Seminars in Delphi

This year it is the turn of Irish high school teachers to participate in a seminar in Delphi on ancient Greek language and culture held by the European Cultural Center of Delphi (ECCD). The ninth in a series of ECCD-run seminars for high school teachers from different European Union countries, it will run from July 28 to August 9. The program is for 50 junior and senior high school teachers from Ireland and will be taught by 16 classics professors from universities in Greece (Athens, Crete and Thessaloniki) and Ireland (Trinity College Dublin, University College Dublin and Cork University College). For the past few years, in response to requests from the participants, the seminars have also included lessons in Modern Greek. ECCD started this project in an attempt to counter the decline of classical studies. Once a basic component of high school education abroad, classical studies are now neglected in both secondary and tertiary education. ECCD has also set up a classical studies network called Amphiktyon, for institutes of classical studies in countries that have taken part in its seminars (Denmark, Spain, Belgium’s French- and Flemish-speaking communities, Austria, Russia, the Netherlands, Germany, Ireland and France, which is invited to the 2004 seminars). The network gave rise to ECCD’s Pythia awards for excellence in ancient Greek language and literature for final-year high school students in network member countries. The seminars feed into another initiative taken by ECCD, which is the creation of a data bank of information about the countries in the network. The data bank records all the high schools where ancient Greek is taught, all the names of all high school teachers qualified to teach ancient Greek, and all the school textbooks used to teach ancient Greek. This information will soon be available on a CD-ROM, which will be updated every year with information from the new countries that participate in the seminars.