Sunday

Sunday 23Feb2014

We are children of the revolution!

We begin this review with a video organised by Arístides Mínguez and the SEEEC (the Spanish counterpart of the Classical Association) citing, rather humorously, the benefits of Latin. The first item in the news is the fact that our letter, which calls for recognition of Classical Civilisation by EBacc, has been published by the Sunday Times. Our report on the letter was commented by Ken Pickering, the instigator of the letter, which is well worth a read. Ken also deserves plaudits for his effort.

This is one bumper edition of Sunday, our (now slightly late) bulletin of last week’s news in Classics.

— Classics Collective (@ClassColl) febrero 21, 2014

Sunday 16Feb2014

The Sunday Times has published the letters by a a range of Classicists all passionate for Classical Civilisation as a GCSE subject:

The Gaza saga goes on:

A new site has been found in Veneto:

A major restoration process is to begin:

An amateur treasure hunter, armed with a metal detector, has found a hoard in a manner that was illegal under German law. The hoard appear to be significant, even Wagnerian according to The Independent:

  • “Amateur treasure hunter finds Roman gold hoard” The Local: http://ow.ly/tMHfu 
  • “Amateur discovers Roman-era German treasure linked to Wagnerian Nibelung legend” The Independent: http://ow.ly/tOf0u 

Following last week’s Roman emperor tube map, this week it’s the turn of the Underworld:

  • “London Underground tube map re-imagined as the Ancient Greek underworld” The Independent: http://ow.ly/tRqVj 

I do hope the answer is no, even if it might be the easier option for an optimal environment:

Perseus texts might be on the change:

The Viking exhibition is coming:

Sunday’s Supplements – blogs, comments and other occasional pieces

On Univeristy of Nottingham’s departmental blog, a review of the Aristophanes plays in London recently:

  • “Aristophanes in London” reviewed by Oliver Thomas. Argonauts and Emperors: http://ow.ly/tOrVK 

On Reading University’s blog, Peter Kruschwitz writes pieces that are always worth reading:

Do we need a more nuanced view of the antiquities across the world?:

It has to be a male-slave hero for a Hollywood film, doesn it?:

Edith Hall on rhetoric, and how she was advised that rhetoric preferably not of the left kind:

“The Greek periplus: from a naviagtional instrument to a narrative technique.” (Article in Spanish):

“Ulysses: the myth and the beauty” with José Emilio Burucúa. In Spanish:

An excellent interview (in Spanish) on words relating to Rome or Romance:

  • “Palabras: Roma, romance, románico” Para todos La 2. RTVE.es A la Carta: http://ow.ly/tS0g1 

Yo, Claudius! The indluence of I, Claudius. Article in Spanish:

“The Palatine Hill and Propaganda: the House of Augustus” American Insititue for Roman Culture: http://ow.ly/tIu0H 

“A Short History of Byzantium” by Liz James. History Today: http://ow.ly/tSRr8 

“The Persecution of Christians in Eusebius” Graeco Muse: http://ow.ly/tJwZV 

“Silver Men” of the age of Silver Latin. Translation Scrapbook: http://ow.ly/tJleG 

“New lamps for old…” On making Roman lamp. minimus_latin: http://ow.ly/tOsqS 

“Court on a beach? (Edit with answer!)” by Andy Keen. Keener Classics: http://ow.ly/tItTo 

“Roman ice-cream” Andy Keen: http://ow.ly/tJCFh 

“Early Roman Oral Traditions” by David Allsop. David Allsop Classics blog: http://ow.ly/tItw2 

“Cupid and Psyche” by David Allsop. David Allsop Classics: http://ow.ly/tOtyn 

“Heracles and the Lernian Hydra” by David Allsop. David Allsop Classics: http://ow.ly/tUFES 

“Hesiod and Plato on Prometheus” by Neel Burton. Outre monde: http://ow.ly/tRsrc 

“Panorama or zoom? Two methods of teaching Myth” APA: http://ow.ly/tJkqC 

“Housesteads Roman Fort” Cressida Ryan. Weekend Notes: http://ow.ly/tMHP0 

“Athens 237-9; Alcibiades 48no” and crucket, by Neville Morley. Sphinx: http://ow.ly/tIOL6 

