The people who are bringing Latin to life

Ann Patty, writing in the Wall Street Journal celebrates the Paideia Institute’s annual “Living Latin in NYC” convention—two days of lectures, classes and conversations, all in Latin.

“classicists and grammar fans are speaking a language often called dead”

“Latin isn’t a dead language, it’s undead—it’s a zombie language. And this is the zombie apocalypse!”

“We’ve made it cool to speak Latin,” Dr. Pedicone (the 34-year-old classicist who co-founded the institute) said. “We’re proving that interest in the classical humanities is alive and well.”

Read the full article here:



Rouse writes to a former pupil


Amongst the memorabilia celebrating the 400th anniversary of the Perse School is a letter written by WHD Rouse in 1945 to a former pupil, Leslie Missen. The letter begins unpromisingly with the words:

“This is going to be a long letter, and dull.”

But continues confidently with

“But I think you will read it, because I know you.”

Rouse’s affection for his school and his pupils shines through

“You are one of my sons – all the OPs are my sons – and you will listen to pa because you ought. I am now rising 83, and I can’t last long: but I do hope to leave something good behind me. I will tell you later the kindly things. You saw the Perse School from the inside – and I want to show it to you from the inside.”

Read on here:


This epic production needs our help!

“We are making a professional film of Homer’s The Odyssey in a combination of Ancient Greek and Latin, ‘EX ITHACA CUM AMORE Oδύσσεια’ that we plan to distribute in 40 subtitled languages to every school and university in the world.

This is obviously a difficult film to finance through traditional methods therefore we have made a trailer to support the project and are self-funding the film by selling copies of our last film, and adaption of Machiavelli’s renaissance comedy The Mandrake Root.

I do hope that by watching the trailer you will recognise the investment we have made and understand our commitment to this project and will help us by making your membership aware of the project.

You can view the project and trailer at

Many thanks
Simon Woods – Producer

Italy’s Latin Revival

An Italian academy has brought Latin back from the grave with such success that it was forced to turn away hundreds of prospective students due to over-enrolment this academic year.

The Latin phrase Senatus Populusque Romanus (The Senate and the People of Rome), referring to the government of the ancient Roman Republic, used nowadays as an official signature of the city of Rome is seen on a monument in central Rome on February 9, 2010. AFP PHOTO / Filippo MONTEFORTE (Photo credit should read FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP/Getty Images)

The Latin phrase Senatus Populusque Romanus (The Senate and the People of Rome), referring to the government of the ancient Roman Republic, used nowadays as an official signature of the city of Rome is seen on a monument in central Rome on February 9, 2010. AFP PHOTO / Filippo MONTEFORTE (Photo credit should read FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP/Getty Images)

Vivarium Novum, a humanist campus set in a lush park with a swimming pool and basketball court, is part of the estate belonging to a religious order just north of Rome. Students here don’t just study Latin but learn to speak it fluently. Latin is not only confined to the classroom — in fact, Italian, English and French are strictly forbidden anywhere on campus. Students caught talking in “vulgar,” or writing notes in any other language, risk expulsion………

Read Silvia Marchetti’s article here

Board Game Pieces Found in Roman Settlement Site

The remnants of ancient water wells, pearls and hairpins are proof that a group of villagers set up a settlement on top of a military fort in ancient Roman times.


About 1,900 years ago, a group of Roman soldiers lived in a fort in what is now Gernsheim, a German town located on the Rhine River about 31 miles (50 kilometers) south of Frankfurt. Shortly after the soldiers left the fort in about A.D. 120, another group of people moved in and built a village literally on top of the settlement, researchers found.

Dice design has changed very little since Roman times. Researchers found a gaming piece and die during excavations of the Roman settlement.

Read the full  story here

Classical Latin course in Cambridge

Reading Classical Latin: Plautus and Sallust

12 – 14 June 2015

Madingley Hall, Cambridge


This weekend provides an opportunity to discover how the antics of a party-loving son, an angry father and a haunted house come together, in Plautus’ comedy Mostellaria (line 301 onwards). Or you may prefer to read the concluding part of Sallust’s version of Catiline’s fiery conspiracy against Rome in his Catiline (chapter 21 onwards). As always, translating will be balanced by looking at the sound, the style and the language of the Latin.

