Thursday, November 22, 2012

Conventiculum Latinum - July 17-24

Conventiculum Latinum,
Annual Workshop for Spoken Latin to be held In Lexington at the University of
Kentucky from 17–24 July 2013.

These summer workshops have become internationally known for providing a stimulating occasion in which participants can live for an extended period of time in an all-Latin environment, speaking and hearing no language but Latin.  In 2013, the Conventiculum Lexintoniense will celebrate its seventeenth consecutive year.  From the inception of the Conventiculum to the present time its organizers have been, and are still refining, revising and adding to the Conventiculum’s range of activities - all with a view to enhancing the experience of those who take part.  First-time participants and people new to spoken Latin are especially welcome, and the Conventiculum features special sessions designed with these people in mind.

The Conventiculum is not designed for people who are still learning essential Latin grammar.  All participants should be able to read Latin, and feel reasonably secure in their knowledge of basic morphology and syntax.  However, previous experience in speaking Latin is not necessary. The purpose of the Conventiculum is to add an active dimension to the experience of those who already possess a certain passive knowledge of Latin. The organizers of the Conventiculum Lexintoniense believe that anyone at all devoted to Latin, including teachers, professors, graduate students, and those who read Latin for personal enrichment, can benefit from this immersion event, which is exclusively aimed at helping those who take part to acquire a more instinctive command of the Latin language, and a more intimate relationship with Latin writings. Sessions are aimed at developing ability in speaking Latin, understanding others speaking Latin, reading and explaining Latin texts in Latin, and in writing in Latin.  Writing activates include both prose and verse composition. Themes for discussion range from books, literature, art, culture, and historical topics all the way to common situations in every-day

Participants who are already experienced in the active use of Latin are also welcome.  The Conventiculum is also designed provide such participants with a pleasant opportunity to practice their skills in spoken and written Latin, and meet like-minded others.

Some people are interested in developing their power of active expression Latin not only to enhance their own personal command of Latin, but also to expand the range of activities they can employ as teachers in the classroom. Such people will also gain a lot from the Conventiculum Lexintoniense, whose organizers are convinced that communicative activities in the classroom augment the process of teaching and learning Latin, yet also insist that there are some important differences between a classical language like Latin and the modern, national vernacular tongues.  Latin IS a little bit different from the national languages, and recognizing these differences helps us, as Latinists, to promote our
discipline. For example, the norms of correct expression in Latin are not evolving in the same way they do in the vernacular languages, but are defined in texts. Latin teachers, moreover, typically focus more exclusively and universally on the reading and understanding of literary texts, and do so earlier in the learning process than do their colleagues who teach the national languages. Therefore the organizers of the Conventiculum Lexintoniense recognize that certain approaches and techniques, which are not so prominent in modern language pedagogy, including a denser focus on grammar and a preoccupation with reading literary texts, have evolved for good reasons in the teaching of Latin (and Greek). Activities in the Conventiculum Lexintoniense have been thought out with due attention to these factors, and are built around the perception and conviction that many of the approaches taken for granted by most teachers of the classical languages are not necessarily inconsistent with active approaches, and need not be abandoned, simply because a teacher or learner wishes to add an active and communicative dimension to her or his understanding of Latin. In short, this seminar is designed for Latinists, and for the special needs of Latinists.

Professor Milena Minkova, University of Kentucky
Professor Terence Tunberg, University of Kentucky

If one measures excellence in spoken Latin according to the ability to produce fluent, extempore Latin discourse which adheres correctly to the grammatical norms and idioms of classical Latin, then the moderators of this seminar are clearly two of the very best speakers of Latin to be found anywhere in the world. They are authors of published books on Latin prose composition and have won prizes for original Latin composition. Each has two decades of experience in moderating workshops and seminars on spoken Latin and Latin composition.

Entry fee and application deadline:
The entry fee for the event in 2013 is 100 dollars.  In addition each participant will pay $140 in advance to cover the cost of three meals each day, with the exception of two dinners.  In other words, the $140 meals fee will cover buffet-style breakfast and lunch each day (i.e. for 7 days) in Blazer Dining Hall on the university campus, as well as five dinners in the same residence. The two remaining dinners not covered by the $140 meals fee can be sought by each participant as s/he finds most  convenient.  Lodging is to be paid for as a separate transaction unconnected with the entry fee and the meals fee. There are various options for lodging, of which the most reasonable, and perhaps the most convenient is a private room in the student dorms, which costs about 27 dollars per night.  For further details about lodging, and other important information about the seminar, please visit the Conventiculum Lexintoniense website at:

Those interested in participating in this event should contact Prof. Terence Tunberg at the following
e-mail address: