promoting cultural heritage and conservation


The Next Great Travel Writers Contest by @goabroad


Can’t stop talking about your study abroad experience? Put it in writing for the”Next Great Travel Writers Contest” and show your friends your words are worth a lot.

What Every Student of Latin Needs to Know

One of the most important aspects to education is dialogue, and we love to promote an on-going conversation with past, present and future students.  Summer 2012 student Lidia Zanetti Domingues spent last summer with Nancy Llewellyn in the AIRC’s Living Latin, Living History program, and writes about What Every Student of Latin Needs to Know.latin

At first sight, Latin always seems a tough nut. Whether you are a 14-year-old Italian during the you first day at the High school, or an American teenager who has decided to study Classics at the College, or anybody else eager to read Cicero or saint Augustine in the original language, the first impact with Latin can be really traumatic.

At the very beginning, I felt the same sense of discouragement that probably many of you are feeling or have felt too. But I decided that Latin language and literature were so amazing that it was worth the trouble. I have experienced many different types of teaching in different contexts and I wish to share my experiences with you. Here are some tips that I found very useful during my learning path.

  • Latin has a meaning:  many beginners seem to think that, since Latin authors wrote their works so many years ago, their language cannot but be cryptic and unintelligible. Therefore, when they look up a word in the dictionary,  they tend to pick the weirdest meaning they find. Remember that, if classical authors are still read nowadays, it’s because they still can communicate us something! If your translation has not much meaning, it is probably wrong. Yes, decus suum can also mean “the honor of pigs”, but why should Tacitus write about pigs’ honor?
  • Beware the false friends: the average student who is an Italian, French or Spanish native speaker is simply too lazy to look up some words in the dictionary. The Latin says focus? Well, it must mean fire (fuoco, feu, fuego), of course! Pity that it actually means “hearth”. Romance languages can be helpful allies to learn Latin also for those who are not native, but if you are not 100% sure about a meaning, it is better to check.
  • Accent issues: in one of your first classes, you might have learned the laws of Latin accent and especially the “law of the penultimate accent”. They are very simple, but unfortunately one always discovers very soon that they are not so simple when it comes to implement them: sometimes it looks almost impossible to discern whether the penultimate syllable is long or not. My advice is to always read Latin texts aloud and check the words you are unsure of in dictionaries or grammars. You should also bear in mind the retraction of the accent in compound verbs (e.g. dàre-circùmdare): it is very tricky!
  • Verbs quizzes: this is a method I often used during the first years of High school to learn Latin verbal system. With a friend, tear a sheet into pieces and write on them Latin verbs (the more insidious they are, the more useful the game will be), fold them and put them into a bowl. Draw a piece of paper in turn and try to analyze the verb: the other person must check that the answer is correct.
  • Try a spoken Latin course: apart from making you get rid of accent problems (if you use Latin words in real conversations, you will know for sure where to put the accent!), knowing how to speak aliquantum Latine also liberates you from the dependence on dictionaries. Also spoken Latin has its complexity and one of the biggest issues is to enhance one’s lexicon. Try to memorize words making connections between them, associating them by topic or by contrast (a word and its antonym, for instance). I also noticed that some of my American classmates struggled a bit trying to pronounce some words (contignatio was especially their nightmare), but they find very useful to divide such words in shorter sections, practicing their pronounce separately and then joining the parts.

Good luck with your Latin studies, and believe me: one day, when you will be reading an epistle of Seneca or an ode of Horace, you will agree with me that all your efforts were worth those enchanting masterpieces!

~Lidia Zanetti Domingues, LATIN2012

Interesting in augmenting your Latin studies with an on-site, practically total immersion in Latin? Please take a look at our Living Latin, Living History program. There are a few spots left for applicants for this summer 2013’s program in Rome- check out our video for the full experience.

Latin in the 21st Century

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The other day, I took a break from Rome and headed to a beach where I met two young gentlemen with tattoos.  In 2013, it’s not unusual to see tattoos of any kind, but what struck me as interesting is that both were in Latin, and after a quick chit chat, I learned that neither of the decorated had profoundly studied the language, they just liked the weight of it. I liked the fact that they were inadvertently promoting Latin as a living (and party-ing) language.