“The First Computers, Lasers, Robots, And More: Ancient Innovations From Our Distant Ancestors” Fast Company: http://ow.ly/tQF2i 

For your diary…

“Charlotte Higgins” 8-9pm, 02Mar, Bath. £ Bath Literature Festival: http://ow.ly/tIPnT 

“Charlotte Higgins and Peter Stothard” 4:30-5:30pm, 02Mar, Bath. £  Bath Literature Festival: http://ow.ly/tIPxM 

“Natalie Haynes” 4:30-5:30pm, 09Mar, Bath. £  Bath Literature Festival: http://ow.ly/tIPCG 

“Join our Trojan Army” for theatrical performance in Manchester. Royal Exchange Theatre: http://ow.ly/tOwTv 

And in Spanish/Y en español:

Ve: “Palabras: Roma, romance, románico” Para todos La 2. RTVE.es A la Carta: http://ow.ly/tS0g1 

Ve/See: “ROMAMOR” ¡No lo perda! ¿Por qué latín? A must-watch! Why Latin? Video in Spanish. YT (Arístides Mínguez): http://ow.ly/tU2Jb 

Lee: “‘Yo, Claudio’, el triunfo de la inteligencia” Blogs EL PAÍS: http://ow.ly/tS0uP 

Lee: “Los periplos Griegos: De instrumento de navegación a narración de ficción.” Tempora: http://ow.ly/tJyAN 

Lee: “Ulises: el mito y la belleza” con José Emilio Burucúa. Ñ http://ow.ly/tJzqN 

Lee: “León ha sacado a la luz 300.000 restos romanos en 200 excavaciones en 17 años” El Diario de León: http://ow.ly/tJwjS 

Escucha: “Preguntas a la historia – Agentes secretos en el Estado romano” RTVE.es A la Carta: http://ow.ly/tIuz0 

Lee: “Nos quitan el foro” La plaza = el foro? Via Domingo Vallejo. La Marea: http://ow.ly/tOtSu 

Lee: “Tenemos el verdadero ‘garum’ de Pompeya” Una entrevista. El Diario de Cordoba: http://ow.ly/tRZ6d 

Lee: “Melampo, el Mercader: El Parto” por Aristide Minguez. @pdperiodico: http://ow.ly/tU1ka 

Lee: “‘Yo, Claudio’, el triunfo de la inteligencia” Blogs EL PAÍS: http://ow.ly/tS0uP 

Lee: “De cuando Canarias pudo recibir a los romanos” El Diario de Las Palmas: http://ow.ly/tRY38 

Ve: “La Viagra de los antiguos romanos.” La Verdad: http://ow.ly/tIv9w 

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Sunday

Sunday 16Feb2014

George Clooney advocated the return of Elgin Marbles in a rather off-the-cuff remark in response to a journalist. If only he has his morning Nespresso, as it now dominates over the promotion on his new film, Monuments Men.

Sunday 16Feb2014

An amazing discover of a school from the Roman era was made in Egypt, which surely must highlight the importance of proper preservation in Egypt:

A very important petition highlighting the importance of Classical Civilisation as a subject was written last week. It has been sent to The Sunday Times and it remains to be seen if it will be published next Sunday:

Some excellent poetry here, well worth a read:

The case of the Apollo statue, allegedly found in the sea of Gaza, goes on. At least it didn’t go beyond eBay…:

George Clooney’s comment at Berlin Festival supporting the return of the Elgin Marbles has caused ripples. If you do read the articles (and the poll) below, we recommend having a look at the comments:

  • “Bill Murray backs George Clooney over Elgin Marbles” BBC News: http://ow.ly/twJ5e 
  • “George Clooney needs to look to his own marbles, says Boris Johnson” London Evening Standard: http://ow.ly/tz6rw 
  • Poll: “Is George Clooney correct? Should Britain return the Elgin marbles?” The Guardian: http://ow.ly/tz9kl 
  • “Tiffany Jenkins: Parthenon marbles should stay” The Scotsman: http://ow.ly/tEwVq 

If it is to be built, HS2 could lead to the unearthing of much antiquities, from the Roman era or otherwise:

  • “HS2 – what to expect: The biggest dig for ancient treasures and prehistoric beasts in UK history” Bucks Heraldhttp://ow.ly/ttTUY 

Insciption found in modern Iran:

New findings reveal differing messages from the nudes of the two sexes in Roman mosaics:

  • “Research analyzes the cultural construction of nudes in Roman mosaics.” HeritageDaily: http://ow.ly/tz9BS 

As new history is created in war, history is lost by the cowardly extremists:

  • “The destruction of the idols: Syria’s patrimony at risk from extremists” The Independent: http://ow.ly/tA203 

But there is good news for preservation in Varna:

  • “Bulgaria’s Roman Baths to Be Restored – Varna Mayor Pledges” Novinite: http://ow.ly/tu5BZ 

A new exhibition at the Isle of Wight:

A Simon Armitage play “The Last Days of Troy” is going on stage at Manchester from May:

Mary Beard delivers an important lecture on “The Public Voice of Women” with reference to antiquity from Penelope onwards. The lecture will be made available soon:

 

 

How not to release a ground-breaking and genuine piece of new:

It was Valentine’s Day (and I hope you did remember, if you needed to):

 

Sunday’s Supplements – blogs, comments and other occasional pieces

 

“Saving the Villa of the Mysteries” On conservation. Can we excavate more of Pompeii? Archaeology: http://ow.ly/twvVO 

“Winter Olympic oddities are the real heroes at Sochi” by @LASwiftClassics. #Sochi Conversation: http://ow.ly/twwty 

“Ancient Rome’s fraudulent foreign students” by Peter Jones. The Spectator: http://ow.ly/tA1jB 

“What Emperor Augustus left us” by Roderick Conway Morris. The Spectator: http://ow.ly/tCqop 

Review by Andrew Worley of “”Travels in Elysium” by William Azuski” Origins: http://ow.ly/txy04 

“Do you see what I see?” on The Body Sphere. Ancient perception of colours with Mark Bradley. ABC: http://ow.ly/tEw1l 

“Virgil on Twitter” by Andy Keen (with apologies to Virgil, Book IV). Keener Classics: http://ow.ly/twcyX 

“New Sappho: not for Valentine’s Day!” Argonauts and Emperors blog: http://ow.ly/tzaxJ 

“The Romans, Just Wars and Exceptionalism” by Shadi Bartsch. HuffPost – The Blog: http://ow.ly/tFwe3 

“The Latest Scheme for the Parthenon” by Mary Beard. The New York Review of Books (paywall): http://ow.ly/tDCon 

“Review: Clouds” The Tab London: http://ow.ly/tBcGo 

“Romans in Clackmannanshire, Part II”  by Adrian Murdoch. Bread and Circus blog: http://ow.ly/3h8Pxu 

“Succession and the Aurei of Mark Antony, 13/02/14” Coins at Warwick: http://ow.ly/tBelv 

“Janet Glassbrook: The Mysterious Miss G and the Case of the Roman Brothel” TrowelBlazers: http://ow.ly/tz7pK 

“Language-Focused Summer Programs in Italy and Greece” American Philological Association: http://ow.ly/tzMae 

For your diary…

Finds from Crossrail excavations now on display:

 

And in Spanish/Y en español:

“La larga noche de verano de los etruscos” El País SemanalEL PAÍS: http://ow.ly/tFvSV 

“La USC suma a Euclides y Platón a su colección de clásicos del pensamiento” La Vox de Galicia: http://ow.ly/tEwqH 

“El Templo Romano abre de nuevo y amplía el horario de visitas” El Dia de Córdoba: http://ow.ly/tEwen 

“La excavación en la villa romana de la Sagrera se prolongará hasta mayo” La Vanguardia: http://ow.ly/twvC9 

“La muerte de un hombre justo (V)” por Aristides Minguez. Papel de Periodico: http://ow.ly/tEwwO 

“El abastecimiento al ejército romano durante el Imperio (I)” Tempora: http://ow.ly/trlst 

“Los gálatas (II): ¿tribu o Estado?” Tempora: http://ow.ly/tu7to 

“El secreto de sus ojos” Sobre referentes clásicos de canción del rapero Shé. Secretos de Argos: http://ow.ly/twxbk 

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Sol Day

Sol Day 09Feb2013 – tot desperanda Gove duce et auspice Gove (1)

The Rt Hon Michael Gove MP

There is compelling evidence that there is a need for an increase in Classics teachers across the state and private sector. Classics is in boom, in particular in the state sector. Against this backdrop Gove announced:

And I can announce today that their work will be complemented by Professor Christopher Pelling from Oxford University – who will be leading a brand-new project in collaboration with several universities to develop top-quality professional development for non-specialist teachers of classics in state schools. His work will help state school students compete on equal terms with privately educated students for university classics places.

