End of Term Newsletter from Hellene Travel

July 2019 End of Term News Letter – Classroom Resources, Examination Support, Trips and Excursions Galore!

Dodona to Glevum!

Noviomagus Reginorum to the Nekromanteion of Ephyra!

Butser Roman Villa Warming Party to the Ure Museum!

Congratulations one and all, you’ve nearly made it!

I – Classroom and Examination Support –

As per usual the terrific generosity from so many Teachers continues.

The A Level and GCSE Facebook support Groups have provided a wonderful Forum for Mock Paper Swap Shop and Resource Booklets, answering calls for help, untangling contradictory OCR statements, clarifying updates. Caroline Bristow has been indefatigable.

Greek Myth Comix continues to added a plethora of classroom resources to her Drop Box: http://greekmythcomix.com/ as has Legonium: http://www.legonium.com/resources/

Laura and Caroline have also been working alongside Dr Sophie Hay, Prof. Andrew Wallace-Hadrill and Caroline Lawrence on The Bar of Amarantus and His Neighbours project, based on their Pompeii excavations. https://na.cambridgescp.com/amarantus

Legonium has produced a new initiative for Latin beginners, Gilbo. Unit Four doesn’t wander too far from CLC andWizards and Orcs have been promised! https://twitter.com/tutubuslatinus/status/1096909688820531200

Don’t forget to check out Stephen Jenkins at The Classics Library for more Teacher Support, classroom ideas and initiatives.

Socrates is to feature in the next Time Travel Diaries and we were more than happy to have assisted Caroline Lawrence a little in her recent Athens Quest.   

For additional resources of which you may not be aware, see Attachment A

II – Trips Abroad –

Beware the pre High Tourist Season Clamp down, especially in Italy.

Venice is now charging entrance for Day Trippers, Rome has banned Tourist Coaches from the Centre, fancy dress, eating near Heritage Sites, wheeling cases down historic steps, Capri is threatening 500€ fines for using plastic plates and bottles.






Having said that, locals are still to be seen refilling their water bottles at Nasoni and eating pizza at Spagna! It is perhaps though a sign of things to come and for which we have much sympathy.

Pompeii has once again excelled with new excavations.

Thanks to Dr Sophie Hay for drawing to our attention ‘a wonderful map locating all the latest discoveries in the excavations of Region V, created by @ecampania. It’s an extraordinarily useful accompaniment to this thread as is the text in the article’: https://twitter.com/pompei79/status/1097488167471665153

You can follow the Archaeological Institute of America Excavations at Pompeii here: https://www.archaeological.org/interactive-dig/pompeii-italy/

Many Houses have re-opened in Pompeii plus newexhibitions and venues in Rome eg Domus Aurea, Domus Transitoria, subterranean tunnels of Caracalla Thermae, Domus Augustana, Domus Severiana and a smashing new Replica Armour Museum in Piazza Navona albeit misleadingly called a Gladiator Museum.  Gucci has even promised to restore the Tarpeian Rock and Bulgari to clean up the Largo di Torre Argentina!  The cats aren’t too pleased but Caesar is reported to be thrilled with his new knife proof man bag…

The huge news in Athens is of course the recent opening of the excavations beneath the Akropolis Museum!

Our favourite local Athenian Theatre Group Topos Allou / Ancient Pathos has a new Aristophanes Production from October together with their excellent workshops. See here. Do contact your Tours Manager if interested.

The new Museum at Troy is now and up and running.

For further details of all of the above and more, see Attachment B

For those of you who find all this a little passé – Baalbek, Lebanon is no longer a ‘no-go’ travel zone: http://www.travelweekly.co.uk/articles/319035/ancient-roman-site-in-lebanon-no-longer-in-no-go-travel-zone

III – Trips at Home

As ever, we have been out and about visiting Clients and taking in UK Sites and Museums.  

We happened to be in Chichester for Roman Week and thoroughly enjoyed the Museum, walking the walls and their Rome in Hollywood pop up Exhibition! Do try to catch it; it will go on Tour.  

We enjoyed a spot of Classical Reception at Greenwich Visitors Centre whilst waiting for the @MOLArchaeology and @ThamesDiscovery Foreshore Walk:

We also bumped into fellow MOLA Archaeology Ambassador, Dr. Sophie Hay – and very nice she is too!

Huge thanks to Eliott, Amy, Suzie and Jack for organising and leading – butchery, erosion, oak vs yew vs pine, drains, piers and C16th fisherman’s huts!: https://twitter.com/HelleneTravel/status/1116635166846464002

Whilst in the Marlborough area we decided to visit Littlecote Roman Villa. Veryworthwhile with excellent info boards and a fabulous Orpheus Mosaic: https://twitter.com/HelleneTravel/status/1120955428781928448

We bumped into Emperor Nerva outside Greggs in Glevum, Gloucester, discovered a Roman Mosaic under a carpet in the Museum together with some very odd Roman Ceramics of Germanic influence.

Go visit!


Reading Museum has a lovely Romano British Gallery, excellent mosaics and a superb Roman Pottery Wall.


Much to our embarrassment, we had never before visited the Ure Museum, University of Reading. What a revelation! Home to one of the UK’s largest collections of ancient Greek ceramics – and more!”

Yes, they organise School Trips and are very user friendly!

Tue–Fri (Tue–Thu out of term) 09:00–16:30: 

All the above are of course – GRATIS! Please visit. Please make a donation.

Butser Ancient Farm is, unsurprisingly, not free – it is a living, breathing entity with need for livestock upkeep as well as offering workshops. Most of the Staff are volunteers and we were thrilled to be able to attend their Roman Villa Opening Ceremony. I even laid two pieces of tesserae!

The mosaic is superb, the Villa a very good reproduction with working hypocaust, latrines and sponge sticks.   

For details of forthcoming UK Exhibitions and new displays in London, Oxford and at Lunt Roman Fort, see Attachment C.

IV – NW Greece – Epirus and Thesprotia

The GTO has eventually decided to open up and push NW Greece, Epirus and Thesprotia by creating an ‘Ancient Theatres of Epirus Route’

Having visited Dodona, the Nekromateion and swum the River Acheron over thirty years ago and loved it, John and I decided to see whether recent developments have made it more user friendly for Schools. Whilst we may enjoy sleeping next to a pile of beans and showering with a hosepipe, we do appreciate this is not the standard expected by Parents and Governors!

We had invaluable help from the British School at Athens who arranged for the Ephorate to open closed Sites and if you are interested in how we got on – read all about it here! 

The BSA Summer Newsletter profiles some of their researchers and looks at their world-class facilities:  


V – “Retired Classicists never die, they simply substitute Family!”

To see how Peter Bond, HoD Bristol Cathedral School, enjoyed Naples and environs without pupils trailing in his wake, see here

Finally, when you get to stage of wondering why on earth you make your life more difficult by running School Trips, just remember this……..

Benefits of a School Trip? The decipherment of Linear B! Michael Ventris:

Have a super Summer with excellent Examination Results!

All the Very Best from Sarah and John and the Hellene Team