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I. PERSONAL ATTRIBUTES. Each pupil is given the Latin name of some prominent Roman of the last century of the Republic, a period chosen because it is pre-eminently a study of individual lives. These names are assigned to Caesar, Cicero and Vergil pupils on the basis, respectively, of their owners' military, political and literary prominence.
Each pupil is made a member of the Roman state on the basis (indicated by the name) of birth, manumission or naturalization, with by far the larger number in the first class.
Each pupil becomes either the patronus or cliens of some other pupil, the pupils of the two upper classes becoming patroni, of the two lower, clientes. While this is intended to introduce an essential phase of Roman life, its main object is practical; for the patroni are expected by their explanations to the clientes to make unnecessary much that would otherwise be necessary in the class room.
II. SOCIAL ATTRIBUTES. Each Latin section becomes a collegium opificum, aurifices, tonsores, etc., and as such elects a princeps, who appoints four magistri, while the remainder are discentes. This organization, because of its convenience, becomes the means by which the political organization is formed. The name of the guild is chosen by lot.
III. POLITICAL ATTRIBUTES. A. Membership in the political units of curia, tribus, classis and centuria. Birth and consequently membership in a patrician curia is based upon scholarship. Among our 850 Latin pupils there are 60 patricians, the 60 best Latin scholars, whose rank is indicated by the patrician pin, in the form of fasces and axe.
Wealth and consequently membership, in one of the five classes, is represented by the stage of advancement. The Vergil classes represent the prima classis, the Cicero, the secunda, etc. Provision is made for the Equites Romani and the capite censi outside the classes.
Age and consequently membership in the centuries of juniores and seniores is based upon sex, the girls representing the former and the boys the latter.
Geography and consequently membership in one of the 35 tribes is determined by the last two considerations. After dividing first the juniores and then the seniores of each class into 35 centuriae and assigning each centuria to one of the 35 tribes, the tribe was formed by uniting the 10 centuriae thus produced from all five classes.
B. Membership in the assemblies:
1. Comitia curiata. The older form of this was chosen, composed only of patrician curia is based upon scholarship. Among our 850 Latin pupils there tions, etc.
2. Comitia centuriata. This is composed of all pupils, patricians and plebeians alike. Each pupil has his assigned seat and the assembly when so organized shows the Equites in front row, followed by the five classes in succession, separated from each other by vacant rows. Each classis is seated alphabetically by tribes, each tribal unit of each class constituting two centuriae, one of juniores and one of seniores, sometimes consisting of but one pupil, who is also centurio, and sometimes of several, who in that case elect one of their number as centurio. There are just 373 centuriones, representing the voting units of this assembly.
3. Comitia tributa. This is composed of all pupils and the assembly when so
organized shows each of the 35 tribes, isolated by a row of vacant seats around it, presided over by its curator tribus, or tribunus aerarius, according to the purpose of the assembly. Each tribe is arranged numerically by classes, with the juniores and seniores in separate rows.
4. Concilium plebis tributum. This is composed only of plebeians, but in all other respects is identical with the last.
5. Comitia pontificia. This is composed of 17 tribes chosen by lot from the 35 comprising the comitia tributa.
The complete set of civil, military and religious officials are now elected, as follows: Civil : 2 censores
Military: • 2 consules
24 tribuni militum 8 praetores
2 viri navales. 2 aediles curules
Religious: 2 aediles plebis
15 pontifices 10 tribuni militum
15 augures 20 quaestores
15 viri sac. fac. 26 viri
7 viri epulones The two consules, two censores, pontifex maximus and one each from the other bodies of magistrates constitute a publicum consilium, which has charge of the general direction of the state.
