Sheffield Classical Association
Delivered by Professor Pelling at the Swansea meeting of Advocating Classics Education. It's brilliant: 'I just found I couldn't give it up! Exactly!
Prynhawn da. It is especially good to be in Swansea, even for a Cardiff boy (sorry about that – nobody’s perfect): some of the happiest days of my childhood were spent here, sometimes at the Gower or at Rhossili Bay and rather more often along the road at St Helen’s. There can’t be many of us left now who were there when Glamorgan beat the Australians not once but twice, in 1964 and 1968, and those were the days when those fixtures were taken seriously by both sides. Thinking about what Classics has meant to me over the years has meant quite a bit of looking back over fifty years, so sorry about that too: 1968 will indeed come back at the end of what I’m going to say, so when you hear that number you’ll know that the end is in sight. But I’ll leave it vague for the moment what that will be about. Will it be that that it was the year that Tom Jones recorded Delilah, with a revelation of a wannabe aspiration of mine that never came true? Wait and see.
So – what got me into Classics in the first place? Many in this business might say ‘a trip to the British Museum with my parents’ or ‘I really loved Greek myths’, the sort of thing that Ersin Hussein and Catherine Rozier have been talking about earlier today: or, these days much more often than then, seeing someone like Mary Beard on television, or just a family holiday in Greece or Italy. I can’t say the same, though I wish I could. It wasn’t even the attraction of the way I was taught myself, which was very language based – the delight of getting the Latin endings right, though I did quite like that and I was very well taught, even in Cardiff. It’s no coincidence that several of the first people to be really big in computers – the head of IBM, the head of Hewlett Packard – were classicists: if you could get those endings right, chances were that you could get your computer programming right too. No: I’m afraid it was more basic than that. I wanted to be a lawyer, doubtless because of whatever courtroom series was on TV at the time (Perry Mason?), and someone had told me that Latin was really good for law: I could just see myself mouthing habeas corpus and nolle prosequiwith the best of them, and becoming very very rich. That went well, then. And, for that matter, whoever told me that wasn’t wrong: in later life I ended up teaching a lot of people who went on to be lawyers, and (a) none of them regretted having done Classics first and (b) they did become very rich. In my university we discovered that the wealthiest alums were, you’ve guessed it, those who had read Law – and the second wealthiest were the Classicists (and not only those who went on to be lawyers), so don’t let people tell you that a classical education isn’t a good investment in career terms.
So that’s how I got into it, but not why I stayed: I just found I couldn’t give it up.
Opportunities to learn Latin and Greek are increasingly rare. The recent campaign to support the study of Classical Civilisation at High Storrs School, Sheffield is evidence of this. However, here's a new possibility, with a very different and special approach.
If you want to revive the Latin and Greek that you learned at school, start from scratch or make progress in a language that you've been studying on your own, Dr. Bruce McMenomy might be the man to contact: Here is his website, which gives a great deal of information about the courses that he offers online:
The screen shots below give an idea of the kind of teaching that he offers:
And the online resources that are to be found on his website:
One piece of personal piece of evidence that I can offer of this organisation's teaching abilities is that Dr. McMenomy guided me through the intricacies of making something similar to the above (a concordance of a medieval Latin poet called William of Apulia), in only a few days using the Internet, his supreme patience and an ability to explain things lucidly and clearly. Duco ad vos Magistrum Bruce McMenomy, doctissimum sermones utriusque linguae et scientiae computatoris!
Book launch: Maureen Carroll (Archaeology) and Daniele Miano (Ancient History) will be launching their new books (Fortuna; Infancy and Earliest Childhood in the Roman World) at Blackwells University Bookstore on Thursday, 3rd May, at 6pm
And on the same evening at 7.30pm at the Grayson Lecture Theatre at Birkdale School, Ed Bispham (Brasenose College, Oxford), will give the joint lecture of the CA and the HA on "Reconsidering the Goddess Mefitis".
No apologies for returning to a favourite topic. If everybody still communicated through Latin in Europe, we would a lot better off! End of rant-click below to see and learn more about a fascinating new project.
