Students enjoy talk about Latin Inscriptions

Senior School

The Classics Department was honoured to host Emeritus Professor Denys Pringle from the School of Archaeology, History and Religion at Cardiff University. Professor Pringle delivered a lecture to students in Years 10-13 on Latin inscriptions. By looking at a wide variety of inscriptions from all over Roman Britain and much further afield including Spain, Syria, Jordan and Turkey, we could see how these inscriptions reveal so much about how people wished to be remembered, their concerns and sense of identity.

Students learnt how to decode typical text found in Latin epigraphy such as ‘dis manibus’ which is often shortened to DM on a tombstone, meaning ‘to the spirits of the departed’ or ‘to the gods and ancestral spirits’.

It was fascinating to see how far Roman influence spread and for how long, even after the fall of the Roman empire and into the 17th Century and to hear about the many different sorts of inscriptions available for us to analyse. Curse tablets in Roman Bath, votive offerings to gods, tombstones, government decrees and even thanks for granting tax immunity all reveal tantalising glimpses into the past.

We are very grateful to Professor Pringle for taking time to travel all the way from Wales to talk to our students and for providing much food for thought.