The Association for Latin Teaching

respice prospice

As the course started to assemble, greetings being exchanged at every point and welcoming cups of tea imbibed, I wondered what was to unfold in the week ahead. For this was to be my first Summer School.

As a non-member of LACT, JACT, AR LT, etc. and indeed as a non-teacher, I must now confess to feelings of mild xenophobia coupled with acute apprehension at the thought of rubbing shoulders with such exalted classical scholars as Sir Kenneth Dover et al , and yet my worst fears were soon dispelled by the warm welcome afforded by Roger Davies, this year's course Director , in his introductory remarks.

No sooner had Mr. Davies calmed such neophytes as myself, than who should enter the lecture-theatre but the green-fingered Persius Iaculator , who seemed to be aging extremely gracefully for his couple of thousand years or so. When the delighted spectators had recovered from the sheer visual presence of the noble Roman gentleman, they were then enthralled to hear him, with the folds of his purple-edged  toga flowing as gracefully as his oratory. extolling the horticultural wonders of Roman gardening (not to mention Roman gardeners).

After dinner, Dr. Brian Sparkes (University of Southampton) offered  a fascinating lecture on Oplontis, which was superbly illustrated with slides. I marvelled how so much of value had been salvaged from the site despite canals, spaghetti factories, and other obstacles.

The Summer School offered an extremely varied range of options and activities. Whilst the timetable was necessarily quite intensive, it was perfectly possible (if inadvisable) to circulate amongst the many group activities in order not to miss anything of particular interest. However, most members derived more from remaining in their chosen groups throughout the course (hence the limitations of this report). One exception decided that he would "sit in" on the classical music session so as to enjoy the strains of those gathered for it.  Without disclosing too many embarrassing details, his attempts to burst forth into song may be recorded as the low-point of the Summer School!

Fortunately one of the high-points of the course followed shortly after. in the shape of the first of two demonstration lessons from the Cambridge Latin Course by our Director . In terms of retaining the pupils' attention and interest, and by introducing an element of humour and games into the classroom together with plenty of questions posed to the class which all ensured a balanced and active participation, the demonstration lesson proved an excellent model.

Then came group activities; the options were Comprehension, Prose Composition, Vulgar Latin or a music workshop. Those in the Comprehension group were given an extremely  thorough and stimulating re-appraisal of the problems involved in teaching comprehension and I would particularly like to thank the leader David Karsten for his work on the Didaskalos booklet which those of us in his activity group shall , I'm sure, find to be an extremely valuable aid in teaching.

After lunch, in the reading groups, emphasis was placed upon the correct reading aloud of certain texts , including Aristophanes' Frogs; Catullus' Poems; Annal s X IV of Tacitus; Virgil's Aeneid and in our case Libellus, from which, under the guidance of Lesley Hazel, we tackled selections from Horace, Martial ,Ovid and Catullus (being the 1983prescription for SCP 'O' level).The reading groups together with the excellent and much-needed pronunciation practice proved an essential feature of the course.

Next came the circuli or discussion groups on methods and materials in a variety of topics including traditional Latin Courses; introduction to Literary Criticism; discussion of a text in Latin games for the classroom and in our case, Foundation Courses, led by Mike Teague. His hand-out material will provide a very useful teaching guide.

The circuli were followed, after a welcome tea-break, by Professor Gareth Morgan. who talked to us about his experiences whilst teaching Classics at the University of Austen in Texas. We were intrigued to hear of classical-costume competitions where huge, brawny American football players who would not be able to decline bellum, strutted across the stage dressed up as Heracles, or of a production of Euripides'  Medea where the girls entered with live snakes around their heads! Professor Morgan spoke with humour and enthusiasm and those present found his lecture both informative and stimulating.

From 8 to 9 in the evening of day two ARLT President Mr. J.G. Randall (University of Lancaster) further stimulated us with his literary criticism forum. The passage for scrutiny was Virgil's Aeneid, II, 298-317.Such was the abundance of ideas on nuances of meaning elucidated by Mr. Randall that those present could with little difficulty have gone on dissecting these few lines of poetry throughout the night (as indeed a brave handful of members succeeded in doing after the forum had transferred itself en bloc into the accommodating college bar).

