A Roman Invasion, a Greek Tragedy and a Radio Broadcast: ACE and the Ulster Musuem

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All in a day’s work you might say… but there was so much more than even that at the Advocating Classics Education and CANI event hosted by the Ulster Museum on 9 February 2018…

Cross-border antiquities, in-door artillery fire (no one got hurt), creating Greek theatre masks, dramatic decisions over whether to sacrifice a daughter for the ‘greater good’, a Roman military parade down University Road, coin-stamping, an impromptu rendition of the massacre of Teutoburg Forest involving Botanic Gardens and some screaming (in a good way) primary schoolers, an overflowing lecture hall, trying to figure out what the Aeneid was really for, how the Ancients can inspire good modern living and numerous visits to the Ulster Museum’s many, many other attractions, including the giant Game of Thrones tapestry and the GCSE/A Level Art displays.

It goes without saying that this kind of event could well be taking pride of place in the CANI annual programme for the foreseeable future.

10.10am Welcome (CANI)

The ACE Project (Prof E Hall and Dr A Holmes-Henderson)

  Group 1 Group 2


Drama performances from QUB students Art activities provided by students from Stranmillis University College and Object handling
11.00am Legion Ireland
11.15am Art activities provided by students from Stranmillis University College and Object handling Drama performances from QUB students


12.50pm Welcome (CANI)

The ACE Project (Prof E Hall and Dr A Holmes-Henderson)

1.05pm The Classics and the Irish stage
1.35pm Object handling

Legion Ireland

2.00pm Dr John Curran (QUB) “What’s the Aeneid really about?”
2.30pm Natalie Haynes “The Ancient Guide to Modern Life”


There are so many thanks to be given out…


Firstly, to the Ulster Museum for providing the space for so many different activities. This is not the first time and nor will it be the last that CANI has teamed up with the UM for a successful event. Here’s to continued success of future events!


To Edith, Arlene, Sam and Natalie from the ACE project for providing the impetus and inspiration to host such an event. I am sure will all be combing through photos for weeks!

DVmNPUTXUAAuVDs.jpg large

To Martin and his men of the XXth from Legion Ireland, who provided such a spectacle with their gear, knowledge, enthusiasm and posed for an inordinate amount of photographs. We hope to have you back to northern Hibernia some time in the near future.


David Grant and his chorus of drama students from Queen’s University for providing an emotive, interactive show that provided something for all ages.


Amber Taylor and her Stranmillis colleagues for giving their time to provide arts and crafts to the primary school pupils.


Dr Alex Thein and UCD for facilitating our artefact handling session through a ‘clandestine’ meeting that belonged in the pages of a le Carré novel.


BBC NI and Good Morning Ulster for giving us a platform to drum up further interest in the event and to let the wider public know that the Classics are most certainly not dead in Northern Ireland.



To all the 250 pupils and teachers from Our Lady’s Girls Primary School, Inchmarlo, Stranmillis University College, Queen’s University Belfast, Royal Belfast Academical Institution, Methodist College, Dalriada School, Ballymoney, Gonzaga College SJ, Dublin, Belfast High School and Victoria College who made the day worth it by their enthusiasm and participation.


To the members of the public who were encouraged to drop in either by CANI advertising, the Good Morning Ulster interview or were just there for a visit to the Ulster Museum to be initially perplexed by the presence of a Roman invasion in the Welcome Area of the Ulster Museum.

Thank you all for your involvement, expertise, questions, comments, photographs and enthusiasm.

Special thanks go to Helen McVeigh and John Curran for the amount of organising and presenting they did both on the day and behind the scenes in the run up to the event.

For more photos of what was a fantastic event, check out our ever-growing facebook album

Natalie Haynes, Legion Ireland, Ancient Artefacts, Drama and Fashion Ulster Museum9th February 2018

Posted by The Classical Association in Northern Ireland on Friday, November 10, 2017


One thought on “A Roman Invasion, a Greek Tragedy and a Radio Broadcast: ACE and the Ulster Musuem

    B. L. Trajnor said:
    February 14, 2018 at 1:03 pm

    Congratulations to CANI and the UM for running this event. I’m sorry I was unable to attend – perhaps the next one. Anyway, I have it on good authority that it was a brilliant day.

    Liked by 1 person

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