A classic reunion
On July 2nd, graduates mostly from classes of 1957 & 1958 gathered at the Botanical Gardens in Edinburgh for a reunion.
The group of thirteen Classics alumni and their spouses travelled to Edinburgh from across the UK and even as far as Vancouver, Canada to attend the reunion. Following university the graduates went off in different directions, including National Service in Cyprus, Colonial Service in Africa, Oxford and Rome. While some went into teaching classics at school and university, some found a career in music, theology and other disciplines. The reunion was a perfect opportunity to reconnect.
On behalf of those present we would like to thank the School of History, Classics and Archaeology, the Alumni Office and the East Gate Restaurant for their contributions to a very happy occasion.
After drinks and lunch at the Botanics, a location much loved by the graduates, the group ate in the David Douglas room that leads out to a balcony overlooking the gardens. This provided the perfect photo opportunity during a sunny spell between heavy showers. The room had been decorated for the occasion with an array of booklets supplied by the classics department and displays of old photos of their student days adorning the walls.
The day gave the group a chance to share fond memories of old friends who sadly could not join them. Happy memories of two weeks in Rome including open air performances of iconic Italian operas Aida and Lucia di Lammermoor in the Baths of Caracalla were enjoyed as well as reminiscing about the university's 'Rag Week'.
Rag Week was an annual, week long celebration organised by the former Students' Representative Council to raise money for various charities. The highlight of the week was a procession of floats featuring students in fancy dress collecting money. During one of these weeks the classics students decorated a float on which Ulysses and his crew rowed past beautiful mermaid-like sirens.
Classical tradition at Edinburgh
Classical languages have been taught and studied at the University since its foundation in 1583.
Initially, Greek and Latin formed the basis of the four-year Arts degree, along with various branches of Philosophy, all taught by the first Regent of Philosophy, Robert Rollock.
In 2002 the department was incorporated into the School of History and Classics. Douglas Cairns, the present Professor of Classics, was appointed a year later. Archaeology joined the family in 2007, completing the current School of History, Classics and Archaeology, all three housed within restored, state-of-the art facilities in the William Robertson Wing of the Old Medical School.