BA Ancient History and History at Cardiff University
Specialist Period of History
Ancient Roman History
Race Relations in the USA
Subjects Taught in the School
Ancient History and Classical Civilisation A-Level and KS3 History
Dinner Party: Which 6 people from History would you invite and why?
- Hannibal Barca – He was a Carthaginian general who fought Rome during the second Punic war.I’m sure he could tell a fine tale or two about his various adventures, including his astonishing decision to mount a surprise attack on Rome by marching a huge army and a large herd of war elephants across the Alps. His legend was so fearsome that many years after his death, Roman mothers would still frighten their children to bed with the phrase ‘Hannibal ad porto’ (Hannibal is at the door).
- Cleopatra – She was the last active Pharaoh of Egypt, and as well as having an action-packed life (including an affair with Julius Caesar), she spoke a dozen languages and was educated in mathematics, astronomy, philosophy and oratory.I’m sure she would be a great guest at any dinner party.
- Gaius Caesar ‘Caligula’ – He was a Roman emperor, believed by many to be completely mad because of many of the things he did. For example, it is said that he made his favourite horse a senator.He would certainly liven things up and add an element of unpredictability to the evening…he might even bring his horse!I’d definitely sit him away from Hannibal though, as he was a sworn enemy of Rome.
- Mary Shelley – She was the author of Frankenstein, one of my favourite novels, which she wrote after a competition with her friends during a really rainy holiday. They decided to find out who could write the best ghost story, and that’s how one of the most famous monsters of all time was created!
- An Indian widow from the early nineteenth century (name unknown) – The first thing I would like to do is to ask her name. I would then ask her about her life and experiences and find out her opinions on practices such as child marriage and widow burning, which no one at the time saw fit to ask her about or to write down. After all, History isn’t only about the lives of famous people!
- Carl Jung – He was a psychoanalyst and one of the founders of modern psychology.I’d like to ask him about his concepts and ideas, and in particular I’d be very interested to know what he would make of Caligula: perhaps he could answer the age-old question of whether he was really mad.
If you could be present at any historical event:
I’d like to visit Ancient Carthage during its height of power and influence to see what it was like. We know it must have been magnificent, but unfortunately the Romans completely destroyed it and pretty much all the records about it.
Favourite Historical book
Animal Farm, George Orwell’s wonderfully imaginative allegorical take on the Russian Revolution, set on an English country farm with animals as its main protagonists.
Favourite Historical Film
So many to choose from but I’m going to go with ‘Goodbye Lenin’, a beautiful and tragic comedy set in East Berlin just after the fall of the Berlin Wall.
Favourite Historical argument to get into a debate with
Pretty much anything to do with feminism or gender politics.