On Monday 27 February, the A level Classics students, as well as some Year 10 and 11 Greek pupils, gathered in the Lafosse Centre to watch a lecture on the 'World of Women in Homer' led by Dr Emily Hauser. The lecture contained many interesting points on Homer’s portrayal of women in both The Iliad and The Odyssey, focusing on the key female figures of Penelope and Helen and why their role in epic poetry is so important.
Dr Hauser spoke of the depiction of women in the Homeric epics and how they were expected to perform in society, relating the character of Helen and her troublesome relationship with Menelaus with other characters from The Odyssey. She also spoke of Penelope and her relationship with Odysseus and the ambiguity of her character.
As well as Homer, Dr Hauser gave some wider context about art, literature and archaeology being used as potentially incorrect portrayals of women due to them all being made by men. Around 50% of women in the ancient world were missing from pieces of literature resulting in their voices not being heard. These stories were always about men. Women and their stories were lost in the sidelines.
As well as the lecture, the students were all invited to make pizzas (Italian-style) with the help of Mr Emanuele Maccherini and Mrs Mimi Fogden. They enjoyed stretching their dough into “perfect” circles before putting their favourite toppings on, keeping a close eye not to burn them. When they were cooked, the students took them downstairs to enjoy whilst watching the lecture.
A huge thank you to Mr Peter Forrest-Biggs for organising this event as well as Mr Emanuele Maccherini and Mrs Mimi Fogden for aiding with the pizza-making.