Shrewsbury School

Classical Reading Competition

Tuesday 7 November 2017

More than 20 Classicists – some with a mere seven weeks’ experience of Latin or Greek – descended on the Haining Family Theatre in Hodgson Hall last Friday evening (3rd November) for the sixth annual Classical Reading Competition.

The event was organised by Mr Sheppe and adjudicated by Dr Antonia Ruppel from Cornell University, who is an expert on Sanskrit.

The event was divided into four categories of Junior (Third Formers), Fourth Form, Fifth Form and Senior (Sixth Form).

How the ancients actually spoke is a matter that has never been resolved, let alone agreed upon. Under this intriguing premise of doubt and debate, pupils recited works from no fewer than 12 ancient writers, including Homer, Archilochus, Aesop, Propertius, Horace and Ovid.

In her summing up, Dr Ruppel congratulated the competitors on their pace, projection and the sheer variety of the pieces chosen. However, it made her job harder!

She stressed that everyone had approached the passages as proper texts and not as an idealised, dry form. In terms of delivery, there was a balance to be struck between general accuracy and dramatic delivery.

Many thanks to Dr Ruppel for her adjudication and for afterwards imparting some of her knowledge about Sanskrit to the pupils and staff. Thanks as ever to Mr Sheppe, who first conceived this annual event and is the valiant driving force behind it, making it such a success.

The rhetorical laurels (and Shop Teas!) were dispersed as follows:

Junior
1st - Tim Antelo (Rb)   Archilochus poems (memoriter)
2nd - Hugh Mackinnon (Ch)   Catullus 101 Ave atque vale

Fourth Form
1st - Albert Koch (Ch)   Plato: Apology Socrates’ valediction
2nd - Thomas Allen (Ch)   Virgil, Aeneid Bk IV. 363 ff

Fifth Form 
1st - Anna Cowan (MSH)   Ovid Tristia 1.2.19; A Storm at Sea
2nd - Nick Yale (S)   Horace Odes 1.11 Carpe diem

Sixth Form
1st - Angus Moore (S)   Catullus 8 ‘Get a grip, Catullus’
2nd - Molly Worthington (M)   Catullus 51 Ille mi par... (memoriter)

Mr Fitzgerald, Head of Classics

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