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A Cicerone to Cicero: Robert Harris in conversation
Thursday 02 November 2017, 6pm

Master storyteller Robert Harris has written ‘the finest fictional treatment of Ancient Rome in the English language.’ (Allan Massie, Scotsman). Given he is not a classical scholar, how did he come to write these books? Does he consider them to be allegories of current events?  What is the difference between fiction and historical fiction?  And what is so special about Cicero?

Join us for a discussion between Robert Harris and Dr Peter Jones MBE on Thursday 2 November 2017 at the Royal Society, followed by a wine reception with canapésYou will have the opportunity after the talk to hear from a passionate Classics teacher who has introduced classical subjects into several state schools, who will describe the difference it makes for pupils, teachers and the schools’ communities.

As this is Classics for All’s annual fundraising event, we encourage you to give an extra donation above the standard £30 ticket, which will go towards introducing classical subjects in state schools in 2017-18.  We have suggested amounts here between £50-100, but you may also wish to visit our website where you can make a separate donation. Perhaps you would like to join our ranks of ‘Centurion’ supporters giving £100 pa (that's only £8.33 pm) by direct debit.

Doors will open at 6.30pm and the talk will start at 7.00pm.

Robert Harris is the author of eleven bestselling novels, among them Pompeii, Imperium, Lustrum and Dictator. His work has been translated into thirty-seven languages. Joining the BBC in 1978 straight from Cambridge where he read English, he worked as a researcher and director on Tonight and Panorama, before becoming the BBC's youngest reporter on Newsnight in 1982.  He returned to Panorama as a reporter in 1985.  In 1987 he left television to become Political Editor of The Observer and in 1989 became a weekly columnist for the Sunday Times.  He lives in the village of Kintbury, West Berkshire, with his wife Gill Hornby.

Dr Peter Jones MBE, a co-founder of Classics for All, has been a driving force and advocate for the teaching of Classics in state schools for more than four decades. He has published widely on ancient language, culture and history, writes an ‘Ancient and Modern’ column for The Spectator, and reviews for The Times, Literary Review, and the BBC History Magazine, for which he is an adviser. His latest book is Quid Pro Quo (Atlantic), drawing on topics such as ancient medicine, business, warfare, religion, society, politics, law, education and the arts to show just how much the English language owes to the ancient world. 

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Whatever happened at (and to) Delphi?
Tuesday 12 December 2017, 7pm

Whatever happened at (and to) Delphi?

Dr Michael Scott.

A Friends of Classics Memorial Lecture

The sanctuary site of Delphi in Greece became a UNESCO World Heritage site based on its 'ability to bring people - otherwise divided by material interest - together' crucially both in the past and in the present. Famously in the past people came to consult its oracle, but also to participate in its athletic and musical competitions, dedicate monuments to glorious deeds and marvel at the majesty of Apollo's sanctuary. How did this ancient Delphi work and how did its oracle maintain Mediterranean interest for over a 1000 years? Moreover, now that there is no oracle or games, how has the Delphi that has emerged from the ground over the past 150 years become an important location for bringing people together in the modern world too? And what might it continue to stand for in the future? 

Dr Michael Scott will deliver this talk on 'Whatever happened at (and to) Delphi?' as the second in an annual series of Friends of Classics Memorial Lectures.

The lectures put on by Friends of Classics were classed as seminars rather than monologues. The atmosphere was relaxed, and interruptions, objections and questions were welcome throughout, indeed encouraged. Bonus points were added for stumping the speaker. The Memorial Lectures will carry on in this spirit.

Michael is an Associate Professor in Classics at the University of Warwick, UK, specialising in ancient Greek and Roman history, art and archaeology. He was previously the Moses and Mary Finley Fellow at Darwin College, Cambridge and has taught in UK, Europe, US and Brazil. He has written a number of books on the ancients (From Democrats to Kings, Delphi, Ancient Worlds) and written and presented a wide range of TV and Radio programmes for National Geographic, History Channel, Nova (US), SBS (Australia) as well as for ITV in the UK and 10 series for the BBC (across BBC One, Two, Four and Radio Four). His most recent series in 2017 include Italy's Invisible Cities co-presented with Xander Armstrong (BBC One) and Sicily: Wonder of the Mediterranean (BBC 2). In 2015 he was made an honorary citizen of Delphi for his work in bringing this site to international attention.

Doors will open at 6.30pm and the talk will begin at 7.00pm. Wine and nibbles will follow.