Dr Bella d’Abrera,

‘National curriculum and  the rapid un-education of Australian children’

Parliament House, Hobart

6.00 pm

Thursday 1 November 2018

To be followed by the option of a three-course dinner at the Astor Grill, Macquarie Street, @ $65 per person – bookings essential

Dr Bella d’Abrera is the Director of the Foundations of Western Civilisation Program at the Institute of Public Affairs.  She has a BA in History and Spanish from Monash University, an MA in Spanish from the University of St Andrews and a PhD in History from the University of Cambridge.

She is the author of a number of academic works and scholarly articles and specialises in education and skills, faith and society and culture, ideas and liberty and Western Civilisation. She appears frequently in the media and is a regular contributor to The Australian, the Daily Telegraph, The Herald Sun and the Spectator Australia.


Latin Summer School, Rome

7-20 July 2019

An intensive Latin Language course for beginners and a richly variegated reading party for the more advanced, but with free interchange between the two streams. The goal is to examine two millennia of Roman and Italian culture – art as well as literature – through the medium of the Latin Language which is common to the whole tradition. We shall reads pieces by the major writers of the Classical Canon and by their successors in Medieval and Renaissance times. Genres will include Epic Poetry, Oratory, Philosophy and History.


Latin is arguably the mother-tongue of Europe. Its literature is immensely rich: original work continued to be written in the Latin language up to modern times.  Some knowledge of Latin is essential to the full appreciation of English literature written up to at the least the beginning of the twentieth century, because Latin was part of the intellectual equipment of most authors until that time. Students of history, philosophy and modern languages also recognize the value of increased familiarity with primary sources. Latin is a doorway that can lead you to wonderful delights.


The City of Rome itself is our living textbook. Its art, its inscriptions, its very stones tell the central story of Western Civilisation. What better place to learn Latin than in its heartland? Excursions to sites of particular interest in Rome and surrounding areas form a part of the programme. We shall learn to interpret inscriptions that tell us so much yet escape the notice of ordinary visitors. Roman and Italian culture and language are a continuum: the course will illuminate the linkage between the two.

For an attractive website about other things to do in Italy visit https://www.jenreviews.com/best-things-to-do-in-italy/.


This two-week programme will guide participants through selected literature from the earliest times to the present, including the emergence of the Italian vernacular. For at least the first week (according to demand) there will be parallel streams for (near-)beginners on the one hand, and experienced readers on the other. Movement between streams is possible at any stage. The key to the experience is immersion – for two weeks, we will all be living and breathing Latin texts and the Latin language in the very heart of Roman civilisation, encountering (and engaging with) the material traces of that past in the fabric of the buildings and monuments that surround us.


We shall read only ‘real’ Latin. The focus of the beginners’ course will be Classical Latin, with primary texts ranging from Plautus to Ovid: students will develop their language skills in the classroom (and through private study), using Peter V. Jones and Keith C. Sidwell’s Reading Latin: Text and Vocabulary, and Reading Latin: Grammar and Exercises, 2nd edn (Cambridge University Press, 2016). The pedagogical approach will be participatory: we aim to achieve the positive outcomes of a traditional language ‘boot camp’ (technical proficiency, camaraderie, the exhilaration of hard work), but within a supportive learning environment that is responsive both to collective goals and individual needs.

In the reading party (for more experienced readers), there will be a strong emphasis on Medieval Latin and Neo-Latin, because the vast amount of surviving material from the centuries between the close of Classical period and the modern age has been most neglected. But no Latin course can ignore Cicero and Virgil. Other areas for special attention will be: the Roman Novel (The Golden Ass or Metamorphoses of Apuleius); Patristics (Augustine, Ambrose); philosophical and theological writing from Boethius to Aquinas; secular poetry and religious poetry including specimens of the great tradition of Latin hymnody (Ambrose, Venantius, sequences); narrative and history (Einhard, the Legenda Aurea); texts representing the continuation of the classical tradition. Other material can be included on request.


Beginners will need to acquire their own copies of Jones and Sidwell’s two-volume Reading Latin (in the revised 2nd edition, 2016 – details above) and are strongly urged to read through the introduction and opening chapters before the Summer School begins, familiarizing themselves with the basic terminology and structures. Jones and Sidwell’s companion volume, An Independent Study Guide to Reading Latin, 2nd edn (Cambridge University Press, 2018), may prove useful to anyone wishing to develop (or refresh) their language skills in advance of the Summer School, but this is purely optional.

 There are no formal prerequisites for the reading party: participants from a diversity of backgrounds have contributed wonderfully to the success of these schools in the past; already proficient readers of Latin have derived benefit and pleasure from reading material from outside the standard curricula. Copies of primary texts will be provided as part of the enrolment package. James Morwood’s Latin Grammar (Oxford University Press, 1999) offers a concise guide to the essentials of morphology and syntax and is recommended for purchase, though some students may prefer the fuller treatments given in Kennedy’s Revised Latin Primer, ed. Sir James Mountford (Longmans, 1962).


The Bernardi Campus of the University of St Thomas, overlooking the Tiber in central Rome, and close to sites of extraordinary interest and beauty.


Dr Robert H. F. Carver, BA (Hons)(ANU), DPhil (Oxon)

Robert Carver is Associate Professor of Renaissance Literature at the University of Durham, UK. Prior to this, he was a Junior Research Fellow in Classics and English at Trinity College, Oxford, and Lecturer and Director of Studies in English at Oriel College. He has published widely on the reception of Classical literature (particularly, prose fiction) in the middle ages and early modern period. His publications include The Protean Ass: The ‘Metamorphoses’ of Apuleius from Antiquity to the Renaissance (Oxford University Press, 2007), translations from medieval Latin, Hildegard of Bingen: An Anthology (1990), and the chapter on ‘English Fiction and the Ancient Novel’ in the first volume of the Oxford History of the Novel in English, ed. Thomas Keymer (2017).

Dr David Daintree AM, BA (Hons)(UNE), MLitt (Cantab), PhD (UTas)

David Daintree (http://daviddaintree.blogspot.com.au) has taught intensive summer schools in Latin for a quarter of a century. His courses have been offered in Hobart, Sydney, Perth New Zealand and Rome. He was Senior Classics Master (St Peter’s College Adelaide), Principal of Jane Franklin Hall (Uni of Tasmania), Rector of St John’s College (Uni of Sydney) and President of Campion College Australia. He is currently Director of the Christopher Dawson Centre, Hobart


The total base cost of the two-week programme is 1480 Euros per person twin-share, comprising 780 Euros for bed and breakfast (13 nights, in 7 July out 20 July), and 700 Euros for tuition, written materials and local tours on foot or using public transport. Single accommodation is also available at extra cost on request. The fee excludes lunches and dinners, air fares and airport transfers – participants should make their own arrangements to arrive at the residence on 7 July. Optional extras, including an overnight visit to Naples (with Pompeii), will also be available on request. The cost has been kept down to break-even level. If there is a surplus proceeds will go towards the work of the Dawson Centre.


Please contact Dr Daintree directly – dccdain@gmail.com