Part One: The World of the Hero
In the first session of the day, Dr David Fearn introduced our attendees to recent readings of Homer's Iliad and Odyssey, using these to orient the teachers towards important and interesting new developments in Homeric thinking. Throughout the talk, Dr Fearn took the opportunity to relate characterisation to the structure and purpose of epic form in a variety of ways. A handout can be downloaded here.
This talk was followed by a session on Teaching the Politics of Virgil's Aeneid led by Prof. Victoria Rimell, where Prof. Rimell identified useful questions for drawing out debate on the politics and reading of passages from the Aeneid. A handout can be downloaded here, along with Prof. Rimell's PowerPoint Presentation.
OCR and Breakout Sessions
Our first session was followed by a Q&A with Alex Orgee, subject leader for classics at OCR. Alex spoke about the OCR curriculum and fielded questions relating to the latest A-level examinations and the use of recent scholarship.
Part Two: Culture and the Arts
Parts Two and Three of the day consisted of parallel sessions of topics linked to Culture and the Arts, and Beliefs and Ideas respectively. For Culture and the Arts we held parallel sessions on Imperial Image, Greek Theatre, and Greek Art.
In a very popular Imperial Image session, Professor Alison Cooley led an engaging talk on 'Augustus in his own words - the Res Gestae Divi Augusti' discussing a topic for which her book is the A-level set text. A handout can be downloaded here, and you can access Prof Cooley's PowerPoint here.
This was followed by Dr Clare Rowan on 'The evidence of coins for Imperial Image' - a subject for which she also recently recorded one of our popular #AskAnAcademic videos. Dr Rowan's Handout can be accessed here.
In our Greek Theatre session, Dr Emmanuela Bakola gave an introduction to Euripides' Bacchae and Sophocles' Oedipus Rex from the point of view of space, especially the contrast 'mountain-house' in both plays. Teachers enjoyed this lecture by one of the driving forces behind our yearly Warwick Ancient Drama Festival. You can access Dr Bakola's PowerPoints on Frogs, The Bacchae, and Oedipus Tyrannus here, as well as her Encyclopedia entry about Dionysus in Greek comedy.
In the session on Greek Art, which took place in our Antiquities Room, Prof. Zahra Newby and Dr Conor Trainor led a hands-on session with our Greek vases and replicas. Dr Trainor and Prof Newby explained how Pottery - as a common, everyday, and almost indestructible commodity - is one of the most important classes of artefacts for helping us to interpret many aspects of the ancient world, the aims of the session being to familiarise the teachers with the main archaeological/art historical uses of pottery; to familiarise them with the main approaches to archaeological pottery; and to provide an idea about how pottery is identified and interpreted. A Greek Pottery Handout can be downloaded along with one on Greek Art.
Part Three: Beliefs and Ideas
Our final set of parallel sessions, under the heading Beliefs and Ideas, were on Greek Religion and Love and Relationships.
For Greek Religion, Prof. Michael Scott led an entertaining talk on various aspects of Greek Religion including: 'Belief in the Gods', with reference to Herodotus, Xenophon and Theophrastus, Dodona Tablets; 'Personal, Local and PanHellenic Religion' with reference to a Sacred Law from Cyrene RO, 2007, 97); and 'Personal experience of the Divine' through reference to the healing texts at Epidauros.
In the Love and Relationships session, Prof. James Davidson introduced the teachers to 'Sappho and Lesbian Women - Historical and Literary Contexts', and to 'Plato on Love and Same-sex relationships'. Prof Davidson's PowerPoints on Plato and Sappho can be downloaded here.
Following this entertaining overview, Prof Victoria Rimell led a very useful and engaging session on Teaching Humour in Ovid Ars Amatoria 3. Prof. Rimell's PowerPoint can be downloaded here.