The Classical Association (CAS) held its preliminary meeting in Edinburgh, at the Royal High School in March 1902, thus making it the oldest of the classical associations in the United Kingdom, and one of the oldest globally. Our first president, Prof. George G. Ramsay, on noting the foundation of the Classical Association of England and Wales in late 1903, reported that the new association ‘has paid Scotland the rare compliment of following her example in founding a Classical Association […] on lines almost identical with our own.’ We have enjoyed a close relationship with our younger (and now much bigger!) sister organisation since its foundation, and continue to operate in a similar vein today.
The aims and objectives of our Association were clearly set down in the second article of CAS’ original Rules:
The objects of the Association are to bring together for practical purposes all persons interested in Classical Study and Education; to promote communication between Universities and Schools; to discuss subjects and methods of Teaching and Examinaton, and any other questions of interest to Classical Scholars that may from time to time arise.
While the educational landscape has changed dramatically since the earliest years of the twentieth century, CAS remains resolved and committed to the values that underpin our Association’s existence. As a group of people interested in Classics, comprising university academics, school teachers, students and lifelong learners of all ages, we believe passionately that the study of the ancient past is an illuminating experience. People from all walks of life can find something to interest them, if given the chance to engage with classical subjects.
Nowadays, CAS is an increasingly vibrant organisation, and is active in a variety of ways. Each of our local branches (Aberdeen & North; Edinburgh & South East; Glasgow & West) offer a seminar series every year, bringing some of the best academics and teachers in Classics to Scotland, to share their research with our membership. They are also active in their local communities, collaborating with organisations such as the Scottish Hellenic Society, and assisting in outreach efforts with local schools.
We are particularly proud of our growing record in Outreach and advocacy for expanding Classics in the Scottish state curriculum. Since 2018, our national Outreach Co-ordinator has worked with schools, universities and local government to make Latin and Classical Studies an accessible and viable option for learners at multiple stages. Our achievements to date include the introduction of a Latin module for primary school learners in Glasgow and Aberdeenshire; working with secondary teachers to develop a national network of Classics teachers; offering teachers qualified in other subjects the chance to gain necessary training to accredit with the General Teaching Council of Scotland as Classical Studies teachers; and working alongside Moray House School of Education to re-introduce initial teacher training in Latin & Classical Studies. While much work remains ahead of us, we relish the opportunity to give learners across Scotland more opportunities to discover the ancient world for themselves.
The work of CAS is overseen by a national committee, comprising individuals from across Scotland:
Chairperson: Prof. Tom Harrison (St Andrews) [email protected]
Secretary: Dr Costas Panayotakis (Glasgow) [email protected]
Treasurer: Prof. Mirko Canevaro (Edinburgh) [email protected]
National Outreach Co-ordinator: Dr Alex Imrie (Edinburgh) [email protected]