Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Aestiva Latinitas Romae

A friend of mine here in Rome decided there wasn't enough Latin being spoken in this town.

Well, who can argue with that? So he founded a new school.

The mornings are spent at the St. John's University campus reading poetry and prose and commenting on the texts in Latin; the afternoons are spent doing the same thing at various sites of literary or archaeological significance. If you vacationed in Italy this June, you might have seen us standing around the Ara Pacis on a scorcher, offering competing Latin orations on the pax Augustana.


We descended into the Sybil's cave at Cumae to reel off the pertinent hundred lines of Virgil. We drew stares in the Forum as we declaimed latine (adv.: "in Latin") on the various points of interest. (One elderly Italian gentleman, several sheets to the wind, stuck with us for some time, offering applause and exclamations of "bravi" whenever he thought appropriate.) We stooped into the Catacombs of Priscilla or the bowels of the Basilica San Clemente, where a troupe of friendly Bulgarians listened to our Latinisms on the subject of Saint Cyril.

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1 comment:

Martial Artist said...