Latin loving comes in all shapes and forms– whether fans of an esoteric word or phrase or hard core academics who are living Latin to the fullest. Interestingly and on the academic horizon, Latin enrollment worldwide is increasing.   How is this possible in a world that is logarithmically speeding up academically, professionally and socially?  Isn’t the study of Latin a practice of  patience as well, thus contrary to all this techno-social velocity?

Quite the opposite, Latin is about substance in a world that is becoming more and more streamlined and simplified, and to some extent become similar.  Turning to history and the past, many look to the great empires. The Romans continue to exercise a pull on our imagination through the rich, diverse writings preserved in Latin.   We feel we can get under their skin and know their world via Latin.  And we feel we have a better grasp on ours and others by studying Latin.  It’s not by chance that the worlds of Harry Potter and Dan Brown are peppered with Latin.

To extrapolate,  having knowledge of Latin along with the ability to use it in daily life is something unique– whether making light conversation on the beach or spending your entire 24 hour day speaking Latin with colleagues and friends.  Though we don’t promise any tattoos, we do promote an almost 100% immersion in Latin with our summer Living Latin program, led by Professor Nancy Llewellyn.  Nancy loves Latin as much as these two love their tattoos, and probably more.

For more information about our summer Living Latin program, please email
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How Latin and Twitter helped a Journalist

Pope Chirri

They are calling it “the tweet heard around the world”, a less than 140-character message by ANSA journalist Giovanna Chirri that announced to resignation of Pope Benedict XVI. “B16 si ‘e dimesso. Lascia pontificato dal 28 febbraio” [B16 is stepping down. Leaving on February 28.] The news itself is beyond spectacular.  As Papal history fans will note, Pope Benedict XVI will be the first pontiff to voluntarily resign since Gregory XII in 1415. Yes, nearly 600 year ago. And how this news was not just conveyed [Chirri's social media short-hand] but understood is just as spectacular.  Chirri, part of a papal audience on Monday, February 11, listened to the Pope’s Latin declaration,

Quapropter bene conscius ponderis huius actus plena libertate declaro me ministerio Episcopi Romae, Successoris Sancti Petri, mihi per manus Cardinalium die 19 aprilis MMV commissum renuntiare ita ut a die 28 februarii MMXIII, hora 29, sedes Romae, sedes Sancti Petri vacet et Conclave ad eligendum novum Summum Pontificem ab his quibus competit convocandum esse.” [For this reason, and well aware of the seriousness of this act, with full freedom I declare that I renounce the ministry of Bishop of Rome, Successor of Saint Peter, entrusted to me by the Cardinals on 19 April 2005, in such a way, that as from 28 February 2013, at 20:00 hours, the See of Rome, the See of Saint Peter, will be vacant and a Conclave to elect the new Supreme Pontiff will have to be convoked by those whose competence it is.]

She confirmed with ANSA what she had heard, posted her tweet, and from there, the deluge.  Journalists quickly caught on, and began spreading the news, along with speculation as to why.  Chirri has quickly become a superstar both journalistically and linguistically.   Not only was she the very first to get the scoop on history-making news, she quickly followed up her tweet with another stating “the Pope’s Latin is very easy to understand”, an inadvertent shout-out to supporters of Latin language and its studies in academic institutions across the globe.  Optime, Iohanna!

Thanks to Chirri’s great use of Latin, a once “useless” language proves ever relevant in the real world and Latin’s lasting legacy continues to shine bright and clear.  It is opportune to note that there are many opportunities to study Latin around the world but very few to speak it and we are proud to support Latin and its uses in daily life and contemporary media by studying Latin in a contemporary and living environment.   Rome is the ideal city- as the city is literally covered in Latin inscriptions– and now with the world scrutinizing Vatican Ctiy for the coming months, it is a great opportunity to re-examine Latin’s role in contemporary society.

Pope Benedict XVI announces his resignation [VIDEO and below photo, The Guardian, February 11, 2012]

Click here for Official transcript

Pope Benedict XVI

Study Abroad with AIRC: Cal State Fresno offers School of Record to AIRC Programs


AIRC is pleased to announce the development of its partnership with California State University, Fresno (Fresno State), as official school of record for all academic program offerings. University academic credit for AIRC programs will now be offered by Fresno State. That includes our upcoming 15-week semester program:

as well as this summer’s program offerings:

The partnership, which is administered through Fresno State’s Division of Continuing and Global Education in partnership with the College of Arts and Humanities, support’s the University’s internationalization vision as articulated in its Strategic Plan for Excellence. Russel Statham, Manager for Administration and Global Operations, said, “We are excited about this new partnership and are pleased to be able to expand Fresno State’s role in promoting global education. Our alignment with AIRC will offer hundreds of students the opportunity to receive academic credit for world-class educational programs in Rome, and we are pleased to be a leader supporting international education opportunities.”

