The Association for Latin Teaching

respice prospice

 ARLT Summer School  1999

  Held at Christ Church College, Canterbury

  Directed by Mr M Northey

ORATIO apud Arelates a.d. III Kal. Sext.

(A.U.C. 2752, Antonio tert.consule, aut, si mavis, dictatore...)

Michael Northey

sedetisne commode? ergo incipiam.

O Arelates, aureoli auditores, quanto gaudio hoc tempus mellitum egimus. nos de Canticis et Duroverno certiores fecerunt illi Lyles (1), dulcissimi rerum. machina mirabili nos delectavit Robertus Inclinatus (2), magister magistrorum. tunc Deirdreia Praefecta (3) studiosa studens locuta est de reliquiis Romanis quae custodit. quid dicam de columnis magnis Christopheri Paleatini (4)? quanta miracula, quantam scientiam! vera vero voluptate Fionam Ludifilium (5) audivimus explicantem quo modo Angli primum totam rem Augustinam et Latinam linguam acciperent.

quarto die Anna Cornicis-Collis (6) et Paula Jacobus (7) multa gratia et pulchris tabulis labentibus nos in tempus hominum renascentium et consociatorum traiecerunt. Antonius Tominepos (8), tam potens, cantus et in Cantio cantavit. Davidus Sacerdotes (9) Panana plane polite plandit. postea postremo Lindseia Scriptrix De Vi et De Viis (10) Falconem suum introduxit, qui privatus oculis omnia investigat.

nec omittam quaestionem difficultate diaboli plenam, qua nos discruciavit ille doctissimus Jlohannes Filius-Genus (11). de precibus sacerdotes Davidus Sacerdotes Ronaldusque DarRupes (12) bene egerunt. bonum cibum, bona cubicula, quidquid est ioci, quidquid laeti laudo. collegium tandem etiam vinum invenit.

nunc est bibendum: gaudeamus igitur, Arelates dum sumus.


I was apprehensive about going on a Summer School. Would it be too much like hard work for the summer holidays? Would I know anybody? Would everybody be six times more intelligent and studious than me? Would I be able to escape if necessary?

I need not have worried; everybody was very friendly, all of varying ages,interests and expectations, from as far afield as Scotland and Switzerland. Some came primarily for help in preparing set texts, to glean practical advice and to learn new skills. Many also came for activities of more general Classical interest and perhaps to read texts purely for enjoyment. Many came for the lively conversation, the encouragement from colleagues and the opportunity to make and meet friends. Christ Church University College was clean and comfortable, handily situated near the centre of Canterbury.

The staff were friendly and the food good and plentiful, with a succession of regular beverage breaks.

The `option groups' (two or three sessions each day) were varied in content and approach; discussion on how to deal with teaching A Level texts, with accompanying notes, was very useful, and the Latin pronunciation class made some progress with their grasp of long and short vowels. I shall not forget my turn as a wild boar in the drama group's production, or the Latin conversation group leader rocking with glee when his references to `Via Triumphata' baffled those around him!

Lectures were generally given by those with a different take on the Classical world to ours; they included Deirdre Warden, who works at the Roman Museum in Canterbury, and Fiona Gameson, who gave a very erudite and entertaining talk about the use of Latin by the Anglo-Saxon Church. Lindsay Davis spoke about the pleasures and pitfalls of becoming a writer, relating how she had sent the ultimate in resignation letters (`I would rather sweep the streets', etc.). She signed copies of her latest books and was even prepared to answer a number of leading questions relating to details of Falco's personal life.

Wednesday afternoon was free, allowing time to visit Roman sites at Richborough, Dover, or both . Friday evening was for entertainment, featuring items ranging from sixteenth century choral music to the drama group's Plinian `hommage' and a mythological "Give Us a Clue!" Proceedings ended in traditionally choral style. The fact that many people were planning an after-closure picnic lunch for the next day clearly demonstrates how much the whole week had been enjoyed.

I would like to express my gratitude to those who gave up their time to organise the week and/or provide option groups and lectures; my thanks also go to ARLT for their Bursary. I would encourage anyone with an interest in Classics, as a teacher or otherwise, to consider taking part in the ARLT Summer School.     Rosalind Bailey – Notting Hill and Ealing High School