Imperium from Julian Morgan

Julian Morgan is a good friend of ARLT and well known for his resources for Classics. Here is his announcement of a brand new course for teaching Latin:

Dear Friends and Colleagues

I have waited a long time to write this email. In fact, it’s been six years. That’s how long it has taken to write the all-new Imperium Latin course, which I launched on Midsummer’s Day, 2013.
Imperium has run its trials, is now proved and fully resourced, and it’s ready for use in your classroom. I am already receiving strong interest from some schools and it seems that there will soon be more of us teaching the course than has been the case until now.
I hope that you will take a little time to look at the website at and that this material may be of interest to you.
Every part of Imperium is based on downloadable resources and even the four books are being printed on demand. This means that the project will stay dynamic, with continuing input from new users in the future.
Ready for a change? Or unsure about what it would mean for you? Have a look at the document Why Imperium? – at this link:
Have a great summer – and maybe next year will bring some real changes to your Latin teaching…
Julian Morgan

Cicero in Verrem

Of particular and immediate interest to those of us teaching A Level Latin this year is this initiative from Open Book Publishers which, as their Marketing Manager, Gabriele Civiliene explains  is

 ” an innovative, non-profit , Open Access publisher run by academic scholars based at the University of Cambridge. For our website go to 

 We are soon to publish the book that might be of interest to the members of the bloggers of ARLT – that is, Cicero, Against Verres, 2.1.53–86: Latin Text with Introduction, Study Questions, Commentary and English Translation by Prof Ingo Gildenhard from the Department of Classics and Ancient History, Durham University. (For a copy of the PDF flyer featuring this title go to the ARLT website.)  The book will be available in 3 formats – digital, hardback, and paperback. Its complete version will be also available for free access direct from our website on Google Books. Read more about it here:–against-verres–2-1-53-86–latin-text-with-introduction–study-questions–commentary-and-english-translation

Gabriele Civiliene
Marketing Manager
For our latest catalogue :

Good news – the ARLT INSET/Summer School brochure is ready

I have just received copies of the Summer School/INSET brochure, looking good.

I shall try to make the details available on line, but the contact meanwhile is

Robert Grant
Nottingham High School
Waverley Mount
Nottingham NG7 4ED
Tel. 07779 567245

Total cost £390 en-suite, £320 standard, which should be met from your school budget. There are £100 bursaries available, but (in my personal view) it would be kind if just people who have to pay their own way apply for these.

Oh, and a reminder of the dates and place:

MOnday 27th July to Saurday 1st August at Wills Hall, University of Bristol.

Option group will include
As and A2 set texts
AS and A2 Classical Civilisation
GCSE set texts
Cambridge Latin Course
Latin pronunciation
Classical literature and its influence
Classroom drama
Reading Greek drama

Look a good list to me. THose who wish to keep their noses to the grindstone can opt for the first choices; those feeling a bit more laid back can got for the last ones. Or pick and mi.

Peakers will include Julian Morgan, ICT specialist
Steven Hunt, Faculty of Education, Cambridge University
Dr Genevieve Liveley, Liverpool University
D Kathryn Tempest, Roehampton University
Malcolm Smith, Principal Examiner OCR AS lit.
Hugh Lupton and Daniel Morden, storytellers. (intriguing!)
Simon Smith, wine expert, The WInes of Italy and Greece (different!)
Andy Smith, Nottingham High School, sharing good classroom practice.

Go on, register today!

Just a reminder about the OCR Classics Community

There’s been a flurry of activity on the OCR Classics Community recently, about teaching Sparta, visiting Oplontis and much more, so I thought I’d give it another mention today. There are also stores of older teaching materials on their records. I’m not sure that they have them organised into topics as we have on the ArLT Teachers’ Section, but they are there to trawl through.

Go to the OCR site and sign up if you haven’t yet – and anyone who would like to let their contributions be on the ArLT site as well will be warmly welcomed.

Puella declension song

At the end of my life I’m rooting through some of the music I’ve written and performed and giving it one more airing. This is a little Latin teaching song. I think I’ve got the quantities and ictus of ‘puella’ just about right. One of the problems with chanting declensions and conjugations is that inevitably the ending is overemphasised. Not, I hope, here.

Teachers have a fortnight to comment on new Latin qualification


How to get a Latin qualification of equivalent difficulty to a GCSE in other subjects? With elite schools insisting that Latin GCSE remain as hard as it is, the GCSE route is blocked. The alternative is here:

WJEC is pleased to announce the development of a range of Level 2 qualifications in Latin, for first teaching from September 2009. Working with subject specialist advice from the University of Cambridge School Classics Project, we are creating three qualifications to broaden the range of assessment options available to teachers at Key Stage 4 and thereby help you to increase the number of students who study Latin to examination level in your school or college.

The Latin Literature specification is here, and the language specification is here.

This could be another step on the road to bring Latin back from the brink of extinction. The large number of comprehensive schools that now offer Latin would have a qualification that their pupils could realistically aim for.

Do visit the site and add your comments before the end of the month.

For teaching Masada (CLC stage 29)

There have been several posts on the OCR Classics Community about AVA to back up the teaching of Stage 29 of the Cambridge Latin Course. The most recent informs that there is a DVD of the Peter O’Toole 1981 miniseries. I’ve just been nosing around, and Amazon advertises it here. It’s reduced from £20 to £13.

There is another version of the DVD mentioned, but it is labelled Region 1, which I think is North America. It is possible to set your laptop to Region 1, but it would be a bit of a fiddle setting and resetting it, so probably better to pay the extra £2 for the UK version.