AIRC is proud to have Fresno State as its official partner in offering university academic credit for AIRC’s high-quality, one-of-a-kind academic programs in Rome, and is looking forward to the opportunity to now enroll a much wider range of students who require college credit for their academic experience abroad.

Now Enrolling! Click here to view AIRC Study Abroad Programs

Habemus @Pontifex! Pipiatio Latina: What will you tweet the Pope #LTNL

Shortly after  Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi announced on twitter and in Latin the Pontifical Academy for Latin Studies,  the Vatican announced that Pope Benedict XVI will begin tweeting on December 12 as @Pontifex, perhaps the best handle to appear on Twitter in years.  We are excited that @Pontifex will be flexing the papal fingers to comment in no less than eight languages: English, Italian, German, French, Portuguese, Polish, Arabic and Spanish (each under language-specific Twitter accounts).


Since only a few tweets will be hand-picked and then responded to by @Pontifex,  our upcoming Latin tweet up will focus on Quid pipies Romano Pontifici?  So for the next few days think about what you would tweet the Pope and then join in to Pipiatio Latina #LTNL Tuesday, December 11 at 3 pm Pacific/ 6pm Eastern Standard.

Pipiatio Latina is led by Dr. Nancy Llewellyn, Associate Professor of Latin at Wyoming Catholic College.  To participate, submit tweets to Nancy @RomeontheRange and @AIRomanculture, or send us questions/comments in advance  to  Whether simply following or ready to engage in some chatter, look for hash tags: #LTNL and #LatinTweetUp and remember to add either or both of them to your tweets. We’ve also customized a TweetGrid so that you can follow the hashtags and our account at the same time.

Thanks for helping to promote Latin in the real and virtual worlds!

For a glimpse into Latin in action, please take a look at our Summer 2012 “Living Latin, Living History in Rome” program videos.

Pipiatio Latina: Agere Latine #LTNL


Latin-language ATMs, Latin-speaking tour guides and Latin Segway riding scholars. Thanks to scholars, fans and friends, Latin language is making a comeback outside of the classroom and on to the streets.  In the quest to promote Latin, we want to celebrate our second year of Pipiatio Latina, a face-paced, on-going Latin-language Twitter meet up, on Thursday October 25th with the season’s first sixty-minute tweet up all about promoting Latin in real life use: Pipiatio Latina: Agere Latine.

Co-hosted by  Dr. Nancy Llewellyn and American Institute for Roman Culture, Pipiatio Latina will begin at 2 pm Central/ 4pm Eastern Standard time on Twitter.  Just search for hashtag #LTNL and #LatinTweetUp, or keep your eye on @AIRomanculture.  We’ve also customized a TweetGrid so that you can follow all three at once.Whether available by twitter or not, we encourage all of you to participate: send us questions/comments in advance  to,  @AIRomanculture, and Facebook  RomanCulture so that we can feature them in the #LatinTweetup.  And definitely state your mind in real time during Thursday’s tweet up.  We will be posting a follow up to each tweet up on this blog and will continue #LTNL Latin Tweet Ups through the year.

Help us to promote Latin by joining in and spreading the word!

For a glimpse into Latin in action, please take a look at our Summer 2012 “Living Latin, Living History in Rome” program videos.


Happy Birthday, Augustus!


September 23, 63 BC . . .  and here’s how we celebrated . . .



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That’s a Wrap: Living Latin videos on YouTube


Salve! We wanted to share a peek into our Summer 2012’s “Living Latin, Living History in Rome” summer program led by Prof. Nancy Llewellyn of Wyoming Catholic College.  Nancy, an expert in spoken Latin practice and pedagogy, brought students in and out of Rome in an almost completely spoken Latin environment, and she was kind of enough to enjoy a bit of educational paparazzi.

