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Distinguished Cambridge lecturer inspires Godolphin’s Classics students


At Godolphin, we are passionate about the importance of Classics and are one of the only schools in the area to teach both Latin and Ancient Greek from age 11 through to A-level. We believe through studying these subjects, girls learn transferable skills such as perception, analysis, reasoning and assimilation which are valued by a range of professions such as Law, Journalism, Politics and Business.

Yesterday, our Classics students had a rare treat, with the visit of Dr Ingo Gildenhard from King’s College, Cambridge. Dr Gildenhard is a distinguished lecturer and writer on such topics as Tacitus, Ovid and Virgil.

He first chaired a sixth form seminar in our new Jerred seminar room on ‘Ovid and the Bible’ where he proposed that Ovid’s Metamorphoses could be regarded as a parallel religious text in terms of revealing human nature and development from creation to apocalypse. This was followed by his main talk on the Aeneid in the PAC lecture theatre. With several other schools invited, including Bishops and SWGS, there was a lively audience who were spellbound by his interactive style and his penetrating analysis of how ‘fate’ intervened – or not – in the tale of Aeneas, Dido, Pallas and Turnus. He challenged existing scholarly beliefs about the Aeneid by proposing that the curse of Dido, rather than the intervention of the gods, was the most significant event and shaped Roman history. Ingo had travelled all the way from Cambridge and his journey was not wasted, just as Aeneas’ journey was not wasted.

Speaking afterwards, Primrose Campbell, Head of Classics said: ‘We are so grateful that Dr Gildenhard found the only free date in his diary this year to visit us. He inspired us all with his passion and enthusiasm for all things classical and we feel very privileged to have hosted his visit.’

Published: September 25 2017

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