The Association for Latin Teaching

respice prospice

ARLT Latin Reading Competition

 2020 - results

Senior section:

1 Ruby Ranson

Burntwood School  


Intermediate Section

1= Ffion Shute



1= Angelina Lee



2 Christina Rhoden-Lopez

Burntwood School  


3 Noah Atabani

Landmark International School


Highly commended

Alexandra Heasmer-Jones, Minyoung Baek

Junior section

1 Orlaith O'Neill

Wycombe High School


2 Sara De Lucena Rigat

Landmark International School


2  Sofía Fenici,

Landmark International School


2 Yejee Hwang



3 Solene Gadsby

North London Collegiate


Highly commended

Harry Hepburn, Jinyeong Oh, Olivia Anselm, Rachel Weller, Daniel Garrett

   The number of entries was down this year (37 candidates from 11 schools), in particular in the Senior category.  However the standard remained high, particularly in the Intermediate and Junior sections, where competition was fierce.  Both passages gave ample scope for dramatic and emotional renditions.  The prize-winning candidates not only pronounced the language extremely accurately without hesitations but also responded to the power of the texts and read with commitment.  Once again it is clear that a lot of effort went into the preparation for the competition and we commend students and teachers for their hard work.

Suggestions for improvement.

The focus this year was the accentuation of Latin words: the accent in Latin goes on the penultimate syllable if this is ‘heavy’ or long, and the antepenultimate if the penultimate is ‘light’ (short).  Mistakes were still quite common in this area (navig'āvimus, circum'vēnerant, 'dēmere; 'subito always seems to cause problems).

Candidates should pay very careful attention to distinguishing between long and short vowels.  This is really basic to the pronunciation of Latin and obscures the metre of verse if not carefully attended to.  Long syllables are always marked in the chosen passages and teachers should try to encourage candidates to be really accurate with this.

Pleasingly, the reading of verse seemed very confident this year.  Elisions did not intrude into the renderings and enjambements were made as required by the meaning of the passage.  However, readings should not emphasize the ictus of the verse to the detriment of the accent of words.

Some sounds of Latin showed uncertainty.  Ausus (ow-sus), maior (my-or not may-or), fortitudo (forti-too-do not forti-tew-do), but improvements have been made in this area.

Students sometimes found multi-syllabic words difficult, perhaps because they were not taught to read English using phonics.  However, Latin should be pronounced as written, so make sure there are 6 syllables in ‘interficiebant’, 4 in ‘peritia’, etc, and take care not to transpose consonants.

Appropriate variation of pace is very important to an effective rendering.  Confident candidates are sometimes tempted to speed up and rattle through a passage.  Pausing or reading some sections more slowly is a powerful tool in conveying the meaning and the drama of a passage; this will be the focus next year.

Do listen to the winning entries to get an idea of the approaches that we rewarded, and do use the recordings on the website to help prepare.  And please do continue to enter in future years!


Hilary Walters, John Hazel, Janet Liddicoat, Alison Henshaw

Senior  Text:

 Aeneid 2 768-789

ausus quīn etiam vōcēs iactāre per umbram

implēvī clāmōre viās, maestusque Creūsam

nēquīquam ingemināns iterumque iterumque vocāvī.         770

quaerentī et tēctīs urbis sine fīne ruentī

īnfēlīx simulācrum atque ipsius umbra Creūsae

vīsa mihi ante oculōs et nōtā maior imāgō.

obstipuī, steteruntque comae et vōx faucibus haesit.

tum sīc adfārī et cūrās hīs dēmere dictīs:                 775

‘quid tantum īnsānō iuvat indulgēre dolōrī,

ō dulcis coniūnx? non haec sine nūmine dīvum

ēveniunt; nec tē comitem hinc portāre Creūsam

fās, aut ille sinit superī rēgnātor Olympī.

longa tibi exsilia et vāstum maris aequor arandum,            780

et terram Hesperiam veniēs, ubi Lȳdius arva

inter opīma virum lēnī fluit agmine Thybris.

illīc rēs laetae rēgnumque et rēgia coniūnx

parta tibī; lacrimās dīlēctae pelle Creūsae.

nōn ego Myrmidonum sēdēs Dolopumve superbās             785

aspiciam aut Grāīs servītum mātribus ībō,

Dardanis et dīvae Veneris nurus;

sed mē magna deum genetrīx hīs dētinet ōrīs.

iamque valē et nātī servā commūnis amōrem.’

Junior Text:

Cambridge Latin Course Stage 19 p123 ‘venatio’ Part II lines 7-21 (‘tum Aethiopes ... vulneratus est.’)

Adjudicators’ report: