Cav Latin Essay

All elementary, middle, and high school teachers who are members of CAV are encouraged to have their students
participate in any or all of the contests listed below. Please contact the individual chairs for more information.

CAV Latin Tournament
CAV Classical Essay Contest
CAV Latin Essay Contest

March 19-23, 2018

The exams are designed to test the student's mastery of the Latin language and, in the case of the upper level exams, some basic literary matter at that particular level of study. Exams will consist of questions on vocabulary, forms, syntax, (where appropriate) rhetorical and poetic devices, and reading passages for translation to show active and accurate comprehension. Each exam will include 75 multiple-choice questions and a 25-point Latin passage for translation into English. 

There are five tests offered, depending on the level of the student. A syllabus for each exam may be found on the CAV website. The tests are:
• Latin I
• Latin II
• Intermediate Latin Prose
• Advanced Latin Prose
• Advanced Latin Poetry: based upon authors such as Catullus, Ovid, Horace, and other poets 

Schools in Virginia may compete in one of three divisions:
• Alpha (secondary and intermediate public schools)
• Beta (independent and private schools)
• Gamma (charter, magnet, and governor’s schools) 

All teachers entering contestants MUST be members of the CAV.  Not yet a member? Join today! Non-members may join by sending in dues with the Registration Form. After November 1, dues are $20 per person. If this is your first year teaching Latin in Virginia, you are eligible for one year’s free membership. 

Teachers must submit their registration postmarked by Wednesday, February
14, 2018. Competition fee is $3.00 per student, non-refundable.  Try the tournament for free your first year!  Your students may compete free of charge if your school is registering for the first time or has not registered in the past five years.

               2018 Reg. Form (MS Word)        2018 Reg. Form (pdf)            Syllabus              2017 Exam Instructions                   Student List

Any arrangements for a change in the date or location for administering the exam must be made directly with the CAV Tournament Director. The only acceptable reason for a change in dates shall be (1) a school's vacation, in which case an earlier exam date will be granted, or (2) inclement weather on the scheduled date.

The exam will be given at the school of the participants and may be given on any ONE of the days from March 19-23, 2018. Schools on vacation that week may request to take the exam the previous week. All students in the same level of Latin MUST be tested at the same time. The Latin teacher MAY administer the exams.


  1. By March 1 you (the Latin teacher) will receive an e-mail or fax confirmation of your registration. Please write your e-mail address (and those of all teachers registering students at your school) neatly and correctly on the registration form so the registrar can reach you via e-mail. If you do not receive an e-mail, call or e-mail the CAV Tournament Registrar IMMEDIATELY.
  2. Expect the tests and testing directions to arrive by March 10 (or earlier if you request an earlier testing date) OR notify your test administrator of their arrival date. Check with that person on that date.
  3. If materials have NOT been received, call or e-mail the CAV Tournament Registrar IMMEDIATELY.
  4. Before the exam, get the "List of Participating Students" from the examination packet. Type or neatly print a list of each student's name, his/her assigned student ID number, which exam he/she is taking, and (for Advanced Latin Prose, Caesar, and Advanced Poetry students) his/her level of Latin (and return it to the test administrator, if you are using one).  This document has been emailed to the teacher, and is pre-filled with the names of your tests and student ID numbers.  This provides a testing roster, which will be mailed with the tests for accurate spelling of names of award recipients.
  5. If there is bad weather on your prearranged date of testing, contact the CAV Tournament Director IMMEDIATELY for permission to give the test within the next two class days back in school. He needs to plan for late-arriving results.
  6. Past exams (and keys) from the Latin Tournament (2005 - 2017) can be foundhere.


Kevin Jefferson
5809 Chase Commons Ct.  #205
Burke, VA  22015

The awards on the Latin Tournament are designed to recognize students who have achieved an outstanding performance on their exam.  First place winners will receive an engraved Jefferson Cup; second and third place winners will receive medals. Certificates of Honorable Mention will also be awarded as the Tournament Director deems appropriate. If there is a large number of students registered on an advanced level of testing, awards may be subdivided by year of Latin. If the number is small, there may be fewer than three awards. Awards will be announced at the spring meeting of the CAV; if for any reason the awards themselves may not be available at that meeting, they will be mailed as soon as possible.

Three plaques will be awarded: one to the public ("alpha") school with the most points for first-second-third places, one to the independent ("beta") school with the same distinction, and lastly one to the charter, magnet, or governor’s (“gamma”) school with the same distinction.

Nota Bene I: Please be advised that the CAV will not publish in its newsletter or on its website the names of student winners whose families do not wish to make that information public. If your school or school system maintains data on which students may or may not allow their names to be published, please advise Kevin Jefferson.  It is the responsibility of each individual Latin teacher to inform the tournament director if any students opt out of having their names listed among the winners in the newsletter.

Nota Bene II: Kevin Jefferson is willing to send past issues of CAV Tournament Exams by e-mail to anyone indicating what (s)he would like: Latin One, Latin Two, Intermediate Prose, Advanced Prose, or Advanced Poetry. Just e-mail Kevin at:  There is no charge for past issues sent this way.

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THE 2018 CAV

Classical Essay Information Available To Print: Word | pdf

  • The CAV Classical Essay Contest is designed to recognize those students who have submitted outstanding essays in English on a topic appropriate to each level or class.
  • The contest is open to students in the public and private middle and high schools of Virginia, and homeschoolers, whose teachers are current members of the Classical Association of Virginia.
  • Essays shall be submitted in English in the following divisions:
    • First Year Latin : A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum:  The Importance of the Forum to Roman Society  (Division A for students in grade 6-8; Division B for grades 9-12)
    • Second Year Latin:  Wonder Woman: Cloelia as a Roman Hero
    • *Third Year Latin:  My Big Fat (Roman) Wedding:  Weddings in Ancient Rome
    • Advanced Latin (Latin III and above*):
      • Vergil:  O Brother, Where Art Thou?:  Influence of the Odyssey  in Vergil's Aeneid
      • Poetry:  10 Things I Hate About You:  Ovid's Description of Daphne
      • **History:  Game of Thrones:  The Civil Wars of AD 69 and the Rise of Vespasian

*N.B.: Students who are in their third year of Latin who choose to do the general third year topic will be judged only with other Third Year students. They may also submit an essay in one of the advanced topics. This is so that we do not prevent students who are in their third year and doing one of the advanced authors from writing on the author they are currently studying. Those essays will be judged in the same pool as the advanced level students.

**N.B.: The history topic is open to both Latin 3 and Latin 4+ students, and will be graded in separate groups.

N.B.: Students at the Third Year and Advanced levels may submit essays in more than one category.

  • Essays should be roughly 1000 words, typed double-spaced on single sides of the page.
  • The first page of the essay may include a title. The student's name should not appear on any page of the essay, and the pages of the essay should be numbered.
  • Each entry must come with a COVER PAGE (Word) | COVER PAGE (.pdf). Please use the form provided here.
  • The cover page shall include:
    • name and home address of the contestant
    • name and address (with city or district) of the school
    • name of the teacher
    • year of Latin studied in 2017-2018 (First, Second, etc., AP is NOT a level)
    • student's grade level
    • essay topic
  • No help may be received from any person in the research, preparation, and/or writing of the essay. Books and electronic sources may (indeed, generally should) be consulted, provided that all research is completed by the student and proper acknowledgement of intellectual property is given. A list of sources and works cited should be provided at the end of the essay on a separate page. A good on-line source for help in the formal preparation of an essay is Purdue's online writing lab (OWL), which can be found at:
  • Teachers, of course, are allowed to guide students toward the types of reference material to consult, and provide general instruction on the writing of a good essay. However, teachers must not provide any editorial feedback to the students. That is, they should not be reading and commenting on their students' essays before the final form in which they will be submitted.
  • Essays should present a clear, coherent synthesis of material researched. A lively and well-organized essay is better than a laundry list of facts. Judges look for verve and imagination in the writing, and not merely quantity of research. To this end, it has been the policy to accept essays that are closer to creative writing exercises than to the traditional expository essay. It is to be understood, however, that the same amount of factual content and critical thought must be in evidence in whatever form the essay takes. It should be noted as well that what appears to be a creative approach to writing an essay begins to look less and less creative when essay after essay is written in the same pattern.
  • The fee is $2.00 per student. Teachers who are not members of CAV should send their dues of $20.00 with the entrance fee. Make checks payable to the Classical Association of Virginia. Ineligible entries will be discarded.
  • Please note that by entering this contest you are giving the Classical Association of Virginia consent to publish your name in its official publications. Winners' names will be published on the CAV website and in the CAV newsletter.
  • Note also: the winning essays will be posted on the CAV website in pdf form. If students do not want their names published and/or essays posted, they should please add a note to that effect on their cover page.
  • The contest closes on Friday, March 2, 2018.  Entries may be submitted electronically or sent through US mail.  Those postmarked after the closing date will be discarded. Winners will be announced and prizes awarded at the Spring meeting. All entries should be sent to:

Nadia Ghosheh

Director of CAV Classical Essay Contest

5809 Chase Commons Ct., Apt. 205

Burke, VA 22015

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THE 2018 CAV

Print Out a Copy: MS Word      pdf


1. The contest is open only to students in high schools and preparatory schools in the Commonwealth of Virginia whose teacher is currently a member of the Classical Association of Virginia and whose dues for 2015-2016 school year have been paid in full at the time when the entry is submitted.

2. No fee is charged for essays entered in the Latin Essay Contest.

3. All entries must be submitted through the Latin teacher. No entries sent directly by the student, or received from any other source than the teacher, will be accepted.

4. Each entry must be accompanied by a written statement from the teacher, specifying

a. Both the level of Latin which the student is taking at the time of submission of the essay and the number of years the student has been taking Latin.

b. The author(s) and title of the basic textbook being used in the course which the entrant is taking.

5. All entries must be received on or before Monday, April 2, 2018, and should be sent to:

John F. Miller
Director, CAV Arthur F. Stocker Latin Essay Contest
University of Virginia, Department of Classics
B018 Cocke Hall, P.O. Box 400788
Charlottesville, VA 22904-4788

6. Essays must be written entirely in Latin, and must be on the subject prescribed for the level of Latin the contestant is taking. The subjects for this year are:

First Year Latin: In meo cubiculo (100-200 words)

Second Year Latin: De Amazonibus (150-250 words)

Advanced Latin: Quomodo et qua ratione C. Iulius Caesar et Gn. Pompeius Magnus necati sint (200-300 words)

7. If the number of contestants warrants it, there will be separate competitions and awards for students in third-year Latin and for students in fourth- or fifth-year Latin, but this shall be entirely at the discretion of the judges.


1. The first page of each entry shall be blank, except for

a. The full name and home address (including the zip code) of the contestant. Nick-names should not to be used.

b. The full name (including the middle initial) of the contestant's Latin teacher.

c. The name and post office address (including zip code) of the school in which the contestant is enrolled.

2. The contestant's name shall appear in the upper right-hand corner of every page submitted, except for the first page (see Rule #1, above).

3. The name of the Latin teacher and the name of the school shall not appear anywhere except on the first page of the entry, as prescribed in Rule #1, above).

4. Contestants may write only on the subject specified for the level of Latin in which they are enrolled. The limitations on the number of words for each subject should be carefully observed.

5. No help from any person is permitted in the preparation of this essay. Reference books on Roman literature, Roman life, and Roman history, books about Roman religion, Latin dictionaries, and Latin grammars may of course be used, but a bibliography identifying books that have been used should appear at the end of the essay.

6. Judging will be based both upon the content of the essay and on Latin usage, but the correctness of the Latin will be the most important single factor. Contestants should make a conscious effort to incorporate as many as possible of the new syntactical features of the Latin language that they have encountered for the first time on the level of Latin for which they are currently enrolled. The syllabi for Latin I, Latin II, and Latin III that have been prepared for the use of students taking the Latin Tournament examinations should be consulted.

7. The names of the winners in each competition and of those receiving honorable mention will be announced at the spring meeting of the Classical Association of Virginia..

8. All entries become the property of the Classical Association of Virginia, and will not be returned to the writer after judging. Contestants who want to keep a copy should make one for themselves before submittal. The decision of the judges will in all cases be final.

***Nota Bene I: Students who plan to enter the Latin Essay Contest might find a visit to the following Latin chatroom amusing and instructive:

***Nota Bene II: Teachers should inform students that, by entering this competition, they are giving the Classical Association of Virginia permission to publish their names in any of its official publications. This permission is given unless the students make written requests to the contrary.

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Latest Editions of the CAV Newsletter

Fall 2017

Summer 2017

Updated:  Student Contests

We hope that you are planning to have your students participate in our annual student contests.  If so, we have provided all of the information needed for their participation on our website.  Please visit the Tournament and Contests tab to find all of the information.

Updated:  Teacher Awards

Do you have a colleague who goes above and beyond to teach Latin and instill a love for the Classics in his/her students?  Please consider nominating someone you admire for one of the CAV excellence awards.  Visit the Awards and Recognition page  for more information.

Do you know a colleague who received an award?  Have you been honored recently?

When notified, we print a list of CAV members who have earned honors that year in the classics, such as in teaching, publication, etc. or those who have retired from teaching.  So throughout the year, please send us information concerning your honors as you receive them to the newsletter editor, Ariel Baska at

Do you have a program, event or product that would be of interest to classics teachers in Virginia?

If you would like something posted on the CAV website, please submit it to the website editor, Charlaine D. Lunsford.  Please send any additions, corrections or announcements to  Make sure "CAV" is in the subject.

Revisions of CAV's Constitution and By-Laws

The membership of the Classical Association of Virginia approved the following revised documents at its spring meeting at the University of Richmond:



All members of CAV are invited to join our new group on Facebook for updates on information, pictures, dialogue with other members, and more!

To join, just log on to Facebook and do a search for "Classical Association of Virginia". Click "join" and one of our administrators will add you to the list!

Forsan et haec olim meminisse iuvabit ~ Vergil's Aeneid, I.203

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