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A logo for the aegis

Updated: Mar 4, 2022

I'll be the first to acknowledge that the pun above isn't quite right. Or at least might not be right. There is some uncertainty as to what an "aegis" (Αἰγίς) was in Ancient Greek, though it has been interpreted as part of a shield, a shield with the head of Medusa attached, an animal skin and all sorts else.

However, the word's usage today is a little clearer. We use it to mean the assistance or protection given by something larger or more powerful. When a soldier acts "under the aegis" of her commanding officer, she does so with the safety and security the C.O. provides.

Yes, I'm getting to the point.

When we started seriously kicking ideas of Working Classicists around, we knew immediately that we would need something for the base purposes of brand recognition, but also to be able to display our solidarity through an identifiable symbol.

Actually, that paragraph is a bit misleading. That start, "When we started kicking ideas", suggests that it was a long and difficult process, with draft after draft after draft, each of us taking up smoking in order to smoke eight at a time while rolling our sleeves up, drinking whisky and shouting across the room at each other, "HOW LONG 'TIL DEADLINE?"

Fortunately, we don't live in a newsroom drama, and Miri has an instinct for design which would cause Coco Chanel to chuck her pencils in the bin. In about eight minutes, she had sketched out more or less the finished image.

The fist is inspired by the "¡No pasarán!" fist which has long been a rallying symbol against fascism, oppression and unearned privilege. It literally means "This shall not pass" (yeah, I'm hearing Gandalf, too) and therefore it exactly sums up the stance we are taking.

The lightning bolt is, of course, a symbol of Zeus's power, but here it is power in the hand(s) of a group who want to effect a change in the fortunes of Classical Studies, Latin and Greek in our state schools, hence the Greek meander (Μαίανδρος) at the wrist.

What was all that "aegis" waffle about?

We want this symbol to represent an organisation and community which will offer assistance, protection and anything else we can to defend the subject about which we feel so deeply. When it is seen, we want Working Classicists to feel that little bit stronger, that bit more comfortable.

It may be seen as a logo, but for us, it's much, much more.

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