Gilbert Murray Competition 2022-23

In this annual competition for Scottish schools the Classical Association offers prizes for the best work submitted during session 2022/23. Entries may be submitted either through your school, if there is a participating department, or on an individual basis.

Prizes will be awarded in four sections:

  1. a) for pupils in P6 & P7
  2. b) for pupils in S1 & S2
  3. c) for pupils in S3 & S4
  4. d) for pupils in S5 & S6

There will be a prize of £50 for the most outstanding entry overall.

Conditions of Entry

  • The entrant’s own name along with the name of the school should be written on each entrant’s work.
  • (a) Entries that are submitted through schools should be accompanied by a letter from the teacher listing the name and year group of all the pupils concerned and confirming that the work has been done independently.
  • Entries submitted on an individual basis should be accompanied by a signed declaration that the work has been done independently and contact details (postal and email addresses).

3 Length:

For P6 – P7   Not more than 600 words

For S1 – S2     Not more than 800 words

For S3 – S4        800 – 1000 words

For S5 – S6        1000 – 1300 words    


4 Please note that completed work should be sent to Dr Jane Draycott, Classics, School of Humanities, 65 Oakfield Avenue, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, G12 8LP OR emailed to [email protected] to arrive no later than Friday 28th April, 2023. 


5 Entries will be assessed by members of the Committee. One or more prizes and certificates will be awarded in each section, depending on the quality of the entries. The decision of the judges will be final.

The results will be posted on the Classical Association of Scotland website (

It would be helpful if staff from participating departments would include their e-mail address at school in the letter which accompanies the entries.

Essay Subjects 2022/23 

(Only one essay subject should be entered by each pupil.)

Section a) P6-P7

  1. Draw a picture of a monster from Greek mythology. (Add to your picture what monster it is you are drawing.)
  2. Imagine you are a cat in a Roman household. What kind of things would you see happening in a typical day?


Section b) S1–S2

  1. Draw a cartoon-strip which retells the story of the Wooden Horse of Troy.
  2. Imagine you were an estate agent advertising a house for sale in ancient Pompeii. Design a brochure explaining all the main features and why it is so good.
  3. You are a sports reporter and have been sent back to the ancient world. Choose a sports event to report on and write up what happened. (Remember you need to make it exciting to read and to have plenty of detail.)


Section c) S3-S4

  1. Investigate good luck charms and curse tablets from ancient times, then design one good luck charm and one curse tablet of your own. (The following are some websites that might be useful: and

Label or explain your designs to make clear the purpose of the charm/curse.

  1. Consider the encounters Odysseus has in the first half of Homer’s Odyssey. Choose one encounter and say whether you think he could have achieved a more positive outcome for his men, if he had handled it differently.
  2. Imagine you were Sinon. Explain your side of the story in the Wooden Horse of Troy affair.

Section d) S5-S6

  1. Think of Virgil’s account of the love between Dido and Aeneas. How important are the interventions made by characters other than Dido and Aeneas in the unwinding tragedy?
  2. Write your own version of the Actaeon and Artemis/Diana story. You may update it and may use any creative form you think appropriate.
  3. Send in a chapter of your dissertation (maximum 1000 words) and explain why you have found it an interesting topic to research (maximum 300 words).

List of Prize Winners 2021/22


(* indicates the winner of the prize for best overall submission of the year)


Niamh Kennedy, Aberlady Primary School                 Amber Murison, High School of Glasgow


Abigail Onyeakazi, St Margaret’s School for Girls    Wilfie Porteous, Moffat Academy


Zi Qi Liu, Glasgow Academy                                     Shuyao Zhang, Glasgow Academy


Hannah Calder, Glasgow Academy                             *Hilary Ewing-Mackie, St Columba’s School




Lucan Murphy, High School of Glasgow


Eleanor Dowson, Moffat Academy                  Alexandra Grant, High School of Glasgow

Jessie Hutcheson, Glasgow Academy              Maggie Kershaw, Moffat Academy

Alex Langford, George Heriot’s School         Grace Lee, George Heriot’s School

Daisy Lothian, George Watson’s College       Sarah Lu, Glasgow Academy

Annie Maciver, The Nicolson Institute           Anastazja MacIver, St Columba’s School

Annie McDowell, George Heriot’s School     Ciaran McWee, Moffat Academy

Atharva Sawant, Glasgow Academy

Alba Vila Domini O’Kennedy, St Margaret’s School for Girls


Lucia Gizzi, St Columba’s School                 Edith Kennedy, North Berwick High School

Sofia King, Glasgow Academy                      Maria Lyashko, Glasgow Academy


Lucy Anderson, George Heriot’s School          Geordie Coles, Edinburgh Academy

Cara Ewing-Mackie, St Columba’s School       Connor McDairmant, George Heriot’s School