The following links are for two videos produced by AIRC. T his summer, we followed Nancy and class — and had a great time, of course!  We hope  you do as well, and continue to spread the word[s] on living Latin.

  1. Overview of the program experience, showing the on-site readings, guest lectures, classroom exercises, and excursions that make this program unique and a must for any student who wants to understand Latin at the deepest level.
  2. Interview with Prof. Llewellyn in which she explains how she became involved with spoken Latin and why learning to speak the language is so important for anyone who works extensively with it.

Call All AIRC Alums!


Calling All AIRC alums: When in Rome… Come Say “Hi”!

Over the past 10 years of its existence the American Institute for Roman Culture has provided instruction to over 1000 students from more than 80 universities and colleges spread throughout the world. We enjoy staying in touch with our alumni, following and promoting their budding careers, and catching up with them over gelato or espresso here in Rome.

Just in the past six months we’ve had the pleasure of catching up with Bill Johnson, alumnus of our 2010 spring semester program, about to embark on a career in the U.S. Army; Alison Kidd, alumna of our 2007 Summer Archaeological Field School at the Villa delle Vignacce in Rome, currently working in the Study Abroad office of Clemson University and bound for New York University’s graduate program in Classics in the fall; Andrea Samz-Pustol, Kristin Macauley, and Kenny Carosi, alumni of our 2009 SAFS program at Vignacce (Andrea is heading to the University of Kansas in the fall to pursue a Masters in Classics, while Kristin and Kenny spent quality time improving their Italian); Alexandra Zigrang, alumna of our 2010 SAFS program at Ostia Antica; Sam Treviño and Grant Dixon, alumni of our 2011 SAFS program co-sponsored with the Universities of Michigan and Calabria at the important site of Sant’Omobono in Rome (Grant returned for a second excavation season, and Sam was passing through town on vacation).

So, alumni of any and all AIRC programs, the next time you pass through the Eternal City, give us a shout. We’ll roll out the red carpet. Or at least a good gelato.

Living Latin (Photos)

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Heatwave Rome: Our top 5 tips to cooling off in the summer

Welcome to Rome in the summer. One word: hot. And imagine working in the dirt eight hours a day every day under a full sun.  Since we’re always thinking about the well-being of our students, we’ve come up with five fool-proof tips to cooling down during the urban heat. If you think you (or anyone you know) will break from Rome’s rising mercury, here’s how we do it:

  1. Grattachecca(grah-tah-KEK-ah) 
    • This is Italian shaved ice– aka the real deal. Literally shaved by hand on the spot from a big block of ice, grattachecca is a Roman summer tradition where you get to pick the fruit syrups and fresh fruit to pour into the hand-shaven ice. Grattacheccha stands are street-side kiosks, and sometimes are near the summer sliced watermelon pop-ups. Our favorites include:
  2.  Ostia Beach
    • Since our excavation is at Ostia Antica, instead of saying “take a hike”, we tell our students to hit the beach. A half-hour local train from Rome (on the same line as heading to our dig site), is Ostia beach- a public beach with restaurants, activities and social life.  For your €1.50 ATAC ticket, hop on Roma-Lido “trenino” (little train) found at the local station adjacent to the Piramide (Metro B) metro. Destination:  Lido Centro.
  3.  Use a big nose
    • That’s right, those fountains you see on the streets that are constantly running are called “nasoni,” big noses, and they are a really great way to keep cool and hydrated as you explore the city. The water is cold, clean and delicious, coming from a deep underground spring.  According to the Comune di Roma, the nasoni run constantly in order to keep the system clean and flushed out.  Our tip to taking a sip? Put your finger over the main spigot to block it and water will arc out of the small hole on top. Or, you can use them to fill your water bottle without paying outrageous tourist prices for water bottles at the coffee bars! Newsflash: the Comune di Roma is offering re-useable water bottles sold for €2 at local tourist information points (PIT). 
  4. Villa Borghese 

    • Rome’s second largest park with over 140 acres of greenery is the perfect respite from a hot day in the sun. You can walk up from the stairs off of Piazza del Popolo, take a paddleboat, peddle around on a group bike, rollerblade or run under the sprinklers.
  5. Gelato
    • Saving the best for last, don’t forget to sample Roman gelato, which is definitely NOT ice cream. Gelato uses more whole milk and less cream, so it has a lower fat content, and it contains less air so it’s denser which provides a more intense flavor. Some of our favorite gelato shops are*:
*Pop onto Parlafood for Katie Parla’s au courant and every growing gelato reviews. We’re so impressed with how she talks gelato, we think a flavor should be named after her!

