Overall, I believe that my experience was a positive one, I thoroughly enjoyed leading my seminar and learning more about a period of history that many people do not know much about. The Ostrogoths themselves are an incredibly interesting group of people and I have greatly enjoyed studying them throughout the course of my degree when I have had the chance.
As for the teaching itself, I can certainly say that I need some practice, I was rather daunted at the prospect of leading such seminars and perhaps I could have prepared myself much better than I did, but the GCSE class was very kind to me despite technical difficulties experienced! Ultimately I found the study day an enlightening and enriching experience to be involved with and I would strongly recommend both students at high schools and universities to get involved!
Thank you for reading my blogs, I have enjoyed writing them as much as I enjoyed my time teaching, and I hope to write more historically in the future. I would like to thank the University of Sheffield’s Archaeology Department and the History Department for both teaching me what I could impart onto others and for inspiring me to participate within the departments themselves.
Many kind regards,
The resources I used to prepare for and during my study day consisted of a number of websites and texts which were greatly helpful to me in studying the gothic war and the Ostrogoths themselves:
Firstly, Lacuscurtius was an incredible resource in providing translated latin texts, and has been invaluable throughout my final year of study at the university.
Secondly, Procopius and his ‘Histories and the wars of Justinian’ volume 4 translated for the Loeb Classical Library by Dewing was essential in answering the key question for my topic of study.
Finally, authors such as John Moorhead (Theodoric in Italy, Oxford 1992) were fantastic at gaining an insight into the first Gothic king and how his attitude was different from that of his predecessors.
As my seminar was taught largely on the work of Procopius, brief overviews of the historical context were also incredibly helpful, for this I can thank Bertrand Lancon and his book ‘Rome In Late Antiquity: AD 313-604’ (Taylor and Francis, 2001).
Initially, I was fairly daunted by the idea of delivering a 50 minute seminar on my topic of interest, however thanks to preparation that involved exam revision and my dissertation as well as extra reading to reacquaint myself with the Gothic War I was able to enter my seminar well prepared if not a little bit nervous. I had settled on the topic of “Rome and the Gothic War” and various ideas on how to run the seminar. I consulted with other seminar leaders and attended a session on teacher training which allowed me to develop ideas on my methods of teaching including aspects such as challenging perceptions on certain stereotypes of ‘barbarianism’ through drawing, which thankfully lead to an enjoyable seminar.
Hi, I’m Joe Wood; I’ve recently finished my undergraduate degree in Archaeology and History. I volunteered to lead a seminar on Roman history because I had greatly enjoyed studying my topic of teaching, the Ostrogothic kings of Italy. I lead a seminar titled “The city of Rome and the Gothic War” which focused upon the importance of Rome in a world where the Byzantine Empire had become a superpower and pushed the eternal city to a peripheral kingdom as power shifted east. I was interested in teaching this because it allowed me to expand my knowledge on the Ostrogothic kings and the gothic war, as I had written my dissertation on the first Ostrogothic king of Italy, Theodoric the Great. Ultimately I was very interested to share my knowledge on the Gothic War and greatly enjoyed doing so.