Exelauno Day MMXII

RL's annual celebration of the Classics took place in Rousmaniere Hall this morning with declamations in Latin and Greek by 17 boys from all levels of Classics studies. The School is grateful to this year's Exelauno Day judges: Sean Albertson, Classics Department Chair at St. Sebastian’s School; Mary Jo Keaney, Principal of Ursuline Academy; and Jon Mikalson, the William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of Classics at University of Virginia (and former teacher of RL Classics Department Chairman Andrew Chappell).

This year’s contestants were (winners bolded):

Latin (lower levels)
Ryan Alexandre Lareau, VI
Devin Patrick Quinlin, VI
Darcelis Deshawn Jason Worrell, VI
Rafael Miguel Brantley, V
Zachary Julian Lehan, V
Christopher Michael Rota, V
Philip Oren Balson, IV
Anthony Michael Giordano, IV
Jamal Meneide, IV

Latin (upper levels)
Samuel Joseph Balthazard, III
Hansenard Daniel Piou, III
Ryan Joseph Dukeman, II
Nicholas Andrew Salinger, II
Matthew Kaigh Doyle, I

Harry Joseph Doernberg, III
Nicholas Alan Modest, II
Andrew David Steele, I

The declamations, recorded live, can be heard here.

See photos of the declamations here.

The tradition began more than 50 years ago with Classics master Clarence Gleason. On Exelauno Day, Latin and Greek homework was suspended while students declaimed passages for prizes. The celebration is customarily held on March 4th (a pun on the Greek verb exelauno, meaning "to march forth") but this year the event was transposed to March 5th since the 4th landed on Sunday.

The Greek verb exelauno features prominently in Xenophon’s Anabasis, an account of a late 5th cent. BCE military campaign in Persia. Xenophon accompanied a group of 10,000 mercenary soldiers hired by the Persian king Cyrus the Younger. Marching forth through hostile territory northward toward the Black Sea, these Greek soldiers finally were able to shout the famous “thálatta, thálatta”, “the sea, the sea!”

The School is deeply grateful to the family of Dr. Eugene McDonough Jr. ’48 for their support of the study of the Classics and the celebration of Exelauno Day.

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