The Association for Latin Teaching

respice prospice

ARLT Summer School  1972

  held at Lancaster

  Directed by Mr A.W.Munday

REPORT on the 49th Annual Summer School       

The 49th Summer School was held from August 22nd to 29th and attended by forty participants who enjoyed not only the stimulating lectures and discussions but also the pleasant amenities of the college and the attraction of Lancaster itself.

As usual at the Summer School the greater part of the time was spent in demonstration lessons, reading classes, composition and discussion groups, and these will be summarised first.

There were two groups of demonstration lessons, both being examples of the Oral Method and both with boys from a local boys’ Grammar School.

Mr. A.R.Munday, the Director of the Summer School, taught a group of twenty-two beginners who will start Latin at school in September at the beginning of their second year.  He covered in five lessons’ work that would take about four weeks of normal lessons and evoked an enthusiastic interest from the boys.  Mr. J.F. Gravett taught a much smaller group of older boys who had already studied the language for one year using traditional methods: they were not accustomed to speaking Latin but became more forthcoming as the lessons continued and they were brought into contact with the third declension.

The reading classes this year were all of verse books,  including Virgil, Horace, Ovid and Homer, and members of the course welcomed the valuable experience of reading aloud to others and expunging any inaccuracies in pronunciation.  The circuli groups discussed Oral Method, Nuffield Latin, Medieval Latin and another practised Literary Criticism.  The organisers of the reading classes and circuli groups all deserve the thanks of other members of the School.

For Latin Composition there was the choice of Verse Composition with Mr. J.R.C. Richards and of two Prose groups, the Advanced with Mr. T.W. Melluish, and the less Advanced with Mr. W.G. Boyd; great was the enjoyment to be had in disputing the exact meaning of many words and phrases.  Another Latin author was discussed in great depth by Mr. F.R. Dale who gave a series of four talks On Lucretius; everyone who attended could only but hope that they might acquire half of Mr. Dale’s expert knowledge and faculty of translation.

Important as the already-mentioned activities were, perhaps the most memorable parts of the course were the lectures arranged by the Director.  The first of these was titled “Classics in the Colleges of Education”.  Mr. D.S. Urwin,  who is responsible for Classics at St. Martin’s College said that the change to comprehensive systems of education and the spread of Classical Studies and the relative demise of Latin required different skills of Classics Teachers.  Staff with training to teach the non-linguistic courses were required and the College of Education could supply these if given the required encouragement and support;  also as more and more graduates study for teachers’ diplomas at the colleges some are classicists and courses for them are gradually being provided.

On the second day of the course, Dr. G. Morton of Texas University gave an interesting but frightening account of “Classics in the Secondary School in Texas.”  Each student only studies five subjects in any one half-year, having one lesson daily in each, and he himself decides which subjects to study. Entry to university is given to the top half of each year’s school leavers and the requirements are not very high;  two year’s work in one language is required, and most students only study one language at school.  Furthermore the languages are usually offered to the 14 to 16 years age group only, so that the Latin specialist, on entering university, will probably have studied no Greek, no French and may, indeed, not have studied Latin for two years or more!  In view of this, the university is very successful in the academic standards it achieves.

A lecture on “St. Augustine the Educationalist” was given by Mr. G.J.P. O’Daly of Lancaster University.   He recounted the life of Augustine until he became Professor of rhetoric at Milan:  then his complete adoption of Christianity and eventual return to Africa as Bishop of Hippo where he established his colleges.  He was not an educational reformer but  retained the older style of education with the introduction of the writings of the Apostles into the curriculum in the place of some classical authors.  Although the schools flourished in his lifetime,  they did not survive his death.

A second lecturer from Lancaster University was Professor M.M. Willcock, who spoke about “Plautus and his Greek originals.”

Two lecturers dealt with the place of Classics in Comprehensive  Schools:  Miss J.S. Wrathall, of Westwood School,  Leek, described how her school had gone comprehensive in six months  and how, by trial and error, she and the other Classics teachers had had to abandon the traditional methods of Latin teaching, introduce a Classical Studies course for the first and second year pupils, abandon examinations for those years and adopt the Cambridge Latin Course in the third year.  Furthermore so great was demand that a more detailed Classical Studies course had to be provided in the third year and beyond.  Also Classics has now joined History and R.E.  to become a Humanities Course using myths of other nations beside the Greek and Roman ones.

On the following day Mr. J.E. Hunt of Westfield School, Sheffield, described how his school became comprehensive in 1967.  

There had been a decline in Classics until Mr. Hunt decided to teach Greek rather than Latin as the first Classical language, partly as being more enjoyable language, but mainly because Greek literature for the pre-”O” level pupils is more interesting than its Latin equivalents.  This was taught to one group in the second year and beyond and besides the language aimed to reach a further knowledge of Greek civilisation, myths and literature.  In fact Mr. Hunt had written and duplicated his own Greek course, in many ways following the pattern of the Cambridge Latin Project.  All who heard his lecture were amazed at the amount of work involved in the undertaking.

