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25 December 2010



The world's oldestknown nativity scene depicts the Blessed Virgin nursing the Infant Jesus. 2nd century, Catacomb of Priscilla, Rome.

Christmas Newsletter Editorial

by Peter Farrugia

Welcome to the Malta Classics Association’s first Newsletter, and what better time to release a collection of contributions than during Christmastide? Within these pages you’ll enjoy a broad variety of interesting articles, a selection of speeches from the Association archive, several reviews, and short works of speculative fiction. Now for a few words about the season -


every December we’re confronted by stories in the media and from individuals we know, who deliver their bah-humbug message regarding the deeper truth of Christmas. And without fail many of us take the bait and allow anger and frustration to disrupt the spirit of peace that should govern this special time. Our obligation is to keep the reality of Christmas in our homes, places of worship and institutions of learning. Christmas is when we

empty our hearts of ill will in celebration, and acknowledge the unifying power of love. To all our readers and your families, have a blessed and Happy Christmas. Natum videte, Regem angelorum; Venite adoremus, Dominum!

25 December 2010

Contents Preliminary & Christmas Address by Professor Horatio C. Vella Address to the Association by H E the President of Malta

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Page 7

Handsome Donation from the Greeks by K Serracino

Page 9

To Pluck the Golden Apples of the Sun by J A Debono

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Notary Brincati’s Personal Experience of the 1693 Earthquake by V Bonnici

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Apologia by Maria Zammit

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Classics, a few observations by L Groves

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Summer School Success by M Zammit

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The Study of Classics at Secondary Level Education in Malta by J Grech

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St Martin’s and the Malta Classics Association by B Mizzi

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Book Reviews by J A Debono

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The Benefits of a Classical Education by P Farrugia

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A Song to Poseidon (fiction) by K Green

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The Golden Crown (fiction) by J A Debono

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Highlight of Events, 2010

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Members of Committee, 2010


Membership Form

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Contact Details

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25 December 2010

Address of the Executive President The year 2010 is to be remembered for the official resuscitation of interest in Classics in Malta and Gozo. You, that read this first newsletter, will no doubt ask, “Why 2010? Why not earlier?”

takes the shape of pulling different ropes to different directions. I think the secret of all this phenomenon is the fact that this idea to launch the Association officially did not come from above, but from the roots and, believe me, very deep roots Indeed, the interest in Classics they are; also, the long incubation period was always there, even when the whole of helped to produce the explosion. I do not the Faculty of Arts of the University of need to say that the effects will be felt and Malta came to an end for about ten years. enjoyed for many, many years after. The presence of two members of staff in Classics still giving some service to the It is true that today you keep in University then helped to keep alive the contact with many things through various tradition. In 1989, the teaching of Latin electronic devices; but the printed copy of and Greek was resumed, thanks to the this edition is what remains (scripta providential Headship of Prof. Anthony manent). When you receive this Bonanno and my return from Africa. newsletter, you will say you belong to our Somewhere one reads “there is a time for Classics family, and our family, thanks to everything”, and “Rome was not built in Ms Maria Zammit and Joseph Anthony one day”. Debono, the instruments of this movement, and the other members of the There is a time to wait, to prepare, committee belong to your interests. to inspire, to entice and to act; and, before Rome was built, huts served the purpose Now is the time to make Classics of living quarters. 2010 was not a year a primary subject of interest in Malta and premeditated for the activities you are Gozo. This wonderful experience in our now witnessing, including this newsletter, islands will experience no u-turn. which is in itself an excellent activity; instead, 2010, or MMX, as we should Professor Horatio Caesar Roger Vella write in Latin, was the year when lots of Executive President silent-going activities, such as home Malta Classics Association groups and formal teaching at the University, matured. During the last twenty-one years I have been teaching at the University, at least nine students presented an M.A. dissertation. Some of those students are the activists of today. The year 2010 saw the natural and timely explosion of several aspirations that had been accruing for a long time, and my satisfaction is seeing the pooling of energies into one common pot, which, in my experience from other organizations, is not only absent, but even


25 December 2010

Christmas Address by Professor Horatio C. Vella, President of the Malta Classics Association

delivered on the occasion of the Annual Christmas Supper, 7th December 2010

Ladies and Gentlemen.

Maltese or Gozitan with roots deeply immersed in Classical soil from the times Christmas is eighteen days away, of Greek colonization around Magna and we are celebrating it today together as Graecia and Sicilia, from the times of a homogenous group with a common commerce in the Bronze Age period and interest: not that we do not observe mythological connections, all of us Christmas Novena, which starts next present, denique, are witnessing not just week, but that being a nascent to a decision to start an Association, but organization, we do not mind giving way to an experience similar to the one the to other well established ones, to which disciples of Jesus witnessed thirty-three we may also belong, to celebrate their years after his birth, the Christmas we are convivia closer to the day of Christmas. celebrating today, with their immersion Christmas is a day of joy, indeed a season into his Spirit. Indeed we shall not be of joy, because a child is born, and that talking languages here, apart from Latin child is Jesus. and Greek, and that not vino adiuvante, but the common language of culture And no matter what organization awareness in ourselves and our we belong to, and what occasion we environment, in particular the presence of celebrate, Jesus is the One who inspires Latin and Greek roots in our system of us to come together in this festive thinking, arguing, composing, creating, gathering of food and drink, of song and organizing, reciting and many other poetry: Ab Iove principium musae: Iovis activities, both outdoors and indoors, in omnia plena; / ille colit terras, illi mea public and in the closet. carmina curae (E.3.60-61) Today we are witnessing to the Jesus was born when the Roman spectacle of the Classics interest not Empire had already been launched by leading to the corridors of the Old Augustus. The four winds of the Empire Humanities of the University of Malta, all pointed to Rome to hear the edict of but, instead, spreading out from the steps the census, which made Joseph register which lead to r-Razzett tal-Ħursun, where the child Jesus at Bethlehem. No matter the launching of the Classics Association where you were, you belonged to that took place, to different routes, to evening organization, and abided by its rules. You courses, school programmes, dramatic felt part of it, even if you had no hotel to performances, newsletters, important give you shelter on that holy night. Latin interviews in the media, book reviews and was spoken at that time in all quarters of so forth. But in all this dispora I do not the world, and Greek culture was see a flight, as if we are defending an old everywhere venerated, including in Malta dying institution, but a genuine and Gozo where both Latin and Greek ambassadorship for something which is inscriptions were to be found. perennially alive, the carrying of Greek and Roman insignia, not our own, 2010 years later, we are here therefore, to all quarters of these islands witnessing a wonderful spectacle. by whatever methods techne offers us Mentors, ex-students, present-day today. students, professional people, indeed, anyone who is proud to be what he is, a


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There may have been a time when Classics was suppressed in the schools and at the University; but something perennially alive can never be really suppressed. Nothing can squash the spirit and its expression in culture. Nobody can have access to one’s innermost life and blood which is transmitted from one generation to another in mysterious, but undeniable ways. No matter whether you keep that spirit alive in your private study, or take it with you in Africa, it will sometime, and somehow, through you or the persons you influence, come up to the surface in some expression or other. Nunc ad rem venio.

Horace was indeed a jovial moralist. It is a realistic one, however, and so we, who long to cross not only Styx, but even “There may have been a time when Classics was suppressed in the schools and at the University; but something perennially alive can never be really suppressed. Nothing can squash the spirit and its expression in culture.� Lethe, indeed look forward to the eternal vision that Jesus announced.

So let us make the best of life by not wasting it; let us enjoy every minute of it, not necessarily in spending, but in This present convivium invites us being creative without being destructive, to celebrate Christmas in Classical style, in being innovative without being as we sit, rather than recline, next to each forgetful of our past, and that includes not other listening to a song from Horace, not only our personal and national past, but me, surely, but me all the same, rather also our humanistic past in this globalized than telling gossips as in the Cena world. Trimalchionis. Christmas is with us, and since we plan ahead in our organization, This poem 7, which has been tonight we shall sing of the return of circulated among you already, is taken spring, hopeful of better moments in our from Carmina Book IV of Horace, life. But Horace warns us that spring consisting of hexameters alternating with comes only to make way to summer, and Archilochii Minores. Since the summer to autumn. Indeed, everything is Archilochius Minor, the second shorter in a state of flux in this life (Heraclitus): verse in each couplet, is made up of two now we are, now we are not. One thing is hexameters and one long syllable at the static and firm: what happens after we end, and since therefore it is easy to cross Styx. compose a tune for it, I shall ask you to sing every second verse as follows: Vergil tells us that not even arboribusque comae, etc. prayers will change our fate down there: desine fata deum flecti sperare precando The problem remains with the (A.6.376), and the words of Horace here, hexameter. There is no such thing as a non, Torquate, genus, non te facundia, dactylic hexameter, but a hexameter non te / restituet pietas (C.4.7.23-24) consists of four variable feet consisting of echo the famous words of Catullus qui dactyls or spondees, the fifth-foot dactyl, nunc it per iter tenebricosum /illuc, unde and the sixth foot which can be either a negant redire quemquam. (C.3.11-12) spondee or a trochee. This makes composition a bit forbidding. I have, of But what is the use of this sermon course, analyzed all the hexameters in this on the eve of Christmas? Or who knows, poem, and to my surprise I found myself Horace may be saying here, if this will be penetrating into the workshop of Horace, my or your last Christmas? This is, of more than two thousand years later. course, not meant to be a sad note, for


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Indeed, the first seven hexameters are all different one from the other, and so I composed a different tune for each of these first seven hexameters. Horace does this on purpose, to introduce us to a bouquet of variety of rhythms. He then alternates the sixth with the seventh hexameter twice, towards the centre of the poem, where Horace changes his subject matter, from that of the change of the seasons to that of the unchanging abode in the Underworld.

Indeed, what is better than to converse in Latin or, rather, sing in Latin?

