This Is Sparta

By Mark Brassington, Teacher of Classical Civilizations, 7 December 2015

Paul Cartledge is a world-renowned authority on Ancient Sparta and Emeritus Professor of Greek Culture at Clare College Cambridge. Last year we saw him speak about Alexander The Great and he was very inspiring. This year he was invited to the college to speak to first and second year students following A level courses in Ancient History, Classical Civilization and Archaeology . Prof. Cartledge talked in depth about the elusive and harsh realities of the Classical Spartan state, which many people know from the Hollywood film ‘300’. About 60 students attended.

Students that I spoke to found Paul very approachable and insightful. The students took a great deal away from the lecture both in terms of the A Level syllabuses, but also and perhaps principally in terms of their wider interest in the subject. A good number of students plan to take their interest in the classical world through to Higher Education. Experience of this type of university style lecture from a world authority is invaluable experience and preparation for further study. All students, whether or not they plan to take the subject on at a higher academic level in the future were very grateful to Prof Cartledge for his time and ability to share his knowledge and enthusiasm for the subject.

He was also very interested in the Roman bath excavations on our site and the fact that we are the only Sixth Form College in England with its very own Roman walls!