[Image: Roman Temple]
[Image: The Colosseum]

Society for the Promotion of Roman Studies


Centenary Poems

Celebratory Verses Presented to the Society for the Promotion of Roman Studies on the occasion of their Centenary by the Society for the Promotion of Hellenic Studies

Composed by Armand D’Angour, English by Colin Sydenham


Arma si magni celebras Maronis,

nec minus nugas lepidas Catulli,

seu tibi carmen placet expolitum

vatis Horati,

si parum cauti recitas Petroni

fabulas, cenamque Trimalchionis,

sive quos acres Juvenalis atrox

iactat iambos,

Livius si quos Tacitusve mordax

fi ngit annales Italos recordans,

Tullii seu tu petis eloquentis

discere dicta,

sculpta seu priscae monumenta Romae

pertinax quaeris tabulasque pictas,

sive rimaris foliis refertam


huc veni, lector, studiis Latinis

maxime aut forsan modice peritus:

ecce, Romanos licet hic abunde

visere libros;

pande thesaurum, veterisque turbae

conscius gaude socius vocari,

quae per aetatem deciens bilustrem

munera tendit.

Sapphicis olim numeris renatum

saeculum Romae cecinit poeta,

Helladis sic vos Socii renatos


If Virgil’s epic, or Catullus’s

seductive pleasantries are what you praise,

or Horace’s exquisite skill to craft

the jewelled phrase;

if brash Petronius and Trimalchio’s

epicurean orgy suit your taste,

or the indignant barbs of Juvenal

with poison laced;

or if to Livy or sharp Tacitus

in search of Roman history you go,

or for the arts of eloquence you turn

to Cicero;

if sculpted monuments from Roman times

and frescoed villa-walls attract your gaze;

if bookishly you scour the library’s

well-furnished bays;

come hither, reader, of whatever grade,

expertly or more moderately skilled,

by Roman texts in plenty here your needs

shall be fulfi lled;

unveil the treasure, and rejoice to be

a member of a long-respected band,

whose life of service now a hundred years

has proudly spanned.

To greet renewed Roman society

a Sapphic song was once the poet’s choice:

To your renewal we Hellenic friends

now raise our voice.