Carissimi et carissimae, quid adunati venistis huc? Ubi sunt libri et compositiones vestrae? Hic not est tam plurime notum Lectoris studium in Universitate nostra, sed triclinium ad vinum bibendum et carnem aliaque edenda compositum. Et qua ratione invenimus etiam hac in occasione haec scripta? Haec chartae vobis dantur non ut legantur, sed ut canantur, non notis The idea of having to come to Babylonicis, sed harmonice, ut spero. terms with the end of our life is repeated Tres sunt rationes chartarum presentiae metrically in the ninth and tenth in manibus vestris: illae quae sint hexameters; but then, after yet another elegendae nostris stomachis, illae quae new hexameter, the eleventh one, Horace sint applicandae post cenam vestris produces a cyclus, by making the second labiis, et illae quae sint adfatendae ad hexameter be repeated by the twelfth, and maioris festivitatis simul canandum. the first hexameter by the thirteenth and, Quamobrem, incipiamus canere a prima indeed, the fourteenth ones, which are our huius carminis linea alternatim usque ad last two verses. finem. Gratias vobis omnibus. The message in the last three *** hexameters, that no one will rescue us from the Underworld, is the opposite of the first two hexameters, that of change in our life and our seasons. The general effect of the poem is that of a moralist warning us not to give up in life, since bad times do not come to stay; and to make the best of life since, once we cross the river, there will be no return from there. Please note that the hexameter is here indicated by an accent in its first long syllable. Where there is no accent, it means that we have either a spondee, which is made up of two long syllables, or the two short syllables of a hexameter, or a trochee in the sixth foot, which is made up of a long and a short syllable. Since the hexameter, particularly when laden with dactyls, tends to speed up the rhythm, the tunes I have created for every hexameter are also fast going and almost conversational.


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H. E. Dr George Abela, President of Malta address to the Malta Classics Association delivered on the 26th November 2010

Sinjur membri tal-Assocjazzjoni memorja biex tiftakar dawk id- minn mindu nkiteb id-dramm: Maltija tal-Klassici, deklinazzjonijiet, modi tal-verb u x’inhi l-ghazla meta fuq in-naha x’naf jien. l-wahda wiehed obbligat josserva Gheziez mistednin. ligi ingusta u fuq in-naha l-ohra Jiena nigi mistieden Imma llum naf x’tezor jixtieq jaghmel dak li hu sewwa. nitkellem fuq hafna suggetti kien ghalija l-istudju tal-Latin. Huwa l-konflitt personali talimma ftit immaginajt li se nigi Il-precizjoni ta’ din il-lingwa bil- individwu li jemmen li hemm ligi nitkellem fuq il-klassici wkoll. fors iggaghlek tanalizza kull oghla mil-ligi tal-Istat. Kif Imma f’Malta, minkejja c-cokon kelma u x’funzjoni taqdi fis- jinghad fil-Corpus Juris Civilis: taghna, insibu assocjazzjonijiet u sentenza u b’hekk wiehed mhux non omne quod licet honestum ghaqdiet fuq kollox. Mill-banda biss jitghallem ir-regoli tal- est. Hsieb profound dwar l-ohra, wiehed ma jissorprendix grammatika li jghinuh fl-istudju problema etika li tibqa attwali ruhu jsib assocjazzjoni dwar l- u fl-uzu preciz ta’ kwalsiasi f’kull zmien. istudju tal-klassici fl-oghla lingwa li juza, mhux biss il-latin, istituzzjoni akkademika bhall- imma wkoll jizviluppa mohh Ghal qalbi hafna huma lUniversita’ ta’ Malta li ghandha analitiku. Nahseb li l-istudju tal- epiki grandjuzi li l-influwenza storja li tmur lura sekli shah. Latin u lingwi klassici bhall- taghhom fuq il-letteratura u l-arti, Grieg, jistghu jghinu mhux ftit mhux biss Ewropej imma wkoll Is-suggett tal-klassici sabiex nghollu l-livell tal-istudju mondjali, hija inkalkolabbli: lhuwa tant vast li jiena ma nistax tal-lingwi moderni wkoll. Odissea u l-Illiade ta’ Omeru. hlief naqsam maghkom ftit Minghajrhom, il-kultura taghna riflessjonijiet personali. Il-letteratura klassika hija kienet tkun differenti hafna. l-bazi tal-letteratura Ewropea. Nittama li l-generazzjonijiet Nahseb li l-ewwel passi Jiena niftakar li l-ewwel dramm prezenti jitghallmu dawn ilt i e g h i f i d - d i n j a k l a s s i k a Grieg li rajt rapprezentat Malta gojjelli tal-letteratura klassika li meddejthom meta, bhala student kien Edipu Re, Oedipus Rex, ta’ huma radikati fil-qalba talzghir il-Liceo, studjajna l- Sofokle, li kien ittella’ bil-Malti kultura Ewropea. Nahseb li ma mitologija Griega, dawk l-istejjer fis-sajf tal-1968 fit-teatru Grieg nistghux nghidu tassew li a ff a x x i n a n t i u e t e r n i t a l - ta’ dak li, dak iz-zmien, kien is- n a p p a r t j e n u g h a l l - k u l t u r a argonawti, il-medusa u ohrajn. Saint Michael’s Training College. Ewropea jekk ma jkollniex Ghadni sal-lum niftakar fihom Edipu Re nahseb li hu d-dramm gharfien ta’ letteratura daqshekk meta nisma’ tissemma l-Grecja. Grieg per eccellenza, biex ma fondamentali ghalina. Meta mbaghad kbirt aktar u nghidx id-dramm l-aktar maghruf ddecidejt li nistudja l-ligi, kelli u influwenti fil-letteratura Ma rridx ninsa nsemmi nistudja l-Latin li, dak iz-zmien, Ewropea kollha. persunagg li nammira hafna, kien obbligatorju. Studjajna forsi ghax, modestament, jiena wiehed mill-kotba tad-De Bello Sa fejn naf jien, rari jigu bhalu avukat gej mid-dinja talGallico ta’ Gulju Cesri u wiehed rapprezentati drammi klassici politika. Forsi qtajtu li qed mill-kotba tal-Enejde ta’ Virgilju. hawn Malta u nahseb li l- nirreferi ghal Cicerun, kittieb Hawnhekk stajt nibda nifhem l- inizjattiva tal-Assocjazzjoni tal- maghruf universalment ghallgherf u s-sbuhija tal-klassici. Klassici hija ta’ min ifahharha. kitba cara, qawwija u fuq hafna Kont rajt dramm iehor tal-istess suggetti fit-tradizzjoni Ellenistika N a t u r a l m e n t k e l l n a trilogija ta’ Sofokle, Antigone, li u retorika. Kien aktar politiku nistudjaw il-grammatika Latina. fih insibu d-dilemma morali li milli filosofu. Kif nafu, onorana Nistqarr li l-Latin mhux facli u g h a d h a r e l e v a n t i s a l - l u m billi semma lil Malta f’wahda kien ezercizzju profond tal- minkejja li ghaddew 3000 sena mill-ftit referenzi fuqna fil-


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letteratura klassika, l-orazzjoni sallum. Il-hajja ghandha skop tieghu kontra Caius Verres, il- preciz u razzjonali jew hija gvernatur rapaci ta’ Sqallija u a s s u r d a ? Il-bniedem Malta. individwalment u kollettivament ghandu tragward car li jrid jilhaq Bhala avukat, id-dritt jew qieghed fuq vjagg li ma Ruman huwa ghalija parti mill- jwassal ghal imkien? X’inhu zhobza ta’ kuljum biex nghid zmien? X’inhu l-ispazju? X’inhi hekk. r-realta? Hija c-certezza jew idKien l-aktar fil-perijodu klassiku, dubbju l-iktar sinjal karatteristiku l-ewwel 250 sena wara Kristu, li tal-intelligenza? Iz-zghazagh d - d r i t t R u m a n l a h a q i l - taghna jistaqsu dawn id-domandi perfezzjoni tieghu. u l-filosofija tista’ tghinhom jittentaw isibu twegibiet. Il-guristi Rumani kienu jaghtu l-fehma legali taghhom lil Wiehed mix-xoghlijiet individwi privati u lill-magistrati klassici li nhobb naqra u li halla li kellhom japplikaw il-ligi. impatt enormi fuq il-kultura Hafna minnhom ipproducew occidentali ghax jittratta t-teorija kummentarji fuq il-ligi. Wara politika huwa zgur ir-Repubblika hafna zmien, Gustinjanu, l-ahhar ta’ Platun. Huwa djalogu imperatur li kien jitkellem il- Sokratiku li jittratta l-problema Latin bhala l-lingwa materna tal-gustizzja, il-karatteristici taltieghu, irreveda d-dritt Ruman u Istat u l-individwu gust. Idikkodivikah fil-Corpus Juris d j a l o g i b e j n S o k r a t e u l Civilis. Il-Corpus huwa l-bazi interlokoturi tieghu jiddiskutu ttal-gurisprudenza Rumana, tifsira tal-gustizzja u jekk ilkollezzjoni tal-ligijiet (leges), bniedem gust hux aktar kuntent s e n a t u s c o n s u l t a , d i g r i e t i mill-bniedem ingust. imperjali, u decizjonijiet talmagistrati. Jipproponu s-soluzzjoni ta’ gvern mir-rejiet-filosfi u lL-istudju tal-filosofija gwardjani. Sa fejn naf jien, qatt k l a s s i k a j i b q a ’ d e j j e m ma giet imhaddma fil-prattika din indispensabbli sabiex wiehed is-soluzzjoni imma xorta toffri jifhem il-kultura occidentali ghax s f i d a g h a d - d i s k u s s j o n i . huwa l-pedament ta’ kull hsieb Certament li kull politiku jsta’ razzjonali. Essenzjalment jibbenefika mill-istudju taljikkonsisti fl-ideat tal-Griegi filosofija anki jekk, fl-ahhar millklassici. Kienu l-Griegi li ahhar, ma jsirx filosfu. ppruvaw jifhmu sistematikament id-dinja ta’ madwarhom permezz Nahseb li jixraq nghid tal-osservazzjoni u l-hsieb. kelma ta’ rikonoxximent dovut fuq kif gew trasmessi l-klassici Ippruvaw ukoll isibu sa zmienna permezz tal-istudjuzi r i s p o s t a g h a l l - m i s t o q s i j i e t Gharab. Kif inhu maghruf, idezistenzjali. Fost ragunijiet ohra, deklin tal-imperu Ruman gab l-istudju tal-filosofija huwa mieghu nuqqas ta’ gharfien talindispensabbli ghax dawn il- Grieg. Testi Griegi ma baqghux mistoqsijiet ghadna nistaqsuhom jinqraw bhal qabel u ma kinux


