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Dr Peter Jones took to the stage of the beautiful hall at Francis Holland School, to give what shall be an annual lecture in memory of Friends of Classics. Friends of Classics was co-founded by Dr Peter Jones and Jeannie Cohen and, after going through what can only be described as a metamorphosis, shall continue to live on through Classics for All. The lectures put on by Friends of Classics were always 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.
Prior to the main event, Dr Peter Jones kindly ran a session with a group of Sixth Form students from a range of London schools that are currently teaching classics thanks to funding support from Classics for All. The students had the chance to discuss how classical words have woven their way into different European languages and thus how a little bit of Latin (and Greek) goes a long way.
The main event followed, covering everything from the eye-opening to the sometimes eye-watering examples of ancient medical practice. The lecture was frequently interrupted with gruesome descriptions by Hippolyte, read by Jeannie Cohen.
Finally, the audience heard from Eric Bateson, Head of Classics at Camden School for Girls, which has recently received a grant to save Ancient Greek from disappearing from the curriculum.
The night wrapped up with a wine reception, allowing teachers, students and donors to swap their stories of ancient medicine, etymology and all things classics-y over wine fit for the gods.