Daily Archives: April 23, 2021

2021 CANE Writing Contest Winner

Winning Entry: Aidan Scully

Sanguis Sanguinem Habebit.

They overtook the open square,

A new dominion to declare,

With panic piercing through the air,

The fear could not be missed.

But hope was fear’s eternal foe,

And hope could not be let to grow,

They sought their mighty strength to show,

And so they made the list.

They bared the blade they bore in hand,

The untriumphant traitors’ brand,

And claimed to cleanse their cloven land,

Or so they would insist.

The listed names were left for dead,

And sanguine streets were run with red,

For people’s sake were people bled,

Or so proclaimed the list.

“The war is over,” soldiers say,

“We get to live another day,

But evil must be kept at bay,

And so we must resist.

With weapons we will purge the field,

Ensure our nation’s surest shield,

To evil we will never yield,

And so we write the list.”

And so from Rome they worked to rid

All those who from the Sullans hid,

And thousands thanked them as they did,

Their wrongs they soon dismissed.

But when that evil came to die,

And blood upon the ground was dry,

They bled the same as you or I,

The same to serve the list.

But list nor soldier would abate,

And servants more of stake than state,

Would count the names of cleanly rate,

Among the evil’s midst.

They robbed them of their legal right,

Turned friends to foes in fatal night,

And Romans read at rising light,

The names upon the list.

But what these people did so wrong,

What led their lives to list belong,

Was be the rivals of the strong,

And strength does not desist.

These noble men’s ignoble kin,

Who’d break their bond their wealth to win,

Impugned their innocence in sin,

And put them on the list.

And patriots of peace came out,

And shed their sheltered shreds of doubt,

To not the wrong but righteous rout,

Their leaders to assist.

And Roman turned on Roman soon,

All opposition opportune,

And bodies would in streets be strewn

Before they’d doubt the list.

The leader claimed for honest cause,

The senate by their lofty laws,

The people never giving pause,

The names it ought consist.

But once the rule of law had gone,

And from the blade had blood been drawn,

A reign of ruin lingered on,

The ruin of the list.

So Romans, heed me as I warn

So that you may not have to mourn

The loss of those who draw the scorn

Of leaders you enlist.

Challenge those who have in store,

To wage in peace a civil war,

Or find, as silent men before,

Your name upon the list.


Herodotus tells us in the first book of his Histories that when Solon, the leader of Athens, visited Croesus, the incredibly rich king of Lydia in Anatolia, the king asked Solon who he thought was the happiest and most prosperous. Croesus thought Solon would say “you are, O Croesus, because of your great wealth.” But Solon replied instead that he would count no man happy until his death, because misery and suffering can befall anyone, no matter how wealthy or happy they seem (Histories 1.30-32).

There is ample evidence that people of all ancient cultures had to face many challenges and adversities in life. When one considers the relatively short life spans of men and women in the ancient world, it is clear that there were many obstacles to a long or easy life in the thousand-year period we study, from roughly 500 BCE to 500 CE. Our ancient writers tell us of diseases, plagues, invasions by hostile armies, piracy, enslavement, crime, death in childbirth, and countless other realities that made life difficult and strenuous.

For this writing contest: provide your own short story, poem, essay, or dialogue on the topic of dealing with or facing adversity in the ancient world. Your project will be judged holistically, based on how successfully you address the given topic, how well you engage your reader, and how well you write as you present your idea.

The winner receives their award, and reads their winning entry, at the banquet at the annual meeting banquet of CANE in spring of 2021.

Matthew Katsenes – Wiencke Citation

Good afternoon, I’m Meredith Safran, Senior At Large Member of CANE, and it’s my pleasure to celebrate the winner of this year’s Matthew I. Wiencke Award for excellence in teaching at the K-12 level, Matthew Katsenes.

Matt Katsenes’ teaching career began while he was an undergraduate student at Monmouth College, where Matt performed so well in his “Understanding Spoken Latin” course that professor Tom Sienckewicz recalls asking Matt to help present this course to Latin teachers at the Illinois Classical Conference. This included Matt administering a Latin dictation exercise to participants who included his own high school Latin teacher! After enrolling in an MA program in Math at the University of Iowa, Matt enrolled in the MAT Latin program at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Since fall 2012, he has taught at Moultonborough Academy in New Hampshire.

