Category Archives: Education

Drama queens: Ummidia and Messalina acting it out

Yesterday I had the immense pleasure to present – again – at the JACT GCSE Latin and Greek Conference at Westminster School London. My talk covered two set texts for the GCSE Latin – Pliny’s letter 7.24 (on Ummidia Quadratilla) … Continue reading

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Control, Fear, and Rage: Ovid on Linguistic Isolation

I moved from Germany to Britain in September 2005. I have made this island my home – I work here, I live here, I have my friends here. I don’t put my beach towel over chairs in the library, I … Continue reading

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Sex, Gender Roles, and Hatred

In 1908, Edith Morley was appointed Professor of English Language at University College Reading – the institution that eventually became the University of Reading. Professor Morley’s autobiographical sketch, ‘Looking Before and After’ was recently published as ‘Before and After: Reminiscences … Continue reading

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Casting the Die, Sounding the Charge

It was on January 10th, 49 B. C., allegedly, that Gaius Julius Caesar decided to cross the Rubicon – literally – and thus both to start a bloody civil war and to create a metaphor, for millennia to come, that describes … Continue reading

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Reading’s Latin Inscriptions

May I be forgiven some shameless self-advertising? My latest book has just been published by Reading’s wonderful Two Rivers Press! The book contains an anthology of 48 Latin inscriptions that are on display in Berkshire’s county town of Reading (as … Continue reading

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Voices of Sexism: the Active, the Passive, and the Middle

One of the great things about being a Classics lecturer is that I get to supervise a wide range of fantastic final-year projects every year: the creativity as well as the range of interest of my students is truly astounding, … Continue reading

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The Divine Riches of the Latin Language

My son’s interest in the Latin language, fuelled by his engaging Latin teacher, remains unbroken. Recently, for example, he wished to discuss the authenticity of some volumes of John Maddox Roberts‘s beautifully entertaining SPQR series with me (to a depth … Continue reading

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Mortifying Teachers

Traumatic, unbearable experiences that seem to shatter our grasp of reality trigger a simple coping mechanism: when one encounters something that seems to come close to our wildest nightmares in real life, one is inclined to narrativise, to fictionalise – … Continue reading

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Why Learn a Foreign Language?

The following considerations were part of a paper presented at a British Academy Early Careers Regional Event: ‘Linguistic Diversity and Cultural Identities in Europe: Oral Voices and Literary Languages (Eurotales: an Exhibiting and Museographical Experiment)’ on 11 April 2014 in … Continue reading

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Discussing Cicero, Against Verres II 1.53 ff. (for A-level students)

Reading’s Department of Classics was delighted to host the 2014 Ancient World Study Day on March 26th. On this occasion, I was invited to offer a talk on Cicero’s speech In Verrem 2.1.53 ff., the OCR set text for 2014, … Continue reading

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