Useful Roman Calendar free to print out

If you haven't discovered the Cambridge Latin Course Roman Calendar yet, go here.

I used to have displayed in my classroom a fine big poster with the whole year on it, but it was not designed for a particular year, whereas this is, and you couldn't really use it for appointments, whereas this one you could – just.

I've printed out October 2004 and stuck it on my fridge door, and will post a photo of it. It has the days of the week, the Roman date, and Roman festivals. I chose the female entertainer as my picture, though I could have had photos, if I'd used my colour printer, or amusing quotations. Judge the taste of your students, and print accordingly.

Every Classics classroom should have one!

Another Hecuba in London!

Hilary Walters sends me a message she received from the Royal Shakespeare Company outlining their programme for the next months. I extract these few lines:


Next month we open our London Season with the transfer of our hugely popular Tragedies Season to the Albery Theatre on St. Martin's Lane.

We follow this with our production of Hecuba with Vanessa Redgrave in the lead role and directed by Laurence Boswell –

Don't forget you can book online at or contact the RSC Box Office on 0870 609 1110.

Naive, but worth doing

The Classics students in an American school submitted this article to their local paper, and it was printed – and made available world-wide through the web version.

It is simple, contains errors (see the interpretation of A.D., the date of Christ's birth, the translation of 'annuit coeptis') but the message gets across in a mild and friendly way. What about a campaign of submissions to local papers in the UK from Classics departments?

Latin is scattered throughout our modern language

September 29, 2004

Latin may be dead, but its bones are scattered throughout the modern world – if you know where to look.

Take the American dollar as an example. Our founding fathers were great students of Latin. They incorporated not one but three Latin phrases into the design of the $1 bill. The most famous of these Latin phrases is found in the great seal of the United States. E Pluribus Unum, our nation's motto, translates to “one from many.” No doubt this refers to the original 13 states (many) that formed our country (one).

The next Latin phrase, Annuit Coeptis, is taken straight out of Virgil's Aeneid and can be found opposite the great seal – just above the pyramid. The English translation is “He (God) has favored our beginning.”

The final Latin phrase, found below the pyramid, is Novus ordo seclorum, which means “a new order of the ages.” There were no democracies in the world at the time of the founding of the United States. Our founding fathers had to pattern our nation on the ancient Republics of the Greco-Roman world.

Another plentiful source of Latin in our modern world is the Victoria Advocate. Victoria is the Roman goddess of Victory. (You may know her better by her Greek name, Nike.) All the signs of the zodiac are in fact Latin words. (Taurus – bull, Pisces – fish, Aries – ram, Cancer-crab, Scorpio-scorpion, Leo-lion, Virgo-maiden, Aquarius-water carrier, Gemini-twins, Capricorn-goat, Sagittarius-archer and Libra-scales).

Even today's date is full of classical references. September comes from the Latin word septem, meaning seven. On the pre-Caesar Roman calendar, September was the seventh month of the year. (October comes from the Latin word octo meaning “eight.” On the pre-Caesar Roman calendar, October was the eighth month of the year.)

The year is 2004 A.D. A.D. is the abbreviation for Anno Domine, meaning “in the year of our Lord.” It is a common misconception that A.D. stands for “after death,” but logically it does not work. Christ was born in 1 A.D., more than 30 years before his crucifixion.

The Junior Classical League at MHS hopes you have enjoyed our tour of Latin in use in our modern world. We hope it gives you a new perspective. The language and culture of the ancient Romans are the basis of much of our western culture, and Latin lives in the world all around us.

# The Junior Classical League is a student organization at Memorial High School dedicated to the preservation and promotion of Classical studies. Historical features written by the group appear occasionally in the Advocate.

If you are choosing Roman Britain as a Class Civ topic …

The site called 24 Hour Museum reports on a dig at Corbridge which has been going on for some time, but for the first time, as far as I know, they have pictures:
Excavations at Corbridge in Northumberland have unearthed spectacular discoveries that offer fresh insight into what is thought to have been the largest stone bridge in Roman Britain.
Steadily being eroded by the River Tyne, the remains of the bridge were in urgent need of preservation when Tyne and Wear Museums, backed by English Heritage and a £303,500 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, began work earlier this year.
Over the summer, archaeologists, joined by volunteers from the local area and all over the country, unearthed the full length of the bridge’s retaining wall and some of its elaborate decoration.
Experts now believe they have enough information about the bridge to piece together a picture of what an awesome sight it once was.

Read the rest and see the pictures
Thanks to David Meadows and Explorator for this.