Illustrated Classical Talks

Illustrated Classical Talks for School Assemblies

Free talks given to School Assemblies on the Classical World. The talks have 3 purposes:

(a) to generate interest in the classical world to large groups in whole-school/year-group assemblies

(b) to persuade them of the continuing relevance of the classical world all around them

(c) to encourage them to pursue classical subjects at secondary school, GCSE and A-Level

If interested, please contact me by e-mail on my talks e-mail ( for further details and an attachment listing talks given and schools visited in 2017 and 2018.

William Lawrence




Dear Head of Classics

I am writing to ask if you would be interested in any of the PowerPoint talks listed below delivered to general school audiences during my time teaching Classics at Highgate School (1985-2001; Years 9-13) and New College School (2006-2011; Years 3-8). The talks, given in Assemblies or General Studies, are designed specifically for general school audiences and are meant to appeal to classicist and non-classicist alike in order to demonstrate the continuing relevance of Greek and Roman Civilisation in a visual and informative way.  By speaking to general (rather than specialist audiences), I hope to persuade even those who have never studied the Classics that Greece and Rome still have a great influence on our lives in the 21st Century and remain valuable centres of interest. The talks can be adapted depending on the time available.

Fees: There is NO charge for any of these talks (other than expenses).

Greek Myths: The Iliad; The Odyssey; Jason and the Argonauts;Heracles’s 12 Labours ; Heracles’s Life (without the Labours); Hermes and Apollo; Perseus and Medusa; Prometheus and Fire; Theseus and the Minotaur; Typhon the Terrible; Zeus and Hermes’s Travels; The Greek Gods;

General Greek talks: Early Greek Art; The Legacy of Greece; The Persian Wars

General Classical Talks: Classical London; Classical Oxford; The Classics and Japan; Classical Sayings in English

Roman talks: The Aeneid; The Legacy of Rome (Roman Britain)

Oxford Talks: Classical Oxford; Oxford’s Gargoyles & Grotesques


Comments on the “Classical London” lecture:

“William Lawrence gave an excellent talk to the London Summer School in Classics in July 2003. “A Classical Tour of London” brought alive the classical resonances, both Greek and Roman, that are in front of our eyes, albeit often overlooked, here in London, reminding us that the Greeks and Romans still permeate our society, through street signs, architecture, statuary and other evidence.

The lecturer captivated the audience with a balanced mixture of wit and learning that appealed to all ages among an audience which ranged in age from 14 to over 70.

​​​​​Stephen Instone ( Director, London Summer School in Classics – July 2003)

“The talk was superbly illuminated by a wide variety of slides, with pictures ranging from park benches to the Pediment of the British Museum. The talk was entertaining and informative and pitched at just the right level for students and teachers alike. The talk showed the classical influence that pervades London and other cities, whether on pub and shop signs, statues or buildings.

In his lecture William Lawrence demonstrated the importance of visual stimuli, was informative and engaged his audience.”

​​​​​Richard Haynes (Director, ARLT Summer School – July 2003)

“William Lawrence’s talk to the Sixth Form was not only illuminating, entertaining and informative but also readily intelligible to the audience. He was able to pitch the talk at the right level which meant that all the students were able to appreciate it.”

​​​​Susan Scriven (Head of Sixth Form, QueenswoodSchool, Herts – January 2012)

“Sumo: Sport of Gods and Emperors”

On a completely different tack, I have a one hour DVD-illustrated talk “Sumo: Sport of Gods and Emperors” based on two years spent in Japan (1980-1982) on the Japanese Government’s English Language Teaching Programme (now known as the JET Scheme).

As mentioned above, if you are interested in any of the above talks, then please contact me on my “talks” e-mail address:

​​​​​​​​​William Lawrence

​​​​​​​​​(Highgate School  1985-2001)

​​​​​​​​​(New College School  2006-2011)

Schools visited:

Cheney School, Oxford (2016; 2017)​​​​Cranleigh School (2017)

Godolphin & Latymer School, London (2017)​​​Ibstock Place School, London (2017)

Highgate School, London (2001)​​​​​Guildford Classical Association Schools Talk (2017)*

King Edward VI School, Southampton (2018)​​​*hosted by Guildford High School (2017)

New College School, Oxford (2017)​​​​Bentley Wood High School, Stanmore (2018)

Lord Wandsworth College (2017)​​​​Brampton VI Form College, Hendon (2018)

Westminster Under School (2018)​​​​Ravens Wood School, Bromley (2018)

St James’s Girls School, London (2018)​​​