Friday Headlines

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Classicists debate the Fall of the Republic

Sixth Form

01 February 2019

On Thursday, we welcomed Oxford Classics lecturer, Dr Sillett, to school. As an A Level Classical Civilisation student, I had the fantastic opportunity to take part in a workshop with him, along with the four other girls studying this subject. 

He encouraged us to discuss the Fall of the Republic and debate whether the Fall began after the assassination of Julius Caesar, or earlier still. We used knowledge from our ‘Politics of the Late Republic’ lessons and were introduced to fascinating new ideas and events which will undoubtedly help our studies later on in the course. 
The A Level Latinists also enjoyed their time with Dr Sillett. The girls have been studying Cicero’s Philippics, and this workshop gave them an excellent opportunity to explore the motives behind this speech and the historical context. They thoroughly enjoyed hearing his thoughts about the Philippics and were able to contribute their own observations too, expressing all that they had been learning in class. 

After the workshops, we were invited to attend Andrew’s Oxbridge Admissions session in which he clearly described the application process and offered us some unique insight into how we can prepare for the interview. I now feel inspired to further investigate degree courses I would be interested in, and perhaps apply for Oxford University. 

After this session, we received a lecture about the political ideologies of Ancient Rome, which was very interesting as Dr Sillett explained the concepts of ‘res publica’ (the Republic) and ‘dignitas’ (personal honour), which we learnt were very important to Roman politicians. 

Overall, it was a highly informative and enjoyable day and we are extremely grateful to have had the chance to meet and learn from Dr Sillett. 

Emily Hurst, Year 12

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