jigu tradotti. Hafna testi intilfu jew minhabba d-deterjorazzjoni tal-materjal li kienu miktuba fuqu, jew konsegwenza tan-nar bhalma gara f’dik il-katastrofi tal-hruq tal-Bibljoteka ta’ Alessandria jew sahansitra minhabba bigottizmu religjuz kontra dik li tqieset bhala “kitba pagana”. Kienu t-tradutturi Gharab li regghu introducew fil-punent il-filosofija u x-xjenza Griegi. Xorbu ideat Griegi wara li invadew Bizanzju u xerrduhom tradotti bl-Gharbi fi Spanja u Sqallija. Averroes ittraduca testi ta’ Aristotile u xerridhom ma’ Cordoba u Toledo, centri kbar tat-taghlim. Kif nafu, din il-hajja gdida li hadu l-klassici, kellha influwenza sinifikanti fuq irRinaxximent li beda l-Italja. Sinjuri, Kif ghidt qabel, dawn kienu biss ftit riflessjonijiet personali fuq dan is-suggett importanti u b’orizzonti infiniti. Zgur li intom tafu iktar minni kemm hemm fejn timrah fuq din il-materja. Jiena naghlaq billi nawgura success lillAssocjazzjoni tal-Klassici u nittama li l-istudenti taghna, flimkien ma’ suggetti ohra essenzjali, jistudjaw ukoll ilklassici li, minkejja li jappartjenu ghal zmien li jmur lura hafna flistorja, ghadhom relevanti sallum u jistghu jkunu ghajn importanti ta’ taghlim fid-dinja moderna. Nirringrazzjakom. ***

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Handsome Donation from the Greeks by Karmenu Serracino, Creative Officer of the Malta Classics Association

No initiative, however honourable and praiseworthy, can thrive without some sort of financial support. This we understood soon after we founded the Malta Classics Association and began thinking about an activity for its public launch. It suddenly dawned on us that we needed money if we wanted the association to grow and not to fizzle out to an untimely death.

“The Classical world’s values, shaped around Greek and Latin languages and civilizations by great playwrights, poets and philosophy should more than ever invite the attention of modern societies and more particularly of those who have the responsibility to shape the future and work towards the promotion of intellectual prosperity of younger generations.” H. E. Ambassador Alexandros Rallis

be unexpected too. In our case, it was Evenings on Campus took the Greece. launch’s financial burden off our A bond with the Greek Embassy shoulders by adopting it as one of their activities for the summer festival. Its huge had already been established during the success encouraged us to think about l a u n c h e v e n t . H i s E x c e l l e n c y, more ambitious projects for the future: A m b a s s a d o r A l e x a n d r o s R a l l i s , public lectures, language courses, school accompanied by other representatives, activities and full-scale theatrical honoured us with his presence. That performances. The money dilemma will night, there was no concealment from Mr always loom menacingly over the Rallis’ part about how enthusiastic he was realization of such plans. Thankfully, it that such a group had finally been formed has been the experience of Theresa of in Malta with the precise intention to Avila and many others: a windfall appears promote the civilization and language of when you least expect it. The source can Ancient Greece (and Rome).

On November 10th 2010 the Embassy of Greece expressed its appreciation for, and pledged support towards, the Malta Classics Association.


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Mr Rallis promised collaboration and support. In return, we continued to keep the Embassy briefed with the progress of our Classical Greek language summercourse. Although we knew that we could count on Greek help in terms of moral support, we had never thought that assistance would also come the way it eventually did. One morning I received an unforeseen call from the Greek Embassy of Malta. In token of appreciation for the work being done by the Malta Classics Association and as an encouragement for future enterprise, the Greek Government, through the intervention of the Embassy, was donating the handsome sum of 1000 Euro. This piece of news left me flabbergasted. It left a similar impact on the rest of the committee. A few days later we called at the Greek Embassy at Ta’ Xbiex where, true to the proverbial Greek hospitality, we were very warmly received by Mr Rallis and his staff. Prior to handing us the bank draft, Mr Rallis gave a speech which was short and pregnant with meaning: “The initiative of a group of graduates and lecturers to plan and to set up a Malta Classics Association with the aim of raising the profile of Classics in Malta could not escape to the attention of all those who believe on those values, among whom, this Embassy has the honour to be a part. The Classical world’s values, shaped around Greek and Latin languages and civilizations, by great playwrights, poets and philosophy should more than ever invite the attention of modern societies and more particularly of those who have the responsibility to shape the future and work towards the promotion of intellectual prosperity of younger generations. Within that spirit, all of us to this Embassy are paying respect to the initiative and efforts of individuals,


graduates and lecturers of the University of Malta who inspired, worked and made the Malta Classics Association a reality. We felt it appropriate to restrict ourselves from other activities in order to support your great effort.” After the presentation, we exchanged a few words with Mr Rallis’ attaché, Mr Vassilios Koutsikos. Mr Koutsikos spoke of the upcoming Greek President’s visit to Malta next October. This event should be a golden opportunity for a special collaboration between the Embassy and the Association, and a perfect occasion for the Association to demonstrate its deep gratitude to the Greeks. ***

25 December 2010

To Pluck the Golden Apples of the Sun by Joseph Anthony Debono delivered on the occasion of the Malta Classics Association’s First General Meeting, 9th April 2010

Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for your presence here tonight. Your unexpected number is yet another demonstration of the support that you have given us since we took the first tentative steps to set up this Association. Without this support, we would not have been here tonight. Yet, now that we are, allow me to take up a few minutes to outline the reasons for which we are here. I hope that you will forgive me for making reference to my past history. Although subjective experience is not evidence, it can still serve to illuminate the issues and to point out the way ahead. I first encountered the classical world as a sick boy of some six or seven years. Having run out of books, I asked my mother to provide me with something, anything to read. Digging into an old trunk, she took out a battered copy of Thomas Bullfinch’s “The Golden Age of Myth and Legend”. That day, as I turned page after page in a delirium of enchantment, I acquired my own little δαίµων which, often to my dismay, has never abandoned me. In the years, that followed, I immersed myself in all the mythology I could find. More – I ended up reading works that gave me the impression that the ultimate goal of education was the production of a man who could quote Vergil at will.

my long years of juvenile delinquency at school. Then, I considered no issue resolved until the res ad triarios rediverat. So to speak. Perhaps it was not surprising that, having insisted on studying Greek and Latin when I came to choose my option subjects in Form 3, my headmaster clenched his fists and shuddered before hastily denying the availability of such an option. I made up for it by reading as much of the canon of Western literature as I could until, like Ennius, I was holding converse with my heroes in my sleep. For me, the majestic edifice of Greece and Rome was just beyond the visible spectrum of luminal radiation. For me, becoming an adult was about joining that race of happy mortals whose speech could not but be ever full of references from and to the Classical world. The more abstruse the better.

This impression was first challenged by my teachers who punished my allusions to the classical world with increasing severity. I think that it was my history teacher who was the first to lose control at my confident assertion that the Titanomachy was one of the five critical battles of Western civilisation. Still smarting from the vigour of retribution in those days, I then discovered a hitherto unsuspected mythological monster – From Thomas Hughes on one teenage girls. hand to Rosemary Sutcliffe on the other, every time I tried to move away from the Sitting down with all the classical world, I returned back to it with solemnity of Novalis in his garret, I a bang. Even Malory and the assorted cribbed interminable verses from Chansons of the matter of France were so Shakespeare and Milton (am I allowed to replete with references to Alexander, confess a liking for that monstrous old Hector, Achilles, Julius Caesar and others puritan?) and sent them to convent girls, that there was no escape. The battles of shimmering in all the vitality of their the fathers of civilisation set the tone for adolescence. Perhaps I should not have been surprised that the objects of my


