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Studying the Classical World: Classical Views on Modern Issues (11th July)

Studying the Classical World: Classical Views on Modern Issues (11th July)

  • Date14 February 2024

We are delighted to invite you to our Summer Taster Day where you can experience a day in the life of a Classics student here at Royal Holloway.


Classical Views on Modern Issues

Thursday 11th July 2024, 10.30 a.m. – 3.15 p.m.

Main Lecture Theatre, Founder’s Building

Royal Holloway, Egham, Surrey TW20 0EX


10.30 a.m.

Registration and welcome

10.40-11.10 a.m.

Alexander the Great: war crimes and propaganda

Prof. Christos Kremmydas, Professor of Ancient History

This talk will focus on the historiographical coverage of two episodes from the reign of Alexander the Great that demonstrate the ways in which atrocities of war could be spun in ways that suited Alexander's war aims and propaganda.

11.10-11.40 am.

The Body Speaks: marginal voices in Propertius

Dr Efi Spentzou, Reader in Latin Literature and Classical Reception

In this session we will turn to Propertius, the Roman love poet and his beloved Cynthia. Focusing on images of the female body we will explore information about the age, social status, and economic and domestic realities of the poetic characters to peer into the lived experiences and relationships of marginalised Roman women of the 1st century BCE, whose perspectives stay largely hidden in the elite, man-made literature of the period.

11.40-12.10 Refreshments


Have a Baby for Rome: Patriotic Pregnancy Modern and Roman 

Prof. Richard Alston, Professor of Roman History

In all developed economies, the number of children per adult female has fallen well below the replacement rate. When combined with the age profile of populations, it is inevitable that many national populations will fall significantly over the next decades. That fall is irreversible without significant immigration. In many countries (not UK yet), this issue is close to the top of the political agenda. In 18 BCE, the first emperor, Augustus, faced with a similar problem, passed legislation to encourage births. That legislation was massively unpopular and completely ineffective. What can we learn when we put the modern and Roman experiences together?

12.45-2.00 p.m.   Lunch Break

You can bring a packed lunch, or purchase sandwiches and drinks from a variety of venues across the campus. Student ambassadors will be on hand to show you around our impressive campus.

1.15-2.00 p.m. Mini Campus Tour with Student Ambassadors (optional)

2.00-2.30 p.m.

Women, Children and War: Rescue and Refuge

Prof. Lene Rubinstein, Professor of Ancient History

How were those displaced by war received in Classical Athens? In this session we will explore how the women and children displaced to Athens by war (refugees by any another name) became a factor in how Athenians thought about relationships between citizens and non-citizens and thus the nature of Athens as a citizen community.

2.30-3.15 p.m.

Studying the classical world at University & its Career Opportunities: a Q&A session

Dr Richard Hawley, Senior Lecturer in Classics

This session will explain how studying classical culture at university level differs from studying at school/college. It will also explore the wealth of career opportunities for those with classical culture degrees and give all those present an opportunity to ask questions of Dr. Hawley and the student ambassadors, for example about application procedures, degree course content, and student experience.

YOU CAN REGISTER here or via the QR code at the top of this programme.

Please note: This event is designed for those who might wish to study with us rather e.g. parents/guardians, for whom the College Open Days are more appropriate.

No prior Classics-related study is required to attend this Taster Day.

Event organiser: Dr Efi Spentzou (

The Main Lecture Theatre is near no.7 on the Campus Plan, which you can see here.

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