IV. The CAMPAIGN. The three ancient parties, Equestres, Optimates, Populares, have been resurrected and are well organized, presenting at each election complete tickets for the choice of the citizens. Each party has a sort of campaign manager and a committee representing the ancient divisores, whose function is to boom their candidates by every legitimate means. And right here comes an unequalled opportunity for training pupils to exercise independence in their political life. Within a few years after graduation they will possess the suffrage and will be confronted by a party system presenting every facility and even pressure to secure straight ticket voting. Furthermore most of our present-day high school and college politics not only do not encourage a conscientious and deliberate choice, but in fraternity, class and society elections are fostering and propagating the tendency to win by forming combines and cliques and by requiring members of an organization to support all fellow-members indiscriminately, a practice much more inconsistent with a real civic spirit than is party allegience, since it has less inherent connection with the object of the election. For the various political parties have at least a theoretical relation to the issues at stake in a given election, while the combination of fraternities to control a class election appeals solely to those ambitions that are most inimical to a proper political spirit and represent machine politics in its most pernicious form. And this results because the school authorities and instructors, who are expected to train and educate the pupil in all other branches, cannot use their influence here without doing more harm than good by the resentment their "interference " excites, since the organizations, in which these political activities manifest themselves, exist for purposes and interests wholly extraneous to the essential objects of high school education and, therefore, feel themselves wholly independent of those whose duties they instinctively conceive to be limited to the latter. The party system of our State on the contrary affords the finest possible opportunity for applying a remedy. The pupil, to be properly prepared to solve questions of party allegiance later, must be and is in our State subjected to conditions similar to those he will find afterwards. But, whereas in his later political life there will be no one possessing the right to advise and instruct him, in our State, on the contrary, so completely is the whole fabric built upon the Latin classes and by the Latin instructors themselves, that the propriety of their advising pupils as to the proper course and the opportunity of training them to possess and exercise independent judgment, are equally obvious. While frankly admitting that, were we campaign managers and committees, we should probably do just as they do and urge the citizens to stand by the ticket, we can educate them to take a higher point of view, to scan their party ticket closely and under no circumstances to vote a straight ticket.
I know from personal experience that advice and exhortation has awakened no resentment and has produced immediate effect, while the same remarks, if concerned with class or society election, would doubtless have caused resentment and would probably have produced the opposite effect from what was desired. If pupils were taught thus to exercise independence in voting for four years and the habit were formed of regarding party candidates as secondary to the welfare of the State, they would never thereafter be in danger of blindly voting party tickets in electing mayor, governor or president. On the other hand, the necessity of having parties in our own country becomes readily apparent from the fact that in our State they form absolutely indispensable vehicles for the expression of the popular will. Thus pupils will secure by the most instructive of laboratory methods a proper conception of the relation of the parties to the State and of their own normal attitude toward each.
V. THE ELECTION. The annual election occurs on the national election day in November. The four electoral assemblies under the presidency of the proper officials, and with proper ceremonies, elect the officers and these are installed with appropriate rites.
VI. OTHER ACTIVITIES. During the past year we have been gradually introducing other activities normal to the life of a State. A Roman court was organized and Catiline was tried for conspiracy before it. The trial was continued at the morning assembly period for about a month and was a serious attempt to present through the mouths of witnesses like Cato, Cicero, Bibulus, Silanus, Antonius, Clodius, Fulvia, Sanga, Sallust, Caesar, the praetors of 63 B. C., the Allobroges, etc., a picture of Roman political society from the time of Sulla to 63 B. C.; to show clearly that there were two sides to the Catilinarian conspiracy, and to have the events of 63 B. C. described by those who bore the names of the actors. The jury was on the point of convicting, when the interference of a tribune produced a challenge from the prosecution to bring the matter before the concilium plebis. This body by a tribal vote pronounced Catiline guilty and the latter went into exile.
Last May the members of the prima classis (Vergil pupils) inaugurated what will doubtless become an annual custom of holding a Roman Banquet. Every detail that could be incorporated without too much expense and trouble was introduced. The seventy-two guests sat at eight tables, each group of nine comprising a host and eight guests who were guided to their proper place by a corps of efficient nomenclatores. The three couches about each table were in Roman form and the gentlemen reclined in the ancient manner. All were clad in Roman costumes. The menu, which was made to harmonize so far as possible in form and matter, was served by servi triclinarii under the direction of the tricliniarch, was arranged by structores and what carving was required was managed by scissores. The gustum was served in three courses, the cena in three and the secundae mensae in two, with appropriate ceremonies before and after each. The processions of the thirty servi, all in Greek costume, at the main courses of the cena were particularly picturesque. The room was surrounded by scenery, some of which was painted by artist citizens in imitation of Pompeian wall paintings of the First and Second styles. The details of lighting, shrines, foral decorations, especially the wreaths for the commissatio, were closely followed and the entire banquet, lasting from three o'clock till nine, was accompanied by an entertainment of recitations, singing, dancing, etc. Two German chiefs captured by Caesar in his war with Ariovistus executed some of their wild dances, while two Roman athletes contested for the wrestling championship of the Roman Empire.
