I was reminded this week that it’s two years since I was in London for the British Museum’s Troy exhibition.
That was the first time I’d ever been to a British Museum exhibition. Living in the North East, the British Museum was a place I might visit if I was in London for another reason, but I’d never gone down to London with that as a reason before. I was lucky enough to go to an evening viewing, with the Friends of the British School at Rome and the British School at Athens, and it was a lovely experience. I remember thinking that maybe it was the start of a new phase for me – a time when I could perhaps travel to see the things I wanted to see. Museums, galleries, public lectures, maybe even the occasional trip to Rome… all sorts of possibilities were opening up.
And then of course the whole world shut down. I always had a sneaking suspicion that it was my fault for tempting Fate.
Still, it’s nice to look back on the photos of what was a really interesting and well presented exhibition, with lots of quirky things I’d never seen before, alongside the famous stuff.
Last year at this time, things were rather different, and I was reduced to walking round the neighbourhood, taking photos of the Fort in the frost. But I have to admit that there are worse places to be…
This year is another quiet one, at least at the moment, but it feels rather like the calm before the storm. Events are starting up again: the Open University is announcing in-person graduation ceremonies for the first time in two years, and other exciting things are in the works too.
One thing I’m working on is establishing a new branch of the Classical Association in the far North of England, which is really exciting. We already have the Northumberland and Durham Branch up here, which has been around for a very long time, but that branch runs events exclusively in Newcastle and has never attracted much publicity. I’m hoping that a branch that will cover a much wider geographical area, and run online events too, will reach people in the North who might never have heard of the Classical Association. What many people don’t realise is that there’s always been a huge market here for Classics and Ancient History in the community, outside of the universities, and my hope is that an organisation that is fun, friendly and open to anyone will be well received.
I’m working on a website right now, and hope to have something ready to launch in the next couple of weeks – but in the meantime, if anybody local would like to volunteer to get involved (anywhere in the North of England, no formal Classics experience required!), do send me a message through the Contact form. I’ll need all the help I can get!
Interesting things this week
(Don’t forget to check out Rogue Classicism for a daily roundup of links!)
Happy birthday Hadrian! – Following Hadrian
Roman bowl like new – Hyperallergic
Top 10 Greek Mythology novels – The Guardian
Ancient super-camels – Haaretz
Wooden figurine found in Britain – Live Science
Comment and opinion
Toilets and intestinal worms – Smithsonian Magazine
The history of Hadrian’s Wall – Retrospect Journal
Learning Languages with ADHD – Asterion
The chronology of Greek myths – Kiwi Hellenist
Classical Reception in Metal Music – The Partial Historians with Dr Jeremy J. Swist
Worship in Rome – History Hack
A Career in Comedy – Career in Ruins, with Natalie Haynes
Chariots – Ancient World Magazine