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Latin Classes Celebrate Rome’s Founding With Games, Cake


A grid of photos showing students at the celebration

Top row: Honors Latin III students Shirley Yang ’25 and Adelaide Malynn ’25 in their togas; Latin II students making items for the day’s activities. Bottom row: Latin IB students Jack Morrison ’27, Trey Messier ’27, Adam Calingaert  ’27 and Owen Morrison simulate a chariot race.

On April 21, Latin students in Middle and Upper School marked the founding of Rome — 2,776 years ago — with activities designed to celebrate its culture and language.

Students gathered at LJ’s Place for games, a trivia contest and birthday cake. Some used sidewalk chalk to capture favorite Latin phrases including “Esse Quam Videri” (“To be, rather than to seem”), the state motto of North Carolina, and “Memento Vivere” (“Remember to live!).” 

“Among the festivities, the chariot races and phalanx formation seemed to be big hits! Students also competed at trivia and the Delta game with giant dice,” Upper School Latin teacher Jonathan Avery said. “Latin II students worked especially hard ahead of time to make sure Middle School Latin IA and IB students had games to play.”

Trey Messier ’27, who is enrolled in Latin IB in the Middle School, said the event was another way to explore a language and culture he’s enjoyed learning about this year.

“Latin has been one of my favorite aspects of life at Ravenscroft. It has given me perspective on not only the English language but also how much Rome influenced our modern world. From our government to our architecture, Rome has made a big impact on today’s world and should be celebrated for that fact,” he said. “Celebrating Rome’s birthday was a great experience, and I enjoyed the festivities greatly.” 

Two Honors Latin III students, Shirley Yang ’25 and Adelaide Malynn ’25, marked the occasion by dressing in Roman attire. 

“When Adelaide and I first heard about the celebration, we made a joke about wearing togas that day to celebrate. Over the next month or so, it slowly became less of a joke, and I remember occasionally asking, ‘So, are we really doing this?’ Together, we planned out our outfits and accessories,” Shirley said. “I love sewing, costuming and historical fashion, and this celebration seemed like a good excuse to make myself a toga praetexta [a white robe with a purple border]. I quickly made one in the days beforehand, as it was a relatively easy project. We enjoyed participating in and watching the themed games and activities, and our outfits made the experience even more fun.”

“Felicem diem natalem, Roma!” Avery concluded. “Happy birthday, Rome!”