The Association for Latin Teaching

respice prospice

ARLT Summer School  1978

  held at Bishop Otter College, Chichester

  Directed by Mrs Joan Newey

There were so many enjoyable aspects of this year's Summer School,  that it is really difficult to know what to write about first. However , as my mind rejoices at the memory, I shall begin...... The basis of the Summer School has always been linguistic and literary. but nowadays many other tastes are catered for too. The traditional reading groups, circuli, demonstration lessons (of which more below) prose composition and reading pronunciation classes flourished, but in addition we were given a most stimulating series of evening lectures by distinguished speakers as well as enjoying literary appreciation, drama and music! All this was crowded into five days - indeed, my only criticism is that we were offered such a full and varied programme that it just was not possible to attend everything.

The reading classes this year concentrated on Catullus, Cicero, Homer , Seneca and Virgil. Mrs. Dennis' Verrine V sessions were inevitably most stimulating. She very ably corrected our pronunciation as well as drawing attention to various rhetorical and stylistic devices in the text;  we all came away considerably the richer.

The two circuli attended  by this writer  both proved extremely useful for classroom purposes, particularly Ken Cox's filmstrip demonstrations. It is always difficult to decide from publishers' blurb whether a filmstrip is worth buying or not , so it was valuable to be able to see the excellent range being produced by E.A.V.  In the Classical Studies Circulus, Mr. Tank spoke about the J.A.C.T. 'A' level course in Classical Civilisation and later Mr. Wilkie discussed the aims and practical problems of a foundation course. At the same time there were circuli on verse composition and discussion of a text in Latin.

Mr. Neville of St. Albans Girls' School showed us in three demonstrations of the J.A.C.T. Greek Course (with a mixed group from local schools) how much ground one can cover in the short space of four days;  Mrs.  Anstey provided C.L.C. teachers with the interesting and helpful material produced by the L.A.C.T. working party, while Mr. O'Neill showed slides of classical influences in the architecture of some English towns and cities and indeed the members of his group were conducted by him to the town to see some examples for themselves . The literary appreciation classes were taken by Mr. Randall and dealt with passages from Horace, Ovid and Virgil. These sessions provided us with a feast of erudition. One couldn't always agree with the points raised and conclusions drawn, but it was nevertheless stimulating - just what 'lit. crit.' ought to be.

The evening lectures were a highlight of the week : there is no one better qualified than Robin Griffin to speak about the problems of teaching the Cambridge Latin Course and he did so with great clarity and vigour - vir summii consilii indeed; it was a pleasure and privilege to hear Sir Kenneth Dover explain how poetry and song-language in an astonishingly wide range of cultures differ from the language of prose; Professor Kenney showed us with detailed reference to Catullus and Tacitus how Roman authors used allusion and how we should cope with it; Professor Wiseman gave us a most entertaining and scholarly interpretation as to why Catullus dedicated his collection to Nepos; Dr. Ann Birchall, with a superb set of slides, spoke about H.M.S. Colossus and Hamilton's Greek Vases; and that stalwart of  A.R.L.T. Summer Schools, Professor Huxley, one of our distinguished Vice­ Presidents, gave as is his invariable custom, an entertaining and most interesting seminar on Horace Satires II, 6.

As if all this weren't enough, an A.R.L.T. Summer School would not be the same without the last night's entertainment. We were treated to a vocal and instrumental concert (largely inspired by Ken Cox) in the most attractive modern chapel and this was followed by a delightful farrago of lighter entertainment. I shall long remember the 'Britannia est divisa in tres partes' by Charles Craddock and John Hazel, and Joan Newey's 'oratio valedictoria' which she carried off superbly despite the enormous number of Craddocian heckles; Nick Dunn and Belinda Dennis produced a most lively version (Nick's!) of the Rudens; some of the ladies under Mary Beachcroft's  direction gave us an amusing and hitherto undiscovered Greek Tragedy; our vocally inclined colleagues sang some barber shop quartets and two choruses from Aristophanes; John Richards gave a speech from Medea, and the whole school sang favourite A.R.L.T. Latin songs to round off the evening.

Bishop  Otter  College and its comfortable  hostels, standing in beautiful grounds, made a most pleasant setting for the school and all our needs were superbly catered for (in both senses!) by the cooperative and courteous domestic staff. The final tribute must go to Joan Newey for providing us not only with such a varied, entertaining programme but also with a great social week too! Here is one new Arelatis(?) who is eagerly looking forward to next year's school at Worcester .

Roger Davies


0 Arelates, haud dubium est quin sine oratione valedictoria ad finem adduci non possit ludus aestivus. Complures igitur directores praeclarissimi vel praeclarissimae (floreat femi narum liberatio!) in haec rostra ascenderunt ut hoc supremo officio fungantur . Quae cum ita sint, quippe quae director sim huius ludi aestivi quinti et quinquagesimi oratio valedictoria mihi quoque - vae vobis - habenda est. Quam ob rem, insueta ut sum ad publice dicendum, ego me, sicut Christiana leonibus obiecta, ad pedes vestros proicio, quo melius indulgentiam vestram ac clementiam impetrem.

Inter tot tam digna memoratu quae nunc recordari me decet? Haud enim fieri potest ut silentio praeteream Professorem Dubrensem, qui sua eloquentia effecit ut nobismet ipis potius poetae quam pagani paulisper esse videremur. Nec omitto illum Professorem Cantabrigiensem – quam  mira arte explicavit illos versus Ovidianos - scriptos medio in poemate (non dico medio in toro) - versus in quibus suum Roma discessum supremae nocti Troiae poeta comparat. Memoranda quoque est Anna quae, sicut Nereis quaedam ex undis Scilloniis exorta (madida cum veste gravata), nobis ante oculos, ut ita dicam, e tot milibus fragmentorum  cratera Atticum redintegravit; ferunt scilicet omnes viae non Romam , sed ad Museum Britannicum. Quid de Laide, cuius pulchritudinem attitudinesque et Anna, ut accidit,et Johannes Lancastriensis laudaverunt? Cui Johanni vehementer gratulor quod de re litteraria tam subtiliter disseruit ut e nobis opiniones adhuc reconditas leniter evocaret. Quanta urbanitate Herbertus noster de muribus hominibusque -et de mulieribus atque etiam de convolvulis - sermonem inter nos habuit! Quid de illo Professore Iscano (qui re vera apud nos semper homo sapiens nominabitur), cuius in oratione, quamvis docta et laboriosa, nihil tamen inerat taedii, nihil  ieiunitatis?

Nec praetereo illum veterem Mancuniensem Gryphonem, raram avem, qui dum cursum Latinum Cantabrigiensem, abhinc annos decem inauguratum, celebrat, magistros monuit ut viderent ne quid ille cursus decennio insequenti detrimenti caperet. Quid denique de Jacobo , magistro illustrissimo - quam lepide , quam comiter pueros puellasque , Graecae linguae adhuc imperitos et exsortes,suo ingenii fervore ac studio philhellenico accendit!

Gaudeo quod tot talesque magistri magistraeque huc eo consilio convenerunt ut amorem utriusque linguae renovent,mentem animumque reficiant, se denique praeceptores reddant meliores.

Nunc, more maiorum, gratias quam maximas ago omnibus meis commilitonibus atque adiutoribus qui suo ingenio eruditione lepore vos oblectaverunt. Revera hic est ludus aestivus qui a magistris pro magistris administratur!

Joan Newey

55th Summer School, Chichester : Bishop Otter College