Summer School

Due to the international emergency caused by the coronavirus, in-person summer courses have been cancelled for the year 2020 and replaced by a series of distance learning courses.
All information about these online classes is available here on a page dedicated to them.

8 Weeks of Intensive Courses - International Latin Summer School

These courses, which are sponsored and were founded by the Mnemosyne Foundation and taught in collaboration with the Vivarium Novum Academy, are intended for its participants to develop a more thorough expertise of the classical languages as well as their teaching methodologies.

Learn to fluently read, write and speak the original language of Western Civilization.

FRASCATI-ROME, June 29th - August 23rd, 2020

Fill out the online application form
Download the general regulations and the campus rules

1. The Method of the Vivarium Novum: A Brief History

During the 1980s a group of young classicists in Southern Italy began to gather around an old teacher and discuss the necessity of renovating the didactics of the classical languages. Young people from schools and universities from all over the world came to join them to spend years studying Latin and Greek - two languages that hardly anyone in our times manages to completely master. From the discussions held during that time the need to analyze the course of history and the art of teaching Latin arose: How did the Humanists learn this language? How did Politian, Erasmus, Vives, and Comenius teach? For this research, the students analyzed the most effective methods of modern language teaching: How was it possible that a parliamentary interpreter of Finno - Ugric languages could learn to perfectly read, write, and speak Hungarian in a relatively short period of time, but a high school student, after four or five years of study, could not comprehend even the simplest of Latin texts without the aid of dictionaries and grammar books, and without having to laboriously translate the language into his own? And yet students had four or even five hours of lessons a week, dedicating at least as much time to individual study.

The Academy Vivarium Novum has acquired a worldwide fame throughout the last decade for having studied, identified, and introduced methods for teaching Latin and Greek which may remedy this situation. It has held international conventions concerning the topic from 1991 to the present day, with the participation of the greatest experts on earth, leading to the contextual-inductive method for teaching classical languages to being diffused in Italy and revitalized in Europe as well as the United States. It has founded an international school to which students have poured in from every continent, where they acquire a full and total command of the Latin language within a very short timespan.

Now the Academy is placing its competency, acquired through years of research and teaching, at the service of those who wish to learn Latin with effective results and need to do so in a rather short period of time. The course utilizes specific teaching techniques, from induction according to the natural method to the Total Physical Response, from "suggestopedia" to storytelling as well as the Rassias Method. Through active use of the language - daily conversations and writing exercises - students may experience the method of teaching employed in the Humanistic schools during the Renaissance. This mixed approach, tested for years by the experts of the Academy, allows students to attain in only eight weeks the same results that would elsewhere require up to three years of study.

The courses are open to students of every nationality. To be able to read Latin texts fluently is a skill that not only those who study classical literature need, but also those who study Medieval and Modern history, European literary history, law, philosophy, the history of science, theology, and liturgy.

2. Modules

The classes provide for a total immersion in the Latin language. They are divided into two fundamental modules and two optional courses:

1. Latin I (June 29 - July 26; 10 ECTS): Intended for those who have little or no previous knowledge of the Latin language and for teachers who would like to learn (by participating in education in action) techniques for actively teaching the fundamentals of Latin morphology, syntax, and vocabulary in Latin. The students will confront morphology, syntax and vocabulary (1,800 of the most frequent words) and will begin reading historical texts in authentical Latin (the Gospels, Catullus, Martial, Phaedrus, Caesar): Duration: 156 hours.

2. Latin II (July 27 - August 23; 10 ECTS): Intended for those students who have attended the first course or who might even possess an active knowledge of the fundamental notions of Latin grammar and syntax, moreover knowing at least the 1,600 most frequent Latin words as indicated in the lexicon of Besançon; also intended for teachers interested in the teaching of Latin at a more advanced level. Participants are induced to fluently reading authentic Latin authors/texts (Cicero, Sallust, Livy, Horace, Seneca, Petronius, Pliny the Younger, Eutropius, Ambrose, Augustine, Erasmus, and many others): Duration: 156 hours.

3. Latin III (July 27 – August 9; 5 ECTS): Intended for those who have already completed the first and second course in a previous year and for others who possess an active knowledge of the Latin language and can read Latin authors with ease. Participants will read a variety of Latin texts written in the ancient, medieval and Renaissance period and will take part in exercises in composition, style, and active use of the language. The aim of this module is a more profound understanding and appreciation of the Latin language and the classic authors. Duration: 78 hours.