(See longer extract of Gove’s speech on our blog: Gove: Professional Development for non-specialist teachers of Classics.)

In other words, there will be a new project, led by a top academic at a top university, to allow students from the state sector to compete on equal footing with the students from the private sector for university places in Classics. Yet this is a small passage in a very, very long speech. It announced a policy, but did not detail it. For us Classicists and for Pelling especially there may be compelling evidence for Classics to be provided: provided by quality teachers, provided for a variety of reasons, provided equally across the sector. But did the Secretary of State made equipped with this knowledge? Perhaps he spoke to Boris for evidence, perhaps not, but the Secretary of State has form in trumpeting his ideology on the simple argument of tradition. We would do well to see his motives and reasoning by engaging in a popular past time of Classicists: close textual analysis.

The first half of the text refers to how the initiative is university led. This is politically important to show that Gove is engaging top academics and facilitating outreach; it is also important considering schools and, in particular, A-levels are preparation for a university courses. In the same section of the speech Gove announced : “we’re working with world-renowned, world-class Russell Group universities and Professor Mark Smith of Lancaster University to reform A levels – ensuring they provide students with the knowledge and skills they need for the demands of university study.” This leaves you in no doubt what types of universities Russell Group members are; I hope you are not reading this from Birkbeck, Royal Holloway, Reading or Swansea, Kent. Mark Smith has the honoured for being named because he is from Lancaster, a 1994 group-university. This is akin to saying “all the experts and Mark there…”

The collaboration of such high-end universities in the Classics project allow joint-up thinking as the universities participating are preparing their future students; they can also help allay the criticism of bias against the private sector as, as you read in the final sentence, this is to ensure an equal starting point when applying to Classics courses at university (and we know that all Classicists at school go on to become Classicists at university, don’t we?). Is this a policy to aid the ailing departments of Classics across the higher education institutions of the land? It does certainly no harm, in the sense that Classics department across the land might now be able to report a better ratio of state:private intake. But the final sentence quoted above hints more at reducing the gap between state and private schools or, as most of the media reported it, making state schools like private schools.

So what sort of Classics teachers do state schools have. The article implies that non-specialists Classics teachers will be given professional development. It would be great if any readers can direct us to statistics showing the background of teachers offering Classics in schools as whilst there are statics on offer for demands of teachers, whilst we know there is a shortfall of teachers from teacher training course (JACT Bulletin, 2013), there does not seem to be figures on how that shortfall was met. In my travels I have met a department of  several MFL teachers teaching Key Stage 3 Latin. In one department of 1.3 people, 1 of whom wanted a career change and became the Head of Classics from the Head of Music; he began the department from scratch and built up the department sufficiently to draft in an English teacher with a qualification in GCSE Latin. I know the English teacher would like to be re-trained but can find no opportunity, can this project help? Or more pertinently, how many teachers are seeking a subject change and how many are quite satisfied with their allocation of year 7s and 8s?

This, we are also to know, is a project for the benefits of state schools. Gove went on to say: “Academics of this calibre are serious about the need to give state school students the extra level of stretch and challenge that privately educated students enjoy through extra coaching and preparation.” The assumption can only be that private school non-specialists are automatically equipped with such stretching abilities, or perhaps that there are no non-specialists in private schools. Time will tell if teachers in the private sectors are to compose, Ovid-style, addresses to the doorman begging them to let them into these professional development sessions. The decision is a strange one for readers of the last JACT Bulletin (2013) who might recall that 70% of the posts advertised in TES in the year 2011-12 were in the independent secondary sector, 83% if primary independent posts are also included; the decision is not a strange one for all who are politically minded. Gove could have said independent schools (and academies) could hire unqualified (i.e. non-QTS) teachers, and indeed 41% of independent schools did according to the same article in JACT Bulletin.

So what is the motive behind this initiative? I am not sure. It is a step in the right direction and, anecdotally, I know there are teachers who would be very interested in courses if they are recognised to provide the same opportunities to products of PGCE Classics courses at the end of the course. The announcement was made in a section where many similar initiatives intended to boost the quality of education in the state sector is announced, and the stated method for this is to make schools in the maintained sector more like private schools. By this close textual analysis and by reference to the contemporary setting, the conclusion is that Gove is interested in traditional schools for modern maintained schools.

We will come back with a second installment, published not on a Sunday, to analyse how this initiative relate to the education landscape for Classics.

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Sunday

Sunday 09Feb2014

Gove, Sappho, tweeting Pope. So much in this weekend’s edition of “Sunday”.

 

Sunday 09Feb2014

The news that is probably going to affect us, who are already Latinists, most:

  • “Forthcoming in Fall 2014: The Digital Loeb Classical Library®” Harvard University Press: http://ow.ly/tmgcx 

The news that is probably going to affect those who will be Latinists, and all who will be the future of the nation:

  • “Gove: Professional Development for non-specialist teachers of Classics” Classics Collective: http://ow.ly/tewAd 
  • “Helping Latin in State Schools” Classics at Oxford: http://ow.ly/tex4X 
  • “Gove: Classics lessons to help state pupils compete for university places” The Daily Telegraph: http://ow.ly/tf2an 

And some observations on the Gove plan, not least by Chris Pelling, the man to head the project:

And Latin is going well in Oregan in the US:

And Latin is going well in the Muslim world:

The Sappho now revealed, queestions start coming:

Nor is the provenance of the Apollo of Gaza certain…:

  • “Vernon Silver on the “Apollo of Gaza”” Portable Antiquity Collecting and Heritage Issues: http://ow.ly/tdfjf 
  • “Sam Hardy on Variant Stories About Discovering the Apollo of Gaza” Portable Antiquity… Issues: http://ow.ly/tnfIU 

An underwater church?:

  • “Greek Mystery of a “Lost Church” in Ancient Greek city Nicaea” Greek Reporter Europe: http://ow.ly/tfRQh 

Reservation effort on the Side:

Recurring vandalism activity at a Gallo-Roman site at Treignes, Belgium:

“Archaeological findings in industrial zone to be removed to make way for warehouse” in İzmir. <Hurriyet>: http://ow.ly/tkTrs 

“George Clooney says Britain should return ancient monuments to Greece” <ekathimerini>: http://ow.ly/tqq2d 

Pope tweets:

  • “Latin’s the perfect language for a tweet, or even an emailum” The Daily Telegraph: http://ow.ly/tnftH 
  • “Pope’s Latin tweets are a roaring success” The Local: http://ow.ly/tioaS 
  • “Pope’s Latin tweets attract more followers than Arabic tweets” Al Arabiya News: http://ow.ly/tmyKz 
  • “There’s new life for a dead language as Papa Franciscus tweets ad infinitum” The Times (paywall): http://ow.ly/tmyOV 
  • Read: “Pope’s Latin Twitter feed is pumping new life into a dead language” The Australian: http://ow.ly/tmyTo 
  • “Le succès inattendu du Pape en latin sur Twitter” Le Figaro: http://ow.ly/tiod2 
  • “Daniel Gallagher: «Traducir mensajes del Papa al latín es más fácil que del argentino al español»” ABC: http://ow.ly/tqLUc 

A special mosaic goes on show at Waddesdon Manor in Buckinghamshire:

  • “Picture Gallery: Spectacular Roman mosaic found in Israel shows ancient animal paradise” Culture24: http://ow.ly/toIo9 

Summary from the conference which heard academics share ideas and practices of using digital means to aid ancient language teaching at universities:

Listen back to a great introduction to the Phoenicians:

In an anniversary year, can you help with an Augustus survey?:

  • “Fancy taking part in some Augustus-related research?” Commemorating Augustus: http://ow.ly/toJaI 

Also in the news:

Mary Beard is the interviewee in The Times´main Saturday interview, but this spawned subsequent coverage that focused on only one small part of the interview, unfortunately:

  • “Saturday interview: Mary Beard” The Times (paywall): http://ow.ly/tqpEF 
  • “Me and Kate: the record straight” The storm in the vessel… A Don’s Life: http://ow.ly/tqUXV 
  • And many other national press articles on Beard’s comment on the Duchess of Cambridge.

