Who writes Latin verse?

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Anthony Appleyard
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Who writes Latin verse?

Post by Anthony Appleyard » Sun Dec 11, 2016 3:48 pm

Who still writes Latin verse nowadays? Is it taught anywhere, or does everybody interested have to learn it individually from a book? When I was at a grammar school in England in the late 1950's they taught everybody there Latin (prose, not verse) but not Greek; sciences had driven Greek completely off the timetable by then; since then, computer science has driven Latin off their timetable. I heard recently that Eton College even has abandoned Latin and teaches only modern languages including Japanese.

In the 1950's I saw (not sat) a recent Latin verse examination paper; it stated all the words to be used, and the examinee had merely to arrange the words and decline/conjugate them so they scanned.

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Re: Who writes Latin verse?

Post by maecenas » Sun Dec 11, 2016 9:56 pm

Multum temporum consumpto scribens versiculos malos
Quare id faciam quaeris. Mihi illud iucundum est

Probably full of mistakes. Feel free to point them out.

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Re: Who writes Latin verse?

Post by rothbard » Mon Dec 12, 2016 10:17 am

From a quick search, it seems that in some state schools in Germany students are still taught Latin poetry, including rhythmic reading (see here, for example).

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Re: Who writes Latin verse?

Post by Victor » Tue Dec 13, 2016 2:03 pm

Anthony Appleyard wrote:I heard recently that Eton College even has abandoned Latin and teaches only modern languages including Japanese.
I don't know who you heard that from. What do the sixteen Classics teachers currently on their staff do all day, do you think?

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Re: Who writes Latin verse?

Post by rmedinap » Tue Jan 10, 2017 8:13 pm

Long answer short:

On very few places, and sadly not (officially) on the curriculum.

In the Vivarium Novum Academy where everything is taught in Latin (yes, assignments, classes, debates, readings, etc. are all made in Latin with a couple of people that are also fluent in Ancient Greek), occasional courses are made on writing poetry, tough sadly just once or twice a year, most of them taught by visiting professors (most of them from the Pontificia Università Gregoriana).

Prof. Michael von Albrecht published a Scripta latina (1989) in which are assembled various poems written in Latin by his students (it also contains his short story De simia Heidelbergensi). I don't know if he still teaches the occasional (almost always extra curricular) course on writing Latin poetry, but I do know some students and teachers do so informally in Heidelberg... or used to.

Prof. Wilfried Stroh known to actually give some of his classes in Latin, is famous for encouraging students to write everything in Latin but I have never heard of an official course on the subject.

Practically every member of the LVPA (Latinitatis Vivae Provehendae Associatio) (both Prof. von Albrecht and Prof. Stroh are members and have been visiting professors in the Vivarium Novum) is known to have at some point written one or two poems in Latin (though most of them have never been published). You can find a few of them in their webpage.

You can personally see some of the people I've mentioned actually teaching in Latin in this YouTube List.

Lastly, there is a myriad of (formal and informal) Latin associations around the globe. Most of them are advertised in the news page Ephemeris, where there is actually a poetry section. Though the quality varies, that's the most up-to-date general method to publish poetry in Latin short of rare and (for all practical purposes) non-existant private publications.

Though I do not have the interest (or skill) necessary to do so myself, at least on a decent, significant, meaningful level, a few of my friends and teachers in Mexico do write poetry (in Latin or Greek) occasionally... so far the only one that's actually published anything was a translation in Latin of the most recent fragment of Sappho. (Search for "Carmen Sapphus recenter inventum").

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