Summer School video diary (3)

Watch out for Oedipus at the NT

I had this via our President:

OEDIPUS coming on at NATIONAL THEATRE next year – dates
unspecified as yet.

Ralph Fiennes in title role – wonder if he can match Olivier's legendary
blood-curdling howl.

Also at the Edinburgh Fringe … Sophocles, Euripides, Homer

AINE … (tigone)
Howard's jarring re-imagining of Sophocles, updated to 'The Troubles'
of early 1970s Belfast.

3-16 August

Over one-too-many pints, hot-headed Aine and
unyielding uncle Charlie fight to the death.

'By far the best young
ensemble cast on the Fringe' Scotsman.
Rocket @ Demarco Roxy Art House
HWS Rembiko
related link:

Box office


1st to 27th August
icon. An orgy. A dissenter.

Caught between Heaven and Earth, a demi-god
falls from grace. Euripides' masterpiece of ecstasy and revenge, 'The
Bacchae,' brought bang up-to-date in aod's stunning marriage of music,
theatre and circus.

'Seriously sexy' Guardian.

14+ only

Gilded Balloon Teviot

Actors of Dionysus


related link:

Box Office


6-18 August
on the wind. Troy burns. Hector dead. Achilles dead. Odysseus lives. He
was everyman, no-man. A King, long in the coming, worth the wait.

'Iliad' … 2005/6 acclaimed sell-out. 'Absolute highlight of festival'
British Theatre Review. 'Perfect' Daily Mail.

Venue 45

Livewire Theatre Company


Box Office

Trojan Women at Edinburgh Fringe Festival

See Edinburgh Fringe website
Trojan Women 20-26 August
city conquered and their husbands and sons slain, what choices are now
David Stuttard's vibrant adaptation of Euripides' classic play
will make you rethink your approach to wars and how people survive them.
Sweet ECA
The Ding Millers

Can you write a simple song?

The song books come out at ArLT Summer School, and teachers let their hair down by singing ditties in Latin.

Some are recent compositions – Latin versions of Delilah or Ilkley Moor, for instance. Others are traditional, like Gaudeamus igitur. But the core of the songbook was the book of songs by our founder, Rouse, which he wrote for his pupils to help them remember their Latin and Greek.

Those songs were written for those days. I think we need similar songs for today.

Since the Cambridge Latin Course is the most widely used, I looked at Stage 1 to see whether the grammar and vocabulary of that stage would be enough to make any song at all.

It's a fiendishly difficult task. Long vowels (and 'heavy' syllables) need long notes, and the stress of the Latin word has to be matched by a stress in the tune.

Let me illustrate by sharing one of my failures. I thought that 'Here we go round the mulberry bush', with its few words and many repetitions, would be a good tune to use. But could I find suitable Latin words?

I tried this:

servus in horto laborat, laborat, laborat.

but immediately realised that the 'o' at the end of horto was given a short note, which won't do; and much worse than that, 'laborat' has a long 'o' and so is stressed on the middle syllable, while the tune gives a stress on the first syllable and makes the first syllable long and the second short. Eheu! Back to the drawing board.

After 20 minutes of trying hard, the best I could manage was this, which needs the use (twice) of 'en', look!, behold! What do you reckon? Not very good. But can you do better? The tune is 'London's burning.'

pater est in tablino
en! scribit. en! scribit.
canis intrat. iratus
pater est. en! canis exit.

I believe in learning by repetition, and singing is a good excuse for repetition without tedium. But we need the songs – and they must reflect correct pronunciation.

Your suggestions, contributions, efforts welcomed!

The US Latin learning revival

From Whittier Daily News

Mt. SAC revives Latin classes

By Caroline An Staff Writer

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– Mt. San Antonio College intends to revive a forgotten language by
offering Latin 1 to students seeking a glimpse into the classical world
this fall.

Latin provides students with access to a broad vocabulary
and more thorough understanding of cultural issues, said Tom Edson, who
will teach the class.

Edson, who is also an English professor, said that many
words – from constitutional to technical science terms – are derived
from Latin. Phrases like “habeas corpus,” “ad nauseam,” and words like
“agenda: and “affidavit” litter the English language, he said.

While Latin may not be among the top foreign language
choices, interest and support for more Latin instruction, especially at
the K-12 level, is strong throughout the country, said Marty Abbott,
director of education at the American Council on the Teaching of
Foreign Languages.

“Many people think that if it not a spoken language, that
it is not taught in our schools,” Abbott said. “That is just not true.”

Enrollment in Latin language courses at two-year and
four-year colleges have increased, according to a 2003 survey on
foreign language enrollment released from the Modern Language

In 2002, there were
1,101 community college students taking Latin, up from 840 students in
1998, and more than double from the 497 students in 1986.

The resurgence of Latin has mainly been in the past 10 years.

classes disappeared in the 1960s and 1970s, and returned in the 1980s,
with a twist. Gone was the dry, grammar-based instruction that students
could not relate to, Abbott said.

Fall enrollment for Mt. SAC begins Wednesday, but Edson has
already received e-mails from prospective students, including priests,
business people and other educators.

Romans knew all about using flood plains

Letter in the Daily Telegraph

– The Housing Minister Yvette Cooper's stupid – to use her own word –
example of the Romans constructing the city of York on a flood plain,
to justify her Government's massive building plans, just won't wash
(report, July 24).

The Romans sited
York on a sandstone ridge between two navigable rivers, which also
provided ample water supplies. The surrounding area was marshy, making
it easier to defend, all these points making it an ideal site for its
purpose. This first town covered just 50 acres. Modern York covers an
area of 105 square miles, swallowing up the natural flood plain under
concrete and asphalt. No wonder the Ouse regularly overflows its banks,
with disastrous results.

Is Miss
Cooper advocating more of the same? There is no correlation between
what the Romans did and the needs of the 21st century. Miss Cooper
could, and should, do better.