Sunday’s Supplements – blogs, comments and other occasional pieces

A really interesting features article on mnemonics:

The ways of myth, mythology:

Joan Breton Connelly, author of “The Parthenon Enigma,” discusses the book:

A Roman comparison of, or innovation on, Sappho’s poem:

Have you been to all these amphitheatres?:

“The Villa Borg – images of a reconstructed Roman Villa in Saarland (Germany)” by Carole Raddato. FOLLOWING HADRIAN http://ow.ly/tfRci 

Recommended article:

“British Museum – Greek and Roman Sculptures” A video. Vimeo: http://ow.ly/tqLWb 

“Scenes of Ovid’s love stories in art” OUPblog: http://ow.ly/tqVBA 

“Eros, sophrosyne, myth and the Hippolytus” Classics in Sarasota blog: http://ow.ly/trkg4 

“Why does Q almost always go with a U?” Good QUestion… The Week http://ow.ly/tfS3J 

“Giving the gift of ancient tongues” by Prof Christopher Pelling. The Sunday Times: http://ow.ly/tqV5L 

“The Classics Czar, Michael Gove, and Civilization” by Edith Hall. The Edithorial: http://ow.ly/tqql8 

“Argonauts and hobbits” by Helen Lovatt. Argonauts and Emperors blog: http://ow.ly/toJtB 

And in Spanish…

“Teatro greco y romano en la red” El Faro de Vigo: http://ow.ly/tmgNV 

“La muerte de un hombre justo (IV)” por Aristides Minguez. Papel del Periódicohttp://ow.ly/tqLQ6 

“El abastecimiento al ejército romano durante el Imperio (I)” Tempora: http://ow.ly/trkSn 

“Daniel Gallagher: «Traducir mensajes del Papa al latín es más fácil que del argentino al español»” ABC: http://ow.ly/tqLUc 

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Sol Day

Sol Day 02Feb2014 – It’s a small world

The Classics community is a small world. This statement might seem unsubstantiated and I will do little to substantiate it over this blog post, but this is where I shall start my post, because you must have heard these words vel sim before. Everyone knows everyone in the Classical world, or something like that.

Recently, we hear news that the Joint Association of Classical Teachers (JACT) is consulting about a merger with the Classical Association (CA). You can read about it here, and by now the representatives of both organisations would have met. One wonders what the conversations would have been: a shared goal of spreading Classics? You keep your annual CA and I keep my Bryanston? A joint Twitter feed? A joint campaign to bring Latin onto the National Curriculum? Collective outreach effort? A seamless transfer from A-Level Classics to degree-level Classics? It may even be sharing the Senate House office? Have a single secretariat? Ensure one pool of money is used effectively across the board?

I hope you will forgive me in that the suggested topic above is meant as a light-hearted enactment of the meeting of the organisations. It seems to me that JACT is serious in its consideration of merging with the Classical Association. Such a merger would represent the union of a professional organisation representing schoolteachers with a broad-based association serving those with any degree of interest in the classical world.

JACT was founded in 1963, at a time was not in crisis, but crises. The abolishment of Latin as a requirement to enter the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge (realised slightly differently in each of the universities) coupled with the rise of comprehensive school are sparks in a world where classrooms were still obsessed in the grammar-translation-or-bust model. This is a world before Cambridge Latin Course, and that has been around for a while. The crises, the sparks, the triggers for schools to drop classical subjects. JACT was meant to reinvigorate that, and it achieved a varying degree of success over the years – yes Latin did not make it into the National Curriculum when it was established, but it did not fall off the cliff either.

William Thompson, a Lecturer in Classical Method at the University of Leeds (a department recently under threat of closure), was one of they key figure in establishing JACT, as was John Sharwood Smith of the Institute of Education (an organisation that no longer offers Classics):

Thompson had tried to persuade the CA to increase its subseciption which had remained unchanged from five shillings since the Association’s foundation and to transform itself into an organisation that would support teacher of schools Classics. Sharwood Smith had been involved in moves to expand the functions and to change the name of the ARLT [Association for the Reform of Latin Teaching].

Martin Forrest, Modernising the Classics (Exeter, 1996), p.16.

Given the proposed merger now, perhaps one could reach two conclusions – that the CA has taken up the mantel of promoting teaching of Classics in school and so this function, which JACT has performed valiantly recently, can be done collaboratively, and; there is no threat to Classical teaching and indeed it is very healthy.

