This year CICERO in the UK took place on Saturday 23rd March in two venues; George Heriot’s School in Edinburgh and King Edward VI High School for Girls in Birmingham. CICERO was also held this year at centres in France, Serbia, Australia, Italy and Spain.
Unfortunately neither UK centre was able to access the videoconferencing facility this year; we need to investigate a more reliable way to do this in future as the opportunity for students to speak to fellow entrants across the globe is an essential element of the CICERO experience.
Reports from UK Centres
George Heriot’s School, Edinburgh:
The CICERO competition continued its momentum at George Heriot’s School this year with a dedicated cohort of competitors arriving from St Margaret’s School in Aberdeen to join those from Fettes College, George Watson’s College and the hosts in Edinburgh. The eager preparation for the cultural paper saw our Classicists comparing notes on Alexander and all the myriad strands of his legacy before the papers were distributed. A well-earned break followed before a fantastic talk on Vergil’s Aeneid and Homeric allusion by Dr Calum Maciver of Edinburgh University. Wearing his in-depth knowledge very lightly, Dr Maciver led us through the genius of the poetry, some of it well known to senior pupils and some of it new, as well as the political impact it may have made. A lively question and answer session was followed by a sociable lunch before the ever challenging translation paper set linguistic cogs turning with grammatical analysis and deduction. As ever, CICERO was an energised day of Classics, made by the dedication of the competitors to give their all and make contacts across the schools. It was a chance too for staff to mingle and for all to hear some inspiring academic insight. CICERO 2013 provided a fine example of the traditions of the competition.
King Edward VI High School for Girls, Birmingham:
Despite the unseasonably snowy weather, the vast majority of entrants managed to find their way to this year’s CICERO Competition at KEHS, with students from Bablake School Coventry, Bristol Grammar School and King Edward VI Stratford-on-Avon and KEHS participating. Following a warm welcome (in a rather chilly school hall!) from KEHS Principal Sarah Evans, entrants sat the Cultural Test and then mingled with one another over lunch. KEHS girls gave visiting entrants a tour of our Classics Department and particular the Classics-inspired murals that have been produced by KEHS students over the years and which now adorn our corridors. Our visiting speaker Professor Robin Osborne of King’s College, Cambridge spoke most engagingly and informatively on models of kingship in Greek literature, from Homer and Hesiod through to the time of Alexander the Great. This provided an excellent taste for students to university lectures and an enticing window into the work of some authors who seldom feature on the school curriculum. The Latin translation paper then took place in the afternoon, whilst students who had entered only the Cultural paper used the opportunity to visit the nearby Barber Institute. The day provided an excellent opportunity to meet with other students of Classics from nearby schools and to have an intellectual workout as well as a physical one, having trudged through all that snow!
The CICERO Concordia Competition would like to thank the following organisations for their generous support, without which the Competition would not have taken place:
The Classical Association of Scotland
The Classical Association
The Society for the Promotion of Roman Studies
The Gilbert Murray Trust
The Classics Faculty, University of Cambridge
Thanks also to Michael Scott, who kindly donated a signed copy of his book From Democrats to Kings: The Downfall of Athens to the Rise of Alexander the Great.
Marking and Prize-winners
Firstly, huge congratulations to all those dedicated students who gave up their Saturday to take part! We are pleased to announce prize-winners as follows:
Cultural Competition UK:
1st Prize: Lucy Neil St Margaret’s School for Girls
2nd Prize: Nuha Wani St Margaret’s School for Girls
3rd Prize: Isabella Kesedjian King Edward VI High School for Girls
Highly Commended: Amy Bishop Bristol Grammar School
Alice Gil Bristol Grammar School
Katrina Macdonald St Margaret’s School for Girls
Oktawiusz Wronka George Heriot’s School
Commended: Kate Goodenough Bristol Grammar School
David Thorburn George Watson’s College
Holly Twigger Bablake School
Alana White George Heriot’s School
The international winner of the Cultural Competition has yet to be announced.
L6 Latin Translation:
Winners were determined by demonstrating a clear understanding of the meaning of the passage as well as understanding of underlying grammatical structures; completed translations only were considered, as the markers felt that students with a dictionary should have been able to make an attempt at the whole passage in the time allowed.
1st Prize: India Bruckner St Margaret’s School for Girls
2nd Prize: Alice Gil Bristol Grammar School
3rd Prize: Michaelangelo Chini George Watson’s College
India Bruckner’s translation was so eloquent as to merit also being awarded Michael Scott’s signed book.
U6 Latin Translation:
All entries were marked numerically according to a mark scheme, with the questions being taken into consideration should the marks awarded be equal.
1st Prize: Sophie Cheng King Edward VI High School for Girls
2nd Prize: Sam Paplauskas Bablake School
Joint 4th Prize: Marlena Cummings Bablake School
Emily Rides Bristol Grammar School
Highly Commended: Emily Lawry King Edward VI High School for Girls
The school of the 1st Prize winner also holds the Malvern St James CICERO cup for one year.