Living Latin, Living History in Rome is here and on the road!

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Monday kicked off our inaugural Living Latin, Living History in Rome program led by the amazing Nancy Llewellyn.  Everyday we will be going places in Latin so we welcome you to follow us as walk the streets of Rome in Latin.  Look for #LTNL #Rome tags and peek @AIRomanculture, @NancyELlewellyn and of course @SaveRome.  Please tweet us your thoughts– in Latin or any other language– and we’ll get back to you on site!

Latin students with Nancy Llewellyn at Villa Giulia (Etruscan Museum)

Living History in Rome day by day

Take a peek into the mind blog of AIRC Executive Director Darius Arya  as he writes about
Living History in Rome day by day.

Pipiatio Latina: Gladiatores et Scripta Parietalia #LTNL


We’re back and we are all about men waving swords and dirty walls. Pipiatio Latina wants to talk about gladiatores et scripta parietalia.

What would Rome be without its meandering gladiators (not to mention their creative centurion cousins) and thought-provoking graffiti?  In April, the Comune di Rome tried to answer at least part of the question with a city-sponsored clean up.  What followed was war.

Just like the gladiators, Pipiatio Latina wants a free-for-all dialogue on Rome’s gladiators and graffiti . . . in Latin, of course!

When: Wednesday, May 9 at 6 pm EST

Host:  American Institute for Roman Culture,  Dr. Nancy Llewellyn

Where:   Twitter – Search for hashtag #LTNL (primary) and #LatinTweetUp

How:   Check out our customized TweetGrid  to send tweets (You will need to bookmark LTNL tweet grid page and login with your twitter account when ready to tweet.) Follow the aforementioned hashtags and @AIRomanculture.  (You can also put your acount name in place of @AIRomanculture). Or load your Twitter page and search for #TweetLatin and #LatinTweetup for the 60 minutes of the event.

Participate:  Send us questions/comments in advance so we can feature them in the #LatinTweetup.  During the tweet up, get chatty and make sure to use hashtags #LatinTweetup or #tweetlatin within your Tweet so everyone can see your question, answer, contribution, etc.

Not on Twitter?: You can still use the TweetGrid  to follow the conversation.  Though you will not be able to contribute to the discussion, you can follow all commentary.

Contact:  @AIRomanculture, email:

Follow us on Twitter also at @SaveRome and join us on Facebook at and

Graffiti photo: Mr.Jennings

Pipiatio Latina: Summary #LTNL


The third international Latin tweetup sponsored by AIRC in Rome was another success! Mindful that tempus fugit (time flies), between 6 and 7 PM EST on March 21 ten tweeters from around the world traded dozens of observations and bon mots in Latin on the state of various monumenta periclitantia (endangered sites) with AIRC Executive Director Darius Arya, AIRC Associate Director of Archaeology Alberto Prieto, and the instructor of AIRC’s upcoming “Living Latin, Living History” summer course, ace pipiatrix (tweeter) Prof. Nancy Llewellyn. Thanks to everyone for making it a night to remember!
The evening’s top three tweets:

  1. On the proposed landfill near Hadrian’s Villa in Tivoli: Ne in meo (principatis) horto posteriori! / Not in my (imperial villa’s) backyard! @INSCRIPTIONES
  2. On the poor condition of Pompeii: Quod non fecit Vulcanus Igneus, fecit Vulgus Italicus. / The Italians are finishing off the job that Vesuvius started. @NancyELlewellyn
  3. A useful piece of chatspeak for Latin-savvy tweeters that is bound to sweep the mainstream internet: Maxima voce cachinnans (MVC) / Laughing out loud (LOL) @NancyELlewellyn

Pipiatio Latina: Romana monumenta periclitantia #LTNL

We’re doing it again… Pipiatio Latina, Latin Tweetup, and this time we have a theme:  Romana monumenta periclitantia.  The threatened monuments in Rome (and elsewhere) have always been a favorite topic of discussion.  Earlier this week we began an agressive campaign to protect Villa Adriana (Hadrian’s Villa) and on Friday March 23, we are hosting the 2nd Unlisted conference on archaeological cultural heritage preservation.

