Dies Natalis Recitatioque Vergilii
Vergil's Birthday and Recitations
Posted: September 12, 2008
This year, we marked the occasion in style by inviting all lovers of the poetry of Vergil to participate in a poetry recitation contest in Vergil's honor. Agonists chose 10-11 lines from any work of Vergil's, memorized these lines, and came prepared to recite them in front of a panel of friendly faculty judges: distinguished emeriti Douglass Parker and David Armstrong. Prizes were awarded as follows:
1st place: Kenny Van Eimeren, a Latin major, recited the last 15 lines of the Aeneid.
2nd place: Blagoje Bjordjevic is double-majoring in Classics and Physics, and recited Aeneas' famous speech to his comrades in Aeneid I.198-207.
3rd place: Kathleen Kidder, a Classics major, recited Dido's speech from Aeneid IV.590-602.
4th place: Amy Hanlon, who is currently undecided about her major, recited the first 11 lines of the Aeneid.
All of the reciters received drop-dead gorgeous certificates, created by our own Beth Chichester. The winners received book awards as well.
After the student recitations, Tim Moore led the contingent in singing Happy Birthday to Vergil in Latin. Due to space issues, we did not put 2078 candles on the cake, but just used number candles. After several attempts, our intrepid chair succeeded in lighting the candles without sparking a larger conflagration. The reciters then made a wish (presumably something connected to their Latin grade this semester!) and blew out the candles on the cake in a collective effort. The cake was a luscious chocolate with buttercream frosting.
Following the cake ceremony and the awards ceremony, several faculty and graduate students shared their favorite passages from Vergil with the audience. The faculty readers were: David Armstrong from Aeneid 2: Venus showing Aeneas the destruction of Troy; Douglass Parker from Aeneid 6: the description of Aeneas' descent into Hell; and Tim Moore from Georgics 4 on Orpheus.
Our visiting Humboldt Fellow, Wolfgang Polleichtner, kindly read a passage from the Aeneid as well.
The graduate students who read from the Aeneid for the audience were: Joseph Ponczoch, Dygo Tosa, Catalina Popescu; and Ben Hicks crashed the party with a poem by Horace about his chum Vergil.