4. Greek I (August 10 – 23; 5 ECTS) This course is intended for participants who have a good grasp of the Greek grammar but wish attain greater fluency in reading classical texts. Through readings that will gradually increase in complexity, through the active use of the language, and supported by different exercises, students will be able to approach the language and the classical texts in a direct and successful manner. Duration: 78 hours.

Optional afternoon classes :

Latin Pedagogy: (6 hours per week: 48 hours total): From 17.30 to 19.00, on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays: This module, taught exclusively in Latin, is designed specifically for Latin teachers who wish to acquire instructional skills and strategies using the inductive method and to learn to explain in Latin the works of ancient, medieval, renaissance, and modern authors. With total immersion in the language and many hours of practice in daily conversation, lectures and various activities over the course of the two modules, even a teacher who has never made active use of the language until then is, after two months, able to speak, write and teach in Latin with great ease and fluidity; these lessons are designed for teachers in order to, at the same time, master the most effective methods of ancient/modern language instruction.

Elementary Ancient Greek: (7,5 hours per week: 60 hours total): From 15.30 to 17:00, from Monday to Saturday: Within two months the class, held in Ancient Greek, using methods analogous to those applied during the Latin courses, will lead students from no knowledge of the language to the acquisition of the alphabet; the definite article; the declensions of nouns and adjectives; the present tense indicative, participle, imperative, and infinitive forms of active and middle verbs in -ω and contract verbs in -αω and -εω; the present tense indicative, participle, imperfect and infinitive form of εἰμι; the personal, possessive, reflexive, indefinite, and interrogative pronouns; and the use of prepositions. The lessons also cover the acquisition of more than 700 basic vocabulary words and allow students to study the language in an active context – not only through fluent reading, but also through speaking and writing. The study of Greek and Latin together in such a brief period of time is EXTREMELY challenging. These lessons, therefore, are not recommended for those students who do not already possess some foundations of Latin and who would have to devote their time to learning the language of Rome from its very first elements. Even for students with an adequate preparation in Latin this course requires intense dedication.

Class times: During each course (Latin I, Latin II anv Latin III) three lessons will be held in the morning from Monday to Saturday, each one lasting an hour and a half. In the afternoon students will devote their time to studying the material covered in the classroom and to the completion of daily assignments. In the evening, from 5pm to 7pm, students will be separated into smaller groups for enrichment classes, and from 7pm to 9pm, students will attend a final, concluding session, consisting of play-curricular activities. To ensure that adequate progress is made, students are examined at the end of each week. Credits will not be granted unless these tests are passed.

3. Program for the days

8.00-9.00: breakfast
9.00-10.30: first session
10.30-10.45: break
10.45-12.15: second session
12.15-12.30: break
12.45-14.00: third session
14.00: lunch
15.00-19.00: private study, enrichment classes, and/or optional lessons of teaching methodology and Greek language
19.00-21.00: didactical plays - curricular activities
(dramatizations, music, linguistic games, use of audiovisual equipment etc.)
21.00: dinner

Although students will have the afternoon (from 3pm to 7pm) at their disposal, they need to realize from the outset that the courses are extremely demanding: they should not expect that they consist of some petty "vacation-studying" nor to only have to dedicate a small part of their time to the amount of work which the courses require. They must scrupulously observe the times indicated and homework assigned if they want to successfully reach the goal of language mastery. No classes will be held on Sundays.

4. Excursions

On Sundays, both during the first and second month, students will make three excursions to places in Campania or Latium during which lessons will be held and participants will visit archaeological sites including Pompeii, Cumae, Forum Roman, Via Appia, Ostia, Hadrian’s Villa in Tivoli among others. The definite schedule of these trips will be announced before the beginning of the summer program. The order of these excursions may be subject to changes.

5. Textbooks

For Latin I

  1. H. Ørberg, Lingua Latina per se illustrata: pars I: Familia Romana, Edizioni Accademia Vivarium novum, Roma 2010.
  2. P. Coosemans, H. Janssens, P. Maes, R. Vandessel, A. Vangilbergen, Quaderno d'esercizi I, Edizioni Accademia Vivarium novum, Roma 2009.
  3. P. Coosemans, H. Janssens, P. Maes, R. Vandessel, A. Vangilbergen, Quaderno d'esercizi II, Edizioni Accademia Vivarium novum, Roma 2009.
  4. Hans H. Ørberg, Luigi Miraglia e Tommaso F. Bórri, Latine disco, Edizioni Accademia Vivarium novum, Roma 2010.

