The journey had seemed endless! Mile upon mile of monotonous motorway, stretching from the North East across the Pennines to Chester. It was so hot and sticky, a day for relaxing in the back garden, not for stepping into the unknown. Yes, this was my first A.R.L.T. Summer School!
It did not take long to become acclimatised to the strange environment. Tea in hand and, in the absence of my travelling companion, gnawing apprehension, I felt reassured by the warmth and sincerity of the welcome extended by the other association members. Whilst their friendliness and approachability remain my most striking memory of the Summer School, I was also impressed by the broad range in type of course participant — members of the clergy, OAPs, teachers from Preparatory Schools, large Comprehensives, reputable Independent Schools, university Departments of Education. The course also took on an international flavour with visitors from New Zealand, Australia and Switzerland.
Preliminaries did not last long. There was work to be done! It was obvious that this was not to be a quiet, relaxing week in lovely Chester, but rather a time to roll up one's sleeves for some hard graft! Who, in their right mind, in the middle of August, would attend lectures and classes from 9.00am until 9.00pm and still find time to do homework? I did. I am glad. I loved it!
Decisions, decisions! There were very few of the Reading Groups and Activities which
did not appeal to me and so I found it difficult to pick out the ones which most
suited my needs and taste. The Reading Groups on offer were Herodotus VI; Virgil,
Aeneid VIII; Ovid; Suetonius, Life of Nero; Tacitus, Agricola. I attended the Virgil
class and found it stimulating and enlightening. Never before had I had the opportunity
to read Latin in the company of such skilled exponents of the art and I benefited
enormously from their friendly, constructive criticism and comments. Inspired by
my classmates, I now felt that I too should strive to reach their dizzy heights of
excellence and so I attended Miss Mary Beachcroft's Latin Pronunciation activity
group. What a pleasant, patient and helpful lady we had as a teacher! The Literary
Criticism class was a pleasure to attend, largely because our group leader, Belinda
Denis, effused such enthusiasm and enjoyment. She put the fun back into the appreciation
of Latin Literature. The Drama Techniques class was informative and interesting.
Participation was the order of the day. We made masks, performed extracts from Antigone
and discovered a great deal about the complexities of drama and about our own talents
and limitations, of which we were probably ignorant prior to this experience. Taking
a step back in time to the eruption of Vesuvius, the entire event was recorded 'live'
on video under the direction of Pompeii's own Luis Bunuel, Peter Garland. There were
some stunning performances — notably that of Caecilius, whose resurrection was an
unexpected bonus, much to the amusement of the film crew and audiences alike. A box-
The lecture and seminar programme was opened by Mr J Carter, speaking on 'The Seriousness of Suetonius'. This provided stimulation for conversation in the bar later in the evening (at least for those who did not scurry home to prepare for next day's Reading Group). Mr Mark Hassall captivated his audience with his illustrated talk on the manuscripts and inscriptions of Vindolanda and Bath and amused us not a little with his modest references to his 'inadequacy' in Latin translation. Indeed, I think lots of us wished we were as 'inadequate' in translation as he claims to be! Professor West's lecture and subsequent seminar on 'Translating the Aeneid' were very instructive and enjoyable. One of the discussions developed into a heated debate on sexism which proved very divisive. (I still think you are right, Professor West!) As a result of this I am no longer sure of the true meaning of 'to make love'!
Dr D E Kennedy lectured on 'Ovid's Heroides' with erudition and clarity and the interest stimulated could be measured by the brevity of the sojourn at the bar, as people rushed to their rooms to study the passage for next morning's seminar. Mr Robert Coleman led memorable seminars on Livy and Lucretius. Until my attendance of the course his name meant little more to me than a label on the front of an edition of Virgil's Eclogues. I now feel privileged to have had the opportunity to meet and talk with a man of enormous knowledge and warm personality.
Having prepared us with an illustrated talk on the excavation of Roman Chester, Dr Carrington took the course out of doors on a tour of the city. En route we happened to meet one of the indigenous population who, inspired by the brew of one of the local hostelries, made a notable contribution to the tour — and I am not so sure that he was wrong!
For me, one of the highlights of the week was Will O'Neill's slide show on 'Classical
Architecture'. He accompanied us on a colourful, humour-
Peering through the drizzle on the Tuesday afternoon, I thought our Summer School
had concurred with the Chester heat of the Miss Lovely Legs competition! Little did
I know, however, that the Ermine Street Guard had joined us to give us a close-
As I moved into the classroom for the first of three demonstration lessons, I had that old, beginning of term sensation in the pit of the stomach. This did not last long, however, as Guy Rowlinson captured the attention of pupils and observers alike, keeping us all on our toes, not losing our interest for a second. The audience enjoyed the experience, the pupils certainly did and I suspect Guy did too. A master at his craft and an example to us all. I cannot help but sympathise with the boys' real teacher! I am sure he has had to take some stick this term!
