Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Hi Ho, Hi Ho

Within hours now a merry band of Latin & Classical Studies 3rd Formers will be hopping on a plane to Naples. We hope to send back pictures, updates and stories from our five days away but this will all be dependent on internet facilities in our accommodation...we'll see. In any case certainly on return there will be plenty of material to 'clog up'.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Thought for the week

This week, Marcus Aurelius returns to the theme of death:

'Death: a release from impressions of sense, from twitchings of appetite, from excursions of thought, and from service to the flesh.'

What an escape!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Antigone in Nifty Slideshow Format!

At Last! Antigone Pix

Well ladies and gents of the Clog world at last we have some visuals. And who better to feature first but il director himself. Indeed! The entire Antigone photo album will feature here tomorrow in a natty slideshow. And oh yeah, thanks for your patience!
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Wednesday, April 23, 2008

T.Y. Book Reviews

Earlier this year our TY pupils were asked to choose from a selection of novels in the college library that were set in the classical world or simply took their inspiration from that world. Over the next few posts we will be including some their work starting today with the inaugural TY Classical Studies prize winner (not for this piece of work mind you), Ed Teggin's review of 'The Silver Pigs' by Lindsey Davies.

Rome, AD 71, Marcus Didius Falco is an Imperial agent to the newly installed Emperor Vespasian. Falco is a low ranking agent who is usually given demenial jobs such as cleaning up murder scenes. The start of the story is no exception as he is tasked with investigating the murder of a suspected conspirator, little does he know that dealing with this one case will entwine him in a full blown conspiracy to overthrow the Emperor Vespasian.The author, Lindsey Davies, starts off by introducing us to Falco and from the off there is an irony in that Falco describes himself as a republican and yet he finds himself in the service to the autocratic Emperor. Falco's talk of being a bit of a ladies' man lead s him to introduce Helena Justina, a senator's daughter with whom he once had a relationship with but even though he is still besotted with her, he tells himself that it would never work. Helena was once married to the obnoxious senator Pertinax who has just been found murdered in a prison cell as it seems that he too had dreams of a glorious coup against the Emperor and that maybe he would get to wear the royal of purple.The death of a senator in a fire at the temple of Heracles on the Aventine way leads to questions about a freedman called Barnabas who seems to be in someway beind these mysterious murders. In light of this, the Emperor orders Falco southwards in pursuit of this dangerous killer. Falco travels south in the company of his brother Petro and his family, masking his real motives as a family holiday. Falco investigates the surrounding area with the help of Helena Justina and dicovers that her father in law has designs on the throne. Now it is a race against time to prove his guilt before he can execute his plan.Shadows in Bronze is a fast moving murder mystery, set in Imperial Rome and is one of those intriguing books that you simply cannot bear to put down and it niggles at you until you eventually have to pick it up again and read on. I would gladly recommend this book to anybody as it has a good, interesting storyline which gives us an impression of what Imperial Rome was like.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Thought for the week

Marcus Aurelius contemplates death:

'Despise not death; smile, rather, at its coming; it is among the things that Nature wills. Like youth and age, like growth and maturity, like the advent of teeth, beard, and grey hairs, like begetting, pregnancy and childbirth, like every other natural process that life's seasons bring us, so is our dissolution.'

A difficult proposition...

Monday, April 14, 2008

Thought for the week

Marcus Aurelius advises us to to live for today:

'To live each day as though one's last, never flustered, never apathetic, never attitudinising - here is the perfection of character.'

Sensible advice indeed...

Saturday, April 12, 2008

'Medea' in Form V

Form V are currently studying Medea by Euripides, a story of love gone bad and the terrible revenge taken by the jilted lover, who kills her own children to hurt their father. Here, two pupils give their impressions of the play:

Allen Crampton writes: The play deals with many themes, mainly the suffering of women and how they seek revenge. It is set in Corinth, where Jason has brought Medea after all his travels. He met her on his quest for the Golden Fleece. She helped him, fell in love and had two sons with him. But in Corinth, Jason left her to marry Glauce, who was the daughter of Creon, king of Corinth. Jason was a social climber.

The play is about how Medea gets her revenge and it is scary to see the lengths she will go to just to get back at him. Throughout, there is a chorus of Corinthian women who set the scene and fill us in on the feelings of the characters as the plot unravels.

Euripides wrote the play for an Athenian audience and it has a note of caution for them. It is about how they should treat women. At that time they were treated badly and had no say in how society was run. Euripides uses Jason and Medea as an example to show what can happen if women are treated badly. Medea is probably one of the first works of feminism. Euripides felt that times were changing and that the rights of women needed to be reviewed.

I particularly liked this play as it showed me what life was like in Greece at the time. It was my first ancient Greek play on the LC course and I felt that it was very accessible and easy to understand. There are many relevant themes that are easily recognisable and I would highly recommend this short work to anyone interested in the classical world.

Katie Murphy writes: Medea is a dramatic and fast-paced play. It tells the story of Medea and Jason and the wrath of a woman jilted in love. Medea was a witch. She married Jason, the old-style Greek hero of the Golden Fleece legend, who in this play is shown as beyond his peak and trying desperately to keep his social status. He has married the king of Corinth's daughter. Medea was not trusted by the people of Corinth as she was a foreigner.

Jason was aware of what Medea was like before he left her. She had murdered her own brother for him in the past. But in his blind stupidity, he ignored this. She is a very proud woman and she hurts very deeply and wants to hurt Jason as he has hurt her. At the very start of the play we hear that she is mad with love for Jason and will hurt him no matter what it does to her - even if it leaves her childless.

The play has very strong themes: the pain of exile, children and the blindness of arrogance. It shows how in ancient Greece men were seen as infinitely superior to women. So. strong women were often overlooked. As in this case, this can lead to disaster. No one feared Medea as they should, so they underestimated how far she would go in order not to lose face.

The play is a perfect picture of the power of love and how strong hate can be when love goes wrong.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Thought for the week

Welcome back to our Trinity Term.
In the first gem of wisdom this term, Marcus Aurelius advises us to curb our instincts and intentions lest they lead us to err:

'If it is not the right thing to do, never do it; if it is not the truth, never say it. Keep your impulses in hand.'

More anon...