subject of Chris’ lecture delivered at the AGM of the Hellenic Society in 2014. To find out more follow this link: http://www.hellenicsociety.org.uk/sphs-lecture-agm/

 

 

 

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Food for thought…with Zena Kamash and Lisa Lodwick

The Food for Thought project had a stall at the Festival of Ancient Tales, and we caught up with Zena Kamash and Lisa Lodwick for a quick chat at the end of the evening. Their project explores the links between food and memory in both the past and the present, and (as Zena explains at the end of the interview) they would love to hear about YOUR food-related memories. You can find out more on the project blog, as well as liking the project on Facebook and following it on Twitter @notjustdormice.

But first, follow this link to watch our interview!

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Barbara Bell (and Minimus) at the Festival of Ancient Tales

Barbara Bell wrote the first Minimus book 20 years ago, and since then this wonderful Latin guide for children (with illustrations by Helen Forte) has sold 147,00 copies worldwide. In this interview Barbara tells us about the past, present and future of Minimus and the Primary Latin Project, and shares some very welcome news about the future of ancient languages in UK primary schools.

You can find out more about Barbara and Helen’s work on the Minimus website. The Minimus books are published by Cambridge University Press.

Follow this link to watch our interview!

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Tom Holland at the Festival of Ancient Tales

We caught up with author Tom Holland just before he gave his talk at the Festival of Ancient Tales on Friday, and asked him how he’d first become interested in Classics. Follow this link to hear Tom talk about his childhood passions for Asterix and dinosaurs, and his new book about the Roman Emperors!

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Caroline Lawrence at the Festival of Ancient Tales

the-night-raidOne of the first people we bumped into at the Festival of Ancient Tales was writer Caroline Lawrence, who told us about her new book THE NIGHT RAID, and shared her love of the city of Naples.

Follow this link to watch our interview!

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