Alumni Testimonials

The Academy has had such a great impact on me and my life that it can hardly be described. Once my year in the Academy was finished, not only could I read and speak Latin and Greek but - what is much greater - I was ablaze with my passion for litterae humaniores. I began to read historical, philosophical and rhetorical works, not so that I might uncover some obscure little morsel by which I could present myself to others as more learned - as the practice seems to be everywhere among experts - but so that I might become a better man.

Patrick Owens is a professor of Latin at Wyoming Catholic College.

I received from the teachers who taught us at Montella a new and entirely opportune methodology for learning in Greek and Latin such that I would understand texts written in those languages fully and precisely ... For the method that the professors use there in their classes consists not only of employment of these languages but also of daily practice through which it is brought about quite easily that students learn and commit to memory as many Greek and Latin turns of phrase as possible.

Carlos Rosacastro, having obtained his degree in Classical Literature at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), now works as a teacher.

... I had absolutely no idea what I would experience there; and so, even before I had arrived, I informed the Academy that I would return home to Prague after a single semester. But, everything that I found there, spirited friendships and extraordinary endeavors, made such a strong impression on me that I resolved not only to stay for the whole year but also to revive and promote living Latin studies among my fellow Czechs and likewise among my friends.

Jiří A. Cepelák is now pursuing a master's degree in Latin Literature and History at the Charles University in Prague. He also teaches elementary Latin and the art of writing in Latin in Rome at the Academy Vivarium Novum.

I remember well that before I enrolled in the Academy I could hardly utter a single sentence in Latin, that I had always struggled mightily with the language. Now that my time in the Academy is concluded, reading and taking in new knowledge from Latin authors is a true joy and pleasure for me. Furthermore, what is especially beneficial, I myself as a teacher am able to promote Latinitas better, I can grasp the things that our predecessors have handed down to us more easily.

Jan Morávek is pursuing a master's degree in Greek and Latin literature at the Charles University in Prague and tutors students in Latin.

There Luigi Miraglia would inflame all of our minds with a zeal for litterae humanae, he would teach us Greek and Latin, he would provide an exemplar of genuine manners and morals to us young adolescents and at his own expense, within the very temples of the Muses, he would nourish the students in his care with such benevolence and generosity that he seemed not at all different from Guarino Veronese who, as his student Ludovico Carbone writes, "would not only share his learning with all the adolescents who eagerly pursued letters, leading them forward as if his own children, but he would also pay out from his very own purse - time and again - that his students might rise up."

Giuseppe Marcellino is a Doctoral Candidate at the Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa.

The greatest thing that life in the Academy is able to stir up is a longing to learn which leads to a more intense passion for wisdom. That is the goal of both community life and use of the language, that they might nourish eros ouranios, the only thing truly worthy of reverence ... This longing can be recognized because it always desires to find out new things, it seeks out knowledge, it especially embraces wisdom. Every longing is a desire for those things which are not at hand, but the person who is eager for wisdom hopes for the greatest possible good for himself; the person who feels that he is without wisdom and for that reason demands it already touches upon it. This passion for wisdom is able to be fostered in the Academy by reading, hearing and thinking. The result is not that each individual burrows himself away into his separate hiding place but that a dialogue opens with others, a dialogue which hopefully leads towards the truth.

Jan Orszagh

Scarcely can I enumerate how many things I was able to learn during that year in Montella, but only a part of that newfound knowledge pertains to expertise in languages, the rest has to do with modus vivendi and all of life. What does literature mean? To what end are we reading? Why do writers and their works matter to us? Finally, what can literature bring forth into the middle for everyone's use? I encountered such questions and I found my answer in a certain splendid communion of students and teachers.

Peter Bara