Dear readers of Textkit, I first joined Textkit three years ago when I first embarked on a degree in Greek and Latin at the University of Malta. Then struggling with the complexities of Greek accents and arcane Latin syntax such as the gerund/gerundive and quin/quominus, I learnt much from your erudite posts. I have now graduated and have moved on to new Classics-related initiatives. One of these intiatives is the setting up of Malta Classics Association. Hereunder is some material pertaining to the new association. While I doubt that there are any Maltese Classicists reading this forum (Maltese Classicists being rarer than birds' teeth), the Malta Classics Associations also welcomes queries and contacts with Classicists living beyond our shores - especially those who may own property on the island or who occasionally visit Malta on holiday.
Press Release starts here =>
Reviving Our Roots
A spell of bed-ridden illness is no fun, especially if one has run out of books to read. At my request, my mother started rummaging through her old school books and finally turned up one which I had not yet read. You can never be too careful what books you put into the hands of impressionable seven year-olds. That children’s edition of Bullfinch’s “The Golden Age of Myth and Legend” introduced me to the golden shores of Hellas, to heroic Ilion, to the Alban fathers and to the high walls of Rome. That book defined my vision, my forma mentis and my subsequent escapades. It left me with a hunger that could not be satisfied until a few years ago I bit the bullet and embarked upon the course leading to the degree of Bachelor of Arts in Classics at the University of Malta.
Though the course was brutal, these were the happiest years of my life. I shall never forget the time I spent learning Latin and Greek with Horace, tearing apart English with the laser-like precision he espouses and recasting it into prose that a Roman or an Athenian might read with comprehension if not with admiration. Neither shall I forget the time I spent taking my first faltering steps in reading the words of the fathers of civilisation in their original languages with Carmel and Maria and Tony and Victor. It was during this time that I obtained not merely an education but the tools to sate, if for a while, my childhood thirst for the words and songs of the giants whose shoulders, like those of Atlas, bear the burden of amnesiac modernity.
But there were those who questioned my dedication to a course of studies so “recondite” and “irrelevant”. Yet how can the languages of Homer and Vergil, of Plato and Cicero, of the New Testament, of the Middle Ages and of the Renaissance be recondite and irrelevant? Indeed, the sirens of Odysseus call out to many who would like to acquire a smattering of these languages or to learn more about the mythology, history, culture, thought, art and rhetoric of the ancient world – for relaxation, for delectation and to illuminate the many elements in the modern world that hark back to those days when the world was young and the laughing gods still walked the earth.
It is for this reason that a group of graduates and lecturers is working to set up a Classical Association. The purpose of this association is to raise the profile of Classics in this most central of all Mediterranean islands. By setting up a journal, we hope to offer academics a medium in which they may publish their work. We also plan to publish a more accessible publication in which members of the public, not merely graduates and academics, may publish exercises in Latin and Greek prose and poetry or to publish, in modern languages, essays and reflections on the Classical world and its relevance to ours. Moreover, we intend to hold public lectures on any aspect of the Classical world. Indubitably, the association will offer basic courses in the Greek and Latin languages and finally, it is our hope to produce plays from the great playwrights as well as recitations from selected poets.
The Malta Classical Association will be launched at an event comprising a play and a recitation this summer. We invite anyone interested in the Classical world to consider joining the Classical Association. No knowledge of Latin or Greek is necessary for membership. If you are interested in joining, email us on firstname.lastname@example.org. We shall inform you of the launch of the Association when it is imminent. Few may learn to read μῆνιν ἄειδε θεὰ Πηληιάδεω Ἀχιλῆος. But put to song, it will wring tears from a heart of stone.
<= Press Release ends here.
Dr. Mary Beard (A Don's Life, Times of London) was kind enough to give us a plug here:
http://timesonline.typepad.com/dons_lif ... -news.html