Weekend Reading: School Reports

This week it was my son’s parent’s evening: always a nervous time for the parent of a trainee tyrant. It started me thinking: what would the school reports of the ancient world say …?


Augustus: Wrote a lovely story recently, called ‘Things Wot I Have Done’.

Hadrian: Happiest in the construction area.

Tarpeia: Shouldn’t be wearing bracelets to school.

Herodotus: Loves storytime.

Romulus: Must learn to share.

Numa: Is getting a bit old for an imaginary friend.

Quintus Caecilius Metellus Pius Cornelianus Scipio Nasica: Still learning to write his name.

Strabo: Has produced excellent work in Geography this year.

Odysseus: Has many talents, but has been finding Geography quite a struggle.

Aeneas: A bit of a worrier.

Achilles: Sometimes refuses to come out of the classroom at play time.

Nero: His creativity is not always appreciated by his classmates.

Tacitus: Has some issues with authority.

Dido: Suffering from separation anxiety.

Livy: Very moral; sometimes tells on other children.

Lavinia: Quiet in class; blushes a lot.

Horace: Spends more time worshipping the water fountain than actually working.

Ovid: Makes the occasional mistake.

Catullus: Can be confrontational – and we need to discuss his language.

Caligula: Might be happier in a more structured environment.


Add your own in the ‘Comments’ at the bottom!





This week’s classical news and views from around the internet



Lots of mummies – BBC News 

Roman lead coffins in Surrey – Current Archaeology 

Redefining ‘treasure’ – The Guardian 

Discovering ‘middle-class’ Egyptians – USA Today 




Comment and opinion

Guatemala’s Virgil – The New Criterion

Seneca and slavery – Eidolon 

Translating Hesiod – The New Criterion 

Talking about pigs – In Medias Res 

Roman-ish gossip – Idle Musings 

Brexit and the Pyrrhic Victory – Daily JSTOR

Myth for children – Eidolon

Trump and the goddess of chaos – The New Yorker 

Trump and emperors – A Don’s Life

Love and poetry – Trinitonian

Gossip and retribution – Aeon 

A fatal Athenian love triangle – The Historian’s Hut 

The Glorious Twelfth – Lugubelinus 

Hypatia the Last Academic – Classical Wisdom Weekly

On classicists and translations – Eidolon 

Egypt’s wastepaper baskets – The Spectator 

Doing your laundry in ancient Mesopotamia – Atlas Obscura 

Livia’s hair – Coins at Warwick 




Podcasts, video and other media

On Antigone – BBC World Service 

Five things you should know about emperors – Barry Strauss

Colours in antiquity – Classical Reflections 

Ovid’s Art of Love – Emperors of Rome 

The Punic Wars – Antiquity in Question 

The Romanization of Hispania – The History of Spain Podcast 

The settling-in of the Goths – History of the Barbarians 

Iliadic mullets – Literature and History 

Fighting for the Republic – University of Birmingham

The Gallic tsunami – The Hellenistic Age Podcast

In Our Time: Aristotle’s Biology – BBC Radio 4

Roman Britain and The Bronze Age – Fall of Civilizations 

Rap-telling the Aeneid – The Latin Programme 


Other stuff

Online courses in Greek, Latin and Old Norse – Telepaideia 


5 thoughts on “Weekend Reading: School Reports

  1. Love it! (speaking as a former schoolteacher). Pliny the Elder – encouraging evidence of wide-ranging independent reading. Please keep the school’s Positive Living policy in mind when making up Vitellius’ packed lunches. Cleopatra may wear one plain gold stud in each ear – but must NOT come to morning assembly caked in makeup! Cicero needs to learn to write much more concisely.


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