Dr. George Calvert Holland:
'George Calvert Holland was too remarkable
a man to be passed over with a mere mention.
The perseverance which enabled him to triumph over the
disadvantages of a lowly origin, the scholarship which he
snatched by his own hard industry, the romantic though
painful vicissitudes of his life, and his genial personal
presence alike point to him as an illustrious figure in the
history of Sheffield during the earlier half of the present
Holland was born at Pitsmoor, when Pitsmoor was an outlying
hamlet, and salmon were speared in the then clear waters
of the Don. His love of the classics caused him often to
prolong his readings through the night. But he became
dissatisfied with translations ; he burned to read Virgil and
Petrarch in their native tongue. Under difficulties which had
about them strange elements of the grotesque, he—the sawmaker's
son—set himself to acquire Latin, French, and
Italian, and made such extraordinary progress as to become a
marvel amongst all his acquaintances'.
University of Sheffield - Classics alumni event and exhibition launch
An event to celebrate the past and the legacy of the former department of Classical studies at the University of Sheffield, on the afternoon of Saturday 17 March.
All details & tickets here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/university-of-sheffield-classics-alumni-event-and-exhibition-launch-tickets-43195285261
MARS talks at the HRI, 5 for 5:30pm (http://marcus.group.shef.ac.uk/events/mars/):
Heather Ellis (Education), ‘The Ancient Origins of Modern Science? Classical Knowledge in Literary and Philosophical Societies, 1780-1840’
7 March - Sheffield Classical Association talk
Judith Mossman (Coventry), ‘Plutarch and the Roman Triumph’
Rob Heffron (Hist), ‘Ladies on show: the visibility of urban women in late antique sources’ / Mauro Rizzetto (Arch), ‘Animal economies in late Roman and early Anglo-Saxon Britain: changes in husbandry practices between the 4th and 7th centuries AD’
Maaike Groot (Arch), ‘The role of animals in rituals in the northwestern Roman provinces’
Co-Sponsored with the Hunter Archaeology Society
And a Hunter Archaeological Society talk (https://sites.google.com/site/hunterarchaeologicalsociety/lectures)
Tuesday 27 February
7:30pm, Workroom 1, The Diamond
Jane Rempel, 'Sinop Kale Excavations: Investigating an ancient Greek settlement on the Turkish Black Sea Coast'
"At Rotherham, besides the study of theology, and of the Greek, Latin, Hebrew, Syriac, and other ancient and modern languages, the institution provides instruction in mathematics, chemistry, metaphysics, and natural and moral philosophy. These studies are conducted by the Rev. James Bennett, Theological Tutor, and the Rev. Thomas Smith, M.A. Classical Tutor."
Henry Pickford was born in Sheffield about 1806. His father, Mr. James Pickford, was an industrious, respectable, and pious man, by trade a saw grinder. Leaving school when about thirteen years of age, Henry Pickford began to work with his father at the trade of saw grinding. From that period he was self educated," except some little assistance rendered by the late Rev. Thos. Smith, A.M., Classical Tutor of Rotherham College (see elsewhere on this site) , and one or two other persons. His natural taste was for the acquisition of languages. He was, I believe, in a great degree animated in these pursuits by the laudable ambition of imitating that remarkable Sheffield man of whom we have just been hearing, the late Rev. Daniel Chapman. He pursued his studies, early and late, with characteristic ardour and considerable success. One day he very much astonished the attendants of the Bible Society's depot by applying to purchase a Chaldo-Syriac Testament . . .
This young man, though moving in the inferior walks of life, had, by persevering industry and diligence, attained to a considerable knowledge of various languages. The writer of this article well recollects the pleasing surprise which was created in his mind some two years since by the following circumstance, which led him to make further inquiries respecting him, and ever after to feel a lively interest about his progress and future prospects. Mr. Pickford happened to call upon him. Amongst other inquiries one was made whether he had ever read any of the Greek dramatic writers ? He replied in the negative ; but wishing to ascertain his proficiency in the reading of Greek, a request was made that he would recite a few lines from Sophocles, which was lying on the table. He did so ; not only correctly as it regarded the reading, but, after a little attention, rendered the passage into English in a manner very creditable to him. This circumstance is mentioned to show that the mind of this young man was of no ordinary kind, when, without friends, almost without assistance of any sort, and certainly without any regular or efficient education, in the midst too of a laborious daily occupation, he could attain to such a proficiency. He had acquired considerable knowledge of the Latin language. The writer has now in his possession many of his translations from various authors, several books of Juvenal, the whole of Persius, &etc. To Hebrew and to several of the Oriental languages he had paid much attention. Professor Lee (of Cambridge University), who had seen some of his translations, pronounced that they did him much credit. French, Italian, German, Spanish, also obtained a share of his attention. Under such circumstances a proposition was made, and through the kindness of friends nearly brought to a successful conclusion, that he should be sent to the University of Cambridge, and put in a way of honourably distinguishing himself by the fair exercise of those talents which God had bestowed upon him." One of the papers above referred to by Mr. Atkinson as having been sent to Professor Lee, consisted of a translation into one of the Oriental languages of a well-known personification of one of the four Seasons, I think "Spring," by Mrs. Barbauld.
