Learning Classics is a bit like putting on a magic pair of 3-D glasses. Once you start delving into the language and the culture, you'll start to see it all around you. This blog is a record of the club's journey through the worlds and language of ancient Rome and Greece... and through modern times, too, searching for the influence of classics all around us. You'll also be able to find vocab, home tasks, links and generally enlightening info here, too.

21 November 2015

Lesson 8 - Just DON'T do it!

More on the joys of cursing today. In language work, we learned the negative imperative (i.e. how to tell someone not to do something). Using this knowledge, we created even more Latin curses (or benedictions, if we were feeling nice) ready for the next part of the lesson...

After a quick virtual tour of the Roman Baths at Bath (or Aquae Sulis as it used to be known), we looked at pictures of some defixiones (curse tablets) that were thrown into the sacred waters, and imagined what stories of deceit and treachery might be behind what was written on those little slips of metal. And then it was time to get personal. After a quick session practising backwards writing (a skill Monika never knew she had!), we started to inscribe our own curses.

Of course, being Classics Club, we had to ask some important questions about curses - mainly, do they work? What's the point of them? We discussed how, in the absence of scientific understanding, people tended to hold much more mystical views of why things happened, and also how believing that your curse would work could help you get through a difficult event in your life (like having your girlfriend stolen). Here's a golden example of how science and psychology can explain away a curse:

And don't forget that it's the Great Roman Bake Off next week. Group 1 will be staying a bit later and Group 2 need to come to the Food Tech room at 1.35pm. Yum!