What better way to promote cultural heritage than talking about threatening monuments . . . in Latin!

When:  Wednesday, March 21 at 6 pm EST

Host:  American Institute for Roman CultureDr. Nancy Llewellyn

Where:   Twitter – Search for hashtag #LTNL (primary) and #LatinTweetUp

How:   Check out our customized TweetGrid  to send tweets (You will need to bookmark LTNL tweet grid page and login with your twitter account when ready to tweet.) Follow the aforementioned hashtags and @AIRomanculture.  (You can also put your acount name in place of @AIRomanculture). Or load your Twitter page and search for #TweetLatin and #LatinTweetup for the 60 minutes of the event.

Participate:  Send us questions/comments in advance so we can feature them in the #LatinTweetup.  During the tweet up, get chatty and make sure to use hashtags #LatinTweetup or #tweetlatin within your Tweet so everyone can see your question, answer, contribution, etc.

Not on Twitter?: You can still use the TweetGrid  to follow the conversation.  Though you will not be able to contribute to the discussion, you can follow all commentary.

Contact:  @AIRomanculture, email:

Follow us on Twitter also at @SaveRome and join us on Facebook at and

Archaeology, Academics and Social Media

AIRC social media shot

Last week, I woke up to find that AIRC’s twitter account @AIRomanculture has surpassed 500 followers.  In an era where celebutantes, actors, sports heroes and gun-toting-fathers rack in thousands a day, 500 followers (in a few months) is merely a blink of the eye.  It’s not really even a number.  But for us, its a big deal.  Why?  Aren’t  archaeologists, classicists, latinists and any book-toting academics stereotypically nose-deep in text all the time?

Maybe. Maybe not.

Take a glimpse at my archaeo-academic desktop on any  morning.

Facebook, twitter, wordpress blog, Dr. Arya’s instagram.  These are a few of my favorite things.

My mornings mean connecting and researching in a world that used to be a bit hard enter into, if you aren’t on campus or at a conference. Reaching 500 followers means we are doing our our job to promote cultural heritage–  in other words, getting the word out there, keeping up a continuous dialog and searching out/collaborating with/introducing new people.  My world of colleagues and better yet friends has exploded out of Rome and into your computer. I may not know what you look like, but I know what you like and I like what you’re talking about.

Social Media is an incredible and relentless asset for the AIRC.  We’ve connected with former students, professors and professionals to find out what they are doing and where they are going, we help in keeping issues current (protecting Greece’s cultural heritage) and we’ve connected with people interested in many of our interests from our academic projects in archaeology, communications and Latin (just take a look at “Latin Tweet Ups”, Pipiatio Latina: aka a lot of people “speaking” Latin on twitter)– to our personal interests such as sustainability in Rome, how Ancient Rome appears in pop culture, gastrotourism, sci-fi literature and art crimes.

So yes, we’ve jumped head first into a kind of contemporary archaeology where history is happening instantaneously.  To be honest, I can’t keep up with everything we are “supposed” to be doing or not doing.  @Airomanculture has committed the twitter faux pas of following more than our number of followers, but I am pretty sure that we are truly reading everyone we are following– and that their tweets are great.  And yes, we do enjoy retweeting information because there are a lot of great people out there on Twitter and Facebook (and I guess Pinterest now) who are sharing great information? Does that make us less personable? I don’t know and I hope not.    What I do know is that all of this is good for us, for any academic who may be shy (like me) or not have the time, money, resources, connections, patience to stumble across something new, useful and otherwise mind-blowing.   And here’s an update: thanks to Twitter, signatures to stop the proposed landfill next to Villa Adriana,aka Protect Hadrian’s Villa petition, will hopefully surpass 2000 as of March 12, 2012.  Sign if you haven’t!

What do you think?

Engaging History in Rome, Summer Study Abroad

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For the past few weeks, we’ve really been talking up a storm about our summer excavation at Ostia Antica and Latin programs.  Why? Because we want you to come to Rome and we know you want to.  But we realize that getting dirty or speaking colloquial Latin all day may not be your bag.   And for the record, those are not the only options if you want to study abroad this summer with us in the Eternal City.

