All things Greek, Roman (and Egyptian) were celebrated this week with a series of lunchtime activities. On Monday, the library was transformed into Apollo’s sanctuary of Delphi by the Year 10 Greek class, who set themselves up as priestesses of Apollo, the mouthpiece of the god. However, the oracle only speaks in riddles… As Garance Zinzen in Year 12 put it: ‘In order to enter the room, we had to purify ourselves and offer a sacrifice. The event was incredibly popular, and whilst some students were pleased with their predictions, others were alarmed by the cryptic remarks! Peronally, I received some rather worrying prophecies…’
On Tuesday, one of the most cultured and sophisticated cities in the ancient world came to Hampstead Garden Suburb – Alexandria. The event was run by Year 9 students who had stalls on Alexandrian medicine, information about the Pharos, the Library, and quizzes on Egyptian religion, including a ‘Which Egyptian god are you?’ demonstration. A huge thank you to all the Year 9s who led the activities. In the afternoon, Year 7s had the opportunity to hear a talk by Caroline Lawrence, author of the bestselling Roman Mysteries series. As Sandriya Sundarakumaran in 7G writes: ‘I was not expecting the author of the famous Roman Mysteries series to be so hilarious! She told us about her life, including how she was so good at Latin and Greek she was offered a scholarship to Cambridge. She also supplied us with very useful writing tips, as well as a book from the Roman Mysteries series which she had signed.’ In the lead up to the visit, all Year 7s wrote short stories with the title ‘A Roman Mystery’. The authors of the four short-listed stories were rewarded by having lunch with Caroline Lawrence. Congratulations to Namrata Aravindan in 7B, Gabriela Qemali in 7G, and Arushi Singhai in 7H, and especially to Harleen Kaur Sahota in 7B whose story was judged by Caroline Lawrence as the winning entry!
On Wednesday, students had the opportunity to solve Latin and Greek mythological and historical trails which were concealed throughout the school. Well done to everyone who solved all the clues and correctly deduced that the figures were Pandora, Aeneas and Hannibal! On Thursday, HBS students with a love of codebreaking had a go at trying to work out the meanings of languages such as Egyptian Hieroglyphics, Maori and Zulu by tackling from the UK Linguistics Olympiad. Finally, on Friday, a booksale of Penguin Classics which are no longer used for teaching raised nearly £100!
Also throughout the week, tutor groups had the opportunity to watch a series of classics related videos, including ‘Why Socrates hated democracy’ and ‘Teenage Life in Ancient Rome.’ The school classics magazine, QUERCUS, went on sale in the library and includes a wide variety of articles including academic pieces (such as one comparing the Mahabharata and the Iliad), creative writing (such as Year 7 poems inspired by the Trojan War) and entertainment (have you ever wondered about the family dynamics of Caecilius, Metella and Quintus?). If you haven’t already purchased a copy, do buy one from the library for only £1!
Thank you to Ms Humeau for hosting activities in the library, to Miss Cowen, Mrs Rollo and Miss Batten for coordinating activities, and to all the enthusiastic HBS classicists – estis mirabiles!