Festival of Antique Rhetoric: secondary school pupils declaim like the Romans

Eine antike Statue

The "Festival of Antique Rhetoric" is part of a project in which scholars introduce teenagers to the art of antique declamation. The project is funded by the SNSF's Agora scheme.

To learn the art of debate and public speaking, young Greeks and Romans wrote numerous speeches on sometimes absurd topics in the course of their education. Now Latin scholars of the University of Lausanne have used the same approach to teach secondary school students in the canton of Vaud the art of antique rhetoric, in particular declamation. The story of a mysterious murder in antiquity, entitled "Le mur aux traces de main ensanglantée", served as the starting point for their texts.

Final performance

At the "Festival of Antique Rhetoric", which takes place on 6 May 2015 at the University of Lausanne, the young speakers will present their work to the public. Visitors can take part in declamation workshops led by Danielle Van Mal-Maeder, professor at the Institute of Archeology and Classical Studies. Both the morning and the afternoon session close with a dramatic recitation of two speeches in Latin, based on the topic of "Le mur aux traces de main ensanglantée".

The project is funded by the SNSF's Agora funding scheme, which is dedicated to science communication and fostering dialogue between researchers and the public. Admission is free. Registration is mandatory. If you wish to participate, please send an e-mail to julien.pingoud@unil.ch or