It’s Magistra McIntire here again! I can’t believe Academy is starting in just a couple of days! I’m excited to be returning to Randolph-Macon College’s campus! As you’re frantically packing your last items, I wanted to let you know some more about my class: OVID-22.
We will be translating the transformations of Tiresias, Iphis, Caenus, and more in Ovid’s Metamorphoses. We will discuss how our author, other sources, and ancient art pieces depict our characters. After translating, we will examine ancient statues, frescoes, and pottery of our characters and compare these depictions to other ancient characters such as maenads, Aphrodite, and Hermes. Then, we will be comparing Ovid’s depictions to other sources like Plato’s Symposium, Pliny the Elder, and previous versions of these myths from Greek sources. Ultimately we will be building up to a comparison between the transformations themselves.
We will be asking questions like:
Why did Ovid choose these stories?
Why did Ovid make certain changes from previous versions of these stories?
What do these depictions tell us about how ancient Roman society viewed these characters?
Which characters are more accepted in Roman society?
χαίρετε, ὦ μαθηταί! Hello, students!!
We may call ourselves the Gubernatoris LATINA Academia, but Latin won't be the only language you see in Ashland. Get ready to dive in to Ancient Greek! Practically all of Latin literature has its roots in Ancient Greek, so it will be the focus of our class together. What a Roman thing it is to learn Greek!
The alphabet will be our first step to master: it may seem like a daunting hurdle, but I assure you that after our first class you’ll be reading Greek words like a pro - and you *might* have a new alphabet song stuck in your head. Okay, you definitely will. :)
From there on out, we'll be focusing on stories from Athenian tragedy - the works of Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides. We'll look at Iphigenia and the fallout from her death - and a (surprisingly) happy alternate ending to her tale. We'll visit Hecuba and see the Greeks through a "Trojan" eye. We'll watch Oedipus as he learns the truly *unique* situation of his family. And we couldn't miss Medea as she looks to take revenge on her husband Jason.
Through these stories - you might call them "dramas" or even "myths" - we will learn the fundamentals of the Ancient Greek language. We'll master pronouncing Greek names like Ἰφιγένεια and Ἀγαμέμνων or Οἰδίπους and Μήδεια. We'll practice talking in Ancient Greek (how cool!) about ourselves and about pictures of our tragic friends. We'll read their stories and retell them together - and learn a bit about Athenian drama along the way!
Nervous about not knowing any Greek yet? Is the only Greek you know part of a formula in math class? Never fear! Most students have not read Ancient Greek before coming to Academy, and it is by no means an expectation. (If you do know some Greek, you'll have fun anyway!) So we'll be learning Greek together, starting at square one!
Διδάσκαλος ᾽Ιέπφερσον / Mr. Jefferson
As you might already know, it's my job to show you that you can speak Latin! Now I know that might be intimidating, but I promise you can. After all, you study Latin and you are good at it. That's why you're here.
At Latin Academy, you are going to get to participate in some really cool culturally based immersion events. On the one hand, this course will help prepare you for those events. On the other, I'm here to share my love of speaking Latin with you and show you that Latin is alive and well. When you study it as a living language, which we will, not only will you get to experience life through it, but you'll begin to find yourself reading and understanding it with out the need to always translate and labor over grammar. In class, I will teach you new and helpful phrases and give you opportunities to practice. Outside of class, I’ll be your spoken Latin guide, here to answer your questions and encourage you along the way.
We will start slowly and learn to manage expectations. The goal will be to teach you to communicate effectively. You don't need to speak perfectly, that comes with much time and practice. No one expects you to be Cicero or Virgil, let alone speak exactly like a Roman. We live in a completely different world than they did, so our Latin will naturally be different. All you have to do is come in with an open mind and you give it your best.
- Magister Yates
I'm so excited to meet every single one of you! Less than a week to go!
Why are we drawn together as people? What makes a community? What is considered outside or other in a community? But most importantly, why do we trust a groundhog to predict the coming winter and spring?
We will be exploring these questions through the course on ancient Greek rituals! Throughout the course, we will examine weddings, hero and mystery cults, magic, coming of age celebrations, and many more rituals of the past while also investigating our own traditions. We also will look at who is included and excluded in these rituals and whether they occur in public or private life. While studying these rituals, we will also be examining the myths that rituals are based on, the archeological evidence, and primary sources as well. There is so much to look forward to and explore sine dubio!
