NORTH STAFFS BRANCH OF THE CLASSICAL ASSOCIATION

Annual Report for 2022/23

We continued to run our lectures in a hybrid form this year, although it seemed at times that the option to watch on Zoom (or of course later on You Tube) led to lower attendances in person, Zoom participants and our You Tube channel have however again allowed a wider attendance at our events than used to be normal.

As the Treasurer reports elsewhere, our financial position, despite a slight loss, in a year when we consciously “invested” in speakers from further afield, remained much the same as last year. We subsidized some of these additional costs, particularly for accommodation, from the Horton Fund. We have nearly maintained our membership numbers, despite a couple of sad losses, with about 54 paid up members. We were fortunate in continuing to attract engaging and interesting speakers.

In the Autumn we opened in late October with a Reading in English translation of Plautus' Pot of Gold (attendance 6), in line with normal numbers. This was followed, in early November, by a lecture by Peter Pormann (Manchester), on Ancient Medicine (attendance 17, 2 on Zoom, You Tube so far 77 views). In early December we met, during college teaching hours, at Stoke 6th Form College, for a talk on Greek Religion, by John Taylor (Manchester), which again produced many interesting questions (attendance 39, many being students, including 8 Zoom and You Tube to date 38 views). This was the Hellenic Society Joint Meeting.

We resumed in February with a talk by Harry Sidebottom (Oxford and Novelist) on The Third Century Crisis (attendance 25 (16 on Zoom, many his readers), with a striking 531 You Tube views of the lecture and questions so far). This was the Roman Society Joint Meeting. In late March we had a return visit by Clemence Schulze (Durham), to speak on The Story of Psyche in 19th & 20thCentury Art & Fiction (attendance 12, but 7 of those on Zoom, with 29 You Tube views to date). Finally we had a Reading in translation of Homer's Odyssey Book IX (The Cyclops), (attendance 5).

We are grateful to the College and to Keele SCR for the continued free use of the rooms for these meetings.

For our annual trip, in May, we had intended to try travelling by minibus rather than coach, but a combination of low confirmed bookings and high hire costs meant we changed to the use of individuals'cars, with lifts where possible. This was to Wroxeter Roman City and Wall (attendance 15 in total, varying between 11 and 12 at the two sites). We need again to think very seriously about whether such trips are still practicable or indeed desired.

We hoped to run an event this summer to help celebrate the 850th Anniversary of Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough, but unfortunately, for a variety of reasons, this has not, yet at least, proved possible.

Both the Latin and the Greek reading groups successfully continued meeting this year, both on the Zoom platform provided by the CA nationally, and hosted by Nigel Coulton. Some participants are from outside the area.


Events 2022/2023

ALL LECTURES THIS YEAR SHOULD BE LIVE STREAMED & AVAILABLE LATER AS RECORDINGS

READING: (in English translation) of Plautus' Pot of Gold

7.30 p.m., Tuesday 25 October 2022,
SCR Bar, Keele Hall, University of Keele, ST5 5BG.

      Roman Theatre, Orange, ? Stephen Clifford, June 2004 The Roman Theatre at Orange.

Texts will be available, as a printout from the Penguin Classics edition.

LECTURE: Professor Peter Pormann (University of Manchester)

'ANCIENT MEDICINE'
7.30 p.m., Thursday 10 November 2022,
University Common Room, Keele Hall, University of Keele, ST5 5BG.

LECTURE: Dr John Taylor (University of Manchester)

'GREEK RELIGION'
1.15 p.m., Tuesday 6 December 2022,
Stoke on Trent Sixth Form College, Leek Road, Stoke on Trent, ST4 2RU
Joint meeting with the Society for the Promotion of Hellenic Studies

This lecture was live streamed on Zoom and Facebook - and a recording is available on our You Tube Channel.

LECTURE: Dr Harry Sidebottom (University of Oxford, Lecturer & Novelist)

'THE THIRD CENTURY CRISIS'
7.30 p.m., Tuesday 21 February 2023,
University Common Room, Keele Hall, University of Keele, ST5 5BG
Joint meeting with the Society for the Promotion of Roman Studies

This lecture was live streamed on Zoom and a recording is available on our You Tube Channel.

LECTURE: Dr Clemence Schulze (University of Durham)

'THE STORY OF PSYCHE IN 19th & 20th CENTURY ART & FICTION' - ILLUSTRATED
7.30 p.m., Thursday 23 March 2023,
University Common Room, Keele Hall, University of Keele, ST5 5BG

This lecture was live streamed on Zoom - https://zoom.us/j/8168865018, and is now available to watch on our You Tube Channel.

READING: (in English translation) from Homer's Odyssey IX (The Cyclops)

7.30 p.m., Thursday 20 April 2023,
SCR Bar, Keele Hall, University of Keele, ST5 5BG

Texts will be available, & details will be advised near the date

ANNUAL TRIP, Saturday 20 May 2023: Wroxeter Roman City (Viroconium) & Wall (Letocetum)

A shorter route than recent years, led as usual by Dr Andy Fear. Departing from Keele at 9.00 a.m., this year by cars not coach - we will try and co-ordinate lifts if you would rather not drive.

The booking form is available here. There is no charge for this event this year.

Annual General Meeting - 7.30 pm Thursday 6th July 2023

The AGM will be held at 7.30 pm on Thursday 6th July 2023

Event to Celebrate the 850th Anniversary of Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough

We plan to offer a look at ROMAN NEWCASTLE as part of the Celebrations, at 12 noon on Saturday 28 October 2023 at Apedale Country Park Visitor Centre.

Latin and Greek Reading Groups 2022/23

Greek - The Greek Reading Group meets on Zoom, now normally on the third Monday of each month at 2.00 p.m. Some prior knowledge of Greek is required, but the Group is informal and relaxed, not a high-powered academic group, but simply friends getting together to enjoy reading Greek.

Latin The Latin Reading Group also meets on Zoom normally monthly, on the second Tuesday of the month at 2.00 p.m. Members may also like to listen to the news in Latin (pronounced like Italian) on Vatican Radio - Google Hebdomada Papae.

For further details of both groups, or for anyone new wishing to join the groups, please contact the new organiser, Peter Hulse, who has succeeded Nigel Coulton, or email the Branch address below.

These groups are not for beginners: some prior knowledge of the relevant language is necessary to take part in either. For both, please ask the organiser if there is room in the group for more members before joining.

All welcome - all events except coach trips are free of charge

Last year's programme and annual report

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