The Association for Latin Teaching

respice prospice

ARLT Summer School  1976

held at Trevelyan College, Durham

Directed by Messrs. W S Wilkie and A F Turberfield

A.R.L.T. Summer School - Durham 1976

This year’s Summer  School was held jointly by A.R.L.T. And D.E.S. In Trevelyan College, Durham under the co-directorship of Messrs. Wilkie and Turberfield.  

Professor R.D. Williams as our opening lecturer, on 'The Poetic Intention of Virgil's Aeneid', deserved Pope's compliment, for he put before us 'What oft was thought, but ne'er so well expressed'. He began with a survey of comments on Virgil from Dryden,who admired his correctness, and from the Romantics, who disliked his formality and his hero. He drew our attention to three tensions in the work. First, he contrasted the proud Roman note of "imperium sine fine dedi" with Virgil's private voice that says "sunt lacrimae rerum" and asks whether it is all worth while. Secondly, in what time is the poem set?  Is Aeneas really the contemporary of Achilles or is he a model of an Augustan Roman? To see Aeneas as "alter Achilles" is to see him as Virgil never conceived him. There is, thirdly, a tension between Providence and the human world in which Aeneas lives. What is Aeneas' relationship to the world of Providence?  The gods can be both a useful device for description of what cannot be seen and a pointer to Virgil's own conviction that there are powers beyond us who control our world.

In the Reading Classes translation was infrequent except to combat difficult syntax in Horace or Propertius but all aspects of the text were discussed. Other authors included Homer (Odyssey). Virgil (Aeneid and Georgicsl. Propertius and Tibullus,and,in prose, Cicero (Letters). and Tacitus (Annals I).

The Reading Classes help chiefly by keeping the minds of teachers alert and by preventing us from perpetuating needless mistakes, whereas the Activities are of most help to those struggling with mixed-ability classes. Practical advice and help were afforded to photographers by Mr. O'Neill who told his group what to photograph - Classical architecture, advertisement hoardings with classical motifs, any object with a classical connection - and how to economise by buying in bulk. A useful bonus came at the end when members were made to develop pictures taken on the course. Mr. Wilkie in his class turned matchboxes into arches and temples. Easily and cheaply obtained materials can become models and pupils have the satisfaction of providing the materials and making something for them­ selves or as a teaching aid for use with other classes. Other groups dealt with visual aids, and the use of museums. For those who wanted physical action the Drama section led by Mrs. Hunt provided both stimulus and discipline. She emphasised that there could be no mistakes , only lack of concentration.

Practical considerations dominated the discussion groups about Ancient History and Classical Studies, whether for examination purposes or not. Those present perhaps benefited most from hearing about the different methods adopted by other people in their groups or elsewhere.

Mr. Hazel took his class through two difficult passages for prose composition. Time prevents many of us from teaching composition and for that reason the annual attempt at the Summer School is well worth while. Mr. Karsten's class practised answering and setting comprehension quest.ions.  It is amazing how easily a question can be misunderstood and lead pupils to give information not required and to withhold what they could easily have given. The desert ion of Dido by Aeneas and of Ariadne by Theseus ,both as presented by Catullus LX IV and by Ovid in his "Heroides" , furnished Mrs. Dennis' class on Literary Appreciation with plenty of material for discussion.

In the evening lecture by Mr. Gillam colour slides formed an important part of the material. Mr. Gillam spoke on his work at the Corbridge site. His exca­vation found the Agricolan fort on a piece of land adjacent to the existing bath­ house, which can now be explained as belonging to the fort and not to Corbridge Station. Later settlements at Corbridge showed that the soldiers' barracks were turned into chalets as married quarters.

The following afternoon an expedition to Vindolanda and Carrawburgh proved enjoyable. Time was all too short to do just ice to these important and interesting places.

In the evening of that day Professor Barron spoke on 'Greek Art in Miniature'. He began by questioning whether the ancients would have under­ stood the modern distinctions between art and craft or major and minor works of art : all arts were teknai. Then, assisted by two projectors, Professor Barron

covered a wide range of miniature art including ivory and gemstone carving and coins.

The following evening Professor Huxley asked a number of erudite and amusing questions connected with the legend of the Golden Fleece. For his answers he turned to Apollonius, Valerius Flaccus and Silius ltalicus.

A demonstration lesson on Ecce Romani was provided by Mr. Everatt of Durham School,  while those who were interested in the Cambridge course were able to view and comment on several video·taped lessons - a new departure for A .R.LT. members present.

Other items included a talk on the position of Classics in Holland by Mrs. de Rijk de Zeeuw. We heard many encouraging things about the Dutch attitude to Classics and numerous questions were asked. Of special interest to those of us who organise school trips was the D.E.S. film 'A Way In'. In this Miss Simpson and her class were reading about Bath, travel ling to Bath and discussing their visit back in the classroom.  What came over clearly was the way the trip was part of normal work, well prepared and followed up.

Both the D.E.S. and A.R.LT. had book and visual aids exhibitions. Miss Beachcroft has prepared a new catalogue of materials for hire and this is available to all members of J.A.C.T.and A.R.LT. Of particular value were the wide range of books and aids put on display by the D.E.S.,and samples of the new format being given to A.R.L.T's coin collection by the Curator, Mr. Norman Shiel.

For our entertainment on the last evening Mr. Hunt had gathered together a sizeable choir - no mean achievement in view of the limited time for rehearsal - to give a polished rendering of excerpts from 'Acis and Galatea'. Entertainment continued with solo pieces on recorder and piano, and an account of the course written in Homeric style, delivered with true epic feeling. And , to finish, the traditional "oratio" was delivered by Mr.Wilkie, followed by community singing of the songs of Rouse and Melluish.

This was a course well up to the standard of previous years and one whose success augurs well for the repetition, if such there is to be, of a similar joint venture in future years.

R. Darroch


ARLT/DES Summer School, 1976

Arelates , finem consulatus mei paene attigi. nam huic tam singulari scholae aestivae non unus sed duo viri vobis praesunt ita ut “  consules” ' potius quam 'directores' nominandi sint.

sed unum modo superest ut ego orationem  istam valedictoriam habeam sine qua vix satis vobis spectatus esse videar! itaque ut ad ipsam huius scholae rationem revertamur, vereor ne mihi non modo tempus sed etiam copia verborum deficiat ad ea omnia exsequenda quae vos modo per otium modo per negotium his paucis diebus peregeritis -seu intra muros collegi Trevelyani seu ad illum murum praeclariorem  'Hadriani' appellatum.

sed quid dicam de is qui inspectores scholarum regii vocantur? quis enim, ut dixit Iuvenalis ille poeta noster, quis inspectabit ipsos inspectores?  hi servi civiles, qui alii s maiores quam genus humanum, aliis minores esse videntur, continuam nobis per hos dies benevolentiam praestiterunt. …. quibus ego ceterisque collegis meis gratias ago maximas -Alano, Briano, Petro, et tibi, Bruto, nec non Arelatibus nostris Ioannae, loanni, ultimoque (nec minimo!) Carolo.

neque his modo sed omnibus etiam vobis gratias habeo pro auxilio, pro amicitia, et praesertim pro tanta vestra peccatorum meorum patientia.