On Thursday, the Year 12 Classical Civilisation students visited Bristol University to listen to a series of lectures based around relevant topics to our course. Our first lecture was in the beautiful Old Council hall with Prof. Patrick Finglass on “Culture and the Arts- Greek Theatre: Tragedy” where he spoke about Oedipus Rex and pottery that showed how the myths inspired the playwrights and thus tragedy was expanded and enriched. After this we had another lecture, this time by Dr Paul Martin on “Culture and the Arts- Greek Theatre: Comedy”, which detailed what the Greek audience found funny and why. It was very thought-provoking since it gave a unique insight into the mind-set of the Greek audience. Then we had a small Q&A about studying Classics or Ancient History at university and what that would be like. We spoke to a variety of people, from undergraduates to a woman working on her PhD. It gave the perspective of other people with a passion for Classics.
After lunch, we had a fascinating lecture by Prof. Nico Momigliano on “The World of the Hero- Homer” where she explained how we can date the Odyssey based on the language used, the armour the heroes wear and the structures they see around them. Since we are currently studying the Odyssey in class this was just a depth of extra knowledge to solidify what we already know. We finished our day in Bristol with a lecture from Dr Edwin Shaw about “The World of the Hero- Virgil” where he outlined Roman foundation myths and discussed how important Aeneas was to Roman culture at the time. The whole day was so interesting and has inspired me to go further and study Classics at a university level.
by Millie Bate