So we’ve ripped off the plastic and are launching the brand new Engaging History: Ancient Rome and Roman Culture, a four-week academic program for undergraduate students with interests in Classics/Classical Civilization, (Ancient) History, Art History, Archaeology/Anthropology, and Religious Studies.

The idea is that the classroom is Rome (and central Italy), living, breathing, outdoor program which examines the origins, development, and material culture of the Eternal City and Roman culture from before Romulus through the present day, concentrating on the roughly 1000 years between the city’s foundation and the Christianization of the empire.  Get it? It’s history by grabbing you by the collar and getting you outside and involved. . . engaging.

Sounds intense?  Think of it more as interactive.  Under expert guidance of instructors with more than 40 years of combined experience in and around Rome, the program focuses on explorative mornings investigating significant areas of the historic, monumental center, including well-known sites such as the Roman Forum, Capitoline and Palatine hills,et al, as well as a series of rarely visited sites such as the Testaccio neighborhood, the Porta Maggiore, and the Sessorium palace.

We turn the tables in the afternoons where individual exploration sessions are based on direct assisgnments requiring personal investigation of the city itself to learn about the transformation of Rome between the Middle Ages and today.  With Rome as just the first stepping stone, Engaging History walks out of the city and into the Empire with important and amazing sites outside of Rome including Ostia Antica, Palestrina, and the villa of the emperor Hadrian at Tivoli.

If you would like to learn more, we’d love to hear from you info[at]  And more importantly, we’d love you to join us this summer.  To apply to Engaging History: Ancient Rome and Roman Culture, click here.

Carpe Diem Alea Iacta Est


Q & A with Rachel Ash, co-host of our February 29 Latin Tweet Up #LTNL

1.  What made you want to learn to speak Latin?

I fell in love with Indiana Jones when I was pretty young–and I knew I wanted to grow up to be him.  I have always loved ancient cultures and the idea of unraveling a mystery about a people who lived thousands of years before now; when I was in college, I took Latin to fulfill a requirement for an ancient language in my major.  A semester later, Latin was my major.  I never looked back.

2.  Who is/was your favorite magister?

My favorite would have to be Laura Gibbs, who gave me permission to try to use Latin as a language and make mistakes as I did.  She let me explore Latin in a way that made it so much less intimidating than it could be sometimes in other classes and I learned much more quickly in that setting.  I am still in contact with her and she is as enthusiastic and inspiring as ever.

3.  What is your favorite Latin expression?

As cheesy as it is, I really value “carpe diem,” especially paired with “alea iacta est.”  I think that whatever life hands you, “the die is cast” and you have to move forward, so you might as well “seize the day” and make each day as great as you can.

4. What are the benefits to studying Latin in Rome?

Studying Latin in the birthplace of the language would be the most inspirational setting I could imagine.  How can you not want to live in Latin when you can see the touch of the Romans all around you?

5. What do you see as the future of colloquial Latin?

I think colloquial Latin is the future.  As we learn more about how the mind works, I think it can be no question that experiencing Latin as a language is the only way to truly gain any level of fluency, reading or otherwise.  I see the future opening with more avenues for speaking Latin — look at this wonderful thing we’ve found to do with Twitter.

6.  Many non-Latin scholars do not see the importance of Latin in the elementary school system. How would you respond?

Firstly, I will say that all elementary students should be given the gift of fluency in a second language, even if it is not Latin.  Latin, however, is a language that will awaken connections to all areas of a child’s life, both when he is young and when he is grown.  Literature, vocabulary, reading fluency, history, mythology, even math can become easier with a background in Latin due to its deep connection to the English language and its unique structure.  Starting your child’s life with Latin will make his educational career easier and his comprehension of his culture and others’ deeper.

Bonus Question:  If you could be any classical hero, who would you be and why?

Choosing a hero to be is tough.  I’m going to go outside the normal list of heroes and choose Antigone.  She meets a very dark end, but she is a really strong character in the Oedipus cycle–supportive of her father through his horrific fortune and a faithful sister who would not let the threat of death stop her from doing what she knew was right.  She is a great example to follow (though hopefully not into being buried alive).