You do not need any prior knowledge about Greek rituals before taking this course, so no need to study up before the summer. Something that you can consider is what are our modern day rituals? What signifies you becoming an adult? What are unique traditions your family takes part in? You can even take it further and examine what our society’s rituals and traditions are. This is just so you get in the right mindset as you begin the course; rituals truly are everywhere if you are willing to look.
We are so close to meeting you all! GLA is an amazing experience, but it wouldn't be if it weren't for the amazing and fantastic students we have the opportunity to teach. Needless to say, I can’t wait to meet you all. Vos mox videbo!
This is magister Cavedo again, this time with a description for my class this summer: mysterium colorum.
mysterium colorum explores the sensory perception of colors in our lives and situates that daily experience within the historical context of how humans have been viewing and describing the world around them, and images of that world, for thousands of years. In the first half of the course we will investigate the science behind the phenomenon of color as well as the ways people in the ancient Mediterranean perceived, conceived, and named colors. In the second half of the course we will examine the cultural-historical legacy of colors in European art and visual culture in order to reveal how notions of color in antiquity influence our lives and society today, and why we should care. The purpose of this interdisciplinary approach to a topic as pervasive as colors is to demonstrate how knowledge of Latin language and texts can be used in a dialogue with other bodies of evidence, such as science and art history, in order to shed new light on old issues of our shared human cultural history.
In the meantime, if you want to watch some documentaries on Netflix that I would assign for homework at academy if that were possible I encourage you to watch Life in Color with David Attenborough, which is all about color in nature (and how the crew captured the colors on film), as well as season 2 episode 1 of Abstract: the Art of Design titled Olafur Elliason: the Design of Art, which is about the artist's immersive artistic installations. There is also an episode of Radiolab called Colors that is pretty good too. None of this is compulsory but if you are interested in this topic this is a great way to get a head start.
I am eager to share this class with you. In many ways it is a culmination of how Latin Academy has shaped and changed me as both a student and a teacher over the years and I hope it will challenge and inspire you to be curious and thoughtful about how you view and perceive the world around you. I am so excited to meet and get to know you soon, so enjoy this last week at home and I will see you on Sunday!
We're counting down the days to Latin Academy now... EUGEPAE!!
So much stuff is going to happen at Academy. Meals, classes, activities. Trips, games, guest speakers. Roman dress, non-Roman dress, GLA t-shirts. Major events and silly little moments in the dining hall. How will we ever remember all of them?!
This sounds like a job for... MEMORANDA!
Do you like taking pictures? You can help!
Do you like sorting through pictures? You can help!
Do you have experience with video-editing? You can help!
Can you write short descriptions of Academy events? You can help!
Our job as a Memoranda team will be to take pictures every day at Academy and then use them to create video slideshows to represent all of our favorite bits of Academy. At the end of our three weeks, we will share out a Google Drive full of images and mail a DVD of our slideshows plus the performance of the play (mirabile visu!). With your help, our memories of Academy will be "more lasting than bronze!"
We'll get started more when we're all together, but in the meantime -- if you have a camera that you would use at GLA (other than the one attached to your iPhone, sorry), I encourage you to bring it along! If you don't have a camera, that's okay too, because we have a couple that we can loan out to people.
I have no doubts when I say: Academia nostra in aeternum memorabitur!
-- Magister Jefferson
My name is Jack Purple, and I’m rounding out the staff roster as the last RA for this year. I attended GLA in 2019, and I'm now a rising sophomore at the University of Pennsylvania, studying Classics and Physics. The academy is one of my best memories, and I’m excited to help all of you have a great three weeks too!
With introductions out of the way, I’d like to talk to you about that most exciting subject: laundry. GLA is pretty long, and with three weeks of activities including field trips, field day, and fielding certamen questions, at some point you’re going to need to do laundry. Please understand that there is no way to pack enough clothes for the whole time, plus you’ll need to wash things like your academy shirt more than once—laundry is not optional.
Try to bring the following:
As far as laundry best practices, make sure you get it done quickly and efficiently—we will have limited access to the machines each week, as we share them with the Japanese Academy. Also, there’s no such thing as too many quarters. Seriously, bring like ten dollars worth of quarters.
Otherwise, check off your checklists, pack your bags, and get ready for a fantastic summer! The other RA’s and I will be here to help you out if there are any snags.
Salvete omnes! My name is Megan, and I’ll be your RA this year and the province leader of Athens. I’m going into my fourth year at UVA, where I major in Latin and Greek, dabble in English and art history, and run the Classics Club.