One of Matt’s colleagues at Moultonborough, Julianne Bruneau, writes that “Matt prepares more courses than most other teachers because he single-handedly must teach all six grades in a five-period day. … Matt’s students are always doing something fascinating, be it composing elegies for a lost childhood object, reading aloud and parsing a text about werewolves, or copying favorite aphorisms in calligraphy to understand how scribes labored to create the manuscripts that survive for us to read today.”

Matt’s collaborator Emma Vanderpool praises his “bold transition from using solely the reading method to now using comprehensible input activities and spoken Latin in the classroom.” Matt and Emma created eutropi.us, a digital commentary on excerpts from Eutropius’ Breviarium Historiae Romanae, which helps build students’ linguistic and cultural knowledge for the AP Latin curriculum. He has also piloted a new series of novellas for Bolchazy-Carducci Publishers. Emma observes that Matt’s own appetite for self-improvement as an educator has embraced discussing issues of representation and how to integrate anti-racist work into curricula.

Matt’s ingenuity and dedication have translated into an exciting and rich classroom experience for his students. Julianne Bruneau calls “the noise and movement and enthusiasm in his classroom… a complete delight and exactly how serious learning gets done.” She continues “I am impressed by how gentle and encouraging Matt is with his students while at the same time being relentlessly exacting about making sure they get the whole answer and can explain it. … His students are medalists in the National Latin Exam every year and he continues to attract students to Latin, well past the stage when they would normally begin a language. Matt is the kind of teacher who inspires life-long learning.” Emma Vanderpool added her recollection from the 2016 National Convention of Eta Sigma Phi. After Matt spoke as part of the keynote panel about his unusual route to becoming a Latin teacher, a student approached Emma to share how Matt had inspired her to teach.

Another Moultonborough colleague, Amy Flanders, sums up Matt’s excellence well: “Personally and academically, Matt is so present in and valuable to his students’ lives. He can relate to, challenge, and engage everyone… It is Matt’s nature to embrace differences. Matt alone has unassumingly done for our students at Moultonborough what it took Sheldon and three other scientists on NBC to do at a million dollars an episode: make it ultra cool to be smart, funny, and genuine…in other words, be yourself.”

Please join me in celebrating Matt Katsenes’ embodiment of the qualities that have earned him CANE’s 2021 Wiencke Award.

Mark Pearsall – Barlow Beach Citation

The 2021 winner of the Barlow Beach Award is Mark Pearsall. Mark was born and raised in Massachusetts, and pursued degrees in Classics at UMass Amherst and Boston University. He has taught Latin and Ancient Greek for more than twenty years at Glastonbury High School in Glastonbury, CT. In 2016, Mark earned his PhD in Medieval Studies at the University of Connecticut.

In 2000, an article in the Hartford Courant quoted his superintendent at Glastonbury High School saying that Mark “has a wonderful way with kids, you see the students applying Latin to their other classes, … He’s managed to engage all of us.” The principal at GHS added that he earns much of the credit for the growth of the school’s Latin program. “He’s magnificent” was the final summation.

Indeed, his consistent engagement with emerging and effective pedagogies in the discipline surely accounts for the many awards and honors bestowed: such as the Phinney Award for Greek teaching, commendations for teaching and service from ClassConn, and CANE’s Matthew Wiencke Award for excellence in teaching.

Since 2005, Mark has contributed nearly twenty presentations and workshops at conferences at many places such as CANE, ACL, the International Congress for Medieval Studies, and at the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages. He has accepted significant roles of leadership as well, serving in many capacities for CANE, including president, for the Classical Association of Connecticut, and currently sits on the Board of Governors for the American Classical League.

The inscription that appears on the traditional silver bowl he will receive is from Vergil’s Georgics (Book 3), and is as relevant to a teacher as it is to someone who raises goats, as Mark has also done for many years: Caprae quoque non cura nobis leviore tuendae … atque memores redeunt in tecta suosque ducunt. “The kids must be guarded by us with tender care, and, mindful of our concern, they lead their own to our protection.”

Mark Pearsall, on behalf of CANE, thank you for your distinguished service to our discipline and to our organization.