On the final day of the course, a discussion was held on the Cambridge Latin Course and on the Scottish equivalent "Ecce Romani".  Criticisms of the former were made but it was generally held to be a success.  "Ecce Romani" is even newer but seemed to be enjoyed by everyone using it.

Four other activities still deserve mention; in the afternoons Mr. and Mrs. J.E. Hunt gave demonstrations of the use of classroom drama.  On the Sunday, although no formal coach excusion was arranged, some course members went by car to Ravenglass and Hardknott, while others were shown around Lancaster University by Professor Willcock.  On the Saturday evening the Association Dinner and A.G.M. took place, and on the last evening there was the traditional Oratio Valedictoria and Entertainment, including a radio adaptation of some Plautus, some classroom drama, singing and musical items.

Finally our thanks must go to Mr. Munday and Mrs. Gravett for all their hard work in making the various arrangements for the Summer School, but also a note of regret so few people attended.  It is to be hoped more teachers will attend the Fiftieth Summer School next year at Twickenham.

J.R. Higham

Oratio valedictoria

O Arelates, commilitiones mei, haud dubitari potest quin multa et varia sint officia Directoris vestri, alia difficilia, facilia alia, dulcia, iucunda.  Nunc tamen - heu!  triste ministerium! - supremum est mihi officium, quippe qui director sim huius ludi aestivi undequinquagesimi societatis nostrae hoc ultimo die, in hoc congressu ultimo Arelatium hanc brevem, vel potius perbrevem, orationem valedictoriam vobis habere.

Mea quidem sententia - aliter Latine, ut opinor, - aliter, ut puto, - et cetera - hic noster ludus aestivus, si quis alius bene ac feliciter evenit.  E diversis enim partibus patriae nostrae profecti - unus etiam ex Hibernia, altera e Caledonia - huc ad collegium Sancti Martini …. (aridi Martini, ut nonnulli vinum bibentes, vel heri non bibentes, putaverunt) …. huc eo consilio, dico, ut linguarum nostrarum nostrum ipsorum amorem redintegremus, mentem animumque et spiritum nostrum reficiamus, nosmet ipsos doctores puerorum puellarumque - quoquo possimus modo - meliores redeamus.

Sed quid primum advenientes vidimus?  Ad portam, nonne?, Titulum magnum duobus modo verbis inscriptum  “Consistite!  Quaestiones!”  (Anglice “ Halt!  Enquiries”) vel fortasse dicit  “Desistite quaestiones rogare!”   Sed his diebus nil aliud fecimus nisi quaestiones rogamus.  Prima enim nocte aliquis scribam nostram - nomine “Gravida vel Gravidior vel Gravidissima omnium “ - respondit voce tristi  “Res nocturnae omnes in labore diei inveniuntur”  Ah!  Sed qui erant illi magistri magistraeque validissimi qui paene ad primam lucem, sicut Salii, saltaverunt, vinum teamque multa nocte  biberunt, sermonem minima voce in colloquio in aula nomine “CUM EIS”  (Anglice “Witham”) habuerunt, non sicut Pelias ille,  “cuius chlamydem omnes bene novimus”.  Quin etiam - qui erant illi magistri magistraeque, animae intrepidissimae, quae multa nocte in carro Finiti nostri (Anglice “Dunn”) evectae per proximos montes, quasi Maenades quaedam, circumierunt?  O mihi praeteritos referat si Iuppiter annos!

Quid aliud hic primum invenimus?  Ubi sumus?  Ubi situm est hoc collegium?  Nempe in via nominata Golgotha, in qua stat inscriptio “Hac via uno solum modo!” - Illuc, ut mihi videtur, unde negant redire quemquam.  Cavete, O Arelates, cum cras e collegio bene mane exieritis, parete Praesidi nostrae, Margaritae nostrae, quae nos tam feliciter monuit “Nisi monumentum requiris, circumspice. “   Nolite igitur ea via exire!

Sed multa, vel potius, permulta his paucis solum diebus acciderunt, multa nova, multa antiquitus in his ludis aestivis facta.  Oratores multos hoc anno auscultavimus, qui, ut equidem reor, nos varias ob causas etiam plus nos oblectaverunt nobisque placuerunt quam in ullo alio huiusmodi ludo.  Primus Er-Victor (Anglice “Urwin”) nobis disseruit, ille qui in tot rebus summi vel minimi momenti nobis summo fuit auxilio.  Gratias ei quam maximas ago.  Dein Ricardus noster nos de recta pronuntiatione vocalium consantiumque Romanorum Graecorumque docuit ita ut qui esset falsum, quid rectum, quid neutrius generis bene  intellegere possemus.  Sed cavete - ut Ricardus ipse dixit - si recte verba pronuntiaveritis, vos servi famulaeve non reges aut reginae in rebus dramaticis creabimini.

Professor ille Talassimus (Anglice “Morgan”), quem ex universitate Americana ad nos unum modo annum reversum laeti vidimus, multa nos in callidissima, facetissima, horrificendissima oratione docuit de rebus Americanis, quae fortasse mox trans mare  current.  Ab Elysio , ut ita dicam, ad Gehenna vel Tartarum fortasse in eo est ut mox veniamus.

