The Tale of Apollo and Daphne

In this week’s lessons, we have been translating the story of Apollo and Daphne. The Roman poet Ovid includes this story in his Metamorphoses, a large poem which features many examples of people changing into things, and sometimes things changing into other things too. We have been looking at his version of the classical creation…

Lesson 14: Beautiful and Doomed

In this week’s lesson, we started by looking at two particularly famous examples of Homeric epithets. One was “γλαυκῶπις” which  is often used to describe the goddess Athene, and is often translated at “grey-eyed” or “gleaming-eyed”. Another was “οἶνοψ” which is used to describe the sea, and is commonly translated as “wine-dark”. Both these epithets,…

Trip to Londinium

This week, Year Eight and Nine classics students set off for the city of London to explore the Roman remains and learn about life in “Londinium”. The students were split into their year groups on arrival to take part in two different activities. One part of the day involved visiting the Guildhall Art Gallery. When…

Lesson 13: 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,…

Lesson 12: Memory Games

In our first lesson back this term, we took ourselves back to the Dark Ages that descended after the Trojan War, and explored how the stories of the Mycenaeans survived through the next few hundred years. The answer is that they formed part of an oral tradition, stories told by singers who wandered the country,…

Lesson 11: End of module quiz

In our final lesson this term, the tables became teams! Each table was named after a different character from Homer’s two great epics, the Iliad and Odyssey, and were given fifteen questions about the Minoans and Mycenaeans. Consulting with their teams, the two classes shared their knowledge of the last ten lessons, and were able…

Lesson 10: Weapons and Warfare

In our final lesson of the week, we looked at Mycenaean weaponry and warfare. The Mycenaean period was the around the time that the Trojan War is thought to have taken place, so warriors such as Achilles, Hector and Agamemnon were all Mycenaean era fighters. Mycenaean weaponry and armour seems to have gradually changed. Near…

Lesson 9: Mycenaean Life and Death

In our first lesson this week, Apollo and Artemis classes were introduced to some of the food that the Mycenaeans would have eaten, before taking part in the burial ceremony of a Mycenaean leader! We started off by guessing at some Linear B logograms – some of these were very obvious, like those for things…

Lesson 8: Jupiter on Trial!

In our final lesson of this week, Apollo and Artemis classes took part in a trial! We have recently finished the third chapter of Telling Tales in Latin, where Ovid describes how Jupiter decided to flood the world, since mankind had, in his view, become so wicked. For their previous homework, both groups had been…

Lesson 7: Meeting the Mycenaeans

In today’s lesson, we began to explore the Mycenaean Civilisation. The Mycenaeans flourished from around 1600 BC to around 1100 BC, and the Linear B tablets at Knossos and on other sites are some of the pieces of evidence we have which show that they invaded these Minoan sites and took over their palaces. We…

Lesson 6: The Fall of the Sea Kings

In this week’s lesson, Apollo and Artemis explored a possible reason why the Minoan Civilisation, with its beautiful, unfortified palaces, and its incredible technology, was overthrown by the Mycenaeans. We discussed how the Minoans did extensive trade, and probably had a very strong naval presence, which would have helped prevent attack, and may explain why…

Lesson 5: Difficulties with Dating

In our fifth lesson together, Apollo and Artemis classes explored the challenges archaeologists face when trying to interpret and date artefacts. In order to get the groups into the right mindset, they were given a modern artefact – either a hot chocolate tub or cereal bar packet – and asked what information these artefacts might…