William Sterling

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Heroes and Gods: 19th and 20th Century Classical References in the British Museum and elsewhere

April 24

  1. What is the course about?

Delve into classical myths used in naval related items by examining some objects from various collections.

  1. What topics will we cover?

Following on from the previous course we shall look at what Classical artworks were available to artists in the C19th and what literary works were studied in schools and were known to the general population.  We shall identify some of the Classical gods, heroes, figures from myth and historical characters used as figureheads and ship badges such as Achilles, Ajax, Atalanta, Caesar, Cleopatra, Coriolanus, Dido, Hercules, Leda, Minerva, Neptune, Orpheus and Penelope.  I shall outline the basic myths surrounding them and examine why they might have been chosen.

  1. What will I learn? By the end of the course you should be able to:

Recognise figures from Greek and Roman myths

Understand why these were used by the navy

Appreciate the lasting appeal of Classical Mythology