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Emperors, Coins, Frogs and Oracles - Report

‘Emperors, Coins, Frogs and Oracles'

Warwick Classics Network Launch Event, 2nd July 2018

On 2nd July 2018, the Department of Classics and Ancient History hosted the launch event for the Warwick Classics Network (WCN), ‘Emperors, Coins, Frogs and Oracles’.

Organized by Professor Michael Scott ( and Dr Paul Grigsby (, in partnership with Advocating Classics Education (ACE) and the charity Classics for All, the day was attended by almost 200 school-children from across the country and their teachers, alongside staff from some schools interested in developing Classics and Ancient History as part of their curriculum.

The event began with an inspiring talk on the importance of Classics and Classics Outreach by the University Provost, Prof. Christine Ennew, and was followed by lectures for the pupils by Warwick academics Prof. Alison Cooley ('From Emperors to Slaves: Inscriptions in the Roman World'), Dr Clare Rowan ('Coins and the Ancient World'), and Dr Emmanuela Bakola (‘Aristophanes’ Frogs’). During Dr Clare Rowan’s sessions, the students were able to handle ancient coins. Highlights of these lectures along will be made available on our website.

Running concurrently with these lectures were specially orchestrated teacher sessions: ‘Supporting Classics’ – investigating how we at the WCN could best help those teachers currently teaching Classics; ‘The Digital Classroom’ – about the use of technology in teaching Classics at Warwick, and which included a very popular display of VR headsets by Dr Robert O’Toole, the Warwick Academic Technologist; and ‘Introducing Classics’ – a discussion about how the WCN could best assist in the introduction and development of Classics in schools with no current Classics subjects on their curriculum. These sessions were led by Prof. Michael Scott, with the support of Dr Arlene Holmes-Henderson (ACE), and Hilary Hodgson (Classics for All). The feedback and lively discussions during these sessions will shape the development of the WCN going forward.

During the free lunch, the students themselves were able to experience using the VR headsets, exploring the Athenian acropolis and bringing the Ancient World to life.

In the final session of the day everyone gathered in the Ramphal Lecture Threatre for the entertaining lecture, ‘Delphi: Centre of the Ancient World’ by Prof. Michael Scott, after which prizes (included signed copy of Prof. Scott's books) were handed out to a number of the pupils.

The day was organised under the aegis of ACE (Advocating Classics Education), and funded with the help of the Warwick Widening Participation Development Fund, and the Warwick Impact Fund (awarded to Prof. Michael Scott). The early organisation of the event undertaken by Dr Paul Grigsby was funded through the charity Classics for All, while stationery for the event was provided by the HRC (Humanities Research Centre), and Widening Participation.

In organising the event, Dr Paul Grigsby directly contacted over 135 Secondary Schools, and created a database of contacts which will be of use in future WCN activities.