What might be thought of as a relatively modern concept, speaking truth to power and telling those in power how things really are, has much older origins. In the first classically themed talk the Year 9 Athenaeum have had this year, Mr Nicholls brought to life the Roman poet Ovid’s clash with the Emperor Augustus. Through an examination of key texts the students gained an understanding of the nature of the quarrel and Ovid’s subsequent punishment but most significantly the brilliant defence he mounted using a mixture of literary and legal “traps” to force the Emperor to recant.

The structure of the arguments were reminiscent of a skilful barrister of the present age. The students thought about how the way an argument is structured and presented impacts upon its effectiveness, if for example they were arguing for a change in some aspect of school policy, it would matter how they presented their case. Politics, literature and law intertwined…the flavour of the Scholarship Programme.