For full details visit:

Joan Newey – a true stalwart of ARLT

Joan Newey 1924 – 2014

We were very sad to hear of the death on December 21 of Joan, a longstanding and valued friend of the ARLT for over 66 years. She was one of the last of that amazing band of teachers who did so much to promote the cause  of  classics in the second half of the 20th century.

Joan’s life had had links with the Association, directly or indirectly, from a young age.

Joan at Charterhouse, Centenery Summer School 2011

As a schoolgirl in Manchester she first heard, from her brother’s friends at Manchester Grammar School, of William Eagling , a respected member of staff there , eventually to become the last surviving pupil of the Perse School to have been taught by Dr Rouse, our founder. After her degree at UCL, she trained at the London Institute of Education where she and Charles Craddock, a fellow student, were much influenced by Francis Kinchin Smith’s infectious enthusiasm for the latest teaching methods , which brought both of them into contact with the ARLT.

By 1948 Joan was attending  Summer Schools , soon becoming Secretary and later Vice President and President , roles which she fulfilled conscientiously and with distinction. In the early 1950s comment was made in Latin Teaching  on her excellent demonstration lesson at a Weekend Course . To  have undertaken  such a successful demonstration before the august ( and critical!) Arelates  of that era indicates the high calibre of Joan’s  teaching  and her own  confidence.

Unexpected circumstances left the ARLT without a Director for Chichester in 1978. Although teaching full-time, Joan, typically gracious,  stepped in at the last moment and directed an excellent Summer School. She even enjoyed the banter from the floor — in Latin, of course –  from her old friend, Charles Craddock during her Oratio Valedictoria!

Joan was one of the earliest pioneers of the CLC – no mean feat after teaching Latin traditionally for over two decades. She taught the course so  vividly, however, that when Stage 12 was reached she would take a box of tissues into the lesson because her pupils were moved to tears by the poignant destruction of Pompeii. Throughout her retirement she remained eager to familiarise herself with the many innovations in education -A/S  exams , coursework, online  Latin inter alia.  When pleasing comments were made about her continuing presence at Summer Schools, she used to say, “ I come to encourage you young people”.  And how true that was.

Joan was  delighted to achieve her ambition – often  mentioned  by  her in preceding years –  to be well enough to attend the 2011 Summer School at Charterhouse where, at the Centenary Dinner, she delivered an eloquent and amusing speech , reminiscing on ARLT history.

Joan and Peter also managed to make the 2013 Summer School at Roehampton.  Three points  are memorable : Joan’s presence on the expedition to the British Museum to se the Pompeii exhibition ; her public expression of heartfelt thanks for the care given to them by course participants: the fact that she and Peter were among the last to leave the Entertainment!

Warmth, wit, kindness , a zest for life and interest in the concerns of other people  were among Joan’s characteristics.  A few examples illustrate one or more of these. In her first teaching post at  Bromley High School, Joan gave much help, including an introduction to the ARLT, to Margaret Drury, then a student teacher at the school, thus forging a lifelong friendship which Margaret greatly appreciated . Asked to introduce a guest speaker in the more formal days of 1985 when  one almost required the rhetorical skill of Cicero to do so, as I stood in front of the audience, within the sea of faces, I spotted Joan’s radiant smile of encouragement instantly dispelling any nervousness. After the funeral of Arthur Munday at which Joan had read  an Ode of Horace, Charles Peckett thanked her, adding, “Well done, Joan – and not a wrong quantity to be heard “.  “I should think not, “she quipped, “  after all the years  I’ve sat  at your feet. “

Joan’s funeral was very well  attended and included a good representation from the ARLT. One highlight was the reading by Roger Davies of  Horace : Odes 1.24.

Tribute must also be paid to Peter for his unfailing support in attending  numerous  Summer Schools with Joan , where his own erudition, wit and friendliness were hugely appreciated. We offer our sympathy to him and to Alison and James and their families.

Lynda Goss