Famiglie e studenti

The Certamen Lucretianum In Naples Becomes International

di Carmine Fotina

4Contenuto esclusivo S24

The competition is a way to keep the teaching of Latin alive. The Certamen is a constant tradition: it is organized every year by different Italian high schools. The test of ability in Latin translation attracts more and more students, even some of them foreigners: the last example was the 17th edition of the Certamen Lucretianum , which was held at the Liceo scientifico statale “Tito Lucrezio Caro” in Naples, where a student from the United States got third place.
The organizing committee of the Certamen of the Neapolitan high school, chaired by the principal, Liana Nunziata, and coordinated by the teacher Paolo Cutolo, wanted there to be a link between the Certamen and the area where the school is, and especially the person after whom it is named. For the Certamen is linked with the Neapolitan hill of Posillipo, where the villula Sironis, that is, the house and school of the philosopher Siro, used to stand: there the young Virgil, and perhaps Lucretius himself, used to study Epicureanism.
Besides the students from Naples, there were some from other regions of Italy, but also from abroad: for example, from Belgium, and, as we mentioned above, from the United States. The winner of the first prize, 800 euros, was Sabrina De Zen, of the Liceo classico “Brocchi” of Bassano del Grappa. The second-place prize, 500 euros, went to Didier Natalizi Bandi, of the Liceo classico “F. Petrarca” of Arezzo. The winner of the third prize, 300 euros, was Josiah Meadows, a homeschooler from Atlanta, Georgia, USA.
“The type of competition”, according to the principal, Liana Nunziata, “is the fruit of a clear didactic strategy: it is an imitation of the world of sports and show, in which the students are very involved, in order to educate more and more students who are capable of understanding the teachings of the classical authors, even in this day and age.”