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admiration were not too impressed at other values of the classical world seemed being called “false Cressida” but I was no longer to have any relevance. The shaken that sixth-formers could exhibit world that had been a cosmos in my the fury of Scylla at being called youth had shrunk to the size of a walnut “daughter of Tyndareus”. And we were in my adulthood. Then, after a then studying Systems of Knowledge! particularly heated debate with a postmodernist who asserted a host of At the same time, those were the contradictory positions and fervently summers in which I had my first work defended each one of them, push came to experiences. My impression that Classics shove and I decided that the only way out was the final goal of all education was of the intellectual impasse around me was further undermined by my disgusted to do what I ought to have done years discovery that in the world of adults and previously – to study Latin and Greek. work, or the world of bread and butter, as I entered the department of one of my then colleagues called it, Julio A r c h a eology and Classics with Cesar was not that incomparable master trepidation but from the beginning I was of sword and pen but a footballer! taken on a course of discovery that By then, I had reached the expanded my horizons far more than threshold of University. Initially anything prior. Thanks to my lecturers, all determined to study Latin and Greek, my of whom are present today, I acquired the recent experiences had shaken me out of two elements that had been missing from my confidence that the study of classics my reading despite the voracity with was the ultimate objective of education, which I had pursued classics in my youth leaving nothing except the certain – the study of the actual languages knowledge, derived from the pages of themselves and the discipline required to countless public school stories, that Latin study them. and Greek are inhumanly difficult. At the end, I got cold feet and took the most Moreover, the study of Latin and bitterly regretted decision of my life – to Greek led me to the study of the related apply for an unrelated course of studies. and extremely relevant study of Sanskrit. My first encounter with Sanskrit was A few years later, I started when I somewhat foolishly decided to teaching at a local secondary school. buy th e Shorter Oxford En g lis h Those were the early days of the internet Dictionary, the Lewis and Short, the and I could not but help observing the Liddell and Scott, and the Oxford Latin growing effect that the internet has on Dictionary at one go. I got the first shock intellectual and social life to wit that it when an entire contubernium of postmen de-carnalises human relationships and staggered up to my house, in lashing rain, that it creates a giant feedback loop of bearing a box the size of their vehicle. I unverified and superficial assertions that should have expected the abuse that they become as unchallengeable as the sacred hurled at me. texts of fundamentalists. Add to this potent mixture the utilitarian pedagogy The second shock I got was when that is the rule of the day and my I started poring over these volumes, disillusionment threatened to overwhelm following one word through the me. labyrinthine pages of each dictionary and discovering that most definitions started It appeared that utility and by citing the Sanskrit cognates. Then, in functionality ruled the roost. Beauty, my second year, I was extremely lucky to harmony, wisdom, excellence and the have had the opportunity to do an


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introductory course in Sanskrit grammar. I was astounded to note the amazing similarity between so many features of Greek and Sanskrit – the verb εἶναι, the endings of the verbs, the sigmatic future, the thematic and athematic verbs amongst others. In fact, even that rudimentary knowledge of Sanskrit helped me study and remember Greek morphology so much the better. By the end of the three years of these studies, all these disparate studies came together and my universe had expanded once again. Ladies and gentlemen, there is more worth in reading some turned construction of Cicero or in letting the moisture slip down your cheeks while reading Homer or by trying to refine a thought sufficiently to write it down in Latin or in Greek than exists in all the pandemonium of the internet. And the internet, ladies and gentlemen, is a challenge to literacy, to the mind and to the soul.

This, then, ladies and gentlemen, is the project of a Classics Association. It is our goal to promote the study of Latin and Greek, the knowledge of Classical culture and literature and an appreciation of the closely related language and culture of Sanskrit as widely as possible throughout our islands. This is our purpose. Thank you for your patience. Before I conclude, allow me to thank my lecturers, Professor Bonanno, Victor Bonnici, Carmel Serracino, Professor Vella, Michael Zammit and Maria Zammit. Were it not for my gratitude for what you have given me, I’d feel some bitterness that I met my best tutors only at the end of my cursus studiorum. I also want to thank the Department of Archaeology and Classics for the support it has offered us and for the loan of this room. Last but not least, I want to thank Maxine Anastasi and Maria Zammit for the refreshments that they have provided.

If contemporary humanity is ever to lift its snout from the trough of function and cheap nervous stimulation, it *** needs to rediscover a concern for beauty, harmony, excellence, virtue, wisdom and above all for discipline which alone can impart these things. To this end, there is nothing more suitable than the study of Latin and Greek.


25 December 2010

Notary Brincati’s Personal Experience of the 1693 Earthquake by Victor Bonnici

It was Sunday, the eleventh day of January 1693, about two past midday. Grazzja Cassar, daughter of Nicola, Notary Marc-Antonio Brancati assures us, was still alive and in full possession of her senses though she lay in bed in bad shape at her house in the village of Mqabba. Around her bed stood eight men, all specifically and personally named to be summoned thither by Gratia herself. Seven of them were to bear witness to her last will and testament. The eight, Notary Brancati, had been enjoined to draw up the will according to her instructions.

bewildered, their eyes wide open with fear, their hearts and pulses beating wildly; then at each other and what they saw terrified them even more. For they saw each other’s face and each man’s face Duly then, the notary was now pallid with fear, lips had took up his writing utensils, and, turned white, and voices seemed in the hushed atmosphere of the stuck within their throats. bedroom, he was about to commit Grazzja’s last wishes Yet soon some spirit onto paper, when all of a sudden returned to them and realising the a very loud crack as of a extent of the danger, they fell thunderbolt was heard in the upon their knees, each of them distance; nor did it end there. The running mentally over his roar advanced towards them with omissions to God and having increasing pitch and at an made contrition, implored His incredible speed accompanied by forgiveness and called out a tremendous upheaval of the repetitively, ‘Sanctus Deus, earth. The walls of the house Sanctus Fortis, Sanctus shook and swayed from side to Immortalis, miserere nobis’, side. Typically of an islander, the beseaching in addition the notary likened the nauseating intercession of St. Anthony of motion he felt to that of a derelict Padova and of the Blessed Virgin ship, tossed around by winds and Mary under the title of the storms. Fear crept into the hearts Immaculate Conception so that of all those present especially the good Lord might mitigate his since they all now feared that the anger at them for their sins. house would collapse and they all would be buried beneath its A small lapse of time ruins. They all looked around and the efficacious prayers


“The walls of the house shook and swayed from side to side. Typically of an islander, the notary likened the nauseating motion he felt to that of a derelict ship, tossed around by winds and storms.”

brought back normality to the bedroom and Notary Brancati resumed the writing of Grazzja’s last will and testament in which she first of all commended her soul to God and the Blessed Virgin Mary and to all the Saints in heaven, her body to the earth within the Mqabba parish church; ordered masses to be said for the remission of her sins; bequeathed the Grand Master, the bishop and the parish priest a small amount of money for recognition of her will and instituted her nephews as her universal heirs, Grazzja being a spinster. Moved by this occurrence and inspired by the contents of the routine introduction of a last will and testament, in which the common place ‘Nothing is more certain than death and nothing is more uncertain than the hour of death’ was regularly inserted together with the testator’s fear of a sudden Divine Judgement, the Notary thought fit to record the

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terrible experience of that day their lives in Sicily, in addition to within Grazzja’s will. whole cities, towns and villages being utterly destroyed. In I have not come across Malta, damage is also recorded Grazzja’s original will. But for innumerable buildings which some 60 years after the event, suffered cracks and collapse, the Notary Giuseppe Debono (fl. most notable being the Medieval 1714 – 1768), as curator of the Cathedral at Mdina, the Gozo acts of Notary Marc Antonio Cathedral and the ‘tal-Pilar’ Brancati (fl. 1680 – 1737), in the Church in Valletta. presence of Notary Salvatore Ignazio Bonavita (fl. 1756 – Grazzja Cassar lived 1 7 9 2 ) , c a m e a c r o s s t h i s for another three years and five nuncupative will in the course of months since she made her will b i n d i n g a n d d e p o s i t i n g on the fateful day. She died on Brancati’s acts in their proper the 12th of June 1696; but six order and, presumably intrigued days before her death, she had by the historical eye-witness again summoned another seven narrative, had it copied and witnesses and the same Notary authenticated by themselves. Marc Antonio Brancati to draw The archivist (not named) also up a codicil to her will. This subscribed his initials adding time around, Grazzja was in ‘interfui’ and ‘ita est’ to the worse shape than ever. The copied document. Somehow, Notary records that although she this document found itself was still living and her mind was inserted into a manuscript of still in its right place, yet she had Miscellanea at the National lost the sight of both her eyes Library of Malta (NL, Lib. Man. and was thoroughly exhausted by 325). Copies of the notarial acts old age (…utroque lumine of Brancati are extant at the careat, senioque confecta…). In NAV (M.A. Vassalli Street, this codicil, she bequeathed a Valletta), R13/608, and although couple of paintings and some a copy of Grazzja Cassar’s will furniture to some of her nephews i s e x t a n t t h e r e , y e t t h e for services rendered, slightly earthquake narrative as related altered some of the conditions by Brancati, is not. But in the prevailing in her nuncupative margin there can still be seen the will, but for the rest she tell-tale words, ‘Testamentum reaffirmed her previous will. Gratiae Cassar’ followed by, The Notary and the witnesses ‘ecce terraemotus factus est authenticated their signatures magnus’. with red seal stamped with the Notary’s signet ring. This codicil The experience of can still be consulted (NAV, Notary Brancati, Grazzja Cassar R13/608, 6 June 1696) although and the seven witnesses is of it is in a very bad state. course related to the great earthquake that that day shook Hereunder follows an disastrously eastern Sicily and unedited transcription of Notary which also affected Malta. It is Brancati’s eye-witness report of said that over 60,000 persons lost his personal experience during


the earthquake of 11th January 1693 (NL, Lib. Man. 325). Fidem facio ego Notarius infrascriptus Dominus, et Conservator Actorum quodam Magnifici Notarii Marci-Antonii Branchati in archivio huius Civitatis Vallettae construendo quatrum in nuncupativo, et sine scriptis testamento eadem acta rogato sub die undecima mensis Ianuarii primae indictionis 1693 a Nativitate, adest registratum factum tenoris legibus videlicet: Notum facimus, et testamur quod Domina Gratia inupta filia quodam Nycolai Cassar de hoc Casali Micabiba mihi Notario infrascripto cognita praesens coram nobis, sana Dei gratia mente, visu, et intellectu propriaeque rationis bene compos existens, licet iacens in lecto sit corpore languens, sciens tamen iudicium Divinum aliquando repentinum, et dubiam mortis horam cum nil sit certius morte, nilque ipsius mortis hora incertius. Non autem immerito haec pavere formidareque cuncti debemus. Vidimus enim prae oculis, et Iudicium Divinum praesto adesse, et horam deplorandae mortis repentinam. Nam hora post meridiem circiter secunda cum testatrix suam mihi supremam voluntatem patefacere cepisset, litterisque ego mandaturus auscultarem; ecce fragor tanquam tonitru, longinqua in regione crepitantis seu eminus advenientis cursus auditus est; qui quo propiorem se re d d e b a t , e o h o r r i b i l i o r efficiebatur: mox tandem tota concussa domus contremuit, hucque illuc reclinabat, veluti navis in mari derelicta, ventis agitata, acribusque saevente

