History of Certamen
It’s a contest for Italian and foreign students in their last year of Lyceum. They have to translate and analyze an extract from a Cicero’s work. The event, under the High Patronage of the President of the Republic, takes place in Arpino, Province of Frosinone, every year in May.
The programme foresees the Latin language test and a series of other initiatives: round tables and conferences concerning Latin language and literature; seminars and debates on European issues and themes, concerts, exhibition and guided tours to the Cicero’s places.
One of the most important moments is the award ceremony, which takes place in Piazza Municipio, adorned with the participating countries’ flags, in an evocative party atmosphere.
In few years, the Certamen, starting on a regional scale, has reached an international dimension, with the participation of many students from every part of Europe, sharing a strong sense of friendship and a fair spirit of competition.
The initiative is born in order to reaffirm the importance of the Latin culture and the study of its language, through an in-depth examination of Cicero’s works.
From his works, even now, students can take a civilian and human wealth and an unusual cultural formation. Cicero, in fact, has dealt with human issues of all time, such as justice, nation, religion, friendship and moral coherence, with a great speculative precision and unequalled style. As politician, he pursued that concordia ordinum in which the salus populi lies.
The Certamen is an occasion to exchange ideas and proposals in order to create a debate about a united Europe, working hard at cultural, ethical and socio-political level.
In this collective effort, the Latin, both as language and literature, helps young people to revalue the common European cultural root, essential element for a peaceful coexistence among people.