In this banquet we builded better than we knew, for so enthusiastic were the pupils regarding it, that they afterwards formed a Classical Alumni Association, whose annual meeting shall take the form of a similar banquet. Such an association, held together by such a definite and delightful tie, has great possibilities, as the graduates grow older, for the exercise of a strong influence in this city in maintaining the position of the classical studies in our schools. Every graduate in Latin this last year goes forth with an attitude toward his Latin that will make him a most loyal and enthusiastic supporter of classical studies, and it is that spirit and not the carefully worded arguments passing over the heads of those for whom they are intended, that will carry the classics over this or any succeeding crisis,
We may in conclusion note briefly the advantages resulting from the formation of our State.
1. It arouses and maintains a live and constant interest that appeals directly to the instincts and sympathies of the average boy of high-school age, an interest that is inevitably transferred, if properly treated in the class room, to all his Latin work. It thus both increases greatly the pupil's interest in his Latin and destroys the prejudice, so likely to exist in the mind of an entering pupil about to elect his language, that Latin, in comparison with the modern languages, is dead and lifeless.
2. It automatically creates from the first a proper conception of the Romans as a living, breathing people, like those he sees about him, with whom he can feel himself much more in sympathy because he engages with the same spirit in their activities, than with the curiously unreal people he often conceives them to be through the pernicious influence of his usual introduction to them.
3. It gives background and continuity to all his Latin study, by the creation of an objective activity through which all the other phases of his Latin work gain greater interdependence and coherence.
4. It forms the basis for work in prose far superior to stereotyped sentences, because it has for its subject matter material in which the pupil is himself personally interested: Furthermore the inscriptions in support of party candidates with which the blackboards, wall spaces, corridors and assembly hall are filled during the three weeks preceding the election, the platforms of the political parties, the edicts of consul, praetor, aedile, the speeches, etc., not only ensure progress in knowledge of Latin, but give opportunity for what is often a pupil's first attempt to express a real thought of his own in Latin, an occurrence that marks an epoch in his attitude toward his study of that language.
5. It provides a considerable number of Latin words and phrases that become at once a part of the living vocabulary of the pupils and act as a constant leaven in securing for Latin the power of direct appeal to the understanding. These same words afford, moreover, for the lower classes, a series of paradigms much more easily learned and applied because their significance is felt directly, than the usual formal list; e. g. collegium, princeps, patronus, vir, cliens, consul, praetor, tribunus, professio, magister, equester, eques, nomen, etc.
6. It ensures an accurate and vivid understanding of the political organization of Rome and thus lends immediate and practical assistance to the interpretation of Caesar and Cicero, while, at the same time, it affords a most valuable laboratory basis for the study of Roman History, the political aspect of which is so fundamental.
7. The existence of the State gives to the study of all other aspects of Roman life, private life, topography, legal customs, etc., a unity of purpose and creates an end that makes much more significant and fascinating the study of the means, as, for example, in our Roman trial and Roman banquet, which, isolated would not have interested the pupils nearly so much, but as the natural expression of the life of the State, awakened great enthusiasm.
8. It gives a basis of comparison by which the form and significance of our own institutions may be more effectively studied by our pupils than when considered simply by themselves. Representative government, for example, is never really understood till they meet its absence in republican Rome.
9. The State, as has already been discussed, affords an unequalled opportunity for inculcating proper conceptions of party and state, of the individual citizen's relation to each and for forming the habit of independent voting.
10. Not the least of the results is the attitude toward his Latin studies that the graduate maintains and the conservative influence that he has already begun to exercise.
I should be very glad to answer any inquiries, or to give to any school the benefit of our experience, either in the organization of the state, or in any of its activities, the details of which could not be incorporated in this brief article.
He owns the bird songs of the hills-
That twinkle through the pasture-bars
---James Whitcomb Riley.