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procellis. Ego interim et adstantes omnes in solido sedentes, in ipsa modo navi, curruque modo vehi videbamur, d o m u m c i rc u m s p i c i e n t e s pericula cuncta ultro quassare videbamus. Invicem intuentes vidimus aliorum quisque vultus pallentes, candida labia, et oculos prae timore lugentes omnibus item repentinus terror, linguae facultatem eripuit initio, faucibusque negavit depromere vocem; corda vero pulsibus crebris motibusque celeriora esse coegit, quam Mundi moles praeternaturali tunc tremore vacillans. Mox revocato Spiritu genuflexi sua quisque peccata mente percurrens, contritionis actu elicito, veniam ab Omnipotente poposcimus ac pluries angelico trisagio: Sanctus Deus, Sanctus Fortis, Sanctus et Immortalis miserere nobis, et Divi Antonii Patavini re sp o n s or i o . S i q uaeris miracula, aliisque praecibus repetitis Divinam Clementiam exeravimus, ut intercedentibus Sanctissima Dei Genetrice Maria Virgine sine labe Concepta, et Sancto Antonio de Padua, iram suam noxiis nostris accensam p l a c a re , n o s t r i m i s e re r i , orbemque collabentem firmare dignaretur. Quo misericorditer obtento gratias Piissimo Creatori, et Redemptori nostro humiliter egimus, et timore aliquantum deposito ad prosequendam testamenti seriem redimus. Ego Notarius Ioseph Debono Archi.: interfui. ita est. Notarius Salvator Ignatius Bonavita


NL, Lib. Man. 325, 189-90. NAV, R13/608, Testamentum Gratiae Cassar, 11 Januarii 1693. NAV, R13/608, Codicillus Gratiae Cassar, 6 Junii 1696. ***

25 December 2010

Apologia for the Revival of a Classics Association in Malta by Maria Zammit

For those who were not witness last July to Achilles standing in the trench, flame-capped, and shouting for the revival of Classics in this country, let me try a rather more gentle approach.

instrument designed to explore and express the truth about the human condition on every level the material, the subtle, the divine - better than classical language?

A merchant man had a parrot whom he was convinced he could train to chant sacred mantras and verses from the Scriptures, in order that he might sell him at a high price. Gradually the parrot learnt, by imitating his master, to replace his natural “tey, tey, tey” by learned sentences and mantras which he would recite on demand, so that all who entered the merchant’s house were suitably impressed, and duly enquired of the merchant how it came about that his parrot was so learned and eloquent.

Neither need classical education be now, as it has been accused of being in the past, an isolated fortress, “a place” as Oliver Taplin has called it “with high walls and exclusive frontier controls, which even oppresses its own citizens.” (Presidential Address, Classical Association U.K., 1999)

One day, the bird having been left alone in its cage, a large cat entered the house and immediately made for the poor creature who found himself cornered and totally at the mercy of his hungry assailant. Oblivious of all that he had learnt and practised, all the parrot could utter in fright was “tey, tey, tey!” Sacred mantras and Scriptural utterances were of no avail, and so he continued, until his master returned home and restored order.

“[Latin] poetry transformed me. I am not sure that the discovery of love is necessarily more exquisite than the discovery of poetry . . . initiation into death itself will not carry me farther along into another world than does a dusk of Virgil’s”

Is it not about time that true knowledge and insight take the place of the mechanical accumulation of facts and information in our schools and colleges which goes by the name of education... and how better to do that than by restoring language to its origins?

On the contrary, we are reminded time and again of what Marguerite Yourcenar has expressed so memorably:

“Almost everything that men have said best, has been said in Greek . . . It is the same with our personal decisions, from cynicism to idealism, from the scepticism of Pyrrho to the mystic dreams of Pythagoras, our refusals or our acceptances have already taken place; our very vices and virtues have Greek models.” (Memoirs of Hadrian 1951)

Who could, in all honesty, deny the natural delight and enjoyment of the pure sounds of The Classics Association has been revived Sanskrit, Greek and Latin - Indo-European sounds because it aims at a refinement of our whole unadulterated by modern additions... and who system of education and because there is no doubt would deny them to our children? The four actors that refinement of language leads to refinement of who, with supreme confidence, delivered to us thought and understanding, to Socratic questioning pure Latin sounds in Joseph Anthony Debono’s and to intelligent argumentation. Is there any adaptation of Petronius’ Satyricon last July,were


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clearly themselves in thrall to the emotional power of the language - their audience clearly captivated by them having been made captive by the exquisite sounds they were transmitting. One is reminded of Peter Brook who famously said that the only language that a Greek tragedy can properly be put on in is ancient Greek, and that he was waiting for the opportunity to train a company of actors in ancient Greek. Classics Association in Malta has done just this (in Latin), with resounding success, and its enthusiastic audience is clamouring for more. Arguably, we may not all be moved by the might of Achilles. But, if the purpose of myth is truly to “explain the inexplicable . . . to clear away the sheath of ignorance”,(Saraswati 1987) which man (or woman) in his right senses could refuse the message of Markandeya whose devotion to Shiva overcomes even Yama, Lord of Death? Who has not at some time identified with the figure of Oedipus relentlessly in search of himself, achieving insight at the expense of physical sight, or recognized in the wanderings of Odysseus the tortured journey of the human soul, or looked at the figure of Antigone and known the anguish of the human condition in extreme isolation from the gods? For the classical world is not so much, or rather not only, knowledge of language, and joy therein, but a way of understanding and perceiving which looks at man, his nature, and the nature of reality with an eye fixed on the unchanging. We would not wish our young men and women despite their excellent scientific training and confident grasp of facts to respond to life’s challenges in the mode of our merchant man’s trained parrot. ***


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“Yes, a little learning in the Classics can only add to one’s knowledge and understanding of any literature that follows.”

Classics a few observations by Liz Groves, book dealer and bon vivant What is Classics?

I think this problem is caused by modern education ignoring the classics. At my grammar As an elderly book dealer, and the last real school we had a lesson called Classics – these book dealer left on the island, my answer would be featured Homer, Trojan stories and a basic study of to use this term for all the Greek and Roman the gods & goddesses in early myth. Without this writings plus early writings from other ancient grounding how can one get to grips with Keats and Civilizations. I would also include early books of later, T. S. Eliot? a religious nature. My own Classics Section in my shop includes Medieval & Middle Ages too with It has always perturbed me that our BALit Mallory, Langland et al. students do not cover the classics unlike those in UK Universities. There would be no growth of However, when one visits a book shop or literature without these essential works and I feel an online seller, one frequently finds classics are of this needs to be addressed. the Austen, Bronte, Dickens category. In my shop these come under Literature.


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At an early Malta Book Fair, in The Conference Centre, I was visited by a well dressed man and his young son looking at my display. I thought this a very good thing - until he spoke.

I must obviously now start to look for some Biblical Hebrew (that would be much appreciated Liz! ed.) to add to the section.

My Classics section is not particularly Father was holding a Dover edition of the Odyssey. popular but it will stay – I think it is an essential ‘Are there any other Latin titles in this Series?’ he part of a mainly academic book shop. Anyone asked. reading this who may have suggestions for titles or themes I can look out for is very welcome to I shook my head, ‘there are no Latin titles in that contact me on and encouraged series’. to visit the shop and website at ‘No,’ he said, ‘You misunderstand me.’ He pointed at the book in his hand. ‘I mean Latin titles like *** this one.’ ‘Homer was a Greek,’ I answered. Thus instead of impressing his young son, he appeared an utter idiot. Yes, a little learning in the Classics can only add to one’s knowledge and understanding of any literature that follows. I buy any Greek & Latin texts I come across, mostly Loeb Classics but many others, including critical volumes purchased in the UK and USA. I also stock some Medieval texts, basically anything I find which might be of use to my customers reading in these topics.


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Summer School Success by Michael Zammit It is not an everyday occurrence that in the sweltering heat of a Maltese summer, devoted scholars offer their services to the general public, gratis, in the annex to a church within which Mass is often being conducted! A casual visitor to Sghajtar on a Friday evening last summer would be forgiven for thinking that he had stumbled upon some quite uncommon gathering of men and women being tutored by lecturers possessed of an extraordinary degree of resilience and stamina.

The Latin, Greek and Sanskrit classes, each of which comprised a total of 24 hours of grammar and reading from simple texts, spread over twelve weeks, started off uniformly with an overview of Indo-European and its derived and cognate languages. With a total of twenty four students for the three classes (the Latin class was the most popular) at least three of the students, having completed the summer course, were sufficiently inspired to continue their studies at undergraduate or diploma level.

For a wonderfully harmonious blend of ancient languages was pouring out of the building. From one room emerged Ramah, He Rama, Ramam, Ramena, Ramaya in a most compelling rhythmic chant, from the other it was O Zeu, su, ho Sokrates, megalophonos kai aoknos ei anthropos which had the most pleasant quality of transparent simplicity. Meanwhile in the next could be heard Salve mea bella puella, da mihi multa basia! followed soon after by O tempora! O mores! which to our uninitiated listener, was reminiscent of something forgotten, sublime, complex yet simple, irresistibly attractive.

After this year’s success with summer Classics, and in response to repeated requests for more, these courses will be repeated at Introductory level, and possibly for the ones who have acquired their certificate this summer, at intermediate level. There is much to look forward to!

