Alarmed by a decline in the use of Latin within the Catholic church, Pope Benedict is planning to set up a Vatican academy to breathe new life into the dead language.
Long used by the Vatican as its lingua franca, Latin is currently promoted by a small team within the office of the Holy See's secretary of state, which runs a Latin poetry competition and puts out a magazine.
But Benedict – a staunch traditionalist – is backing a plan for a new academy which would team up with academics to better "promote the knowledge and speaking of Latin, particularly inside the church," Vatican spokesman Fr Ciro Benedettini said on Friday.
The academy, added one Vatican official, would be "livelier and more open to scholars, seminars and new media" than the existing set-up.
As the study of Latin dwindles in schools, it is also on the wane in the church, where seminarians no longer carry out their studies in Latin and priests from around the world no longer use it to chat to each other. Until the 1960s Vatican documents were only published in Latin, which remained the language of the liturgy.
Today cash machines in the Vatican bank give instructions in Latin and the pope's encyclicals are still translated into the language, but the new academy could provide much needed help to those charged with translating Latin words for 21st-century buzzwords such as delocalisation, which appeared in Benedict's 2009 document on the economic crisis as delocalizatio.
That choice was criticised by Jesuit experts, reported Italy's La Stampa newspaper.
"Some don't like that kind of translation because it simply makes Italian and English words sound Latin, rather than being more creative with the language, although both ways are valid," said father Roberto Spataro, a lecturer at the Salesian Pontifical University in Rome, who described the idea of the academy as "very opportune".
Jesuit critics were more impressed with the more elaborate translation of liberalisation in the encyclical as plenior libertas and fanaticism asfanaticus furor.
Wednesday, 12 September 2012
From The Guardian:
Monday, 30 July 2012
Tuesday, 26 June 2012
The "Telamon" project aims at making an online library of more than 3500 Ancient Greek inscriptions, found in Bulgaria. The team consists from specialists from the Department of Classics of Sofia University. The site of the project is http://telamon.proclassics.org/index.php .
Tuesday, 29 May 2012
Gloria Georgieva, student in the XI grade in the National Gymnasium for Ancient Languages and Cultures “St. Constantine-Cyrill the Philosopher” (known with the Bulgarian acronyme NGDEK) won a honorary prize in the XXXII edition of Certamen Ciceronianum Arpinas in Arpino, the town of Cicero and Marius, in Italy. Gloria, together with his schoolmate Krasimir Ivanov, competed with 300 other pupils in the biggest Latin competition in Italy, which took place from 11. to 13. May. Accompanying Latin teacher was Ms. Kamenka Rangelova.
The week before Savina Petkova and Neli Aleksandrova, with their Latin teacher Ms. Lydia Domaradzka, PhD, represented NGDEK in the Certamen Horatianum in Venoza, Italy. They translated successfully from Latin to English a piece of Horace's Odes and inset the text with a commentary.
Saturday, 28 April 2012
Tuesday, 20 March 2012
Like the previous year Accademia Vivarium Novum in Rome organizes its Summer Latin Courses. Here some information about them:
We invite you to our Summer Latin Course. The classes provide for a total immersion in the Latin language. They are divided into two fundamental courses and a third course which is for teachers and which is contingent on enrollment:
1. Latin I(from the first week to the fourth; 15 ECTS): dedicated to those who have no or hardly any previous knowledge of the Latin language. Students will learn morphology, syntax, and vocabulary (1,800 of the most frequent words), and will begin reading genuine Latin texts (the Gospels, Catullus, Martial, Phaedrus, Caesar). Duration: 156 hours.
2. Latin II (from the fifth week to the eighth; 15 ECTS): dedicated to those who have attended the first course, Latin I, or who already possess an active knowledge of the fundamental notions of Latin grammar and syntax, and who know at least the 1,600 words indicated in the lexicon of Besançon. The students will be taught to read Latin authors fluently in the original texts (Cicero, Sallustius, Livy, Horace, Seneca, Petronius, Pliny the Younger, Eutropius, Ambrogius, St. Augustine, Erasmus, and many others). Duration: 156 hours.
3. Latin III (312 hours: 156 hours during the first 4 weeks + 156 during the last 4 weeks. We will launch this course only if we reach a minimum of 20 registrations): This module is designed specifically for Latin teachers who wish to improve their didactic skills by applying a wide range of strategies in class. This strategies, developed by experts of the didactic of modern languages, facilitate the use of the inductive method in the teaching of Latin. With this approach, teachers are able to explain to young students the works of ancient, medieval and modern Latin writers. With a full immersion in the language, daily practice and Latin conversation, lessons, and other activities, even teachers with no previous experience in the active use of Latin will be able, within two months, to fluently speak, write and teach Latin. As we read the chapters of Latin authors, we will also explore the methods of language teaching used by both Renaissance and modern masters.
For further information please visit our web site:
Tuesday, 28 February 2012
Last month the Classics Department of Sofia University had one of its frequent guests - Dr. Gorana Stepanic from University of Pula, Croatia, hold a lecture on the Renaisance texts - "Editing a Renaissance Commentary Text - Problems, Solutions and Challenges."