~Rachel Ash has been a Latin teacher and an ardent supporter of spoken Latin for nine years.  Always looking for ways to support Latin and Latin teachers, Rachel began presenting at local and national conferences by the end of her second year of teaching and continues to do so; she also has served offices in local and national Classics organizations.  At current, Rachel is the Chair of the Excellence Through Classics Committee, a committee of the American Classical League dedicated to expanding and creating Classics programs at the elementary and middle school level.  Most recently Rachel presented at ACL‘s Annual Institute in Minnesota, where she and another teacher led a TPRS workshop; in March Rachel will be presenting at SCOLT’s regional conference over Asking a Story in Latin.  Rachel blogs at Pomegranate Beginnings, teaches North Gwinnett High School and  North Gwinnett Middle School.

Here We Go Again: Pipiatio Latina, #LTNL the sequel


On February 29th, we are hosting our second Latin Tweet Up– i.e. a bunch of us Latin lovers getting together on Twitter to talk . . .  wait for it. . . in Latin!  The amazing Nancy Llewellyn will be our special guest tweeter once again, along with a special co-host Latinist Rachel Ash.  We are very excited to have both Nancy and Rachel stir up the twitter feed!

We hosted the first-ever Latin Tweet Up on February 8 and it was a huge success. So we’re going at it again:

When:  Wednesday, February 29 at 6 pm EST

Host:  American Institute for Roman CultureDr. Nancy Llewellyn

Where:   Twitter — Search for hashtag #LTNL (primary) and #LatinTweetUp

How:   Check out our customized TweetGrid  to send tweets (You will need to bookmark LTNL tweet grid page and login with your twitter account when ready to tweet.)  Follow the aforementioned hashtags and @AIRomanculture.  Or load your Twitter page and search for #TweetLatin and #LatinTweetup for the 60 minutes of the event.

Participate:  Send us questions/comments in advance so we can feature them in the #LatinTweetup.  During the tweet up, get chatty and make sure to use hashtags #LatinTweetup or #tweetlatin within your Tweet so everyone can see your question, answer, contribution, etc.

Not on Twitter?: You can still use the TweetGrid  to follow the conversation.  Though you will not be able to contribute to the discussion, you can follow all commentary.

Contact:  @AIRomanculture, email:

Follow us on Twitter also at @SaveRome and join us on Facebook at and

Veni Vidi Vici*: Pipiatio Latina #LTNL

latin tweetup

We did it.  Last Wednesday, AIRC and the amazing Nancy Llewellyn hosted our very first Latin Tweet-Up, with its very own hashtag. Perhaps not quite as catchy at GTL, #LTNL tweet up received a great response of at least twenty Twitter accounts conversing, ahem, tweeting in Latin.  Nancy fielded questions about her Latin background, upcoming projects, grammar and even sports vocabulary.

In addition,  #LTNL tag was buzzing with Latin conversations and we were later told it was followed by classrooms in San Francisco and Austin, Texas, both in live-stream and in a Tweet grid recap.  We’d love to know who else enjoyed the tweet up and we’d like to organize another #LTNL.  Spread the word about #LTNL and let us know if you are interested in co-hosting the next tweet up.

Thanks for all of your support in helping to spread the word: Latin rules!

-please send emails to

*of course we were going to use this title….

Satagere Tamquam Mūs In Matellā

Nancy Llewellyn

Q & A with Nancy Llewellyn, host of our February 8 Latin Tweet Up

  1. What made you want to learn to speak Latin?

I started Latin when I was a senior in high school.  Going into my first Latin class, I had already had three years of German and two years of French with a wonderful teacher who taught by immersion.  The disjunct between the way we treated French in French class and the way we treated Latin in Latin class was really very noticeable.  I couldn’t understand why it had to be that way, since Latin and French are both, in the end, simply languages.  When I asked my Latin teacher about it, he smiled and told me “nobody speaks Latin.” (more…)

Pipiatio Latina: We’re hosting a #LatinTweetUp! #LTNL


On February 8th, we are hosting a Latin Tweet Up– i.e. a bunch of us Latin lovers getting together on Twitter to talk . . .  wait for it. . . in Latin!  The amazing Nancy Llewellyn will be our special guest tweeter.  And you can bet we are doubly excited because Nancy is also our guest professor for our Living Latin, Living History summer program

We don’t think there has ever been a Latin Tweet Up so think of this as an experiment (more…)


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