The Classicists who had gathered to tutor and inspire willing students in the summer of 2010 found a motley group of recruits - young and old, professionals and school-leavers, sixth formers, housewives, clergymen, united by a common determination to unravel the mysteries of the ancient languages in which Humanity has expressed its greatest truths.



25 December 2010

The Study of Classics at Secondary Level Education in Malta by Jesmond Grech

This article is, per necessity, brief because it deals with the attention given to the study of classics in the presentday local educational system. On a close inspection at the secondary school curriculum, one finds that the classics are barely even mentioned. Any reference to Roman and Greek civilisation within the five-year period of secondary schooling is limited to the following: Form 1: theme 1.1.2 Remains from Punic to Arab domination, (sub-section b: The Romans) theme 1.3.1. The Romans in Malta theme 1.4.1. Ancient civilisations in the Mediterranean region (sub-section b: The Greeks) and theme 1.4.2. The Roman Empire and its dominion

In the Form 3 and Form 4 history curriculum, any reference to the classics is nonexistant. There is also a welcoming respite at Form 5 theme 5.4.1. Architectural Heritage of Civilisations in the Mediterranean region subsections (b) the Acropolis, (c) the Greek temples at Agrigento, (d) the Colosseum, and (e) Roman remains at Sabratha and Carthage. Latin as an option

When students reach their third year of secondary school education they are not offered Latin as an option with the exception of a couple of schools. Other languages such as Russian and Arabic are given as options even though few students (compared to the more popular French, Italian, German and Spanish) opt to study them. It seems that Latin is not being By far, themes 1.3.1. and given a fair chance. The result of 1.4.2. are the most this policy is that the study of comprehensive and allow the classics in Maltese schools has over-burdened teacher to delve in been almost totally abandoned. the foundations of Rome, the Such is not the case in similar Punic Wars, the Caius Verres schools in other European case, Hannibal, Julius Caesar, life countries. in Malta during the Roman domination, Roman Law, the The result of this policy, Roman army, Roman values, which has started in the 1970s Emperor Constantine and the fall and continues till the present day, of the Empire… All this in the has been disastrous. We are now course of a couple of weeks or so feeling its nocuous results. Most at only two lessons per week! local historians are handicapped when they come to read primary The zealous classicist sources in Latin and researchers tries to steal a few moments in in local Medieval and Early Form 2 when he comes to tackle Modern History are becoming theme 2.4.3. The Renaissance in rarer. Fewer and fewer people are Europe.


“There seems to be a general agreement that the level of English in Malta has gone down: is it a coincidence that this happened when Latin began to disappear from our curricula?”

able to produce original and ground-breaking work in Maltese history during those periods. The torch of Malta’s European heritage has been flickering although, thanks to the efforts of only a few, it has not been entirely extinguished. Short courses in Latin are given to those professions where Latin was once a must. Law students have a sputter of the language in order to understand legal terms which have been inherited from Roman Law. Seminarians are given more extensive courses in Latin because, luckily, it is still the official language of the Roman Catholic Church. The day is saved by the Classics Department at the University of Malta which is there to provide rescue at the eleventh hour to the few whose love of the classics runs in their blood and want to be imbued with the spirit which emanated from Rome and Greece.

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Where once students could write essays in Latin in form 2, we now have the bizarre and absurd situation where university graduates are not even able to read and understand the wording of their own degree certificates! One does not know whether one should laugh or cry! This abandonment of the study of classical languages and civilisation has had its effects in other areas as well. There seems to be a general agreement that the level of English in Malta has gone down: is it a coincidence that this happened when Latin began to disappear from our curricula? It is the opinion of the present writer that a mind trained in grammar finds it easier to learn correctly not only English but also the other languages taught through English.


The classical languages offer students a unique opportunity to train their minds in the subtleties of grammar. The conclusion seems to be that the loss of Latin from our curricula has not only produced a lacuna in that field, it also interfered with the level of our study of English and other languages. Clearly this situation must not be sustained. I am a person who uses his words with great economy. My case has been stated. The intelligent reader may draw his/her own conclusions. ***

25 December 2010

St Martin’s and the Malta Classics Association

Launch of Innovative Classics Programme By Ms B. Mizzi, Director of Chiswick House School and St Martin’s College

Non scholae sed vitae discimus.

creative IT initiatives. This new Classics Programme enhances the programmes offered by the School of Excellence.

“We learn not for school but for life.” Seneca In November 2010 St Martin’s College (SMC) together with The Malta Classics Association (MCA) launched an educational programme entitled That Eternal Flame : Being a Course on Classical Culture and its perennial effects on Western Civilisation for Form III and Form IV students who attend the School of Excellence Extracurricular Programme held at the same College. St Martin’s College has, since its inception in 1993, been a keen Classics supporter. The Classical Culture and Civilisation (CCC) compulsory curricular programme devised and taught by Dr Joseph Cassar, enthralled students. Their enthusiasm and interest spurred the College to encourage and support MATSEC’s efforts to produce and introduce the CCC syllabus and certificate in the area. In fact, the CCC programme leading to CCC at SEC level still exists. Sadly, due to pressures placed on the curriculum, CCC no longer remained part of the SMC curriculum, although solid Classics modules still grace the History Curriculum for the Middle School years at St Martin’s College. An announcement heralding the formation of The MCA caught our fancy. Lengthy and interesting discussions ensued over the summer with Joseph Anthony Debono. His dedication led to bringing this collaborative pilot project to fruition.

SMC also viewed this project as an ideal opportunity to test a different teaching/learning strategy. Once students engage in a one-hour session with Classics experts from the MCA, they then move on to a one-hour learning activity using the co-construction model.# Children are encouraged to use reflective learning journals to jot down facts, ideas and thoughts about what they have just learnt. They reflect upon the aspects that interest them most and may choose to research the area further. Every student is given the chance to add to the group’s knowledge bank and therefore students co-construct their knowledge, crediting the bank with facts and ideas – albeit rather fanciful ones at times! This collaborative and creative exchange aims at deepening the students’ understanding of the Classics. It also purports to encourage students to partake in an activity where negotiated decision-making and taking determines what is learnt and how it is learnt. The overwhelming support from parents has been encouraging and over thirty-five students enrolled for the course. However, due to previous commitments, this year, fifteen students attend the course held on Mondays.

The exciting Course consists of the following topics -

Session One: Setting the Stage; Indo-Europeans, Migrations and SMC and the MCA have now launched a the Mediterranean before the Trojan War ten, two-hour session course for gifted and Lecturer: Joseph Anthony Debono enthusiastic students in Form III and IV who were 6th December ready to join the School of Excellence. This Extracurricular School, run by Mr Kurt Cini, plans Session Two: and implements courses that engage students in the Beginning was the Wrath - The Story of the Sports programmes and activities that promote Trojan War creative pursuits such as creative writing and Lecturer: Professor Horatio Vella.


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10th January

It is our intention to organize and publicize the setting up of an exhibition at the end of the Session Three: programme. Students and teachers will outline The Triumph of Olympus - Myths and legends of their learning and attest, no doubt, to how the the main gods of Greece and Rome (1) Classics Programme has left a positive influence Lecturer: Maria Giuliana Fenech on their lives. th 17 January *** Session Four: The Triumph of Olympus - Myths and Legends of the main gods of Greece and Rome (2) Leturer: Maria Giuliana Fenech 24th January Session Five: An overview of the roots and structure of Language Lecturer: Joseph Anthony Debono 28th February Session Six: The Golden Age (1) 5th century Athens Lecturer: Joseph Anthony Debono 7th March Session Seven: The Golden Age (2) 5th century Athens Lecturer: Joseph Anthony Debono 14th March Session Eight: Altae Moenia Romae Lecturer: Maria Giuliana Fenech 21st March Session Nine: In the Middle of Things - Malta in the Classical World Lecturer: Professor Horatio Vella. 28th March Session Ten: Roma Aeterna - a very brief overview of Greek and Roman Culture on Western Civilisations and their art forms and on scientific thought. Lecturer: Karmenu Serracino 4th April


25 December 2010

Book Reviews A Forlorn Contribution to Maltese History by Joseph Anthony Debono

It is somewhat ironical that a few weeks before the copy of Tristia ex Melitogaudo fell into my hands, the Times of Malta (12 th January 2010) published a letter by a correspondent claiming that Christianity in Malta had been introduced, long after St. Paul’s sojourn in these islands, by some later conqueror, probably t h e S p a n i s h . Tr i s t i a e x Melitogaudo, a new publication by Mgr Dr Joseph Busuttil and Professors Stanley Fiorini and Horatio Caesar Roger Vella, shows that popular tradition may be far closer to the truth than such sciolist opinions. Between the covers of Tristia ex Melitogaudo lies a translation, a commentary and historical and literary analyses of a seemingly innocuous poem written by a 12th century author in Greek. The poem itself consists of 4043 iambic trimeters written in dodecasyllables. The surviving manuscript dates back

an invocation of the Holy Trinity. The authors identify the poet, through philological and stylistic analysis, as Eugenius of Palermo whom Evelyn Jamison identifies as the historian Hugo Falcandus. In this poem, the poet, exiled to Gozo, a few years after the unification of Malta with Sicily by Roger II in 1127, laments his cruel fate and begs for the intercession of his patron, George of Antioch, the powerful vizier of Roger II. The poem itself is beautiful and the product of an extremely erudite and intelligent mind. Through its verses, the great figures of classical antiquity, of myth and of the Old and New Testaments jostle each other. Every verse is composed with a wealth of literary devices as a detailed schema of a sequence of 19 verses from f. 29 provided by the authors (p. xliii.) shows.

