Weekend Reading: An Open Invitation

I hope you’ve all had a lovely Christmas break! Mine felt like it went by very fast, and I don’t think I’ve actually had a chance to sit still yet – but it was good to be able to focus on family things for a change. I confess that there was quite a lot of chocolate.

It’s back to normal now though – or as normal as my life ever gets…!

This week I’d like to invite you to a talk I’m giving (in Durham and also online) on the evening of Thurs 19th Jan. It’s a free talk, and Open University students and graduates (along with anybody else with a general interest in Classics and/or North-East history!) will be warmly welcomed. If you’d like to watch online, I’ll give you the EventBrite link for booking next week (you have to book in advance in order to be sent the Zoom link).

If you’d like to come along in person, you don’t need to book: just turn up (at 5pm in room PG21, in the Pemberton Building on Palace Green in Durham)! It’s right next to the cathedral, so it’s very easy to find – but here’s a map to help (the blue pins show the train station, the seminar location and the Department)…

You can even join me afterwards for drinks (wine or juice, whatever you prefer!) in the Durham Classics Department library – and after that we’ll be going out for a meal, so you’re welcome to come along for that too. It should be a fun evening! Please do come along, if you’re able to – and if you do, you really must march up to me and introduce yourself! It would be lovely to see some familiar faces, because I’ll be a nervous wreck – I’m not used to being seen out in public, minus slippers and a cup of tea.

Whether you attend in person or online, I can promise you all of the following: bishops, princesses and dragons, skulduggery (both criminal and academic), churches, cats, old books, metros, pseudo-history, inscriptions, Pugin, Lego, statues and – always and inevitably – Tacitus. Oh, and some pretty bad poetry (not mine – my poetry is verging on Vogon-quality), and probably an assortment of other things too.

This is why they don’t often let me loose on an audience…!

I do hope you can come. One of the reasons why I started up the Hadrian’s Wall Classical Association Branch was so that I could issue invitations like this, to free and friendly events which would allow people with an interest in Classics to get together. We’re very lucky that Durham University have joined forces with us to run this seminar series, in such lovely surroundings!

If you can’t make it to this seminar, there are several others coming up over the next few months, all available to join wherever you are in the world. I’ll keep you posted!

This week from around the Classics Internet


Parthenon Marbles ‘constructive discussions’ – CNN

Stephen Fry talks about the Parthenon Marbles – The Guardian

Ukraine’s ancient history – Newsweek

Progress on Gladiator 2 – MovieWeb

Comment and opinion

A guide to Pliny’s Natural History – The Collector

Archaeologists and Ancient Apocalypse – Hyperallergic

The drama of #ReceptioGate – The Critic

Mind your translation – ConsultTheClassics

Podcasts, video and other media

Enslaved women (special episode) – The Partial Historians

Biological and chemical warfare – The Ancients

Storytelling in the Iliad and Odyssey – Bettina Joy de Guzman

Sponsian: fake or real? – Invicta


Mediterranean Archaeology award (open to postgraduates) – The British School at Rome

Vindolanda bursaries for Tyne & Wear and Northumberland – Historic England

Cambridge University Press 30% discount – CUP

Free online lecture by Emily Hauser on Homer’s Women – The Classics Library

8 thoughts on “Weekend Reading: An Open Invitation

  1. I am one of your past overseas OU students and remember the lovely weekend you organised in South Shields. Please send me the link for your talk. Cannot seem to find it on EventBrite. Thanks


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