Et rhetorem O’Dalium (“O’Daly”) audivimus, qui non solum de Sancto Augustino nobis orationem habuit sed etiam usque ad multam noctem nobiscum saltantibus bibentibusque saltans ipse bibensque mansit.  Postridie eius die Prefessorem auscultavimus Universitatis Lancastrensis - quem Coquum vel melius Coquebit honoris causa nomino - et mirati audivimus “Coquus aut Coquus aut Cooquus aut Coquum - aut Iambus aut versus Trochaicus aut dactylus aut bacchiacus aut - per deos immortales! - colon reizianum est.  Ah!  Semper aliquid novi.

Magistrum magistramque quoque ex ludis Comprehensivis multa cum gratia audivimus summo impetu, ardore summo ac vigore praeditos qui deludis suis  et de rebus Classicis et de lingua Graeca callidissime erudienda docendaque  nobis disseruerunt.    O si sic omnes!  Utinam omnes tali ardore discipulos  docerent.

Sed ne longius eloquar, multa sunt mihi praetereunda.  Magistrum tamen Gravidum ter subtiliter callideque, callidius, callidissime pueros docentem spectavimus, et Gifantem, iuvenem, leones, catulosque et milites armatos  admirati sumus.  Directorem vestrum quinquiens docentem vel docere conantem spectavistis - - “suave mari magno turbantibus auquora ventis/ e terra magnum alterius spectare laborem” …. sed non ab ovo usque ad mala  sed potius a malo usque ad decem ova et crustula.

Ne plura dicam, circuli circumierunt, lectores legerunt, scriptores poemata et prosas scripserunt, quorum nonnulli, ut audio, multa de testa exercitus  (Gallice “tete d’armee”) Napoleonis audiverunt.  Et praeterea, Dalius noster, “cui , ut semper, nova est canities, cui prima et recta senectus”, quemque summi honoris causa nomino, quarter nobis de Lucretio illo disseruit - “  multis luminibus ingeni, multis tamen artibus”  et tanto lepore, suavitate  tanta vocis ut nos omnes poetam illum totum rursus legere vellemus.  Gratias Dalio et omnibus oratoribus et rhetoribus, et nostris et externis, quam maximas habemus.

Heri quoque carmina alia antiqua cantavimus, nova alia et Dalius et Didymus noster dulcibus vocibus nobis cicinere.  Nempe de bubone et cuculo cecinimus et casu quodam eadem nocte bubonem in arbore sedentem vidimus.  Ubi erat cuclus?  Fortasse in lecto bubonis!  Duas quoque columbas vidimus osculantes !

Quam felices fuimus nos qui hos sex dies talibus in aedibus, omnibus commodis modernis aptis, habitavimus.  Nescio quare semper aquam superfluentem audiam, plus aquae in dies - fortasse etiam aqua frigida ita calida fit calidiorque donec necesse sit superfluere.  Quid putaret ille Augustinus sanctus si hodie viveret et aquam semper superfluetem videret?  Viveret, dixi  - “vivat” fuit mihi dicendum, ut nobis imperavit Didymus noster.  Qualem cibum edimus!  Quanti cibi edimus!  Non solum meliores hinc abibimus sed etiam maiores, pinguiores, rotundiores ad nostros ludos redibimus.  Et quid de illa cena - non sine floribus, non sine Melle et Margarita, multo sale, multis puellis pulcherrimis et omnibus cachinnis?  Quis tot anates  sagittis necavit - quis nostrum fuit sagittarius, quis fuit Cupido?  O Arelates, cavete, quaeso, Venerem Cupidinesque.

Mea quidem parte valde laetatus sum hoc collegium aediculam sanctam tam pulchram habere ut illimagistri nostri arte musicali bene praediti eadem arte aures nostras delectaverunt.  Quam felices fuimus, qui cenam sanctam in eadem  aedicula a Finito nostro celebratam cenavimus.   Quam laeti non solum Dalium sed etiam infantem Venatoris Venatricisque (Anglice “Hunt”) et pulcherrimam et optimam - ut mihi videtur -  inter nos habemus.  Utinam et Dalium  senesque et multos alios aliasque infantes in ludis nostris aestivis in futurum habeamus.

Sed iam satis dixi.  His quidem temporibus, O Arelates, difficilius in annos, vel paene in dies fit, ut opinor, humanitatem nostram nobis a Romanis Graecisque per saecula multa traditam et servare et posteritati deinceps tradere.  Attamen non nobis est desperandum.  Gaudeo equidem quod tot talesque magistri ad ludos aestivos societatis uno quoque anno convenire volunt.  Dum stat societas nostra, ruat caelum!  Hoc mihi maximo est solacio.  Vivat floreatque societas nostra in aeternum!

Itaque nunc mihi invito necesse est, iam tandem, usque in proximum annum vobis omnibus dicere “VALETE”.