Classics and antiquity, questions for the twenty-first century

  • Classics, Ancient History and Archaeology research seminars 2013/2014

The study of the ancient world at Birmingham has a long and distinguished history, and 2013 marks the 130th anniversary of the appointment of Edward Adolf Sonnenschein as the inaugural professor of Greek and Latin in Mason College (our forerunner).

Sonnenschein, and thus Birmingham (once constituted), was in the vanguard of ideas to open up the serious study of classical languages and cultures to as wide an audience as possible. 

George Thomson's post-war curriculum-development for ab initio Greek (including school-text editions of Greek tragedy translated into another vernacular, Irish, in the early 1930s, before his arrival as Professor of Greek at Birmingham in 1937) continued Sonnenschein's work, renewing Birmingham's distinctive role in democratising Classics for successive generations.

This seminar series develops a conversation about what constitutes the study of Classical and other ancient civilisations, and how we respond to these alien yet familiar worlds. A conversation that in Sonnenschein's footsteps, and with luminaries such as Wilfred Lambert (Assyriology) in our genealogy, will engage academic colleagues and others in exploring and developing Birmingham’s distinctive role in shaping scholarship on antiquity.

  • Seminar series organiser, Diana Spencer (, Arts 213
  • Each seminar is chaired by a different member of academic staff
  • All seminars are at 17.15, in the Museum (Arts 305)

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