“Mensa Latina”? That’s “Free Pizza” in Latin


Latin table chatters with  veritas at Bertucci's.

Apparently speaking an antiquated language gets you more perks than just being able to chat with the Pope. While other language tables are relegated to dining halls, Latin Table enjoys pizza at Bertucci’s every Wednesday night, compliments of the Classics Department. The only requirement is some knowledge of the ancient language.

Experience at the table ranges from a year or two in high school to a decade of Latin studies, and it’s easy to tell who the pros are. At one end of the table skilled speakers converse about ancient Latin texts. On the other side is where the beginners sit, speaking less confidently as they learn by osmosis.

While the only Latin most of us know is “veritas,” experts at the Latin table can speak freely about things like house life.

To ease conversation, one Latin scholar has compiled a list of Harvard-related terms translated into Latin. Quadlings can tell Virgil they live in the Tetragonum and freshmen can tell Augustus that they dwell in Area Harvardiana.

Last week, participants also discussed dentistry.

“O medicum malum!” was Siena T. Koncsol’s ’08 response when Anna K. Swenson ’08 complained about a bad visit to the dentist. That, she explained, means “Oh, bad doctor.”

O for real? We thought you were singing that Bon Jovi song... Your love is like bad...