Yale Certamen was created with two primary goals―to establish a premier, national Certamen tournament accessible to all players, regardless of ability, and to introduce students to Yale and Yale’s Classics Department. As Yale Certamen enters its ninth year, we are pleased with how far we have come, but continue to seek ways to improve.

Four years ago, we introduced the revolutionary two-bracket system, allowing both more and less experienced teams to compete against teams of equal ability. This system has proved effective and will return in all divisions this year. Additionally, this year we are focusing on standardizing question difficulty across rounds. We hope this will ensure a more pleasant and equitable playing experience for all involved.

Last year, we welcomed to Yale’s campus 23 schools from 15 states, including Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Maryland, Virginia, Florida, Illinois, and Wisconsin. These students had the opportunity to tour and experience a world-class university and we expect to see many of them back on campus in a few years’ time. They also met one of Yale’s renowned Classics faculty members, Professor Milette Gaifman. Professor Gaifman, the author of the book The Art of Libation in Classical Athens, is an expert in the field of Greek art and iconography. MVPs from each level also received copies of Yale MFA Madeline Miller’s critically-acclaimed novel Circe. This year will offer the opportunity to meet more members of the Yale Classics community.

Above all, however, Yale Certamen offers the chance to make new friends and enjoy the game of Certamen. With that in mind, we encourage you to register for this year’s tournament and join the fun. See you in November!


Yale Certamen unites classics enthusiasts from across the university. Our members have diverse interests and majors, but come together to help share their love of Certamen. Our current board members are Michael Kearney '20 (Classics), Lina Kapp ‘20 (Classics), and Samir Al-Ali '21 (Classics and MB&B).