Your Department Needs You! … to read Homer’s Iliad

Next month (Friday 22nd March) the Department will take part in an international festival of Latin and Greek.  Students, staff and other colleagues will join people across the world in reading a book of the Iliad out loud in a public place.  This way, we shall be experiencing the Iliad in the ways that ancient Greeks might have done, and we shall be sharing our love of classical poetry and culture with random passersby!

Here is a link to the Festival homepage, and to a map of all the reading locations.




Why would I want to do this?  Because it will be fun!  Get together with classmates and lecturers, bring a translation, spend a relaxing lunchtime amazing the passersby.  It will be near the end of term, so you will need a distraction from all those deadlines…

My Ancient Greek is not up to much…  Not to worry!  The whole idea is to read in a variety of languages.  Across the world, people are reading in Ancient Greek, but also in English, French, German, Afrikaans, Portuguese, Mandarin…you get the picture.

I’m shy!  We all are, but there is strength in numbers, and as the Greeks say, we learn through suffering – you never know, you might enjoy it.

But the Iliad is boring…. Bits of it might be, but we are going to read Book 6, where, a) Sarpedon and Glaucus debate heroism, and decide that the generations of men are like the leaves that fall, so why not leave a heroic legend behind, and b) Hector takes a poignant farewell of Andromache and their son Astyanax.  Bring a hankie!


OK I’m convinced.  What do I do next?  Good!  Please sign up here: Iliad reading sign-up form. The more we are, the fewer lines we each have to read, so less chance of embarrassment!  We read at 1-2 on Friday 22nd March, 2019, in the Edith Morley quad – more details will follow.  For more information, please contact Barbara Goff,





Hector takes leave of Andromache and Astyanax,
Apulian red-figure column-crater, ca. 370–360 BC


In the manner of Angelica Kauffman, based on a lost painting by her
exhibited 1769 at the Royal Academy in London; now in the Tate collection

Chancellor’s Award winners in the Department of Classics

In the latest round of Chancellor’s Awards, two of our students were winners: Aidan Richardson (Part 2, Ancient History) and Stephen Cervini-Attfield (Part 3, Ancient History).  The Awards are made on the basis of the previous year’s grades, and recognise exceptional academic performance.  A University-wide awards ceremony was held at the start of term, and yesterday Aidan and Stephen came into the Ure Museum of Greek Archaeology to be photographed with their prize certificates against a suitable Classical backdrop.  Congratulations to them both!

Aidan and Stephen in the Ure