The Contio Latina provides a unique insight into Harrow’s past. Delivered by the Head of School to the Governors in Latin every year, on the second Saturday in November, it reports events of the year at Harrow and in the wider world.
The Contio was first delivered in 1674. The School Archive holds copies dating back to 1770, which are now available as a digital resource. The Classics department are working with boys to translate the Contio for the years where no translations exist, and these are uploaded to the website as they are completed.
This year's Contio was delivered with poise and confidence by the Head of School, Carlo Agostinelli (The Head Master's). The Harrovian, the boys' weekly newspaper, recorded the event as follows:
Agostintelli aimed his speech at the School, particularly the boys, which lent the whole matter and delivery a greater sense of warmth...His Contio reflected the difficulties that the world still faces; but was also a rousing exhortation to the boys to take a lead in solving those problems; one of the themes central to this year’s Contio was the School’s value of humility. Agostinelli spoke very movingly about what humility meant, through service to others, and engagement with charitable activities...he praised all the work the boys have already done in these areas, but also encouraged others to get involved...his final paragraphs were stirring to say the least, with a rousing reference to Churchill at the very end, to push boys to lead with blood, sweat and tears.