Thursday, March 20, 2008

Tom Holland and Robert Harris Join Classical Studies Promotion Effort

"Bestselling authors, Robert Harris and Tom Holland will launch a programme at the University of Liverpool to introduce more young people to ancient history and languages during Liverpool's year as European Capital of Culture.

Robert Harris is best known for his historical novel, Enigma. He has also written books based on the ancient world such as Pompeii. Robert will launch the University’s ‘Classics 08’ programme with fellow author, Tom Holland, known for his popular histories like Rubicon and Persian Fire, based on the late Roman Republic and the Persian Wars.

Designed to encourage both school students and their teachers to take up the study of the ancient world and its languages, ‘Classics 08’ aims is to make both classical culture and languages like Greek and Latin much more widely available.

Classics Lecturer at the University, Eugenie Fernandes, said: “The study of Classics and in particular classical languages has attracted renewed interest in recent years. Blockbuster films such as Gladiator and Alexander the Great have led to a revival of Latin and Greek as well as classical history. Both languages have shown to help students improve reading, comprehension, vocabulary and grammar.

“As part of the initiative we have set up a ‘Classics Club’, held on Saturdays for students over the age of 14, which is proving highly popular. We cover topics such as ancient art and drama, local architecture and archaeology and we also arrange trips to museums and theatres across the country.”

Classics 08 is the first of a number of similar projects expected nationwide as part of the ‘Classics for All’ initiative being launched by the Joint Association of Classical teachers and friends of Classics. For its part, Liverpool’s ‘Classics 08’ is helping schools to introduce classics to the curriculum and providing them with advice and support throughout the academic year."

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