July 8-12, 2024

About the Workshop: Colloquium Aestivum

This workshop will take a survey approach to the reading of early modern Latin. The working premise is that scholars involved in the writing of theology, whether polemic, epistolary, or other, were trained in their earliest years by reading the classics and the church fathers. This is as true of the Reformed as it is of Lutherans, Roman Catholics, and Anabaptists. Thus, in order to approach their work responsibly we must labor to have some sense of the works and vocabulary that shaped their thought. The workshop will discuss works by Cicero, Seneca, Lactantius, Augustine, Bernard, Aquinas, the Renaissance forerunners of the Reformation, including Lorenzo Valla, Erasmus, and Budé. There will also be texts by Oecolampadius, Calvin, Vermigli, and Beza.

In each of these sessions, we will proceed according to the following pattern: participants will read aloud a portion of the Latin and then provide a working translation for mutual refinement and improvement. The instructor will give feedback on constructions and ideas typical to the different authors. The goal will be for each participant to refine and strengthen their understanding of how lexemes, grammar, and syntax all contribute to semantic content. A good deal of attention will also be paid to matters of style, as they differ from author to author as well as from genre to genre.

The broader aims of the workshop are twofold. First, to help participants grow in their confidence in approaching unfamiliar texts, giving them tools to begin to navigate the strength and beauty of the Latin language, whose idioms are so different from English and other modern languages. The second aim is to help participants gain appreciation for the broad conversation in which the authors of the 16th century are participating. The language in which they are working, just as much as the ideas they sought to express, is not de novo but draws on a long history.

Quick Look

  • Audience:
    • This workshop is open for anyone who is interested in improving their Latin.
    • However, at least four college semesters of Latin training (or equivalent) are required.
    • Graduate students will need to ask their faculty to send in a reference letter to sam.ha@calvin.edu by April 1, 2024
    • The Center will select ten participants from the applicant pool.
  • Placement exam:
    • All applicants will need to take a proficiency exam. You can download the PDF at the end of this page and send the completed one to sam.ha@calvin.edu by April 1, 2024.
  • Stipend: $500 to cover travel and housing for participants whose place of residence is more than 30 miles outside of Grand Rapids. 
  • Length of Course: 1 weeks
  • Scroll down to the bottom of this page to find the application form.
  • Deadline for Application: April 1, 2024 (You will hear from us by the end of April)

About the Instructor

Prof. Noe earned his degree in Classics from the University of Iowa in 2003, after undergraduate work in Philosophy and Classical Languages at Calvin College. After teaching Classics at a number of institutions, in 2021 he became a full-time independent scholar, and then in 2022 was called as pastor of Reformation Orthodox Presbyterian Church in Grand Rapids. Dr. Noe serves as the Theodore Beza Scholar in Residence for Greek and Latin at Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary, and occasionally teaches as an adjunct at other institutions. He has translated works by Franciscus Junius, Theodore Beza, William Perkins, John Calvin, Samuel Rutherford, and others. Much of his Latin and Greek instruction can be found at LatinPerDiem.com.

Application File: https://bit.ly/2024LatinWorkshopApp

Placement Exam: https://bit.ly/2024LatinExam