If you can read Latin hexameters to a reasonable standard, this is an unmissable opportunity. Emma Kirkby is undoubtably the greatest singing English Classicists ever. I've got all her records! From vinyl LPs to the present day. The performance referred in the following communication (through email) would take place in Gloucester Cathedral. If anybody is interested, I can put you in contact:
George Sharpley writes (The LATIN QVARTER)
'I am producing a presentation of Virgil's Aeneid (abridged to about 90 minutes), telling the story of the Aeneid from start to finish, if selectively.
I have a very urgent problem (!). For the first presentation (Saturday 9th June) one of my female readers has had to stand down, and as the project is in its infancy we do not yet have a pool of seasoned performers.
Can you pass this message on to anyone who might be able to help? A winner of a schools' reading competition - or similar - would be an obvious candidate. As possibly their teachers!
There will be four Latin readers and an English narrator linking the pieces. The new reader will team up with Emma Kirkby (soprano singer and classicist), Matthew Hargreaves and Steve Wright.
We hope to have a piper adding musical accompaniment.
There is a sample of a previous reading here:
If you can help or have a suggestion please let me know!
Vagnari Roman Imperial Estate:The Settlement and itsMaterial CultureA Workshop on Friday 1 June 2018
University of Sheffield
Jessop West G03
Since 2012, excavations by the University of Sheffield have been ongoing at Vagnari, the site of a Roman village (vicus) in south-east Italy and the core administrative and distributive centre of a rural estate acquired in the early first century A.D. by the emperor. Fieldwork here has significantly contributed to an understanding of the profit-driven Roman exploitation of the environment in ancient Apulia. Revenues were generated, in part by the emperors’ slaves, through cereal crop cultivation and viniculture, the metal industries, and the production of tile and brick. In the most recent excavation seasons, new evidence reveals that an older settlement of at least the second century B.C. was acquired and transformed into the imperial vicus, prompting us to rethink the history and development of the region following the Roman conquest of Apulia in the third century B.C. The vicus and the imperial estate flourished in the first and second centuries A.D., but by the fourth century, the settlement was no longer inhabited, and its structures were quarried for building materials for a new, smaller village that was established nearby.
For more information, visit the project website
The workshop aims to present the archaeological research at Vagnari in its wider context and to discuss the impact of Roman expansion in south-east Italy on the culture and economy of the region. Speakers include Alastair Small who, together with Carola Small, discovered the site of Vagnari and conducted the first phase of fieldwork at the site from 2000, and Maureen Carroll, the director of excavations at Vagnari since 2012. A key and important part of the workshop is the presentation by the relevant project specialists of the artefacts and assemblages recovered in the Sheffield excavations. The workshop brings together these specialists to foster discussion of the artefacts themselves and their significance, and to engage participants at the event in this discussion.
There will be coffee/tea in the afternoon break and light refreshments at the end of the workshop. Participation in the workshop is subject to a fee of £15; Roman Society members pay a discounted fee of £10. If you wish to attend the conference, please complete the registration form on the Online Store.
University of Sheffield Online Store
Queries can be directed to Maureen Carroll (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Wednesday 18 April 2018
4:30pm, Seminar Room, Humanities Research Institute
34 Gell Street, S3 7QY
For Sheffield CA Members
(If you would like to join the Sheffield branch of the Classical Association, please contact Peter Hulse)
On Saturday afternoon, Alumni, and Alumnae of the Classics and Ancient History Department of the University of Sheffield (and many other interested parties) gathered together to reminiscence and swop memories of the time when Greeks and Romans held sway on Floor 7 of the Arts Tower (not HR) and the 'Pater Noster' lift was used by people who really understood what the words meant. This joyful occasion-many interesting stories were told and exchanged-was organised and facilitated by Dr. Daniele Miano to whom the greatest thanks are owed (omnes gratias maxumas -note the early form-agimus).
Sheffield branch of the Classical Association, founded in 1920