Henry Pickford was of a very amiable and cheerful disposition. Indeed, his exuberance of spirits, united with great fluency of speech, was apt, at seasons, to explode in uncontrollable fits of mirth, fun, and laughter. Some persons were inclined to regard such outbursts as indicative and proof of real habitual levity of mind. Such an opinion would certainly be a great mistake. Such occasions were simply the outward manifestation of one of Nature's kindly gifts. In fact it acted as a safety-valve. In July, 1830, seeing that his bodily and mental powers were kept at too great and constant a strain, I persuaded him, and he actually made arrangements, to accompany me to the Western coast, in order to enjoy what at the time he very much needed, an entire relaxation for some weeks. Unfortunately for him the saw trade, which had been dull, became brisk. His employers, therefore, pressed him very hard and earnestly to do all the work he possibly could ; and he, being anxious to get all the money he was able in prospect of the University, instead of going with me to the sea-side and inhaling the invigorating breezes of the ocean, stayed at home and exerted himself to the utmost; in one instance working all night, during a season of remarkably hot weather. He ere long found that he had to pay the penalty which physical laws exact on all, without distinction, who disregard or infringe them. That great exertion did him an irreparable injury, having eventually the effect of developing a latent tendency to consumption, so that from that time he only lived a year. Although during the succeeding months there were the usual alternations of hope and fear, cloud and sunshine, yet his earthly expectations were in reality blasted. His medical advisers were Dr. (afterwards Sir Arnold) Knight, and the late Mr. Wilson Overend ; but from the first they gave to his parents but slender hopes as to his recovery. It was my privilege to visit him during the whole course of his illness. He died in July, 1831, about 25 years of age. Amidst the eager and successful pursuit of literature he had not neglected the one thing needful. He was a young intelligent, and sincere Christian, and purposed devoting his talents and his life to the service of his Lord and Master. Relying on Divine mercy through the atonement and intercession of Christ, his end was peace. Respecting him nothing can be more appropriate than the lines of Mrs. Hemans :
" The ethereal fire hath shivered
The fragile censer in whose mould it quivered,
We wish to invite anyone with an interest in Latin verse to: ‘Inter Versiculos in Sicilia’, a 10-day workshop in Latin verse composition, sponsored by the University of Michigan, and led by David Money (Cambridge).
See our website for full details:
This site also contains sections on previous workshops (2011, 2016), with poems by participants, advice on composition, etc, which may be of interest.
For applications and expressions of interest, please contact (as soon as you can): Gina Soter email@example.com
We hope you will consider joining us. And we would also be very grateful if you could pass on the information to students and potentially interested colleagues and friends, and encourage any mentions of the workshop on social media or elsewhere, so that the message can reach a wider range of potential participants in all countries. We would stress that the workshop is open to anyone at all (with reasonable Latin): no previous verse-writing experience is expected. We have found that most complete beginners can achieve some impressive results within the time of a workshop. It will be accessible to Latinists of varying levels: suitable for undergrads, but also for postgrads, and teachers at schools or universities – all of whom may find their appreciation of verse enriched by the practical approach we take.
One of our team writes that ‘the exercise can be unexpectedly compelling, illuminating and useful. As with many art forms, one of the best ways to understand what others have done, is to try to do it yourself.’ Here are a few other comments from past participants: · Taught by a connoisseur of all the obstacles and traps in Latin poetry writing, we made the first stumbling steps on our newly discovered metrical feet; inspired by Sicilian sun, music, food, and wine, the stumble developed – little by little – into a dance. · Even if I do not continue writing poetry, Inter Versiculos has already improved my ability to read and appreciate Latin poetry. . . . my reading feels more natural and it is far easier to appreciate the poem's meaning. · ‘Inter Versiculos’ not only opened my eyes to Latin poetry and its many wonders, but also to the gorgeous universe that is Sicily. · I was never more aware of the importance of quantities. · Having previously only studied classics in very traditional and rigid European schools, it is good to get away from the cobwebs of Northern scholarship and dash into the burning Sicilian sunshine. · I knew it was difficult to write with such confines as the different meters but I never truly understood until I tried it for myself. It was really satisfying to be able to have tangible evidence of my learning throughout the week. · Prose was always my thing--or so I thought. Now that I understand the skill involved in writing poetry, I have a completely different love for it. Before I used to prefer the Caesar portion of the syllabus; now I far prefer the Vergil! · The way Latin poetry is conventionally taught, it can feel like trying to solve a puzzle … but the process of learning how to ‘write’ the poetry has augmented my understanding of it a thousand-fold . … This perspective is unique and invaluable; I certainly could have gotten it no other way. · I.V. also fostered a unique sort of community, the likes of which I never would have imagined: it brought tenured professors, ancient armchair Latinists, and green undergraduates all down to the same level of expertise.
‘Inter versiculos’ 2018 is now actively seeking anyone curious about Latin poetry. We invite you to join us in Trapani, Sicily, July 5-14, 2018
Birmingham and Midlands Classical Association Teachers’ Day
Saturday 3 February 2018
9.30 - 9.45: Arrival, coffee and welcome
9.45 - 11.30: Feedback on the new GCE and GCSE specifications in Latin; discussion of the new specification in Classical Civilisation (Alex Orgee, OCR Subject Specialist – Classics)
11.30 – 11.45: Coffee break
11.45 – 12.45: Either: Teaching from material culture and images – Hannah Cornwell, University of Birmingham
Or: Teaching Minimus – Barbara Bell, Primary Latin Project
12.45 – 1.30: Lunch
1.30 – 2.30: Either: Odysseus and the Mycenaean World – Guy Kirkham-Smith
Or: Greek and Roman Religion – Ken Dowden, University of Birmingham
2.30 – 3.00: Classics for All Electra Programme: introducing Greek Clubs in schools – Kirsty McAlister, Edgbaston High School
3.00 – 4.00: Heroism in Homer and Virgil – Helen Lovatt, Nottingham University
4.00 – 4.30: Tea, final questions and departure
Please contact Joanna Johnson at Solihull School (JohnsonJ@SolSch.org.uk) to register your interest.
The cost of the event is £40 per attendee which can be paid on the day. Receipts can be supplied after the event. Schools do not need to be a member of the Birmingham and Midlands Classical Association to attend.
Sheffield branch of the Classical Association, founded in 1920