Immerse Yourself in Latin—and Northwest Scenery—at Tusculum

NSA News · Mar 22 2016 · 5 min read

NSA News

Mar 22, 2016

VENITE TVSCVLVM! (Come to Tusculum!)

May 17th - 21st, 2016

Speak Latin!
Adventure in the great outdoors!
Enjoy an encounter with nature while learning the language of Ancient Rome and beyond!



Tusculum is a full-immersion residential experience, designed both to introduce aspiring Latinists to the beauty and power of the ancient language of Rome and to provide more advanced Latinists with an exciting opportunity to improve their abilities. Classes will be conducted primarily in Latin and will include an exciting outdoor component: we will take advantage of our location to discuss trees and plants, rivers, animals, birds, insects, weather, and many other aspects of nature. The week will culminate in a trip to Granite Point.

Tusculum is specifically designed for high-school students, college students, and Latin teachers. Anyone with a strong desire to develop a Latin speaking ability should apply.  While the program is designed with students in mind, teachers and professors are also strongly encouraged to attend.

All participants will enhance and develop spoken and written expression in Latin in a formal classroom setting, during group outings, and informally, outside of class.  To achieve an optimal immersion environment, participants will speak Latin exclusively with one another and the faculty at designated times throughout the seminar.

In addition to the regular sessions, students will be divided into groups to prepare dinners for the entire group. Some will shop, some will cook, some will clean up, but all of these tasks will be carried out in Latin. On Saturday (weather permitting) participants will carpool to Granite Point, a beautiful location on the Little Salmon River, where sessions will be held outdoors and dinner will be enjoyed around campfire.

Tusculum will be held at the facilities of New Saint Andrews College, which is located in Moscow, Idaho on the Idaho-Washington border. Sessions will meet in the college classrooms, at local museums, art galleries and in the beautiful surrounding countryside.

Tusculum provides a stimulating occasion in which participants can live for an extended period of time in a Latin immersive environment, speaking and hearing Latin at long intervals, but without the pressure of a full immersion experience, which can be discouraging to new speakers. Some sessions will be aimed exclusively at developing ability in speaking Latin, and understanding others speaking Latin. Throughout the seminar, the participants, divided into separate groups, will also read from a variety of different periods of Latin literature.

Tusculum is not designed specifically for people who have already mastered Latin grammar; all interested parties are welcome here.  You will learn or improve your Latin through constant practice with no reason to fear making mistakes.  The seminar is a safe environment to learn and exercise spoken Latin.  Previous experience in speaking Latin is not necessary. Participants who have already mastered Latin grammar will be separated into a track aimed at maximizing their experience with us.

Daily Schedule

Tues. – Friday
  • 9:00 – 10:15 : Morning session I (NSA)
  • 10:15 – 10:30 : Break
  • 10:30 – 12:00 : Morning session II (Moscow downtown)
  • 12:00 – 1:00 : Lunch
  • 1:00 – 2:15 : Afternoon session I (NSA) or Break *
  • 3:00 – 5:00 : Field Trip (park, trail, arboretum, etc.)
  • 5:00 – 6:00 : Dinner Prep
  • 6:00 – 7:00 : Dinner
  • 7: 15 – 9:00 : Campfire Readings or Break *

* There will be no Afternoon session I on days when an evening session will be held.

  • 9:00am – 7:00pm: Trip to Granite Point



Dinner for all 5 days is included, but participants are responsible to find their own lodging, breakfast, and lunch. The entry fee for the 2016 Tusuculum is $300 per person, and the minimum age is 15. (Please note that there is a $50 deposit to hold your spot.)

The deadline for receipt of the deposit is March 30, 2016; the remainder of the fee must be paid by May 17th. We strongly urge those intending to take part to register soon since places in these events may fill up earlier.  In 2016 we will be able to accept no more than 45 applicants.


Patrick M. Owens, Ph.D., Joseph Tipton, Ph. D., and Timothy L. Griffith, M.A. will be the instructors for Tusculum 2016.

Dr. Owens is a professor at Wyoming Catholic College and holds a Ph.D. from the Pontificium Institutum Altioris Latinitatis in Rome. He wrote on the Anti-Lucretius and Lucretian reception in the early Enlightenment. He is recognized as an authority on spoken Latin and Latin pedagogy. His current research includes Neo-Latin Epic, Renaissance reception of Patristic sources, and Digital Lexicography of Later Greek and Latin.

Joseph Tipton received his PhD in Classics at the University of Pittsburgh in 2013. His dissertation examined the implications of Protagorean relativism in the famous funeral speech of Pericles as recorded by the Greek historian Thucydides. Besides fifth-century Athenian political culture, Dr. Tipton’s research also examines the Greek and Latin literary productions of Renaissance and Reformation writers and the influence Classical learning exerted on key aspects of these cultural movements.

Mr. Griffith is a Fellow of Classical Languages at New Saint Andrews. He oversees the College’s Latin program and coordinates the national Phaedrus Latin Composition Contest. He joined the College faculty in 2007 after receiving his M.A. in Classical Languages in 2002 at the University of Kentucky. He is currently pursuing his doctorate in classics at the University of Florida.


Participants are responsible to find their own lodging, however it is likely that participants from out of town could make an arrangement to lodge with students who live in Moscow. If interested in this, please include this information in your email.

For more information or to apply for a spot at Tusculum please contact [email protected].

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