February 14, 2023

Smithsonian Magazine, February 14, 2023

by Elizabeth Djinis


"The fact that these individuals are speaking Latin, a language most often seen in written form, is unusual in and of itself. But the more important aspect of the exercise is how the students are interacting with the text in a living way. They’re reading Plutarch’s depiction of Cicero’s death in the very place where, in 43 B.C.E., the famous orator’s cut-off hands were placed as a warning that the Roman Republic was ending and the empire was beginning. It’s hard to imagine the bustling forum as it once was—a site of power, religion and commerce, where Latin was spoken in a functional way. [...] But as the teenagers speak the language, relishing its intonations and cadences, that image slowly clicks."

Read more at Smithsonian Magazine.


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