Greek and Roman Studies Students to Volunteer at Latin Day Festival for High School Students

Students of two Rhodes Greek and Roman studies organizations—CA’ESAR and Eta Sigma Phi—are volunteering at the 10th annual Festivus, the Latin Day Festival for high school programs in West Tennessee, on Nov. 11. There will be contests, games, awards, treats, feats of strength, and lectures at the event to be held at Germantown High School.

Festival is presented by the Tennessee Junior Classical League (TJCL), which promotes appreciation and enthusiasm for studying Latin and the classical civilizations of Greece and Rome. “It borrows its name from a famous episode of the television show “Seinfield” about the holiday celebration Festivus,” says Dr. David Sick, associate professor of Greek and Roman studies. Sick and Michelle Currie ’12 and David Adams ’13 created subtitles in Latin for the Seinfeld episode that has been shown at past TJCL festivals. The event also includes a Latin quiz bowl with regulations akin to “College Bowl”  and questions geared toward Latin and Greek and Roman culture, history, and literature.  Rhodes students have been helping the local teams practice for this event with on-line sessions.

“By learning about another culture, we learn about ourselves.  The assumptions we make about our character, our ethics, our traditions become more obvious,” Sick says regarding the significance of studying Latin and the Classics. “As with any human culture, the Greeks and Romans produced items of value—worthy of study for their own sake—art, literature, philosophy and more.” 

Reeta Bandyopadhyay ’18, a teaching assistant for Latin 102 and a member of  CA’ESAR that holds an annual Ides of March reenactment, adds that the sound of prose and poetry in Latin has a distinctive beauty. Bandyopadhyay, Terra Martin’19, and Lauren Rowland ’19 will be among the volunteers.

Thomas Matthews ’18 is president of Eta Sigma Phi honorary society and in charge of organizing volunteers for the Nov. 11 event. He says regarding Festivus, “College involvement is significant for these high school students. It gives them someone to look up to.” 

Here is a carol Prof. David Sick and students created for the Seinfield holiday:

O Festive, O Festive
A Latin Carol for Festivus

(To the tune of O Christmas Tree)
(Text:  D. H. Sick, Rhodes College)
 
O Festive, O Festive,
Feriae pro ceteris, grege.
O Festive, O Festive,
feriae pro ceteris, grege.
Polum tuum, sanciamus.
Ad caelum tendit rectus.
O Festive, O Festive,
Feriae pro ceteris, grege.

 
O Festive, O Festive,
Costanzas salutemus.
O Festive, O Festive,
Costanzas salutemus.
Ad cenam valde queremur.
Postea fortes luctabimur.
O Festive, O Festive,
Feriae pro ceteris, grege.

TRANSLATION:

O Festivus, O Festivus,
A holiday for the rest of us.
O Festivus, O Festivus,
A holiday for the rest of us.
Let us sanctify your pole.
It rises to the sky.
O Festivus, O Festivus,
A holiday for the rest of us.

O Festivus, O Festivus,
Let us salute the Costanzas.
O Festivus, O Festivus,
Let us salute the Costanzas.
We will complain a lot at dinner.
Then we will bravely wrestle.
O Festivus, O Festivus,
A holiday for the rest of us.

By Meg Jerit ’20