Final thoughts and reflections on the study day.

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,

Joseph Wood

Some Useful Resources.

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).

My Resources

In my previous post I mentioned some of the ways I prepared for the GCSE Day. Here I will talk more about my resources that I used.

Thomas Wiedemann. 1980. Greek and Roman Slavery. London: Croom Helm. This is a great source book from which I took most of my excerpts for the seminar. It consists of thematically arranged translations of ancient texts and inscriptions which mention or discuss slavery in some way. There is section specifically on public slaves in Ancient Rome.

https://www.perseus.tufts.edu. This is a great website to look up ancient texts and their translations. I used this to compare some of the texts I wanted to use to choose the best translation.

The following resources were used to find background information on the ancient sources:

  • Sherwin-White, A.N. 1969. “Pliny, the Man and his Letters”. Greece & Rome. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 16 (1): 76–90
  • Bell, Albert A. 1989. “A Note on Revision and Authenticity in Pliny’s Letters”. American Journal of Philology. 110: 460–466
  • C. Suetonius Tranquillus; William P. Thayer (Ed.) 1914. “The Life of Pliny the Elder”. Loeb Classical Library
  • Matthews, John F. 2000. Laying Down the Law: A Study of the Theodosian Code. New York, NY: Yale University Press.
  • Tellegen-Couperus, Olga. 1993. A Short History of Roman Law. New York, NY: Routledge. pp. 138–141.
  • Ashby, Thomas. 1934. The Aqueducts of Rome. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Hodge, A.T. 2001. Roman Aqueducts & Water Supply. 2nd ed. London: Duckworth
  • Hardie, A. 1983. Statius and the Silvae. Liverpool.
  • Syme, Ronald. 1958. Tacitus, Volumes 1 and 2. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Benario, Herbert W. 1975. An Introduction to Tacitus. Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press
  • Honore,Tony. 2002. Ulpian:Pioneer of Human Rights. Oxford: OUP

 

How I prepared for the study day!

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.

My Preparation for the Day

Once I knew I was going to be participating in the GCSE Schools Day I sat down to think about what topic I might like to give my seminar on. We had an initial meeting for those who wanted to participate where we gave our ideas and were assigned seminar partners. At that time I decided to do something along the lines of slavery in the city as it pertains somewhat to my current research for my dissertation. I had the freedom to decide what exactly I wanted to do and in the end I settled on the topic of “Public Slaves in Rome”. Once I knew what I wanted to do I set about researching the  topic as I was only somewhat familiar with it. Once I read up on some of the literature I started to lay out my ideas fir my seminar. I decided to do an exercise which dealt with handling different types of primary sources. I assembled several excerpts along with background information on the sources for the students to discuss. I also prepared a short PowerPoint which went over the basic information surrounding public slavery as well as their sources. I also created a small worksheet for them to fill out which had a few questions about the sources each group was assigned.

Why I was interested in the classics study day.

Julia Hillner and Jane Rempel Address StudentsHi, 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.

My interest in the GCSE Schools Day

Hi! My name is Sydney Martin and I am a postgraduate student at Sheffield University on the MA Classical and Ancient World Program. When I heard about the GCSE Schools Day, I was very excited and was looked forward to participating. Once I return to the US I hope to get my certification to teach and saw this as a great opportunity to get a bit of practice and to see how teaching students of this age group went. I had decided to make my topic “Public Slaves in the Roman World” because it is an area that is somewhat relevant to my research for my dissertation which deals with domestic slaves in both ancient Greece and the Roman world. I also thought it might be an area which students would find interesting and might prompt them for further investigation into the topic and others about the Greek and Roman worlds. I have always enjoyed sharing my interest for ancient Greece and Rome and found this day to be a perfect opportunity to do so!