The National Latin Exam is an international test covering Latin grammar, reading comprehension, English derivatives, Roman mythology, and culture. In March, Harbor Day seventh and eighth grade Latin students took the National Latin Exam remotely! Our students did an amazing job. We had 86% of our seventh grade students win certificates and 66% of our eighth grade students win awards for their performances. Additionally, three seventh graders had perfect scores and two eighth graders received the highest award, the gold summa cum laude award!
As a fun project, HDS Latin students in seventh grade learned about Roman oratorical style and learned through doing by memorizing and performing a Latin oratory. Their oratory passage was adapted from a story about a Roman hero from the Early Republic, Gaius Mucius Scaevola. In the midst of war, Gaius Mucius decided to save his city by infiltrating the enemy Etruscan camp just outside of Rome alone. He had intended to kill the king, Lars Porsenna, but mistook an administrator for the king. After killing this administrator, Mucius was captured and brought before Porsenna, which is when Mucius delivered the following speech. As he stated “nunc mortem non timeo,” he stuck his right hand into the fire to prove his dedication, sincerity, and bravery. With this speech, he convinced Porsenna that Rome was filled with men like him, ready to die for Rome. After such a demonstration of courage and fearing that his army would be infiltrated by such men, again and again, Porsenna decided to let Mucius go and not to attack the Romans.
“Rōmānus sum cīvis. Hominēs mē Mūcium vocant. Tē hostem occīdere cupiēbam. Mīlitēs tuōs nōn timēbam. Nunc mortem nōn timeō. Rōmānī vim hostium nōn timent. Multī sunt Rōmānī mihi similēs et parātī id facere, quod ego facere nōn poteram. Semper igitur cīvēs nostrōs timēre dēbēs. Bellum contrā nōs geris nōn sōlum in castrīs, sed etiam domī, ubi hostēs occultī tē petunt.”
- Latin for the New Millennium, p. 192, lines 1-6, abridged
“I am a Roman citizen. People call me Mucius. I wanted to kill you, my enemy. I was not afraid of your soldiers. Now I do not fear death. Romans do not fear the strength of their enemies. There are many Romans similar to me and ready to do that which I was not able to do. So you always ought to fear our citizens. You wage war against us, not only in army camps, but also at home, where hidden enemies are looking for you.”
This Latin oratory would have been performed by students at the State Junior Classical League competitively. Instead, it became a Flipgrid project. It was graded by the following criteria: memorization, eye contact, phraseology, natural gestures, and oratorical style, and enunciation and voice control. Well done, HDS students!