Day three commenced at 9am with our comprehension group. At 9.45 we all wished we could have had more time at our disposal as we moved on to various sessions. From 9.45 to 10.30 our beginners' pronunciation group was led by Belinda Dennis. Mrs. Dennis forgave our many errors of pronunciation; she revealed to us the pure pleasure to be found in the sounds and rhythmic cadences which emerged when the poetry was not picked to the bone by metrical analysis or its natural flow interrupted with excessive correction. For what it's worth, perhaps I could entreat any future newcomers not to follow my example in forgetting to bring a tape­ recorder.

After the second of the C.L.C. demonstration lessons in which Roger Davies carefully guided the pupils by gradual steps to more complex sentence structures, and introduced slides as well as retaining the element of f un, it was time for group activities again. With the emphasis still very much on ”fun” Mrs. Rosemary Hulse provided us with break fast cereal boxes, glue, paper and other such model-making equipment as the crafts-group set about constructing a miniature Roman villa - "No special skills required", we were told, and indeed, despite our lack of expertise, this type of model-making, edifying in all senses of the word is to be highly recom­mended.

The afternoon of day three was given over to seeing the sights of Canterbury and putting our cameras to work , while, after dinner, Mr. Robin Griffin (Schools Classics Project ) delivered an extremely informative lecture on the revision of the CLC. With eager anticipation the members heard of various improvements to the course, in particular to the teachers' Handbook, as well as unit 3 being trimmed and unit 5 axed. Other major changes include more grammatical and vocabulary exercises and the introduction of a more substantial paralinguistic element, as well as the combination of all the pamphlets of a unit into one volume.

Day four commenced with the circuli followed by our pronunciation group (or other selected group activity). After the reading classes the rest of the morning was occupied with a seminar on the CLC with Mr. Griffin proving receptive to members' ideas and suggestions. Next the members enjoyed Dr. Keith Sidwell's lecture and demonstration lesson on the new Latin course for 6th-formers,which amazingly lasts just 20 weeks in 4 one-hour sessions weekly. embracing not only a philosophy section and Augustan literature, but even offering options for Mediaeval Latin and etymology. The remainder of day 4 witnessed Sir Kenneth Dover's authoritative and thoroughly captivating lecture on the issue between Aeschy lus and Euripides in "Frogs" - lalia (in the sense of idle chatter) it most certainly was not, and if , as Sir Kenneth pointed out. the Greeks didn't consider the merits of effectively moving an audience as a criterion for judging, those A R LT members privileged enough to be present surely will!

The penultimate day of the course brought further group activities and circuli as well as Sir Kenneth's fascinating seminar and the A.G.M. Our last evening meal was followed by a fun-filled frolic of entertainment in which a wealth of AR LT talent performed a comedy in Latin adapted from Petronius' Satyricon; Euripides' Bacchae in translation; "Nero" - an ancient Roman light cantata (great fun) ; as well as various other splendid musical offerings. Then our Director, resplendent as Nero, delivered the traditional oratio valedictoria, which truly reflected the conviviality of the entire week and put everyone into the right mood to keep the barman busy.

For those with a head for it, the following morning's forum followed John Randall's marvellous literary criticism of Horace's Ode 1.5. It was difficult to believe that so much of excellence had happened in just a week.

C. King St. Mary's College, Strawberry Hill.


Vt  insolitus  sum, Arelates, publice  dicendi  (necdum  enim  me  Neronem 1 videtis!) ita et gaudeo tot auditores tam doctos conspiciens et lugeo quod hic cursus meus paene est perfectus. nam hos quinque dies intentissimo audivistis, suavissime cecinistis, labores libentissime suscepistis. neque  ullos novi viros (nec mehercule feminas) iucundiores hilariores facetiores. forsitan  igitur vobis pauca de studiis nostris audire placeat : quod animus non horret meminisse (mirabile dictu) incipiam.

