Classics Conference at Westminster School (before Lockdown) Report by Classics Students
After a very early start to the morning, a sprint to school and an overcrowded train, some classics students arrived at Westminster School. On arrival we were then swiftly led to one of their magnificent halls and given some information on the talks we would soon be able to hear.
First off, from the Open University, Dr Elton Baker began a very interesting and lively talk on Herodotus and how one of the first ever historians was already exploring different accounts of what happened and looking at fake news whilst trying to make his own work believable.
Next was Dr Katherine Clarke from Oxford university exploring the famous story of Piso murdering Germanicus. She inspected Tacitus views, who recounts these stories and the different viewpoints ranging from the citizens to the senate and up to the emperor. And the question remained, Is all as it seems? Was Germanicus an innocent victim of a brutal murderer? Dr Clarke went on to show how, very interestingly, the two characters seem to almost mirror each other in various aspects of their story, from their wives to their personal desires.
After a brief break, Professor Phiroze Vasunia from the UCL discussed the Iliad and delved deep into the characters of Paris, Helena and Menelaus to examine their relationship, as well as taking a look at Hector and what the Greeks seemed to value as a people.
Finally, Dr Llewelyn Morgan, also from Oxford, analysed The Aeneid written by Virgil. He seemed to find amazing techniques in almost every line and explained how Virgil used the Latin language's freedom to create certain imagery and effects.
And so our trip concluded and we rushed back to school ready to face period 6 full of renewed interest in the ancient world. What a memorable day!