Classics, on feeling, is not doing too badly in secondary education but can it still do better? Can the jobs of Classics teachers be made easier still? The inset days that JACT organises have been beneficial but does it seek other way of allowing idea sharing or crowdsourcing between teachers? It must be noted that in a world with organisations such as the Classics Library for sharing ideas, Classics for All for promoting Classics in general and in schools, The Iris Project for introducing Classics to schools that do not offer any Classical subjects beforehand, Oxford’s outreach effort for outreach effort (seemingly across the whole of United Kingdom) to existing school Classics department and the Classics in Communities project for advice and encouragement in increasing uptake of Classics at primary level, the Joint Association of Classical Teachers is slightly hidden in their midst.

Yet there must be a role for an organisation to Classical Teachers. It should be noted that last year Classics PGCE was almost left off the list of subjects for which bursary will be given to trainee teachers; now trainee teachers is set to gain the top tier of support as supposed to the second tier current trainees enjoy. In times where curriculum is frequently altered, a professional organisation such as this should be there to ensure that it is changed for the better. It could be argued that Gove was inherently interested in having Latin, Greek and Ancient History in the list of subjects measured by EBACC, but what about Classical Civilisation? What of the consultation to introduce an element of Englist-to-Latin composition at GCSE?

Which brings me back to the small world of Classics. I have recently attended some inset days for teachers and conferences for the academia. It is easy to recognised that there are different circles that Classicists move in, circles that are dictated by shared interests or aims. Classics teachers are often busy, but call an inset day with advice on teaching and they come together. The outlook of Classics teachers is different to that of the academics and the questions at inset days are more pragmatic than those of Classical conferences, reflecting their teaching needs.

In the recent eGreek and iLatin conference organised by the Open University (see Storify of the conference here) there were a lot of academics teaching ancient languages keen to share their eIdeas (or iIdeas?). Interestingly, there were a few attendees from the world of secondary education too. James Robson from the Open University was able to present on OU’s e-learning platform and it was useful to know, but there are also a lot of other projects based on existing websites and e-learning environment that was useful to share. In amongst the conversations, there have been some talk for collaboration – why don’t all the university collaborate their efforts and experience? There would be obstacle, of course – unique selling-point for the university which developed it, hard to get funding – but it is for the benefit of those who work within the Classics circle.

Indeed, should there not be collaboration at a school level too? The event, which was aimed at higher education, attracted professionals from the secondary education. This shows there are demands for such events aimed at secondary education too. It is also inherently the case that secondary education, with its set exam curriculum, generally different course books and time demand, has different realities to the pedagogy in higher education. The question is who will take up the mantel for organising such events? Not only on e-learning, but on informing formal curriculum, bringing alive Greek Art and Architecture through museums and web sources, teaching using TPRS or the inductive method, maximising school trips.

To do that,  we need a facilitator, a facilitator to make the world of Classicists and specifically of Classics teachers even smaller. At the moment, the Classics Library seems to perform that role best. Perhaps it is in this guise that JACT must decide whether it wishes to boldly take up a mantel to make the work of Classics Teachers lighter, or to quietly lie hidden in the big tent of the Classical Association. But let’s be clear – even if the latter path is chosen, the needs of Classical teachers will not vanish.

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Sunday

Sunday 02Feb2014

The discovery of Sappho’s papyrus dominated the Classics newsphere and spread onto mainstream media this week – you will find many articles on the news below. In amongst all that there are much news on artefacts and museums.

We hope the weather has been good to you. Below you can see (courtesy of the Americal Institute of Roman Culture) how high the river level is at Rome.

Sunday 02Feb2014

The Institute of Classical Archaeology at Leipzig seems to be under threat:

  • Leipzig: Institut für Klassische Archäologie fällt Sparzwang zum Opfer Archäologie Online: http://ow.ly/sXKyy 

The Crosby Garrett, after brining much benefit to Carlise, is now sitting next to the Ribchester Helmet at the British Museum:

  • “Roman war games: helmets from Crosby Garrett and Ribchester” on show in BM until 27Apr. British Mus.: http://ow.ly/t5s5t 
  • “Interest in Crosby Garrett Roman helmet gives Carlisle economic boost” Cumberland Newshttp://ow.ly/ta9Le 

