Year 12 Students Experience a Very Classical Day at The British Museum
The day was a mixture of lecture-style talks and tours of certain areas of the museum specifically chosen to complement the A-level syllabus . The day started with a lecture from Lesley Fitton on Homer at the British Museum, who spoke to us about how we should explore Homer in his historical context. In addition to this, she also directed us towards what items of historical interest they have in the museum itself. For example, different types of Bronze Age weapons. This did help to shed some light on the elusive figure of Homer and the historical context of the Iliad and Odyssey.
Prior to lunch, we heard the first of two inspiring gallery talks which covered Greek theatre and women and relationships in Rome. During these talks, we were actually in the gallery observing amazing artefacts, such as vases, masks and busts. This helped us to gain a deeper understanding of the contextual knowledge of each object.
After lunch, we had another lecture, this time on Aurea Saecula: the rise of Aeneas-Augustus by Thorsten Opper. He excellently engaged us in the story of Octavius’s political career and life. After that, we had our final gallery talk of the day, which was my personal highlight. This involved taking a closer look at the objects Lecturer Lesley Fitton had showed us earlier. Lecturer Andrew Shapland then gave us a more analytical insight into Homer. This was the best part of the day for me because the Iliad is what we had studied recently during class.
The day was then rounded off with a final lecture-style talk from a group of archaeology students in their third or fourth year at King’s college London and University College London. They gave us valuable information about the benefits of studying classics and related subjects at degree level. Overall, it was an inspiring, interesting day which sparked new questions and lead us to consider how we approach the fascinating subject of classics. Many thanks to Classics Head Teacher Mrs Roston for taking us and the British Museum for organising such a thought provoking day.
Hannah Fox, Year 12