primum  omnium Persius ille laculator2 nos  tam lepide docuit quid esset in horto serendum, immo vero quemadmodum cucurbitas rotundas recte coleremus. equidem verba eius me hortata sunt ut hortum meum foderem! nempe responsum in solo iacet! Tum professor ille Scintilla3, summi vir ingenii, nobis adhibuit imagines de villa Oplontina quam iste mons Vesuvius abhinc tot annos delevit. eheu! venit enim mihi in mentem recordatio de amicis meis Caecilio et Metella qui illo anno funesto perierunt.

postridie  mane  noster  amicus  Leodensis44 demonstravit  quemadmodum musica in lingua Latina Graecaque docenda uteremur: quales sonitus tunc nos delectabant! inde professor Morganus 5 , propter rerum mutationem quandam, mihi auxilio fuit. quam diserte locutus est de ludis collegiisque in illa terra trans Oceanum sita! mi professor, omnes tibi gratias agimus. quid dicam de Mancuniensi Erithaco 6 (vel ave pectus rubrum gerenti) ,qui tam ingeniose exposuit quemadmodum cursus ille Cantabrigiensis renovatus esset. tum postridie rogantibus nobis perite diserte comiter respondit, sicut Quintus Caecilius lucundus vir summi consili.

gratias illi quoque professori Lancastriensi 7 agimus qui suum novum cursum demonstravit, exemplumque fecit discipulis adultis adiuvantibus. credo quidem nos brevi adulescentes natu maiores hoc cursu Latine discentes visuros. neque ullo modo tacere velim de illo equite nobilissimo Dubrensi 8 , cuius eloquentia nobis semper est admirabilis. qua enim auctoritate, ut dixit Morganus ille, qua venustate, qua denique facultate disseruit de contentione inter Aeschylum Euripidenque apud Aristophanis Ranas orta! atque hodie mane summa doctrina de moribus Graecis nos allocutus est.

lohannes Lancastriensis9   quoque est laudandus quippe qui de litteris tam erudite disputaverit ut ego pro certo habeam eum vel e capite Minervae exortum esse!

gratias ago maximas  omnibus magistris et magistrabus (sic!  ed.) qui alios magistros magistrasque docebant. quot ingenia in societate nostra habemus! - erant circuli diversi, scaenae - Veronica et Nicola Finito10  regentibus - quo genere spectaculi maxime  teneor, musica hilarissima,  Roremarino11, summa muliere arte regente, et Antonio Domus  Albae 12  claviculis sonante. quid tandem de isto Nerone dicat amita eius Maria? ·

commemorandi autem sunt alii: Johannes Corylus et Belinda 13 qui nos recte· pronuntiare linguam Latinam docuerunt; magistra Iohannetta14 quae scribere; doctor Quartarius15 qui de lingua vulgari locutus est, praecipue de accusativo haud legitimo; praeterea multi erant qui tirones corrigerent.

nunc denique paene ad perorationem adveni; unum tamen restat quod dicam: quantam voluptatem, quantum auxilium, quantam hilaritatem per hos quinque dies mihi dederitis. ut  dixit Plinius  noster, quantum  lusimus  risimus studuimus. Spero vos omnes ferias iucundissimas acturos, domum incolumes perventuros . valete: qualis artifex abeo!

Roger Davies Lord Wandsworth College


1. The Director spoke while garbed as N ero, a part he played in a light cantata which followed this speech .

2. Dr. Malcolm Bonnington was interviewed on Roman gardens.

3. Dr. Brian Sparkes spoke on Oplontis.

4. Wilf O'Neill , who lives in Leeds.

5 . Professor Gareth Morgan , who talked on Classics in Texas, helped out at the last minute in a crisis.

6. Robin Griffin , revision editor of the Cambridge Latin Course.

7. Dr. Keith Sidwell of Lancaster University .

8. Sir Kenn eth Dover.

9. John Randall of Lancaster University .

10. Veronica Anstey and Nick Dunn led the drama classes.

11. Rosemary Hulse led a craft class and conducted Nero.

12. Tony Whitehouse was the accompanist.

13. John Hazel and Belinda Dennis led the pronunciation classes.

14. Janet Liddicoat led the prose composition class.

15. Dr. Ian Gill led a circulus on Vulgar Latin .

ARLT Summer School  1982

  held at Christ Church College, Canterbury

  Directed by R. Davies

ARLT Summer School,Canterbury, 1982