The Virgil Society

THE Virgil Society was founded in 1943, and its first President, the poet T.S. Eliot, delivered What is a Classic? as his Presidential Address in the following year. The purpose of the Society was and remains to unite all those who cherish the central educational tradition of Western Europe. Of that tradition Virgil is the symbol. Membership is open to all those who are in sympathy, whether they read Latin or not.

There are normally five or six meetings each year in London, held on Saturday afternoons in Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU.

The speakers include both amateur and professional scholars, many of them Virgilians of international repute. Lectures are followed by refreshments, giving an opportunity to meet the speaker and other members of the Society.

Most lectures are published in full in the Proceedings of the Virgil Society. There is also a Members' Newsletter, which appears twice a year.

Virgil Society Programme: 2023-24

All meetings will take place in Room G35, South Block, Senate House, Malet Street, London (and online). The Society thanks the Institute of Classical Studies, University of London, and the Department of Greek and Latin, University College London, for their continued support.

Those wishing to attend online are asked to request the Zoom link in advance of each meeting by writing to A Zoom link will then be sent out a short time before the talk. This is a new registration procedure.

Saturday 7 October 2023

2:30 p.m.   Annual General Meeting for 2022-2023 [postponed from May]

3:00 p.m.   Dr Syrithe Pugh (University of Aberdeen)

‘The Road Not Taken: Dante’s First Eclogue and Virgil’s Career’

Saturday 2 December 2023, 2:30 p.m.

Dr Jenny McAuley (Queen Mary University of London)

‘“Slight Sibylline pages”: Mary Shelley’s Virgilian inspirations’

Saturday 20 January 2024, 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.


11:00 a.m.  Welcome (Alice Bolland, South Hampstead High School)

11:15 a.m.  GCSE Latin

Dr Jean-Michel Hulls (Dulwich College)

Learning about the Roman (under)world with Aeneas’

2:15 p.m.  A-Level Classical Civilisation (‘The World of the Hero’)

Dr Niki Karapanagioti (Oxford High School GDST)

‘Women in Homer and Virgil: Symbols of a hero’s achievements or co-heroes?’

3:00 p.m.  A-Level Latin

Dr Luke Houghton (Queen’s College London / UCL, Royal Holloway)

‘Character, rhetoric, and description in Aeneid 12’

Saturday 2 March 2024, 2:30 p.m.

Dr Matthew Robinson (University of Oxford)

‘Mapping the Middle in Vergil’s Aeneid

Saturday 11 May 2024

11:00 a.m.  Dr Bobby Xinyue (King’s College London)

‘Status and Power in the Moretum

1 p.m.  Lunch

2:30 p.m.  Annual General Meeting for 2023-2024

3:00 p.m.   Reading from Virgil (John Hazel): text tbc.

3:15 p.m.  Dr Donncha O’Rourke (University of Edinburgh)

‘It takes one to know one: The “Roman Callimachus” reads Virgil’

‘  ’