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A visit to King's College London to hear readings from The Aeneid in Latin

On 2 December IB Latin students attended a performance of the famous text The Aeneid at King's College London, a two-hour adaptation of the poem entitled "The Song of Arms and a Man", a reference to the opening line.

Almost every Latin student studies some part of The Aeneid at some point on their classical journey and the poem, an epic account of the founding of Rome, forms the basis of many later author's work from Shakespeare onwards.

The selections from the poem chosen for narration gave a new outlook on the poem, with many of the integral scenes selected focusing on the women of the story - both their strength and their downfalls as victims of greater powers.

The performance was a unique opportunity to join a large lecture theatre full of other classical Latin enthusiasts and to enjoy listening to the text read in the original language.

The performance was really interesting. It surprised me that it was a dramatic reading rather than a play but listening to the Latin with the correct metre and tone was very useful as the impact of each section was much more audibly present- especially the impact of points of sibilance and other alliterative techniques. The music played on the pipes was really enjoyable and the way Camilla's death and battlefield presence was narrated was very interesting as Virgil very clearly went out of his way to emphasise her downfall being her 'feminine' qualities (being enthralled by the shiny armour).  

Nivedita, Year 12

Tagged  Sixth Form