Annual Report for 2020/21

This has proved again to be a very unusual year, with no physical meetings possible, despite our hopes a year ago that these would resume in early 2021. On the other hand Zoom meetings and our You Tube channel have allowed a wider attendance at our events than normal, being joined by viewers in Sheffield & Lancashire for instance, such has been the effect of Covid on the Branch. Sadly of course other regulars have not been able to join us at all.

As the Treasurer reports elsewhere, our financial position actually improved during the year, returning to the sort of balance in the general fund that we felt appropriate until the losses we incurred a couple of years ago. There were almost no meeting expenses, and we were grateful to the national CA for helping us by meeting the costs of our web site this year as part of their Covid response. We have again maintained our membership numbers, with about 58 paid up members. We were fortunate in continuing to attract engaging and interesting speakers.

In the Autumn we opened in late October with the lecture postponed from March, by Tom Phillips (Manchester), on Myth in Art (Zoom attendance 19, You Tube so far 97 views). In mid-November we had a reading in translation of Terence's Phormio (Zoom attendance 7, very much in line with the norm for a reading).

We resumed in February with a talk by Christian Laes (Manchester) on Children in the Roman Empire (Zoom attendance 19 with again 97 You Tube views to date). The programme was originally back loaded to try and facilitate meeting in person by this date. In early March we had a reading of Euripides' Iphigenia in Aulis (Zoom attendance 6) as a lead in to Lynn Fotheringham (Nottingham)'s lecture at the end of the month on Greek Tragedy on Screen featuring productions of the play. This was the Hellenic Society Joint Meeting (Zoom attendance 15, You Tube 26 views). Finally in May we had a Joint Meeting with both the Potteries Theological & Roman Societies, supported also by our Horton Fund, when Mark Humphries (Swansea) spoke on the 1691st anniversary of the foundation of Constantinople about Constantine, Constantinople & Christianity. (This attracted 32 on Zoom and already a further 66 You Tube views.) Our You Tube figures perhaps suggest that the non-specialist audience may have a preference for our non-literary offerings.

Our annual trip, in May, was to have been the postponed one to Aldborough Roman Town, York and Towton, but in line with lockdown easing could not be offered at that time. Consultation with members about a possible late July date concluded that, with family commitments for many once these were allowed, the preferred option was to leave any trip until May 2022.

The Latin and Greek reading groups have not met in the past year, as members of the reading groups opted not to try and hold Zoom meetings. Nigel Coulton has asked when they would like to resume and we await news of whether this will take place once they can again meet in private houses.

In April the Secretary was invited to join a Panel of Branch officers for the National CA Conference online, convened by Branches Officer Katrina Kelly, which seemed to go down well with the audience – & we gained a distant Facebook Group member as a result!

Events 2020/2021

LECTURE: Dr Tom Phillips (University of Manchester)

'PICTURING OVID - MYTH IN ART' - illustrated
3.30 p.m., Thursday 29 October 2020
This lecture, postponed from March, will be on Zoom and available later as a recording.

A recording is now available at

READING: (in English translation) of Terence's Phormio

7.30 p.m., Tuesday 17 November 2020,
This meeting will be on Zoom.

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

The text will be available through screen sharing, or can be downloaded here.

LECTURE: Professor Christian Laes (University of Manchester)

7.30 p.m., Tuesday 16 February 2021,
This meeting will be on Zoom and available later as a recording.

A recording is now available at

READING: (in English translation) of Euripides' Iphigenia at Aulis

7.30 p.m., Thursday 4 March 2021,
This meeting will be on Zoom

A text will be available through screen sharing, or one can be downloaded here.
The text used in the BBC 1990 production being discussed in our lecture on 25th March is available in our Facebook Files here.

LECTURE: Dr Lynn Fotheringham (University of Nottingham)

'GREEK TRAGEDY ON SCREEN: IPHIGENIA AT AULIS' - illustrated with excerpts from performance
7.30 p.m., Thursday 25 March 2021,
This meeting will be on Zoom and available later as a recording.
Joint meeting with the Society for the Promotion of Hellenic Studies

A recording is now available at

LECTURE: Professor Mark Humphries (Swansea University)

7.30 p.m., Tuesday 11 May 2021
This meeting will be on Zoom and available later as a recording.
Joint meeting with the Potteries Theological Society & the Society for the Promotion of Roman Studies

A recording is now available on our You Tube Channel

ANNUAL COACH TRIP, Saturday 22 May 2021: York, Aldborough Roman Town, & parts of the Towton Battlefield - POSTPONED to 2022

Led as usual by Dr Andy Fear. Departing from Keele at 8.00 a.m., with time for individual exploration also in the city. There is a charge for this event, payable with bookings,.which this year we again have to ask to be paid in advance (minimum 25 pounds), to ensure the cost of the coach will be fully met. This event is now expected to be arranged for a later date.

There will instead be a Virtual Trip, as a light hearted Quiz, from 9.00 am on Facebook

AGM - 7.30 pm. Tuesday 29 June 2021

The AGM will be held at 7.30 pm on Tuesday 29th June 2021, by Zoom. A link to join the meeting has been emailed to members, or contact the Secretary.

Latin and Greek Reading Groups 2020/21 - POSTPONED FOR THE PRESENT

Unfortunately we are not yet able to resume meetings of our Reading Groups.

Greek A Greek Reading Group meets at a private house on Keele campus every four weeks or so, generally on a midweek morning. The group has been reading texts from the Perseus Digital Library. Next meeting Postponed for now during Covid19 Emergency. When we resume the meeting will be at 10.30 a.m., in a member's house on Keele campus, when the Group will be reading Ancient Greek Epigrams ed. C.T.Hadavas ISBN 9781727440225, p56ff, Callimachus 18. Some prior knowledge of Greek is required, but the atmosphere is relaxed and support is provided.

Latin The Latin Reading Group also meets about monthly, usually on a weekday morning on the second Monday of the month, on Keele campus. The next meeting will be in a private house on Keele campus, and Postponed for now during Covid19 Emergency. When we resume the meeting will be at at 10.00 a.m. and the group will continue reading selections of Ovid's Metamorphoses, beginning the Pyramus & Thisbe story (Jones page 130). and will also now be looking at the Nuntii Latini news from Western Washington University , which is updated every Thursday. 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 organiser, Nigel Coulton, tel: 01782-615155, 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.

Beginners Latin from Scratch: a weekly Group is also now available, strictly limited to 5 members. Contact Nigel Coulton if interested. The group began its course on Tuesday mornings in March 2016. It now meets on Thursdays. This scratch group has now progressed too far to integrate further beginners, but Nigel has begun another one in 2018, which meets on Wednesdays at 7.00 pm.. Please let us (email below) know if you would be interested. The only requirement is that if not already a subscribing member you become one.

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

Information on Membership

Last year's programme and annual report

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