Under the generous hosting of Dr Tasos Adonis, Head of Classics at Fettes College, six pupils from George Watson’s College (Andrew Ratter and Christopher Trew (both S4), Alice Williamson and Hamish White (both S5), and Jessica Meagher and Hanneke Salisbury (both S6)) were the first participants from a Scottish school in CICERO – Certamen In Concordiam Europae Regionum Orbis – a competition to promote harmony in Europe and the Countries of the World. This competition is uniquely global in its outlook as a showcase for young Classics scholars from across the world to test their wits and abilities against a passage of Latin translation and a cultural quiz.
Anne Dicks, the co-founder of the competition, travelled to Edinburgh to welcome Scotland as a new nation into the competition and video linked with schools in England, Spain and France while making an informative introduction. Fortified by lunch, the Watson’s pupils set to work on a translation of Petrarch’s Letter to Cicero (dated AD 1345), described by Mrs Dicks as “fiendishly difficult”, undaunted. Confidence bolstered by their abilities in the translation, the cultural quiz on Carthage: from Dido to Hannibal was similarly dispatched by the Watson’s pupils, whose preparation and enthusiasm was lauded by Dr Adonis.
We await the UK results but are sure in the contribution that the pupils of our School have made to the harmony of this common interest.
It is also interesting to note, as one of the Watson’s pupils did, that CICERO has now expanded to Australia, expanding Latin unity beyond the realms of even the Roman Empire itself!