to the beginning of the 14th century, but the poem itself has been dated through historical criticism to between 1141 and 1151. The manuscript, residing at the Biblioteca Nacional of Madrid, consists of 119 sheets of paper measuring 269 x 180 mm. The text is defective in its first and last folios, since the first line Reference is made to presupposes preceding material, and it comes to an abrupt end in many disciplines including the middle of a prayer to Christ a s t r o n o m y , p h y s i c s a n d in what is clearly intended to be philosophy. It is likely that the Left, Roger II of Sicily Crowned by Christ


Above, The Blessed Virgin, George of Antioch at her feet

while. The translation is faithful, and where necessity forced the translator to elaborate a point in translation, he did not fail to give the literal rendition in the footnotes below. Accompanying the footnotes is a massive literary commentary, a glossary of names Even if the poem itself in the manuscript and an index of were to contain no reference to ( G r e e k ) k e y w o r d s i n t h e the Maltese Archipelago in this manuscript. contentious period of our history, the elegance of the work, the Extremely valuable are quality of its composition and the the extensive introduction and varied material it contains make the addenda. The introduction it well worth reading. But it is in provides a literary and historical f. 84 that the poet recounts an framework for the work as well event and appends additional as important context. It is comments that make his work divided into several sections such an important contribution to which treat the issue of the the History of Malta and of Greek Christian community and Maltese Christianity. In these the continuity of Christianity verses, the poet describes the from the Byzantine period to the conquest of Malta from the Norman through the Moslem Muslims by Roger II in 1127 and period comprehensively, but with adds a few comments which respect for the far-reaching strongly imply the continuous repercussions their ideas and existence of an autochthonous c o n c l u s i o n s m a y h a v e o n Christian community, with its Maltese historiography. own bishop, whose practices I have only a few hark back to “the times of (their) minor complaints to make about fathers”. this work. I am disappointed T h e a u t h o r s h a v e with the quality of the binding. laboured hard to present this My copy is a paperback edition work as systemically as possible and the spine suffered numerous to the general public. In the first creases while I was reading it. I p l a c e , d e c i p h e r i n g t h e only hope that a hardback edition m a n u s c r i p t n e e d e d m u c h is also available. Neither was I palaeographic effort and multiple too happy with the italicisation readings to ensure a faithful o f th e G r e ek f o n t in t h e reading of a language that had by commentaries as it strained my the 12th century departed in eyes. Furthermore, some of the several ways from its classical Latin and Greek sources in the f o r m . T h e p o e m i t s e l f i s introduction, understandably presented with both the Greek since this is an academic work, text and an English translation on were not translated. This is a pity alternate pages. The apparatus as it will give fewer readers the criticus is one of the most amusement that I derived from extensive I have seen in a long

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enormous material of the poem comes, very impressively, from memory rather than from constant reference to a library of books since he makes a few trifling errors when referencing material from the Bible.


reading “ut sacri fontis stercore et lotis deturpet” (p. lxxvii). Nonetheless, this work is a significant contribution to Maltese historiography, and it shows the importance of Classical philology for humanistic studies. At 25 euros, this labour of three professors at the height of their considerable powers is cheap at twice the price. (first published Malta Independent Online) ***

Leaves from an Ancient Land by Joseph Anthony Debono

The name of Horatio Caesar Roger Vella is not unknown in local academic circles. At a time when the capricious fashions of pedagogy have abandoned the study of Latin and Greek as mainstream pursuits, Professor Vella was practically the only full time classicist working locally. The study of Latin and Greek is no academic folly, especially in a little island in medio mari nostro. For the majority of its history, Malta has been firmly ensconced in the political and cultural spheres of Latinate Western Europe, not forgetting the long shadow of Hellenic Sicily. Practically all our most significant historical documents, preceding the British colonial experience, are in Latin with probably a substantial percentage in Greek.

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Hence, Professor Vella’s tireless efforts in teaching Latin and Greek and translating and transcribing historical documents from these languages are enviable contributions to Maltese academia. Professor Vella’s latest work, The Earliest Church Register in Gozo 1554-1628, is hardly exciting to the untutored eye until one realises that this is a translation, transcription and tabulation of a register of badly preserved documents which are all but inaccessible to most researchers today. This Church register is the first register of Gozo which is housed at the Bishop’s Curia in Gozo and was commenced in 1554 by the Parish Priest of the Matrix Church, Reverend Leonard Decace. Professor Vella observes that “the entries… are not comprehensive at all. Most of the earlier ones indicate the Matrix Church, very few the church of St. George.” Thus, the register contains registrations submitted by the two parish churches of Rabat, the Matrix Church and St. George. That the documents contained belong to more than one church, indeed to the Gozo diocese, is the reason that the publication is entitled “The Earliest Church Register in Gozo”. The register itself contains records of baptisms, confirmations, marriages and deaths but these records are not catalogued either thematically or chronologically. To the great merit of the book, all entries have been


To round off the usefulness of his work, Professor Vella has placed an exact transcription of the register onto a data CD which is now in the possession of the Bishop’s Curia in Gozo. Contrary to what some individuals have expressed, including Professor Fiorini and contributors to the local press, distribution of this CD with every copy of the book is out of the question due to legal and contractual issues. painstakingly transcribed by Professor Vella and tabulated according to various categories. This diligent work has eliminated the hassle that any researcher, needing to consult the register, is sure to encounter, especially given the pitiful state of the documents, as the book’s illustrations so clearly show. The book has been given added value by a comprehensive introduction including historical background. This chapter has been enhanced by some very interesting calculations provided by the mathematician and historian, Professor Stanley Fiorini who has collaborated with Professor Vella on other projects in the past, including on the monumental Tristia ex Melitogaudo.

It is half way to a joke that anyone writing about Gozo, especially about Rabat, has to tread with all the care of an angel sneaking through a minefield. I note, in the local press, that Professor Vella has fallen victim to the exaggerated sensibilities of some individuals who are becoming, hardly to their credit, proverbial for such reactions. Such correspondents have latched on to a minor oversight of Professor Vella who made reference, in the preface of his book, to “two important Mother Churches”. This unfortunate reference was included for the sake of accounting for all local claims on the matter.

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Nonetheless, this reference appears nowhere in the book except in the preface which is not itself part of the work and makes no contribution to the rest of the book. A more moderate approach to a minor issue in the preface would have hardly strained the quality of anyone’s good sense. Also, what amounts to willful misunderstanding of the title appeared in some correspondence of those who pedantically insisted that the register belonged only to the Matrix Church. Professor Vella’s meaning, clear to all unbiased eyes, is that the register contains material contributed by more than one church. Once again, Professor Vella, first executive-president of the Malta Classics Association, has made a contribution to local historiography which emphasises the importance of knowing Latin and Greek for our researchers and scholars. (first published Sunday Times of Malta, December 5th 2010) ***


25 December 2010

The Benefits of a Classical Education by Peter Farrugia "I would make them all learn English: and then I would let the clever ones learn Latin as an honour, and Greek as a treat." Whether you agree with Churchill or not, the fortunes of Classical scholarship in Malta are undergoing a long awaited resurgence. Replacing the long defunct Virgil Society, the Malta Classics Association has the same aims close to heart - bringing the treasures of Classical language and literature back to our islands. Once the hallmark of Malta's ecclesiastical community (not that you'd find a Tridentine service anywhere) the Classics Association is keen to encourage a universal appreciation for Latin and Greek writing from Homer to Apollonius, Plautus to Tacitus and everything in between. Last month saw the launch of the Malta Classics Association at the University with a promising and varied evening's entertainment. A little on the short side perhaps, but that only goes to show that scholarship came hand in hand with a sense of the theatrical - the


“With the Launch a rousing success and a load of summer courses under their belt, the Malta Classics Association is keen to present themselves to the public beyond the privileged confines of academia.� audience was thoroughly entertained and left wanting more. All the classicists involved are members of the Association’s committee, with the exception of director Roderick Vassallo and composer Mario Sammut. The Launch began with a recitation from Homer's Illiad, a powerful piece recounting Achilles' reaction to the death of his companion Patroclus. Talking about the choice, Maria Zammit says, "it's the turning point in the story, the wrath of Achilles. The reading from Homer in Classical Greek began the evening as a taste of the penetration, poignancy and power of the very first verses of epic poetry to appear in the Western world."

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The recitation was followed by an inaugural speech and when the second half of the evening's performance finally started, a dramatised rendition from Petronius' Satyricon, the audience was keen to know more. Committee member Karmenu Serracino was clear about the reasons for its inclusion - "it was chosen especially for the mixture of elements which are still so appealing to a contemporary adult audience: sex, death, mystery, fate!" "As director," says Roderick Vassallo, "it was my duty to decide the overall aesthetic concept behind the play. The music was entirely up to Mario Sammut who understood the concept I was aiming at perfectly and created an original and very haunting soundtrack to accompany even the slightest of gestures." Everything about the Widow of Ephesus performance was precise, controlled. Audience members who had never heard Latin before followed the dialogue alongside an amusing narrative in English. The story of the widow, the "matrona", is probably one of the most famous incidents in Petronius' story. It tells of a devoted wife who has lost her husband and in her dismay rejects the world and its frivolity to die beside him. From this sublime (if melodramatic) display of virtue, the story turns grotesque as the widow falls in love with a soldier who is protecting the corpse of a criminal outside her husband's tomb.

living man to death". The soldier is, naturally enough, happy to oblige. Joseph Anthony Debono, responsible for the adaptation, says, "We were looking for a text which combines a certain racy quality with depth and complexity. The story of the Matrona featured in the Satyricon spans the entire spectrum of literary content, from the extravagantly explicit to the ponderously pedantic. “Another major objective was to deliver the script in Latin, to show the audience that Latin is still a vital language, beautiful to hear and more than able to communicate any idea we want to express," continues Debono. In an inspired conclusion the last word is given to the body of the dead husband, who completes the tale with an amusing rejoinder in Maltese. Three languages seamlessly share the stage, with all the actors having never studied Latin before and yet still delivering their lines with required conviction. The performance received a well deserved ovation, proof that there is a place for Classical theatre in the original. The days of forced translations, long the preserve of English departments and amateur dramatics, may be behind us.

