Weekend Reading: Joining the Pantheon

Not much from me this week, I’m afraid. What with all the excitement of International Lego Classicism Day yesterday (and the gruelling task of making it to the end of a 223-page verse novel for my contribution), combined with the chaos that is a rainy half-term holiday with a bored small child and a full load of marking, I have nothing of interest to contribute to the world.

There has been a LOT going on out there in the news, though. There’s currently a big wrangle about plans to ‘cut’ Virgil and Homer from the Oxford curriculum (although the proposal seems to be just to shuffle them around a bit). Should they be moved till later in the course because they’re less accessible than other texts? Should they be retained as an essential foundation for the study of other texts? Should a literature-in-translation component be considered? Should we even care? Lots of links for you in the ‘News’ below.

The Elgin (or Parthenon) Marbles have also been much in the headlines too, associated this week with Brexit. Lots of internet shouting has been going on about that – as always. Links below if you want to get stuck into that debate.

Just don’t expect me to have an opinion about any of it. I’ve been to the swimming baths for Family Fun Time today, along with – it seemed – everybody else in town. At this precise moment the whole discipline of Classics could burn down around me and I wouldn’t care as long as I got to sit quietly in a corner with a cup of tea.

Finally, here are some photos I posted on social media as a member of the Lego Classicist Pantheon (yes, I know – my apotheosis was only a matter of time…). The Lego Classicist kindly sent a minifigure of himself, all the way from Australia, so that I could get involved, along with 11 other classicists and organisations around the world. The whole family got into the spirit: my son, my parents, my sister and brother-in-law and my little nephews were all out taking photos of the Lego Classicist around the North East of England and Scotland. A good time was had by all – in spite of the appalling weather! Looking forward to next year already…






This week from around the classical internet


Some Lego Classics links

Reading and Lego in Pompeii – CREWS Project 

Hadrian’s Wall – Brick To The Past

The Battle of Lugdunum – Brick To The Past

Horatius at the bridge – Brick To The Past

An Arbeia Epic – Classical Studies Support (my contribution from last year)



Homer phobia at Oxford? – The Times

Deluded dons – The Article

Homer, Virgil and diversity – The Telegraph

Shock at Oxford – The Daily Mail

Homer, Virgil and the state school gap – Sky News

Oxford’s epic mistake – The Spectator

The Elgin Marbles belong to us all – The Telegraph

Marbles and a trade deal – CBS News

Will Britain lose the marbles? – The Economist

Byron was right – The London Economic

Temple of Romulus – Wanted in Rome 

Roman snake ring declared treasure – BBC News 

House of Lovers reopened – The Guardian

House of Lovers and two other homes – Smithsonian Magazine


Comment and opinion

Tanaquil the Kingmaker – Ancient Herstories 

Literature in Rome – Eagles and Dragons 

Mad King Aristobulus – The Historian’s Hut

Athens in 3D models – Hyperallergic

Bottling tears – Daily Sabah 

The world’s most expensive garum – Quinquennium 

Boris and Augustus – The Spectator 

Who owns antiquity? – Huellas Magaine 

Did Roman engineers stand under bridges? – Kiwi Hellenist 

Animated vases – Society for Classical Studies


Podcasts, video and other media

Cincinnatus, Dictator – The Partial Historians 

5 thoughts on “Weekend Reading: Joining the Pantheon

  1. As I have Homer tattooed on my left arm and Virgil on my right, does this mean I might have to cut off my arms?

    On a more controversial note and I know I am in a minority of one it seems, but I really don’t get Lego. There, I’ve said it – burn the heretic.


    1. Well, I didn’t grow up as a Lego fan! But intensive exposure through small child obsessions has taught me that it’s addictive…!

      No need to cut off your arms. Just stay out of Oxford…!


  2. The Lego Classicist with umbrella looks a lot like the 7th Doctor…did it happen to arrive with a Tardis? Which would be a handy accessory for any classicist!


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