Stories in Stone: CAS Online Seminar Series

CAS is delighted to announce the first of its free Online Seminar Series.

Stories in Stone: Breaking the Code

Saturday 29th August 2020

Live Seminars via Zoom

Stories in Stone: Breaking the Code is the first in our series of sessions loosely centred around the theme of ‘Beginnings’. In this set of three seminars, participants will start with a consideration of the Latin and other classical allusions that permeate our daily lives in modern-day Scotland before contemplating the history and influences that brought us to this point. It is divided into three hour-long classes that participant are welcome to pick and choose from, but which are designed to build on one another. The focuses of this session are:

  1. Latin language and epigraphy*
  2. Classical Reception of the ancient word in a Scottish context

(*While there will be a number of original texts and inscriptions considered, this session is designed with beginners in Latin in mind. Indeed, no previous experience of the language is necessary, since material-aids will be provided. That said, we hope that post-beginners or those with more experience in the language will find something of interest in the wider discussions, too!)

The sessions will be divided as follows:


Session One: The Past in our Present

‘What did the Romans (and Greeks!) ever do for us?’ While the daily lives of those living in the ancient world might seem very remote from the lives we live today, our present is still shaped (consciously and unconsciously) by our classical ancestors. In this session we will look at how we have used Latin and Greek mottos, inscriptions, and iconography to shape our identity and city-scapes here in Scotland. We will reflect upon where these traditions ‘began’ and how they impact our present. By introducing approaches to classical reception, this session seeks to introduce some of the ideological concerns associated with epigraphy, which we will explore further in the classical context in the following sessions.

Session Two: Cracking the Code 

Getting to grips with some Latin! This session will introduce students to Latin and focus on language and translation, using short inscriptions as accessible example texts. Students will be provided with a decoding toolkit to enable then to start translating and using Latin straight away.

Session Three: Monumental Messages

In this session, the students will consider the meaning and significance of inscriptions – what influences their wording and creation, and can they tell us more than just what’s written? Here we will be thinking about context and stories/message transmitted with the aim of enabling a greater degree of interaction, encouraging students to explore the inscriptions in more depth. The examples for the first half of this session will focus on ancient Roman funeral inscriptions before two case studies focusing on more modern examples.

These sessions will be run by: Alison Greer (University of Glasgow); Alice Rae (University of Edinburgh) and Sarah Wolstencroft (University of Glasgow), with additional input from Hardeep Dhindsa (King’s College London) and Alex Imrie (University of Edinburgh).


To sign up, or for more information, please contact Dr Alex Imrie ([email protected]). PLEASE NOTE: participants will need to register to receive the access codes for the Zoom live sessions. Some materials will be pre-circulated to attendees and/or will be made available on this website.

Categories CAS