What are Study Days?

Starting at 10:00am and finishing at 3:00pm, Study Days provide three one-hour lectures, linked to a chosen theme. Coffee is served between the morning sessions, and a three-course lunch before the afternoon session. Study Days are held in Oxford at Rewley House in Wellington Square, the home of the Oxford University Department of Continuing Education. The lecture theatre has up-to-date audio/visual equipment, including a hearing loop, and there is lift access.

The next Study Day

We are very pleased to announce that our next Study Day will be held on Tuesday 9th January.

The topic will be Sicilian splendours, Rome and Africa by Paul Roberts.

The first two lectures will take us on a tour of the island of Sicily, the largest and wealthiest island of the ancient Mediterranean. We shall look at the rich architectural and artistic heritage of Sicily and its beautiful landscapes.

1. Sicily before the Romans
In the first lecture we see the Carthaginians, the first major invaders of Sicily and their enigmatic culture, still visible on the small island of Motya. Then come the Greeks, with beautiful cities such as Agrigento, Syracuse and Segesta, some of the Mediterranean’s most imposing and atmospheric ruins, their sites and museums filled with culture and art.

2. Sicily: the Romans and later
The second lecture on the history and archaeology of Sicily looks at Roman Sicily, peaceful and prosperous, reflected in the cities of Syracuse and Taormina, and in the sumptuous ‘mosaic villa’ of Piazza Armerina. After Rome, we see the Arab conquest of the island – an agricultural, architectural and social revolution – and then Norman Sicily – an extraordinary artistic flourishing, culminating in the mosaics of the majestic Norman basilicas. The third talk looks at the art and society of Roman North Africa, from Morocco to Egypt.

The third lecture changes focus to look at the art and society of Roman North Africa, from Morocco to Egypt.

3. Rome in Africa, Africa in Rome
Although divided, then as now, by their history and ethnicity, Morocco, Tunisia, Libya and Egypt all once formed a very important part of the Roman Empire. We see how Rome gradually conquered them for their rich natural resources. In return, African goods, ideas and people influenced Rome, creating changes in art, religion and society. The interdependence between Rome and Africa was so great that the loss of Africa in the Late Empire was a body blow from which the Empire never recovered.

Dr Paul Roberts is Research Keeper of Antiquities at the Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology, Oxford University. His research focuses on the daily life of ordinary people in the Greek and Roman worlds, and he has written books and articles on Greek and Roman daily life, Pompeii and Herculaneum, Sicily, Roman Emperors, mummy portraits, and Greek and Roman ceramics and glass. He has curated three memorable exhibitions: Life and Death in Pompeii and Herculaneum at the British Museum, and Storms, War and Shipwrecks: Sicily and the Sea, and Last Supper in Pompeii, both at the Ashmolean. He is a popular lecturer who has been an Arts Society speaker for more than 20 years.


How can I book?

Full details of the Study Day are emailed to members, and those on the waiting list, six to eight weeks before the event. Booking is through TicketSource, via an application link contained in the email.  The 70 tickets will be sold on a first-come first-served basis.

Previous Study Days

To read about our previous study days click here

How do I contact the organisers?

Study Days are organised by Sue Hine and Bridget Watkins. If you would like any more general information, please email them at tasoxford@gmail.com

Wyvern Area Study Days

We are part of The Arts Society Wyvern Area and our members, and those on the waiting list, are welcome to take part in Wyvern area events. Further details click here