Enlightening Classical Symposium at St Mary's Calne

On Sunday 12th January, we welcomed students from Bentley Wood High School in London, Bristol Grammar School, Pate's Grammar School in Cheltenham and South Wilts Grammar School in Salisbury to a Classical Symposium at St Mary's Calne.

The day comprised four talks. Professor Stephen Oakley from Emmanuel College, Cambridge, delivered two superb talks on Ovid and the Love Poets, and Tacitus' Histories which focus upon some very turbulent times in which there were four emperors in just one year. Dr Daniel Jolowicz from King's College, London, gave a talk on whether Odysseus was a hero, a villain, or something in between. He talked about what kleos (glory) might mean in a modern context and how this was very different from an ancient interpretation and how the nature of a hero had even changed between the Iliad and the Odyssey. Finally, Professor Amy Smith from Reading University spoke on Material Culture and how ancient artefacts can add to our understanding of ancient myth and society. All 55 students and teachers who were there on the day had a wonderfully wide diet of the Classics and have gone away with plenty to think about beyond just what is expected to pass the exam.

Thank you to the Catering Department for a delicious lunch and to the St Mary's Sixth Form Classicists who gave our guests an excellent tour of the school. A great day was had by all.

Mrs Elizabeth Rothwell (Head of Classics)