Learning Classics is a bit like putting on a magic pair of 3-D glasses. Once you start delving into the language and the culture, you'll start to see it all around you. This blog is a record of the club's journey through the worlds and language of ancient Rome and Greece... and through modern times, too, searching for the influence of classics all around us. You'll also be able to find vocab, home tasks, links and generally enlightening info here, too.

26 June 2016

Museum of London trip

Only Max managed to identify this as a horseshoe
Last Friday saw us leave school behind and spend an amazing day at the Museum of London, experiencing life in Roman Britain.

A strigil, for scraping oily backs

First stop was an object handling session, where we played historical detective to work out the uses of the objects we were given. Some were easier than others. Mystery objects turned out to be an amphora, a roof tile (with an accidental pawprint), a glass makeup bottle and spatula, a brick from a hypocaust system, a key for a lock, and a strigil. A quick dress-up session followed, where the workshop leader made Jamellia up as a noble lady, complete with stola (dress), palla (cloak) and fibula (brooch). Adrian was transformed into a Roman soldier, with metal armour and helmet.

Then on to our next session, a dramatic retelling of the story of Boudicca and her revolt against the Romans. The storyteller left out absolutely none of the gory details, telling us all the nasty, certificate-18 behaviour of both Romans and Britons alike. Once we'd contemplated this outrageous behaviour, we divided into groups of Romans and Britons, each group tasked with giving a rousing pre-battle speech before the forces of Gaius Suetonius Paulinus clashed with the baying Britons, led by Boudicca. And look what I found on YouTube - not quite as good as you lot, though ;-)

Then, lunch and some free time to explore the museum. One quick photo opportunity taken, we then marched back along London Wall (guess why the road has this name?!) to Moorgate station and our homebound train.

dicite 'caseum' omnes!

20 June 2016

Lesson 25 - All together now

Since this was our last lesson before out end-of-year test, we spent the majority of it revising the language work we'd covered this year. And here it is:
Click to enlarge
Work on your revision sheets demonstrated that your grasp of the language is getting better and better...


So, the following weeks look like this:

Friday 24th June (all day): trip to Museum of London
Friday 1st July: end-of-year test
Friday 8th July: INSET day, no school
Friday 15th July: Y9 taster Cambridge Latin Course lesson

13 June 2016

Lesson 24 - Being and means

After putting it off for way too long, we finally encountered 'esse' (to be) in all its present tense glory. It was interesting to see how many European languages' versions of 'to be' have their roots in the Latin forms:

We then had a go at describing celebrities using the right part of 'esse', also remembering that the adjective has to agree in number and gender.

Then onto matters philosophical, specifically Aristotle and his notion of the Golden Mean. This idea is drawn from the ancient Greek idea of μηδὲν ἄγαν (meden agan), doing nothing in life to excess. In the Nichomachean Ethics, Aristotle proposes that we should aim to tread this 'middle way', and explores the impact that this approach might have on our everyday actions. For example, in situations involving bravery, he argues, it's not a good idea to be too feisty, nor is cowardice helpful: instead, somewhere in the middle of the two lies courage. Here are all of Aristotle's 'golden means':

The notion that personalities can be measured on a sliding scale persists in modern life, where there is a thriving industry in the development and application of psychological personality testing. So in the true spirit of mixing ancient and modern, the Classics Club took an Aristotelean Personality Test, marking ourselves against various Golden Means (gnothi seauton!), and then trying to guess from the numbers whose name was on the test. I have to say, you lot were pretty good at reading the tests!

I realised after the session that I hadn't filled in a test myself, so in the spirit of fairness, here you are: