News & Events

Classics and Latin: Love, tragedy and plenty of artefacts

February 23, 2024

The day started in The British Museum’s captivating Ancient Greece and Rome section, and we listened to our own Classics students from Year 10 and Lower Sixth explain the artefacts and what we can learn from them. We were fascinated to see how Ancient artists used specific details and emphasised different parts of their works to draw attention to key aspects of their meaning. Some examples of this were three statues of Roman women and the Portland Vase, which helped the GCSE Latin pupils to learn more about love and relationships in Ancient Rome, and Classics pupils to understand further about ancient women.

Many of us were amazed at how old these artefacts were (from as early as 1 A.D!) and how well-conserved they must be for us to still be able to have the privilege of seeing them in real life today. We were also lucky enough to be able to see some stunning works in other areas of the museum, such as the famous Parthenon Sculptures and the awe-inspiring Bust of Ramesses the Great.

After lunch, we made our way to the Bloomsbury Theatre to watch a production of Euripides Bacchae performed by UCL students. Not only was the play incredibly entertaining, but it also gave us an insight into Ancient theatre and helped us to imagine the kinds of stories that were portrayed there. Such a strong representation of tragedy, for example, is not something we would recognise in theatre today – it is safe to say that we were blown away when Agave realised she had killed her son with her bare hands. The emotive acting combined with the riveting plot meant we were gripped by the performance.

This trip also served as a great reminder that Classics and Latin are so much more than the study of dead societies and languages. What makes it so special is that it combines rich history, art, religion, literature, philosophy and more into a single subject, all of which we were able to experience as a result of this trip. As a group, we are incredibly fortunate and grateful to have had the opportunity to witness such impressive and varied artefacts from the Ancient World.

Louise R
Lower Sixth