Duke University Certamen Invitational Tournament 2019

Friday, February 15, 2019 - 5:45pm to Saturday, February 16, 2019 - 7:00pm

Duke University

February 15th, 2019

Join us for an evening of “Celebration of Classics”.
Note that this programming is optional for you to participate in! 

Welcome and Dinner // Rubenstein Library 154 // 5:45 pm – 6:30 pm

Mingle with Duke Classics faculty, staff, graduate students, and undergraduate students over a pizza dinner (provided).
At 6 pm, we’ll have an open panel Q&A session. 

Guest Speaker // Rubenstein Library 154 // 6:30 pm – 7:15 pm

Professor Jed W. Atkins, Associate Professor of Classics Studies and a favorite of Duke undergraduates, will deliver a guest lecture. Professor Atkins his PhD and MPhil form the University of Cambridge. His particular areas of interest include Greek and Roman political thought. The guest lecture will be followed by an open Q&A session.

Equality: Ancient and Modern Perspectives

Equality is a central democratic value both in classical Athens and in modern America. But what is equality? What does commitment to equality require of us? The twentieth-century American writer Kurt Vonnegut and the fourth-century Greek philosopher Aristotle can help us answer these questions–or so I argue in this interactive presentation.

“Street-tamen” // Divinity School // 7:45 pm – 9 pm

Certamen open to all, just for fun. 

NEW: Latin Hackathon // Divinity School // 7:45 pm – 9 pm

In groups of 4 students, compete against the clock to decode and decipher Latin inscriptions. 

February 16th, 2019

REGISTRATION // Goodson Chapel Foyer, Divinity School // 9:00 AM – 9:30 AM

BREAKFAST    muffins, pastries, donuts, and fruit will be provided
REGISTRATION     primary sponsors should check in at the registration table in the lobby to confirm team attendance
CAMPUS TOUR SIGN-UP     students should sign up at the registration table if they want to attend a campus tour 
MODERATOR’S MEETING     all moderators should convene at the check-in desk at 9:15 AM for a quick meeting with tournament heads

OPENING ASSEMBLY // Goodson Chapel, Divinity School // 9:30 AM – 10:30 AM

WELCOME ADDRESS     Delivered by Duke University Classics Collegium, Duke’s undergraduate Classics student body.
OPENING REMARKS     Delivered by Professor William A. Johnson, Ph.D., Chair of Duke University Classical Studies.
​STUDENT WELCOME     Delivered by Duke undergraduate students. 
DUKE ADMISSIONS     Delivered by staff from Duke Undergraduate Admissions. 
RULES AND GUIDELINES     Quick summary of the tournament’s rules and guidelines of play. 

ROUNDS // Divinity School // 10:30 AM – 4:30 PM


  • Novice and Intermediate: 10:30 am – 12:30 pm

  • Advanced: 12:30 pm – 2:30 pm

TOURS    Meet at the steps of the Duke Chapel. Tours begin at 11 am and 1 pm. There will also be a tour on Sunday at 9 am. Tours will last 20-30 minutes. 
LUNCH    On your own. We recommend that you eat in the Brodhead Center (the building directly next to the tournament rooms). Check out all the Brodhead Center has to offer here!


  • Novice and Intermediate:  2:30 pm – 3:15 pm
  • Advanced: 3:15 pm – 4:00 pm

CLOSING CEREMONY // Divinity School //  4:30 PM – 6:30 PM


  • Novice: 4:30 pm – 5:00 pm
  • Intermediate: 5:00 pm – 5:30 pm
  • Advanced: 5:30 pm – 6:00 pm 

CLOSING REMARKS     Delivered by Professor Tolly Boatwright, Professor of Classical Studies. 

Who Was the Roman Empress’s Equal? And Other Puzzles from Imperial Rome

If the Roman princeps was “first among equals,” what position did imperial women have? Beginning with remarks about Prof. Boatwright’s current project on Rome’s imperial women, this short talk surveys the fascinations and frustrations of exploring aspects of Roman history customarily ignored or demeaned by historians. It ends with reaffirming the value of such research, both for the student and for our larger society.


Medal awards and book awards distributed to the top 3 teams and top individual player in each level, respectively.

DISMISSAL    Head out to a team dinner at a local Durham restaurant, or at Duke’s Brodhead Center!

William A. Johnson