If you have attended one of the wondrous ARLT Summer Schools, you will have heard the words “O Arelates” at the opening of the Director's farewell speech on the last night. This brief speech is traditionally delivered in Latin, and is, for many Directors, something of an ordeal to compose. Fortunately for the present-day audience, who may not have had the total immersion in Latin that our Victorian forbears enjoyed (enjoyed?), at least one Summer School Director has provided hand-written sur-titles held up by a learned colleague (aka stooge). Fortunately, too, everyone at the entertainment evening when the speech is given has had such a good time during the Summer School, and made such good friends, that they are not a critical audience.
I was reminded of this when reading a
Sunday Times article on Arles (Arelate). Here's a taste of it:
From Van Gogh’s brilliant-yellow Café la Nuit, I can see two Corinthian columns marooned in the wall of a hotel — all that’s left of the Roman forum above ground. I’m hooked on Van Gogh on the surface, but I’m equally fascinated by what lies below — Arles’ Roman past. I set off in search of a time warp.
Arles’ roots are traceable to a Greek colony of the 6th century BC, called Theline. The Romans first appeared about 125BC, and called the place Arelate, but things really got going in 46BC, when Julius Caesar made Arles a colony for the veterans of Legio VI Ferrata (“Ironclad”). I think of them totally frazzled after the Alexandrian war, marching up the Via Aurelia, delighted that Arelate was in sunny Gaul, not foggy Britannia, and meant wine and olives in abundance.
By the way, if you possibly can, do book up for this year's Summer School, which is the shorter kind, running from Thursday afternoon to Sunday midday, July 21 to 24. As well as being wondrously informative and enjoyable, it is almost miraculously good value: only £190 all inclusive, or only £85 for students. Beat that! But there is more. Generous bursaries are available. ARLT is so convinced of the worth of this INSET that it does all it possibly can to make sure that you can come and enjoy it. Check the details here and sign up – you won't regret it.