The only problem with using this is that it is quite engrossing – and long (don’t know how long exactly, but it first came out on 3 VHS tapes). So you have to be very disciplined about exactly what you show in class, or no other work will be done for weeks! Perhaps arranging an out-of-school viewing would be possible.

Sixth form half-day school – OCR Latin set texts

Look here for the application form for the Manchester A level texts day on Wednesday 11th February.

Manchester 6th form Latin set texts half day, 11 Feb

I am glad to pass on this notice, just received.


2pm, Wednesday 11th February, 2009
University of Manchester

The Manchester & District branch of the Classical Association is pleased to be holding again this year a half-day school for pupils and their teachers studying AS and A2 level Latin texts.

The format of this day will be similar to previous years, with staff from the University of Manchester giving lectures on the set texts. The lectures this year will cover Cicero, Ovid, Vergil and either Juvenal or Sallust.

Further details and a booking form will be sent out early in the new year. Please feel free to contact me if you have an queries in advance of this time.

Kind regards,
Amy Coker

Honorary Secretary of the Manchester Branch of the Classical Association

The fate of 12 Pompeii residents, in detail

Thanks to Explorator for this link. More human interest to feed into lessons on Cambridge Latin Course stage 12.

Dec. 11, 2008 — Italian researchers have reconstructed the last hours in Pompeii of a dozen people who managed to survive Mount Vesuvius’ devastating eruption for more than 19 hours.

Volcanologist Claudio Scarpati, and colleagues Giuseppe Luongo and Annamaria Perrotta of the University of Naples Federico II in Italy, analyzed layers of volcanic deposits in a Pompeian house and examined 13 skeletons found there on a carpet of pumice to reconstruct the events that occurred when the eruption was in progress. The team reported their findings at a recent international conference on ancient DNA in Naples.

Located in Pompeii’s main street, Via dell’Abbondanza, the home of Iulius Polybius is one of the most studied in the ancient Roman town.

“This house has yielded rich and diverse archaeological findings. Moreover, it features the most complete stratified sections of Pompeii’s volcanic deposit,” Scarpati told Discovery News.

At around 1:00 p.m. on Aug. 24, 79 A.D., Pompeii residents saw a pine tree-shaped column of smoke bursting from Vesuvius. Reaching nine miles into the sky, the column began spewing a thick pumice rain. Many residents rushed in the streets, trying to leave the city.

“At that moment, Polybius’ house was inhabited by 12 people, including a young woman in advanced pregnancy. They decided to remain in the house, most likely because it was safer for the pregnant woman. Given the circumstances, it was the right strategy,” Scarpati said.

Once considered relatively innocuous by volcanologists, this first phase of the eruption in fact produced 38 percent of the deaths.

“Contrary to what was previously believed, a large number of deaths occurred in the first hours of the eruption. Many skeletons of those who tried to escape show fractured skulls, meaning that they died from collapsing roofs or large fragments falling from the eruptive column,” Scarpati said.

By examining the density of volcanic deposits in relation to an accumulation rate of six inches per hour, the researchers concluded that it took up to six hours for the roofs of Polybius’ house to collapse.

At around 7:00 p.m., by which time the front part the house had collapsed, the inhabitants took shelter in the rear rooms, whose steeper roofs had not been damaged by the falling material.

“There were three adult males, three adult females of various ages, four boys, one girl, one child and one fetus in the last month of intrauterine life. The fetus was associated with the skeleton of a young (16 to 18-year-old) female,” Scarpati said.

Analysis of mitochondrial DNA, which is passed down through the maternal line, revealed that six individuals belonged to the same family.

“The age of five out of six individuals suggests that they were siblings. Another subject, about 25 to 30 years old, might have been a cousin. The three adult women were unrelated,” molecular biologist Marilena Cipollaro, of the Second University of Naples, told Discovery News.

Cipollaro’s analysis also revealed that two related subjects suffered from spina bifida, a birth defect resulting in an incomplete closure of the spinal column.

Most likely, the group of people in Polybius’ house included the parents, their children, a cousin and his young, pregnant wife, plus a pair of servants.

They all witnessed the terrible evolution of the eruption. In the early hours of Aug. 25, a nearly 10-foot-thick carpet of pumice had already covered the streets and bottoms of buildings.

Polybius’ family perished in their home’s back rooms.

“The position of some skeletons on the volcanic deposit indicates that some individuals were lying on beds at the moment of death,” Scarpati said.

When the first phase of the eruption ended, the eruptive column collapsed, producing a series of pyroclastic currents. These are fast-moving flows of hot gas and rock at temperatures ranging from 392 to 1,292 degrees Fahrenheit.

“The first pyroclastic currents arrived from the north and overtopped the rear part of the house. The currents moved into the garden and advanced toward the front of the house. No escape was possible for the people there. The ash reached every corner in the house and suffocated its inhabitants,” Scarpati said.

Ash layers revealed that not all Pompeii residents were killed by the devastating wave of gas and rock.

“We found victims several centimeters above the basal ash layers related to this current. Some residents walked outdoors and survived until the second pyroclastic current,” Scarpati said.

Between 7:00 and 8:00 a.m., a final phase, punctuated by more pumice rain, buried Pompeii.

The solid roofs of Polybius’ house collapsed. What followed was a long, deathly silence.

“It was impossible to survive that eruption. Even though we calculated that 75 to 92 percent of the residents escaped the town at the first signs of the crisis, it is not possible to know how successful those fugitives were. Hundreds of victims were recovered from the relatively small excavations outside the city walls,” Scarpati said.