For Latin II

  1. Hans H. Ørberg, Lingua Latina per se illustrata: pars II: Roma Aeterna + Indices, Edizioni Accademia Vivarium novum, Roma 2010.
  2. Hans H. Ørberg, Lingua Latina per se illustrata: Exercitia II, Edizioni Accademia Vivarium novum, Roma 2011.
  3. Enchiridion (materiale per i corsi estivi), Edizioni Accademia Vivarium novum, Roma 2011.

6. Costs and enrollment

In order to participate, students are required to fill out the application form and send a 30% deposit of the total program fee. The participation cost covers:

  • Lessons
  • Membership fee
  • Didactic material

    The Academy will provide participants with full boarding and lodging.

    All proceeds from the summer courses will be used to fund scholarships granted to youths attending the Academy's courses for the academic year 2020-2021 at Vivarium Novum, and to support the necessary renovation works of the Villa Falconieri, where the Academy is housed.

The all-inclusive cost of participation in a single module of four weeks is € 2,650. Participation in both modules (spanning eight weeks) costs € 5,200.

The fee for participating in modules III and IV (each of which lasts two weeks: July 27 – August 9, August 10 – August 23) is 1,000€ (2,000€ for both). The participants of these modules cannot stay in the Academy itself, but upon registration for the course will be provided with information on accommodation available in the area as well as prices.

There are no extra costs for optional classes.

The payment must be transferred exclusively in euros, by check or wire transfer.

For the complete immersion in an environment where Latin is the only language spoken to be effective, it is necessary to reside on the campus grounds. The Academy consists of a large number of dormitories, lecture halls, study spaces, a library, a dining hall and a splendid garden.

To request admission one must fill out and submit the application form. If any difficulties are encountered, please send an e-mail to:

Available seats are limited. Each group will consist of a maximum of 30-35 students, in order to provide for a positive learning experience through active participation in exercises and discussion.

To register for courses and reserve a spot, one must send the application form along with a non-refundable deposit of 30% of the total price no later than May 15th. Due to rising demand from people throughout the entire world, it is advisable to apply as soon as possible: the receipt of the first deposit is considered as the registration day. Please however wait the answer of our secretaries before you send the deposit: there are only few places available.

Until February 10, only applications for modules I and II together will be processed, while applications for only one of the modules may expect a response by the month of March.

7. Contact Information

Requests relating to the summer courses should be addressed to:

Accademia Vivarium novum
c/o Prof. Luigi Miraglia PhD
Villa Falconieri, Via Borromini 5
00044 - Frascati (Roma)
Phone. +39 06 66 58 98 33 - +39 06 66 89 034

8. Testimonials

  • The magazine "The Classical World" called the "fluency" of the Latin students at Vivarium Novum "stunning."
  • The periodical "The New Yorker" said the Latin of the Academy's founder "is c lassical in style, modelled on the epistles of Cicero, mixing artfully constructed dependent clauses and colloquialisms” and wrote that “he speaks Latin more fluently than almost anyone else alive."
  • Davidson College in North Carolina has described the founder as "the most fluent Latin speaker in today's world."
  • The University of London (UCC) has called our method "Probably the best Latin method available": it gives students "a fluent reading ability in the language so that they can enjoy Latin literature in the original with real understanding and appreciation and without being constantly enslaved to dictionaries and grammar books.”
  • The journal of the Sociedad Española de Estudios Clásicos "Iris" stressed the "extraordinary command of the Latin language" of the founder of the Academy, with which he "is able to write and express himself with enviable ease and fluency."
  • The periodical "The Tablet" wrote that the founder of the Academy speaks Latin "with the eloquence and fluency of a native speaker."
  • "Classis", the journal of the Association of Classical and Christian Schools, called the founder "undoubtedl y one of the finest Latin instructors in the world today."
  • The association "culturaclá" wrote that the students of Vivarium Novum are able to speak "a clear, beautiful, fluent Latin" and express in that language "words that would dazzle any lover of the humanities."
  • The Russian magazine "Obrazovanie" wrote that the teachers of the Academy have "an extraordinary expertise in the methods of teaching the Latin language": through Vivarium Novum's didactic techniques "words imprint themselves in the memory with much greater ease, and are retained afterwards considerably better."