Certamen 2012

On behalf of the Harvard Classical Club, we are pleased to invite you to the annual Harvard Certamen on Saturday, March 31st, 2012, from 9 AM to 5 PM. The certamen will feature three divisions of play for the different levels of Latin: Novice (1/2 and 1), Intermediate (2) and Advanced (3, 4, 5+). All students in grades 6-12, in any level of Latin, are welcome to play. For each division, there will be three preliminary rounds and a semi-final round, followed by a final round. Once again, we will offer cash prizes for winning teams, specially inscribed Loeb Classical Library editions for the Most Valuable Players on each level, and commemorative awards for the teams in each final round.

We are fortunate to have many former certamen players at Harvard who, along with experienced certamen alumni from around the country, have generously offered to write questions and moderate rounds. This year certamen alumni at Harvard and neighboring schools will also play through the questions beforehand in order to ensure the quality of questions.

We also hope the event will serve as an opportunity for students to learn about Harvard and its Classics department, which offers unparalleled opportunities for Classics enthusiasts. The Harvard Classical Club sponsors an annual play (this year, Sophocles’ Antigone), pizza and movie nights, and a weekly Latin table (Mensa Latina), during which we eat a tasty meal at an Italian restaurant while enjoying good company and conversation in Latin. Our thriving graduate program and knowledgeable, passionate professors support vibrant curricular offerings for undergraduates. The department offers courses on Latin and Greek literature as well as ancient history, archaeology, linguistics, comparative literature, and mythology (you can even major in Folklore and Mythology)—all in small classes, within a close-knit community of fellow lovers of antiquity.

If you join us for the Certamen, we hope you take the opportunity to explore the Classics department as well as the rest of the university and Cambridge. Students who study The Classics here will be on hand to share their experiences with academics, classics, extracurriculars, and life at Harvard. We plan to offer a group tour of Harvard during the day; and, as in previous years, delicious gourmet pizza from the Upper Crust Pizzeria in Harvard Square will be available for lunchtime purchase.

Registration instructions, along with a preliminary schedule, are on the attached PDF. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions, at kramakrishnan@college.harvard.edu and cjlonda@college.harvard.edu . We look forward to seeing you!

Certamen 2011

An article about the HCS Certamen in 2011 from The Newsletter of the Classical Association of New England

Oedipus Rex


“Oedipus Rex,” Sophocles’ tragic tale of a king who unknowingly murders his father and sleeps with his mother, was written almost two and a half millennia ago and features a story very much ingrained in the cultural canon. Nonetheless, the director of the Harvard-Radcliffe Dramatic Club’s new production of the play is confident that it remains relevant to our times, in ways that are often forgotten when the piece is staged today. “The play contains very personal stuff,” says director Meryl H. Federman ’11, “with common ideas that have sort of been lost over time.” Her goal with this production is to “take it out of the tight-buttoned classical sensibility, so it isn’t a toga and sandal rendition of the play” and modern audiences can more easily connect with the characters.