Latin in Rome Last Week
Latin in Rome went on a walking tour past the Arch of Constantine and the Colosseum
on Tuesday, July 24 and ended their afternoon in San Clemente, where they saw the
scavi. They had some time to explore on their own and grab a quick gelato before heading
back to campus for a class on Gerunds and Gerundives.
The group had a long day in the city today visiting first Trajan’s Market and then
the Capitoline Museums. At the Capitoline students saw the colossal statue of Constantine,
the dying Gaul, La Lupa and the statue of Venus just to name a few. After walking
all three museums the students had free time to eat lunch and go shopping before heading
back to campus. Some grabbed Korean BBQ and others explored the Jewish ghetto and
ate at a pizzeria where white pizza with zucchini flowers was a favorite. Back on
campus the group prepared for a quiz and an evening class before watching Roman Holiday
in the Capp Bar to end the evening.
Today the Latin students visited two of the best museums in Rome, the Palazzo Massimo
and Museo Epigrafico. The Massimo has several floors of ancient Greco-Roman sculpture,
including an entire floor dedicated solely to mosaics and frescoes - beautiful findings
from Rome and its environs. The students saw many famous sculptures, many of which
are Roman copies of Greek originals also objects from Nero's infamous ships that were
found at Lago di Nemi, not far from campus. The epigraphic museum holds a stunning
collection of early Latin inscriptions, and so the students had plenty of chances
to test their Latin knowledge by translating actual writing on various materials such
as stone, bronze and other metals. After returning to campus, we held our penultimate
reading sessions of the Georgics outside, under the glowing gaze of a lunar eclipse,
Yesterday we visited the old, old town of Norba, a minimal yet attractive site of
the ruins of an ancient hill town which overlooks the stunning Pontine marsh. It is
the site of a town that destroyed itself in resistance to Sulla in the 1st century
BC, which is mentioned in Livy. We then visited nearby Sermoneta, an utterly charming
medieval town over which a castle still stands. The students had time to explore and
eat on their own before returning to campus.
Today was a big review day before the final tomorrow. Students, like Romans in the
forum, crowded in the lobby in order to re-read texts with us, and they finished with
a late-night review session with Dr. Sweet that went until 12:30 in the morning. The
students also enjoyed a nice long dinner at the forno this evening. Tomorrow they
take the final, and then visit Rome for the last time before their departure on Tuesday.
It always goes by so quickly.