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    Y12 Classicists Visit Oxford

    Students saw for themselves some of the oldest surviving copies of the works they are currently studying, and gained an insight into just how we know what we do about the ancient world.

     

     

    What is the oldest man-made object you have ever held? Last Thursday, a lucky group of Year 12 Latin and Greek students were given the opportunity to examine and hold an array of ancient coins and medieval manuscripts in Oxford's Ashmolean Museum and Bodleian Library.

    Organised by colleagues at South Hampstead High School, we were given access to priceless objects, ranging from a 2500-year-old golden 'diobol' coin (from Athens), to one of the few coins from the dictatorship of Julius Caesar in 45 BC - a coin that is actually one of the very first to show a living Roman portrait, much like the Queen's head on our currency.

    We also saw papyrus fragments of plays by Sophocles (famous for writing the tragedies Oedipus and Antigone), a 9th-century parchment book of Virgil's Aeneid, an early paper edition of Ovid's Amores and one of the first European printed books, containing the speeches of Cicero. Students saw for themselves some of the oldest surviving copies of the works they are currently studying, and gained an insight into just how we know what we do about the ancient world.

     

    Mr Bateson
    Head of Classics