The Classics Society is aimed principally at First and Second Year boys. It meets every Friday lunchtime and a wide variety of activities are enjoyed throughout the year, from designing Gladiator Top Trumps to making mosaics and hearing and telling the stories of Troy. First and Second Years also compete in the annual Latin Reading Competition, demonstrating their skills in imitating the Roman spoken word.
In the Summer Term Second Year athletics becomes an Ancient Olympics re-enactment. Boys compete in the long jump and discuss events, using Greek techniques, a relay race in which the final member of each team runs in full ‘armour’, and finally in the most important event of all, the ‘stade’ race, with the winner being crowned with an olive wreath.
The department takes advantage of cultural events in London connected to the Classical world, and boys have visited the British Museum’s “Hadrian” exhibition and the extravaganza that was “Ben Hur Live” at the O2 Arena. Greek drama is always a major focus of our extra-curricular activities, and we have recently enjoyed productions of a wide range of Greek plays, from tragedies like Aeschylus’ Agamemnon, Sophocles’ Oedipus the King and Euripides’ Hippolytus to comedies like Aristophanes’ Frogs and Clouds.
The department occasionally arranges for outside speakers to come in and introduce the boys to new aspects of the Classical world, and Lady Eleanor Holles School is also kind enough to invite our boys to similar events. Topics have included the Greek religious experience of the common man in the street, Euripides’ Medea, and the nature of Odysseus’ homeland in Homer’s Odyssey, Ithaca. A weekly Platonic philosophy discussion group is offered as an extension class to interested Lower Sixth Classicists.