Student “Tribes” to Compete at UVM’s 27th Latin Day

Latin Day in aula Universitas Viridis Montis may feature more kilts than togas this year.

Mores Gentium Mundi, or the Cultural Diversity of the Roman World, is the theme for the popular annual event that will bring Vermont middle and high school students to UVM on Friday, April 11, to learn, perform – and have fun.

“We’re doing things a little differently this year,” explained Mark Usher, assistant professor of Classics.

In past years, students have performed skits based on Greek and Roman mythology. This year, students will impersonate tribes from other regions – from the ancient Egyptians and Etruscans to the Parthians and Vandals – and depict their interactions with citizens of Rome.

“We’ll definitely see Cleopatra and the queen of the Barbarians,” predicted Usher, who is managing the event for the second year.

Expect also to see blue body paint and kilts, he said.

“The Gauls and the Celts wore kilts, and painted their bodies blue before going to battle.”

The university’s 27th Latin Day, held in Patrick Gym, will begin with opening ceremonies at 9:20 a.m. and conclude at 12:30 p.m. after awards are presented.

Skits will run from 10:30 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.

Also planned are competitions in translating Greek and Latin texts and discussions of passages from Seneca, Caesar and Ovid.

Displays created by students to illuminate elements of the Roman Empire will be available for viewing all morning.

Participating schools this year include Bellows Free Academy, Brattleboro Union High School, Burlington High School, Champlain Valley Union High School, Essex High School, Hanover (N.H.) High School, Harwood Union High School, Milton High School, Mount Abraham Union High School, Mount Mansfield Union High School, Riverside Middle School and Whitcomb Junior/Senior High School.

For more information on Latin Day, call the Classics Department at 656-3210.