Friday night was Entertainment Night. This experience revealed to me what a wealth
of talent is contained within the AR LT. The audience was treated to Antigone, the
Mad Hatter's Tea Party — in Latin, The Pirates of Penzance and an X-
I am sure you are wondering how all this was packed into 5 days. Peter and Rosemary Hulse did a wonderful job. Not only did they compile an excellent programme, they also chose a lovely location where the food was first rate! Everyone went home a stone heavier!
Should you be reading this article, toying with the idea of going to the next ARLT Summer School, hesitate no longer. You will love every minute of it. Roll on Chichester 1984
Eheu! dies fugaces cursus labuntur, et decet nos apud tot tantique ingenii homines feminasque orationem habere (notate bene captationem benevolentiae vestrae!). Non si nobis sint centum linguae (quod di avertant), voces ferreae (sicut Alexandri (1) filii nostri), possimus memorare quanta auctoritate professores doctissimi nos docuerint, quanta diligentia vos studiosissimi laboraveritis, quanta arte scientiaque coqui cenas nobis paraverint (2) sed hic labor, hoc opus est —
necesse est nobis hoc onus grave, sed plenum honoris, suscipere.
Vespere primo, Johannes Carpentarius (3) hunc sexagesimum ludum aestivum aperuit. Homo magnae eloquentiae, de Suetonio facetiisque eius peritissime nobis disseruit. Post hunc venit Petrus,(4) doctus vir et rebus archaeologicis eruditus, quo non praestantior alter agmen Arelatium ducere et historiam Devae explicare. Tum legio Erminiana (5) moenia Glevi liquit ut nos certiores de armis virisque exercitus Romani faceret. Quis potest dubitare quin legiones Romanae, post duo milia annorum redditae in lumen, magnis itineribus (nam longum iter Glevo est) in fines nostras co ten dissent?
Tum exoritur ab Instituto Classico Marcus,(6) excavator provinciae Britannicae notissimus, qui nos de rebus scriptis nuper repertis Aquis Sulis Vindolandaeque lepide docuit Re vera, imagines Gaiil Salvii Liberalis, regis Cogidubni ante oculos ibant.
Quid de professore Zephyro? (7) Audax vero ille qui Maronem, eum splendorem eloquii Latini, in Anglicam sermonem vertere conatur. Sed sine dubio Zephyrus noster, doctissimus lingua Latina, tantopere a fontibus Vergilianis hausit ut omnia difficilia, nullo negotio, victurus sit.
Ecce venit Vitruvius secundus,(8) amicus noster Leodensis, qui magica lanterna, ut ita dicam, usus, nobis demonstravit quemadmodum architectura classica regionibus in septentrionalibus etiam nunc floreat.
Laudandus est nobis Gaius noster, (9) demonstrator extraordinarius, Quam suaviter, quam eloquenter, pueros e schola Regis Devae docuit, sed non sine auxilio fidissimi Polyphemi! Re vera, Gaius magister nobis magistris demonstravit quo modo, aliquando signis mathematicis usus, magistri magistraeque meliores fieremus.
Neque omittimus ilium praeceptorem Amoris Leopulensem (10) (e libro praeclarissimo secundum nos magistros magistraeque linguae Latinae nominatum).(11) Vates dignissimus poeta suo eloquentissime de Heroidibus illis de quibus dicere possis,
"luctantur pectusque leve in contraria tendunt
hac amor, hac odium..."
Mantua Vergilio gaudet, Arelates Ovidio Nasone et Duncano Kennedensi.
Gratias quam maximas agimus omnibus nostris collegis. Multi sunt commemorandi laudandique: Belinda praesidens, lapsa sed rursus orta, (13) litterarum critica; Iooanna, (14) Arturus, (15) Maria,(16) Wilfius, (17) doctores lectorum; Rogerus,(18) vir summae artis musicae consiliique classici, Petrus (19) sollers in rebus in tolevisione revidendis; soror mea (20) Veronicaque (2l) imprimis actorum rerumquo theatri directrices; uxor mea carissima, aedificatrix optima villarum quae in papyro factae erant; Ruth, (22) scriptrix linguae Latinae disertissima; Arturus (15) studiosus Latine loquendi; Elisabetha (23) rei metricae gnarissima; Maria (16) vox ipsa Latina; Doctor Ianus vulgaris; (24) Ronaldus (25) magister de cursu Caledonico sapiens.
In ultimo, non tamen in imo loco, aliquid de Roberto nostro Emmanuelensi dicamus, (12) qui non modo ultima die, sed etiam secunda hora matutina de Livio et Lucretio expatiavit.
Pro di immortales, quam longa fuit oratio! (favete linguis vos omnibus). Ad finem pervenimus. Valete!
Peter and Rosemary Hulse