Magazine article The Spectator

Classics Cups 2005

Magazine article The Spectator

Classics Cups 2005

Article excerpt

The Undergraduate section of the Cup drew a disappointing field over the year, but there was nothing unworthy about the Cup winner -- David Butterfield (Christ's College, Cambridge) from Round 1, with a brilliantly Ciceronian letter written by Tony Blair to Gordon Brown after the Granita dinner.

Pupils from the UK to Australia entered for the Schools' section, the eruption of Vesuvius. Thomas Bath (Camberwell Grammar School, Victoria, Australia) wrote an imaginative letter rejecting the view that the gods had destroyed the Pompeiians because of their treatment of slaves.

Despite the Round 1 heroics of Alex Smith (Loughborough Grammar School), the winner comes from the Round 3 entries -- five in all -- submitted by Haberdashers' Aske's School for Girls. All were excellent: Ilana Lever's classy pastiche of Jupiter calling a council of gods to condemn Pompeii; Lauren Bensted's clever crowd reactions to the prophetess's warnings of doom; Anna Kramarz's picture of Vesuvius musing on what he is about to do; Rosie Clifford's first-person report of a Pompeiian awaiting death; and Francesca Whitlum-Cooper's fearful letter from Claudia in Herculaneum to her lover, the gladiator Celadus, in Pompeii -- a beautiful piece of work. …

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