As a gigantic head goes on show at Chichester’s multi-million pounds museum:

  • “Welcome to Britain: Largest Roman sculpture to show its face at Chichester Novium” Culture24: http://ow.ly/t5tq9 

In another museum, the Roman Empire: Power and People exhibition is oversubscribe on its first weekend:

  • “Video: Queues outside Norwich Castle Museum for first weekend of Roman Empire exhibition” Norwich Evening Newsow.ly/tczMk

Hadrian’s Wall gets a new visitor building that combines an information centre with a youth hostel:

  • “Hadrian’s Wall £11.2m visitor centre final design unveiled” BBC News: http://ow.ly/sXWJ5 

New exhibition opens at Chicago:

Not under a car park:

In the name of development? Or a deliberately divisive move?

  • “Historic Roman terraces face threat from the building of Israel’s separation barrier” The Daily Telegraph: http://ow.ly/t5rb7 

A piece on a remarkable underwater discovery off the Gaza strip, or is it?:

  • “Hamas’s Ancient Bronze Statue, the Apollo of Gaza” Businessweek: http://ow.ly/tabIJ 
  • “Vernon Silver on the “Apollo of Gaza””Portable Antiquity Collecting and Heritage Issues: http://ow.ly/tdetr

Bad weather might be destructive. In this case, it took away the surface and revealed a graffito underneath in Pompeii (articles in Italian):

  • “Pompei, a rischio iscrizione elettorale” ANSA: http://ow.ly/tbZOB 
  • “Pompei, il maltempo non fa solo danni: spunta slogan elettorale del 79 d. C.” Il Mattino: http://ow.ly/tc7vt

Trailer – “Pompeii Super Bowl TV Spot” Den of Geek: http://ow.ly/tbZQn 

Fundraiaing: “The Oracles of Troy by Glyn Iliffe” Help to get a book published. Kickstarter: http://ow.ly/tcAph

Sappho:

Sunday’s Supplements – blogs, comments and other occasional pieces

You can read today’s Sol Day piece by us, “It’s a Small World”, on JACT and meeting the needs of Classics teachers, here.

“Sarah Bond: Do You Think That’s A Bad Sign? : Birds and Omens in the Roman Empire” Dorothy King’s PhDiva: http://ow.ly/t0gN6 

“Archaeologists Unearth What May Be Oldest Roman Temple” NPR: http://ow.ly/t5qkH 

“The secret history of the Parthenon” New York Post: http://ow.ly/sXWPF 

“Heroic hairstyles, or, did Hector have a mullet?” by Laura Swift. APA: http://ow.ly/sYrFS 

“Turning toward the public” on Classics and the history of outreach, by Joy Connolly. APA: http://ow.ly/sYrwY 

“What Lies Behind Pythagoras’ Theorem” by Neel Burton. Psychology Today: http://ow.ly/taSk5 

“The Roman Hunt” by Daisy Dunn. History Today: http://ow.ly/t0jaG 

“‘Twitter Ye Not’” by the Classics Department at Norton Knatchbull school. The Classics Library: http://ow.ly/t2Nly

“The Myth of Orpheus and Eurydice: Its Reception” The Classics Library: http://ow.ly/t2SI2 

“Latin Verse Composition in English Schools, 1500-1900” The Classics Library: http://ow.ly/t2Qbx 

“Plato in Polish philosophy and literature (1800-1950)” The Classics Library: http://ow.ly/t2PZX 

“Finding the ancient and its meaning in a modern North American city” The Classics Library: http://ow.ly/t2O2T 

“How important was Horncastle to the Roman empire?” Horncastle News: http://ow.ly/tcA8R

“Is any word untranslatable?” The Guardian: http://ow.ly/tab7L 

“Hackney, Sappho, and Bravery” by Edith Hall. The Edithorial: http://ow.ly/tbYGE 

“My Best Teacher by Mary Beard, Classicist” by Mary Beard. Times Education Supplement: http://ow.ly/taRRT 

Y en español:

“El secreto de la peste que tumbó al Imperio Romano” Materia: http://ow.ly/t2T23 

“Coriolano, de héroe de guerra a traidor a la patria” National Geographic España: http://ow.ly/taRBI 

“Decían griego, pero pensaban nazi” EL PAÍS: http://ow.ly/taS2v 

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