Baylor University
Department of Classics
College of Arts and Sciences

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Latin Day 2017

O magistrae magistrique, eruditissimi et magnitudine animi praeditissimi,

On behalf of the Baylor University Classics Department I would like to invite you and your Latin students to the campus in Waco for Latin Day 2017, Friday, February 17, 2017, from 8:45 am to 3:15 pm.

This year’s festivities will include:

  • a certamen tournament
  • a declamation contest and workshop
  • a probatio competition
  • a humorous adaptation of a play of Plautus
  • a graphic arts contest
  • singing in Latin
  • lunch at campus cafeterias
  • a campus tour
  • t-shirts (new design!)

The day will begin with a short and entertaining lecture on Roman history from one of our faculty. Following that we will hold our Graphic Arts contest. Students are invited to submit creative projects in the graphic arts, in line with the contest run by the Junior Classical League (a list of types can be found here: http://www.njcl.org/pages/njcl-graphic-arts). These projects should promote the study of Latin or some aspect of Classical culture. I am consistently impressed by what your students do, and I am looking forward to some great ideas again this year. We do ask that the projects require no more than 5 minutes to present. Each school may submit up to four projects. All entries should be briefly summarized or submitted electronically by February 15 to Dan_Hanchey@baylor.edu. Entries can be submitted on Latin Day itself, but we ask that they be pre-screened by teachers. We will enjoy and judge the projects to begin the day.

We will follow the project competition with the first rounds of certamen and our probatio competition. Probatio is a group-based competition using certamen-style questions. Those who are not involved with certamen will still have the chance to show off their knowledge and compete. We began probatio last year and will continue this year with a few tweaks to make it more of a competition. Since we can only accommodate eight certamen teams, we encourage you to sign up quickly by sending your school name and the names of your four team members to Dan_Hanchey@baylor.edu. The competition will last throughout the day with each team assured of participating in at least two rounds. As in recent years we have instituted a certamen style consistent with the JCL competitions.

We will also again hold a declamation contest. Participating students will have the opportunity to read and perform a Latin passage out loud in a competition format. They will be judged on quality of pronunciation (using a traditional Classical pronunciation) and delivery. I will make the passage available beforehand for any who wish to practice prior to Latin Day. The contest will be preceded by a short discussion of ancient rhetorical techniques and delivery strategies. Students who can incorporate these techniques will receive extra credit in the judging of the performances.

This year we will award points for each of the contests in which students/schools place. Then we will crown one school the BLD 2017 champion at the end of the day.

As in years past we will have lunch in campus cafeterias and offer an optional campus tour, after which our own Dr. David White will direct some current Baylor students in an English performance of Plautus’ Aulularia. Dr. White has extensive experience in theater, and always puts on a high-quality, highly-entertaining play. We will conclude the day with the final rounds of certamen, wrapping up with some awards at around 3:15 pm.

Schools arriving on Thursday night can contact Mrs. Thelma Mathews (254-710-1399 or Thelma_Mathews@baylor.edu) for hotel recommendations and phone numbers. Hotel costs are not included in the registration fee. The registration fee for all participants is $15/student, which should be postmarked by February 10, 2017. The fee covers lunch and a Latin Day t-shirt.

We always enjoy the ride at Latin Day, and we hope you will join us for the fun on February 17.

Sincerely, Dan Hanchey
Associate Professor of Classics, Baylor University

Steps to Prepare for Latin Day:

  • submit registration form (with certamen team if applicable)
  • prepare creative project
  • prepare for declamation contest, if desired
  • bring release forms on Latin Day

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