I was a GLA student in 2018, but believe it or not, I wasn’t that enthusiastic about attending at the time. I planned to study political journalism, not classics, and I only went because my Latin teacher made me and told me it would look good on my college applications. You can probably guess how that turned out - by the end of my three weeks, I’d fully changed my future plans to Latin education, and I haven’t looked back since. So don’t fear if you don’t think you’re “the GLA type” or don’t feel as passionate about classics as you think others do. You might end up surprising yourself like I did!
One thing GLA students often worry about is losing access to technology for three weeks, which is a scary prospect (especially after we’ve all spent so much time online during the pandemic), but actually turns out to be a nice way to get to bond with people. You will get used to it, I promise, but the first few days of phone withdrawal might be weird. Here’s some miscellaneous advice to help you adjust:
Mihi nomen est Olivia! I am super excited to be one of your RAs this summer! As you prepare for academy, something to keep in mind is that you will not have access to your phones. You may be asking yourself, how can I possibly keep in contact with the outside world? Although it may seem old fashioned, writing letters is a great way to keep in touch with your family and friends during your stay at Randolph-Macon. In order to write your letters, I encourage you to pack:
Here is the address you should direct your family and friends to send mail to:
Governor’s Latin Academy
P.O. Box 5005
Ashland, VA 23005-5505
You will be given time daily to write letters and any mail received will also be distributed at this time. After writing and addressing your letters, you can give them to any of your RAs or elected Quaestors. We will deliver them directly to the post office each morning. Mail usually takes around 3-5 days to be delivered and package delivery time may vary a bit more.
Writing letters can be therapeutic and may help you reflect on your experiences at GLA and process feelings of homesickness. It means a lot to receive a note from family or friends when you have been away, it definitely helped me a lot when I was a student at the academy!
Below I have attached an outline of a filled-out envelope including your academy address in the top left. Your RAs and teachers will always be willing to help if you have any additional questions or concerns. Also, I just so happen to work at a stationary store, and in the event that you forget to bring any letter writing supplies, I will be happy to share mine with you!
I'm looking forward to meeting you all very soon!
χαίρετε, ὠ πάντες! ὄνομα μοι ἐστι Διδασκαλὸς Κέφιν Ἰεπφερσον.
Hey there! My name is Kevin Jefferson, and this will be my eighth summer teaching Ancient Greek at Latin Academy. I'm pretty much a nerd for Greek... I loved it so much in college and grad school that I just had to keep reading it more and more. And I think you'll love it too! More info to come about that language with the squiggly letters soon!
During the regular school year, I teach Latin and Mythology at St. Stephen's and St. Agnes School in Alexandria, Virginia. I often spend my evenings in the kitchen (on the best of days there's fresh falafel!), and as I sit to write this I'm waiting for some bread dough to rise (baking bread is like magic!). I try to get out to Shenandoah National Park whenever I can to hike in the mountains. My two cats are named Noor and Fergus, and there are often foster kittens running around our spare bedroom.
I attended GLA when I was in high school, and I had a blast meeting other Latin students and finding new things to do with the language. As a teacher, I keep coming back because of the people. It may only be three weeks, but there become strong community bonds between the students and the RA's and the teachers. Each academy is unique because of what each person brings to the table. So I can't wait to meet you all and see what we create together this summer!
Mox vōs vidēbō! - Mr. Jefferson
This blog will document the MMXXII session of the Virginia Governor's Latin Academy. After elections are held, the aediles will be responsible for its upkeep.
Contact UsEmail: email@example.com
Office Phone: (804) 496-1539
c/o Governor's Latin Academy
P.O. Box 5005
Ashland, VA 23005
Download these and use them to help with packing:
GLA Clothing Checklist
GLA Essentials Checklist
GLA School Supplies & Optional Checklist
Again, these are not required and I would only get one from each category, if any.
a. Conversational Latin for Oral Proficiency
b. Cassell's Concise Latin-English, English-Latin Dictionary
c. Collins Latin Concise Dictionary
a. Athenaze, Book I
b. From Alpha to Omega
c. Alpha is for Anthropos
d. Pocket Oxford Classical Greek Dictionary
Daily Life Books
a. Everyday Life in Ancient Rome
b. Peoples of the Roman World
c. A Day in the Life of Ancient Rome
d. Daily Life in the Roman City
You will need Roman clothing for several of our activities. You might not always have much time between these events, so you might want to bring more than one outfit.
An Overview I & II
Simple Tunica, Stola, and Palla Patterns
Legio XX's Civilian Clothing
Simple Tunic and Toga Patterns
Legio XX's Military Clothing