Welcome to the Guildford Classical Association. This site is intended to publicise forthcoming events and deliver other news to our Classicist friends. You can also contact the association using the “Contact” page above.
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Dr Mary Harlow, from the University of Leicester, gave a fascinating interactive talk at Guildford High School on the Roman toga, its significance in Roman society and how it was manufactured.
Dr Harlow brought her talk to life for her audience from GHS and two visiting schools (King Edward’s, Witley and Nonsuch High, Cheam) with a suitcase-full of props, including spun and woven woollen cloth, an array of drop-spindles for children in the audience to try their hand with, a Roman tunic and, of course, a toga – much appreciated in the dressing-up session at the end.
The extraordinary amount of yarn (around 40 km) needed to make a single toga, the likely size of the loom to weave it on (perhaps 5 m) and the total effort involved (approaching 1000 hours) all raise doubts about claims that Roman women in the classical period made togas at home for their menfolk.
Many thanks to Dr Harlow for coming so far to deliver an exciting and memorable talk and for bringing such interesting exhibits. Thanks, also, to Mr Andrew James & GHS for hosting the meeting and to Mr Adam Key from Nonsuch High for bringing additional togas for staff and pupils to try.
We were delighted to welcome back our President, Prof. Edith Hall from KCL, to talk to us on “Aristotle’s Ethics as a Guide to 21st Century Life” at our Opening Party, held at the Royal Grammar School, Guildford on 19 September.
Prof. Hall spoke to a lively and enthusiastic audience (many of whom would have been familiar with her numerous contributions to TV documentaries), giving an impassioned talk in support of Aristotle, whom she admires as perhaps the greatest thinker of all time. She explained his ethical views and gave examples of his wide-ranging interests and knowledge, showing his significance in his own time and demonstrating the relevance of his ethics to modern life.
Altogether an informative and enjoyable start to our 2018-19 season, helped in no small part by Mr Ed Bush and the RGS Classics Department, who hosted the event as usual and provided all refreshments.