Nova res publica litterarum

Methods of Teaching and Writing Latin 

Next Online Course: Calamitates, 3rd March – 21st April 2021

For many centuries Latin composition was the primary and often exclusive form of expression for the great thinkers of the West. Latin was not only the language of the ancient Romans, but also the vehicle of knowledge and culture throughout the Middle Ages and for a significant part of modernity when the Res publica litterarum employed this international language to engage in dialogue across great distances. The revival of Latin composition by the hand of prose writers and poets alike furthermore played an indispensable role in developing the literature of Europe.   

From a literary perspective, the outcome of these efforts was diverse. At times there was a strict adherence to Cicero, while at other times there was an intentional distancing from this model with an embrace of a more free expression informed by varietas. Appreciation of this prose writing is often only possible by reflecting on the ways in which, to borrow from Ferdinand de Saussure, the capacity of langue to transform itself to parole through the pen of an author. Evaluating the specific reason why an idea has been expressed in one way and not another enables us to judge whether the stylistics of an author are successful.

At first reduced to a mere academic exercise and later eliminated from nearly all university curricula, Latin composition today survives due to the efforts of a growing number of educators who teach the language informed by the practice of the humanists. Pedagogically speaking, the benefits of writing Latin are indisputable: by the use of the language we ingrain in our minds the iuncturae, we enrich our copia verborum, and most importantly we enable ourselves to all the more easily attain fluency in reading the classical Latin literature. Instructors who adopt active teaching methodology, composition exercises serve as an essential foundation for the development of new approaches to teaching and materials for use in the classroom. Even more, to teach Latin effectively in a 21st century environment demands techniques such as rephrasing texts, developing targeted exercises, word frequency study, and the implementation of a well defined teaching methodology founded upon clear and attainable goals keyed to the text of the author in question.

To meet the increasing demand from teachers, students, and academics to acquire and boost skill in Latin composition, Schola Humanistica has created a Seminar on Teaching and Latin Composition. The objective of the seminar will be to provide a step by step forum for those who seek to expand their pedagogical skill in teaching classical languages. The course spans two months and will pursue the above both by reading texts and through guided composition exercises. 


Next Online Course


March 3rd – April 21st 2021


I. Eruptions
Wednesday, March 3rd 2021, h. 18:00-19:15 CET

Eruptions in the Etna (Pseudo Vergil)

Wednesday, March 10th 2021, h. 18:00-19:15 CET

The horrific eruption of Etna in 1669

II. Destruction of Monuments

Wednesday, March 17th 2021, h. 18:00-19:15 CET

Christians shatter a statue of Hercules

Wednesday, March 24th 2021, h. 18:00-19:15 CET

Pascoli and the ruins of ancient temples

III. Earthquakes

Wednesday, March 31th 2021, h. 18:00-19:15 CET

Seneca and earthquakes

Wednesday, April 7th 2021, h. 18:00-19:15 CET

The 1908 earthquake in Reggio Calabria and Messina in modern Latin poetry

IV. Shipwrecks

Wednesday, April 14th 2021, h. 18:00-19:15 CET

Petronius and the ship of Licha

Wednesday, April 21st 2021, h. 18:00-19:15 CET

Sinking of the Titanic in modern Latin poetry



 Last day to register:

March 1st 2021.




    Giuseppe Marcellino



    Paolo Pezzuolo

    Intended course audience

    Teachers, students and scholars of the ancient world.


    Online, using Zoom as a platform




    Intermediate or advanced

    Professional development credit

    At the end of the course, a certificate of participation will be issued.




    Once enrolled, you will be placed on the participants’ list and you will be sent an email with the necessary login information for your course. A recording of each lesson will be available for seven days from the conclusion of each session.

    Lesson materials

    Lesson materials will be distributed during the lesson to deepen our exploration of the themes for the course.