07 February 2017
Dr Michael Scott, Classics Lecture
The 2017 Sackville lecture was delivered on January 26 by Dr Michael Scott, Professor of Classics at Warwick University. He is the author of numerous books on the ancient world and the presenter of several documentaries, including most recently the BBC “Invisible Cities” series. He spoke to students in Years 7-9 on “The Gritty Reality of Ancient Greece”, arguing that our usual perception of the Classical World, with beautiful people in flowing white robes, shining marble buildings and a pure sense of honour and fairness is flawed; in reality, most Greeks were ill, injured, smelly and poor, and extreme competitiveness and cheating were the driving forces behind ancient society. The talk was extremely well-received and students have been following up the ideas discussed in their Latin and Classical Civilisation lessons. He then held a seminar for Classics students in Year 11 and the Sixth Form on Roman Theatre, which explored why pure drama as a genre seemed to be so unimportant to the Romans except in the very earliest period of Latin literature. The seminar was followed by a lively question and answer session, and Dr Scott also spoke to some students about university courses and options.