With the Launch a rousing success and a load of summer courses under their belt, the Malta Classics Association is keen to present themselves to the public beyond the privileged confines of academia. It's all about bringing the past to life, ideas expressed through language After a night of love, the couple and refined by a literary tradition that are dismayed to discover that the informs and enriches us today. It's criminal's body has been stolen and the precisely that open attitude and infectious soldier must pay the ultimate price for enthusiasm that will see the Malta deserting his post. Without skipping a Classics Association go from strength to beat, the widow decides they might as strength, reviving Malta's forgotten roots well use her husband's body to replace and heralding a long awaited return to the that of the criminal. "I would rather make Classical past. a dead man useful," she says, "than send a (first published Sunday Times of Malta, 8/8/2010)


25 December 2010

A Song to Poseidon by Kris Green

At Pylos was a man named Adrastos. Like most men his age he had his own boat, a small vessel he would use to navigate out of the harbour past the long island of Sfaktiria, which blocked the mouth of the bay. He would spend days on the bright sea, catching fish or watching his thoughts melt away into the sun. One night Adrastos went down to the sea alone. The water lapped and sucked at the wet sand and dry stone. The air was cold and damp, but when day came the sky would become a furnace and the sea would become a mirror. He took with him an amphora of good wine in a sack which he carried over his shoulder.

“Poseidon, great God, Earth-shaker, God of the Mountain and sea. I sing to you Poseidon that you accept these offerings.” His teeth had begun to chatter and he upended the jug. A great deal of the wine spilled down his chest until he rested it against his shoulder and poured it out into the sea. “Horse Tamer, Land Mover, great King of the Deep, I sing to you. God of the trident, the husband of two Queens, dark-haired Poseidon be kind of heart to those who voyage in your domain, oh saviour of ships.”

Adrastos unwrapped the horse’s heart, it was almost the size of his head and it weighed about as much as the filled amphora. It would have Slowly he disrobed. He cast off his clothes been more fitting, he thought, to have cast the and placed his sandals neatly on top. He pulled the whole horse into the bay but he was not a rich sack over to him and sat on the cold earth hugging man. He had bought the heart alone and taken it his knees and remembering. Opening the lip of the home where it had sat in the fridge for a day before sack he pulled out the amphora and a roll of goats’ he had gathered his courage. He needed to be cheese, a loaf of good bread and a horse’s heart quick, his wife and son would return after the wrapped about with blood-stiffened cloth. weekend and he wanted to be gone.


Adrastos walked over to the waters edge and cast the bread and the cheese before him. They made a splash and were eaten by the sea. He kept walking until the water was almost up to his knees. There he stopped and raised the jug of wine above his head, it was awkwardly balanced in one hand while the other held onto the grisly package.

“Son of Cronus and Rhea, brother to Zeus, accept my offering. God of shipwrecks and calamities, take this heart into the deep and hold it close.”

“Hail to you, Poseidon,” he called. His words were swallowed by the night and the gentle whisper of the sea.

first published,

Adrastos clutched the offering to his chest and walked into Poseidon’s arms.


25 December 2010

The Golden Crown by Joseph Anthony Debono

Not even the cigarette between Laura’s fingers touches the scurrying forms of the throng through which she makes her way. The clatter of dishes from the pubs lining the road fills the air as does the smell from their kitchens. Some of Laura’s colleagues huddle inside, sheltering from the grey skies and cold of London’s April, as they await their orders to be fulfilled. The occasional greeting reaches her ears but she presses on. There are only so many cigarettes that one can smoke during lunch hour. “It’s a bull market today…”

“There’ll be huge profits for anyone whose nerves can bear the stress.” She flicks the stub of her cigarette away. It lands on the parvis of the church. Lighting another, she moves on. Rain is imminent. Spectat quidem ille inornatos collo pendere capillos The sun threatens to warm up her heart. At least it burnishes her hair. The scrutiny increases. She stops and looks over the railings into a garden. The blossoms arrest her attention. She smiles.

“Gold fixing closed at an unprecede...” “Lady, that’s your phone beeping” She takes it out of her pocket and shrugs. She jots down another reminder to make up for the missed session at the spa. The cooing of a couple artibus amplexis catches her eye. She turns away when they walk into an Apple store but moves closer when the gaudy colours of an Iphone advert catches her eyes. She hovers on the threshold then takes a drag off her cigarette and moves away. She catches her hair in the low-lying branches of a sycamore and shaking her hair, comis passis, moves on. She walks past a church, neat, white-washed, Anglican. The vicar and a gentleman converse. “Now’s the time to buy; their shares are falling by the day but B.P.’ll sort it out.” The other one nods.


videt igne micantes sideribus similes oculos Then, she remembers their impermanence and turns away. The monotonous repetition of paces following her own causes her to turn round but there is nobody there. Only the multitude. She moves on but her pace quickens. 'nympha, precor, mane! non insequor hostis nympha, mane! Again she takes a drag off her cigarette but she does slow down. She shakes her head but her hearing does not grow more acute. The Aegean brightness of the sky troubles her. Again, she quickens her pace but brambles growing around a tree on the pavement catch her stockings. She stops and twists. A stone under her heel slides away. The heel snaps and she slips. ne prona cadas indignave laedi crura notent sentes et sim tibi causa doloris!

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She takes off her shoes and throws metropolis on Earth. But his eyes are them away. And presses on. Faster now. leaden. On. On. St. James is near. aspera, qua properas, loca sunt: moderatius, oro, curre fugamque inhibe, moderatius insequar ipse. The sunlight dappling through trees and buildings merges everything into one impression. Grit starts to lacerate the soles of her feet.

hic qui tamen insequitur pennis adiutus amoris, She sees the park. Fear lends her speed. She rushes across the mall into the park. tergoque fugacis inminet et crinem sparsum cervicibus adflat.

cui placeas, inquire tamen: non incola urbis, non ego sum faenerator, non She opens her mouth and words hic nocentes, latronesque horridus unbidden in a language unknown flow defendo. from it, She looks back but maintains her si flumina numen habetis, pace. There is nobody in sight. She moves mutando perde figuram! on. Her pulse quickens. Her breathing becomes more intense but the light breeze Even as she pauses in wonder at picks up a little bit. the sound of such words coming from her mouth, the changes start. Her bloody feet nescis, temeraria, nescis, quem sink into the ground. Her flailing arms fugias, ideoque fugis: mihi Delphica stiffen and her delicate fingers turn tellus et Claros et Tenedos Patareaque viridian. Her lush hair grows lusher. The regia servit. dress over her bosom changes colour and hardens even as her eyes catch sight of She pauses for a moment. She the shining figure. She understands. Her catches her breath and moves on. The heart softens. breeze grows stronger. It tugs at her blouse and blows it off. 'at, quoniam coniunx mea non potes esse, arbor eris certe' dixit 'mea! tu Constitit. laudat digitosque quoque perpetuos semper gere frondis manusque bracchiaque honores! The dress beneath moves with tremulous motion. It moves but does not hinder her motion. The breeze starts to ripple her hair. She draws air into her lungs, rasping as it goes down. Turning a corner, she sees the statue of the winged god on his column in the middle of the loneliest



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Highlight of Events, 2010 9th April

First General Meeting

4th May

First Committee Meeting

16th June

Committee Meeting

8th June

Summer courses begin

13th July

Committee Meeting

29th July

Official Launch

28th September

Committee Meeting

29th September

Formal Launch

20th October

Committee meeting

16th November

Committee meeting

26th November

Presidential Event at San Anton Palace

7th December

Annual Christmas Supper

Classics Association of Malta Committee (2010) H E President Emeritus Ugo Mifsud Bonnici - Honorary President Professor Horatio Caesar Roger Vella - Executive President Mr Victor Bonnici - Treasurer Ms Joanna Zammit Falzon - General Secretary Mr Peter Farrugia - Editor Mr Joseph Anthony Debono - Webmaster & Archivist Ms Maria Giuliana Fenech - Publicity Officer Ms Maxine Anastasi - International Officer Mr Karmenu Serracino - Creative Officer Dr Michael Zammit - H. Member

THE MALTA CLASSICS ASSOCIATION The General Secretary The Malta Classics Association C/O Department of Classics & Archaeology Archaeology Centre (Car Park 6) University of Malta Msida MSD 2080 MALTA, E.U. Membership Form 2010 MEMBERSHIP APPLICATION - Please complete in block capitals and return to: The Treasurer, The Malta Classics Association, 16 St. Anthony Street, Zebbug ZBG 2234, Malta; e-mail: I wish to join as A full member for 1 year (20 Euro). A student member for 1 year (10 Euro). A life member (150 Euros; Members must be 65 or over. Please supply D.O.B:__/__/__) Title:_________________________ Surname:____________________________________________________________________________ First Name(s):________________________________________________________________________ Address:*___________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________ *if this is a foreign address, please add a Malta address if you have one: Malta Address:_______________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________ College/Institution (for student membership):_______________________________________________ E-mail address (if applicable): ___________________________________________________________ Signature___________________________________________ Date___________________________ Time_____________________________ Cheque in Euros, made payable to 'The Malta Classical Association' Cash All applications will be kept in the strictest confidence, and no information on the data subject will be distributed to third parties, in accordance with the Data Protection Act (Cap.440 of the Laws of Malta).

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Contact Details Address all correspondence to THE MALTA CLASSICS ASSOCIATION The General Secretary The Malta Classics Association C/O Department of Classics & Archaeology Archaeology Centre (Car Park 6) University of Malta Msida MSD 2080 MALTA, E.U.

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Malta Classics Association Newsletter - Christmas 2010  
Malta Classics Association Newsletter - Christmas 2010  

Quarterly newsletter of the Malta Classics Association