On the purport of this Collegium

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On the purport of this Collegium

Postby A. Gratius Avitus on Thu Jul 06, 2006 7:28 pm

Avitus collegis optimis suís S·P·D

Dear friends, I have from a very early age strongly identified with classical civilisation. As one of the inescapable consequences of this personal disposition, I long ago adopted the Latin language as my own. This is, in a nutshell, the best description of who I am.

I have hardly any experience of the SVR at present, other than the most cursory inspection of the web site; but I very much like all I have seen so far, my interests being purely intellectual and civil, rather than political and military, which seem to be much more prominent at other modern Roman groups. I hope therefore that this will be the beginning of a very productive presence among you all.

Now, I have been teaching Latin for two full academic years at the Facultas Litterarum of the Academia Thules, of which I am now the Dean. At our faculty, we put together Language and Literature, and one of the things that strikes me most about the organisation of the SVR colleges is that here literature has been aligned with arts as varied as music or architecture, whereas languages have been relegated to a separate college branded with the hardly flattering adjective of "ancient".

I would like most seriously to ask you carefully to consider and feed me back on whether in your experience this makes enough sense, and whether this could not be at least one of the reasons for the college of languages, deprived of its natural soul and breeding ground, literature, to languish as it seems to have been recently doing according at least to the information I've received from some of the magistrates of the SVR.

I am aware that I am only a newcomer, but I think it would make much more sense to put languages and literatures together and allow them to flourish and develop together, and interact in their natural way.

Thank you ever so much for your attention.

Curate ut valeatis optime!
A. Gratius Avitus

Literature transfer to the Collegium Linguarum

Postby A. Gratius Avitus on Fri Jul 07, 2006 10:31 am

Avitus Litteratis optimis suís S·P·D

I've received excellent feedback on my suggestions from Piscinus in the Collegium Linguarum Antiquarum:

Horatius Piscinus wrote:Salve bene Avite

Excellent suggestions! We seem to always be considering updating things at SVR, especially now, following our reorganization and some other intended changes. The Rectores/Curatores will take up the matter of transferring some things between the collegia. In the meantime you and all others are welcome to begin threads in the Collegium Linguarum on literature. We like to take a loose approach and allow our collegia to develop on their own from the input of our members. Your suggestion sounds like a very good idea for developing this collegium, and so I say just go with it.

Gratias magnas tibi ago.

So I will now be opening some literature related threads in that Collegium (soon, hopefully, to be called Collegium Linguarum et Litterarum). Please literature oriented people visit that Collegium for more details.

Curate ut valeatis optime!
A. Gratius Avitus

Re: Literature transfer to the Collegium Linguarum

Postby A. Gratius Avitus on Mon Jul 10, 2006 1:23 pm

Avitus Litteratis optimis suís S·P·D

Since I am a most recent member of these forums and have not yet had the time to see to my registration as a sodalis (nor will I have until the end of August, when I come back from my holidays starting on Thursday), and as a consequence cannot participate in the Comitia where the debate, which *I* brought up, seems to have been moved, and thus removed from my own participation in it (and someone said there was no politicking in the SVR), I will add my comments here in the respective forums where I started the discussion.

Tergestus wrote:My personal view is that we should adopt all of Avitus' new names except that we should NOT move literature to the Collegium Litterarum. First, literature is undoubtedly one of the major media of art that has come down to us. To remove it from the Collegium Artium would eviscerate any discussion of Roman art. From a practical point of view, a collegium devoted solely to art not including literature would be viable in the sense that it would tend to have minimal postings.

Thanks for your support of the other changes. Regarding the transfer of literature I can only say that I suggested that on two accounts. The first one being exactly the same as you use to support that it stay where it is. Indeed, and as I already indicated, I was advised by one of the magistrates (curatores) of the SVR that the Collegium Linguarum was languishing, and it is my conviction that this is due to the evisceration of the natural breeding ground of the languages, which is literature (and ancient ones in particular which have come down to us in written form only). Now you say the same will happen to arts if literature is removed from it. Well, then it would appear to be a choice of whether you want arts to languish or languages to languish. Either choice would seem to imply the guilty condemnation of the deprived collegium to languor. Now, both choices been equal in that respect (arts languishes without literature or languages languishes without literature) we need to look at what makes objective sense. My second reason to suggest putting literature with languages is that the link is obvious. To start with, literature is the product of the use of language in a way that sculpture or music or architecture is not. You don't need to speak Latin to appreciate Roman sculpture, music, painting, architecture, etc. You do need Latin to appreciate Roman literature. The link is so obvious that all universities around the world recognise this in the way they have faculties of history (where socio-political history is the focus), faculties of art (where figurative art is the focus) and faculties of philology (where language AND literature is the focus), but no one would put literature elsewhere and separated from its language. Of course, the Roman sources are important for Roman arts (the books written about architecture, music, etc.) but they are equally important for Roman history (all the books written about history) and that doesn't make you create a Collegium Historiae et Litterarum. No, the right place for literature, on any objective account, is with the language in which it is written.

Scerio has of course also seen this very clearly. I hereby thank him for expressing that.

Regarding what Aldus says in the sense that literature belongs with figurative arts, the answer is as simple as to indicate that no arts school where you can learn about painting, sculpture, architecture, etc. in the world teaches also literature.

Curate ut valeatis!
A. Gratius Avitus

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