British success in international Latin competition @ Tormead School, Guildford


Tormead pupil Amelia Gall wins the first prize ever for Britain in the prestigious Certamen Ciceronianum Arpinas, held annually in Cicero’s home town.  Amelia came 7th out of the 291 candidates who competed for the 11 prizes and 5 honorary mentions awarded. For a full list of this year’s winners please see

The XXXII edition of the Certamen (11th -13th May 2012) attracted Latinists in their final year of secondary education from 16 European countries. In a five-hour long paper  the candidates were required to translate, using a dictionary, an unseen passage (approx . 250 words) from Cicero’s De republica and to write a commentary on it. The topic of the passage was an sapientis sit rei publicae accipere habenas.

If anyone is interested in taking their pupils to Arpino next year, please e-mail .




  1. Anne Dicks

    This looks really good – congratulations to Amelia! When I was in Serbia at ‘the other’ CICERO competition I spoke to teachers about the Certamen Ciceronianum Arpinas, and one of their students was also a winner. This competition in Cicero’s home town has been established for longer than our Certamen In Concordiam Europae Regionumque Orbis, which is now in its 6th year.

  2. Ioana Ciuca Post author

    Thank you, Anne, for the congratulations: I will pass them on. Yes, the Arpino competition has been going on for 32 years, and the requirements are considerably different from those of the Concordia one.

    Still, I think it is worth encouraging would-be Classicists, whether Oxbridge or not, to consider entering (and training for) the Arpino one. I have always maintained that there is no such thing as enough unseen translation practice for one’s A2 Latin examination. As for the reading around element, it is a rare opportunity to go beyond the syllabus and learn about Greek philosophy in Rome, Ciceronian concinnitas, Roman oratory and the gradual crumbling of the republic.