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Students take part in the Faculty of Classics, Greek and Latin Speaking Competition

Published on 06/12/21

The University of Cambridge, Faculty of Classics, Greek and Latin Speaking Competition update by Year 10 student Ilaria.

After a short walk, we arrived at the Faculty of Classics. Our sizeable group of eight came to the cast gallery where we would have drinks and wait until further instruction.

Rather than continuing to practise our assigned extracts any further, we instead took many photos of ourselves recreating statue poses. We were soon asked to enter the room in which we would speak; nerves were beginning to kick in. We took our seats, a pamphlet of the extracts, and perhaps some more of the nice biscuits we’d been offered. It was time for the competition to begin.

Intermediate Latin was first; my friends spoke in this section and did extraordinarily well! I was speaking Greek this year, along with Henry; we’d both entered the competition in previous years, but only in Latin - Greek was a first for us. Henry went first and spoke brilliantly; the bar had been set high. Then it was my turn. Frankly I don’t entirely remember how I spoke; it all went by very quickly. I think it went quite well. What I do know is that my face was very red.

After that it was time for the senior Latin and Greek in which I was amazed by my sister Poppy’s performance. She had entered three different passages and memorised all of them. In two years’ time I shall be just as good. The speaking was now over, all we had to do now was wait for the results. Our group did very well, with many of us receiving prizes. I was very pleased to come first in my section and was given an envelope with a National Book Token which I plan to take with me shopping this weekend. My sister received two of these and plans to use them to buy the Penguin Clothbound Classics edition of the Aeneid.

Afterwards, we all got up on the stage to take a triumphant group photo. Overall, I had a lot of fun doing the speaking competition and was very impressed by everyone’s performance. I look forward to hopefully taking part again next year.

Prize winners:

Intermediate Latin Prose: Florence (2nd) 

Intermediate Greek Verse: Ilaria (1st); Henry (2nd)

Senior Latin Prose: Poppy (1st)

Senior Latin Verse: Naomi (1st); Poppy (2nd)

Senior Greek Verse: Poppy (1st)