Should every student study the Classics?
The University of Warwick has honoured an acclaimed Classics expert who has helped open up the ancient world to state school pupils, including many in Coventry. Professor Paul Cartledge received an honorary doctor of letters (Hon DLitt) from the University of Warwick during its summer graduation ceremonies.
Sidney Stringer Academy
One the schools currently benefiting from the charity Classics For All, is Coventry’s Sidney Stringer Academy in Coventry, which is acting as a local ‘hub’ for Classics in the region. Sidney Stringer is an inner-city non-selective academy for 11 to 18 year olds which has a rich cultural diversity; the vast majority of pupils come from a British-Asian Muslim background. The local area has a very high level of unemployment and social and economic disadvantage and a high proportion of students receive free school meals.
The University of Warwick is supporting this initiative through the involvement of Michael Scott as director of the Sidney Stringer Classics hub, by inviting the school to take part in a Schools’ Classics Drama Day, including a Latin Inscriptions project.
Professor Cartledge has had a distinguished career as an academic and is the Honorary Patron of Classics For All, a national charity which provides funding for state schools to support the introduction of Latin and other Classical subjects into their curriculum.
After the ceremony Professor Cartledge spoke to Michael Scott and Sidney Sheldon students, Kim Ann Nguyen, Yaqoub Imran and Hita Patel to pay tribute to the school’s Head of Classics Nicola Felton, previously Nicola Neto who passed away in April. She had worked at Sidney Stringer since 1999 and introduced Latin and Ancient Greek to the school.
Professor Cartledge said:
Over the last fifty years the issue of questioning whether the Classics should be studied has gone. Today no-one questions learning another culture or language. Studying the Classics can enhance carer prospects and many leading companies view such qualifications favourably.”
You can listen to an interview here.
Professor Cartledge has written, co-written, edited and co-edited over 25 books in the broad field of ancient Greek history and a large number of monographs that have transformed our appreciation of Spartan society.His most influential monographs include Sparta and Lakonia: a regional history 1300-362 BC (1979); and the Crisis of Sparta (1987); Hellenistic and Roman Sparta: a tale of two cities (1989); Democritus and Atomistic Politics (1998); and Ancient Greek Political Thought In Practice (2009).