Virgil Society Schools Day

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Jan 20

Virgil Society Schools Day

20 January - 16 March

Saturday 20th January 2024 Room G22/26 , South Block, Senate House, Malet Street, London

11:00 a.m.  Welcome (Alice Bolland, South Hampstead High School)

11:15 a.m.  GCSE Latin

Dr Jean-Michel Hulls (Dulwich College)

‘Learning about the Roman (under)world with Aeneas’

The GCSE prescription of Aeneid 6 is (unavoidably) selective, leaving out more of Virgil’s complex underworld narrative than it includes. By looking at the text in the round, we can see that the experience was equally tricky for Virgil’s contemporary audience, and for Aeneas himself. Unpicking some of the hero’s confusion can help us understand the history, philosophy and literature behind Book 6.

2:15 p.m.  A-level Classical Civilisation (“The World of the Hero”)

Dr Niki Karapanagioti (Oxford High School GDST)

‘Women in Homer and Virgil: Symbols of a hero’s achievements or co-heroes?’

The talk is going to focus on mortal women in Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey and in Virgil’s Aeneid. It will discuss the mortal women’s appearance in the narrative as victims of men’s pursuit of glory, fame and honour. But it is also going to try and identify places in all three epics where women are presented in a more positive light, taking on traits associated with the role of a hero.

3:00 p.m.   A-level Latin

Dr Luke Houghton (Queen’s College London / UCL, Royal Holloway)

‘Character, rhetoric, and description in Aeneid 12’

How do you end a story with a predetermined outcome? How can you create tension and hold readers’ attention and interest when significant elements in your plotline have already been infallibly foretold earlier in the narrative? Through close reading of the text of Aeneid 12, this talk illustrates some of the ways in which Virgil attempts to ensure that his readers remain invested in his characters and their fate even as the overarching course of Roman destiny works itself out over the final book of the poem.

Attendees are welcome to attend any or all of the talks. Lunch will not be provided, but light refreshments (tea, coffee, biscuits) will be available. The event is free to attend, but we would be grateful if you could let us know if you and/or your students intend to join us, so that we have a rough idea of numbers, by emailing Alice Bolland () or Luke Houghton () before 31st December 2023.


20 January
16 March
Event Category:


Senate House
Malet Street
London, WC1E 7HU United Kingdom
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