Leamington man wants to make latin the vox populi

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A young man hopes to open up the world of Latin to a wider audience with the offer of pro bono (free) classes in learning the language in a progressive and “non-stuffy” way.

And far from being a dead language, Lewis Scarpellino said many modern European languages have numerous roots in Latin, saying: “The rigorous and logical basis of Latin grammar is a help in learning so many languages.”

Lewis, aged 19, said the weekly classes, which he hopes to stage in the Leamington area, are for beginners and preferably for over-16s.

He said: “Latin is not an exclusive language and can open up so many things. It trains your logical thinking and problem-solving skills. You have to look analytically at the form of the Latin words in order to work out how they fit in with the other words in the sentence to give you the meaning.

“From the first lesson I will probably be speaking Latin and then progress to a stage where people can read and discuss original Latin text in Latin. Lesson are not going to be stuffy.”

Lewis, of Cameron Close, Leamington, who gained 11 A* GCSEs and four A-levels, including Latin and Greek, at King Edward VI School, Stratford, has a conditional offer of studying classics at Oxford.

He decided to offer the classes after his recent return from studying classics at an academy in Rome for around seven months, where all the communication was in Latin.

He said: “Latin phrases have a place in English, but certainly not to show off.”

And he added: “By learning Latin literature we can understand the roots of Western civilisation. In the works of Virgil and Cicero we see the beginnings of Western politics, philosophy and literature.

“I would definitely say Latin became the vox populi – the voice of the people.”

For details email lewis.scarpellino@ntlworld.com