This week Trinity First Year Classics students were challenged to use their knowledge of ancient Roman graffiti to create their own ceramic tiles. 

In a collaboration between Classics and Art, the students spent time in the Ceramics Studio one lunchtime, etching words and drawings inspired by real Roman graffiti into their own clay tiles.  

It was wonderful to see how engaged the students were in using their new knowledge as well as taking the opportunity to ask more questions about examples of graffiti, the techniques Romans used when making their marks and ancient history events.  

William Taylor said, “I’ve really enjoyed trying out Greek letters and thinking about symbols and how to decorate my tile using authentic patterns.” 

Some of the tiles were inspired by the textbooks used in class, some were more personal (Kieran Logendra wrote Happy Birthday from Kieran, and plans to give the tile to his younger sister next month), others used it to express themselves and one even combined Japanese with Greek symbols! 

The masterpieces were judged by the Trinity Classics Department, and small prizes awarded. Congratulations to the following students: 

  • 3rd place: Thomas Pickles who wrote “I am a slave, help!” in ancient Greek, picking up on the multicultural nature of the Roman empire and some of the social issues raised by the Latin course regarding the practice of slavery, which First Years are currently learning about. 
  • 2nd place: Ishaan Godber who wrote “Nero is more stupid than a donkey!”, reflecting political dissent in ancient Rome, a common theme found in graffiti at the time. 
  • 1st place: Rafi Amin who wrote “I am Rafius” and included an authentic Roman style illustration alongside his writing. 

Miss Van Dal said, “It was great to see the students exploring the history of ancient Rome from a different angle. One of the interesting things about Roman graffiti is that it allows us to hear the voices of those not otherwise recorded by the history books. I enjoyed hearing the students’ thoughts on their designs and watching them get creative with what they’d learnt!”

All students’ tiles will be baked in the kiln and ready for them to take home soon. Well done to all involved.

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