Animal Sounds in Ancient Greek!

In our first lesson of term, we started off by looking at some unusual looking ancient Greek words and transliterating them. Examples included: “epopoi…. poipoipoipoipoi” and “torotorotorotorotix”. You guessed at what these might be, and many of you correctly identified that they were animal sounds. They were in fact sounds made by the birds in…

A Dystopian Valentine’s Evening

On Thursday 14th February, the Iris Project held a Celebration of Dystopias, with a talk, community film viewing, exhibition, and dystopian themed refreshments! Year Eight Classics students have been exploring utopias and dystopias through the ancient Greek philosopher Plato. Plato’s most famous work is his Republic, where he outlines his thoughts on the ideal society….

Dystopian Fiction: Talk, Exhibition and Community Film Viewing

Dystopian Fiction: Talk, Exhibition and Community Film Viewing Thursday 14th February, 3.30 – 6.15pm at the Iris Classics Centre at Cheney School We are delighted to welcome Professor Greg Claeys, lecturer from Royal Holloway University, and author of “Dystopias: A Natural History” to speak at the Classics Centre about Dystopian Fiction. He will speak between…

Utopia or Dystopia: Imagined Societies from 380 BC to 1984

In today’s lesson, we started by looking at three Greek words: “ou”, dys-” and “topos”. Some of you spotted that when joining them together, it created the words “utopia” and “dystopia”. “topos” means a “place”, “dys” is a negative prefix, being “bad”, and “ou”, more surprisingly, means “no”. So a “utopia” literally means “no place”,…

Empedocles and a Klepsydra

In today’s lessons, we started with two ancient Greek words, “κλέπτω” and “ῠ̔́δωρ“. I asked you to transliterate them and then we talked about what they might mean. You were quick to guess the first, “I steal”, and link it to ‘kleptomaniac’, and some of you spotted the similarity to ‘hydrate’ for “ῠ̔́δωρ“, leading to…

Introducing the Presocratics

We started back this term on a completely new module! After some warm-up Latin verbs and nouns, I explained that we were leaving behind the Trojan War and Dark Ages, and skipping forward in time to around the sixth century BC. Around this time, a group of early thinkers, known as the Presocratics, emerged, and…

The Wrath of Achilles

In last week’s lessons, we started with a recap activity to help remind you all on what happened in book one of the Iliad. You were asked in groups to create a cartoon summary of the key events of the book and then to present your summary to the class. You all remembered key bits…

Storytelling with Ben Haggarty

On Friday 16th November, we were very fortunate to be able to welcome professional storyteller Ben Haggarty to the classics centre to perform a retelling of classical myth to Year Eight and Nine Classics students. Ben amalgamated two well-known stories, the myth of the birth of Dionysus and the myth of Orpheus descending to the…

Epithets in Homer

This week, we have been looking at one of the very distinctive features of Homer’s poetry. In almost every line of the Iliad and Odyssey, you can find an epithet – and adjective which is frequently associated with particular individuals, places or objects. We looked at some of the epithets associated with Achilles – swift-footed,…

Diseases of Modern Life: Workshop and Challenge

We were very privileged today to be able to welcome Professor Sally Shuttleworth and Dr Catherine Cherlwood from the University of Oxford Humanities Centre (TORCH) to our lesson to introduce an exciting project on the theme of ‘Diseases of Modern Life’. This forms part of our wider engagement with objects and museum learning. We started…