Mihi Fortuna

Today I went in for my second exam, out of six, for this year. Today’s exam was Latin, and throughout the year it wasn’t my best module, but I was okay at it. Today I was brilliant. What happened? The goddess Roma couldn’t have appeared to me in a dream and given me a fluent knowledge of the Latin language, nor could it just suddenly click within three weeks of my last Latin test. What was it?

I tell you what it was. 


My first exam happened on Wednesday and was a module on Augustan Rome. I wasn’t stressed about this one because Augustan Rome is bound to be my best module since I have been studying Rome for almost the entirety of my high school life and again this year. It was safe that I knew what was needed to be known about the Ara Pacis or the forum. And as a girl in my seminar group said “I’ve been there.” *puts hands on hips and takes superwoman stance*. And when I opened that paper, lo and behold it was a miracle. There, in the list of twelve of twelve questions, were two that I wished would crop up. The first was on fate in the Aeneid (I’m pretty much an expert on the Aeneid) and the second was about the Forum Augustus, I distinctly having an entire lecture on that forum and I remember it well. So it’s safe to say that I was okay at that. 

As I said today was Latin, and it was perhaps the exam I was dreading the most because I haven’t been my best this year and was pretty rubbish at it in GCSE, yet I walked to the exam hall with confidence- maybe Roma really had visited me in a dream- and didn’t panic at all. 

“You may read your answer booklets” the invigilator said as I sat down, so I opened it. And hallelujah(!) I couldn’t have been more lucky even if I had tried. The difficulty is the same as GCSE, and is set in two parts. Short answers and then a passage to translate. When I saw that the questions were going to be on book VI of The Aeneid I had to stop myself from celebrating outside of my head. I’m an expert on The Aeneid, as I have said. This was going to be easy. I didn’t even need to read that Latin passage to tell you that Aeneas was in the underworld to see his dead father, or that Deiophobus had his nose cut off in the war of Troy, and was even horrified when they said that Menelaus was king of the Greeks when it was actually Agamemnon. The passage I had to translate was a continuation of the story and over all there was three words I didn’t understand but could easily make it up and have a chance of being right. The passage was about Helen of Troy and the judgement of Paris, and the wooden horse. Done and dusted. 

I finished my Latin exam in 35 minutes, even finishing before the best girl in the year, and left the exam hall giddy with happiness. The second that door closed behind me I was dancing like the Trojan women in the passage and laughing out loud…on my own. I’m pretty sure I got above 80% which is among the top of the top, maybe even 90% of my luck continues. Hopefully the rest of my exams will be just as easy.

Looks like I’m making a sacrifice to Apollo (the god of education) Minerva (the goddess of wisdom) and all the other gods, just to make sure of it. 


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