Si vales bene est, ego valeo.

On behalf of the Yale Classics Department, it is my distinct pleasure to invite you to the Ninth Annual Yale Certamen, which will be held on Saturday, November 2, 2019, from 8:30 A.M. to 6:45 P.M.

Last year, more than 70 teams—from more than a dozen states—visited Yale, taking in the fall colors, stepping into the university’s art gallery, and indulging in New Haven’s world-famous pizza (try Pepe’s or Sally’s, though each student will have his/her own opinion). It is our sincere hope to see you again on this occasion.

Not too much has changed this year. The tournament orientation will again be held—and the faculty keynote given—in Sheffield-Sterling-Strathcona Hall, Room 114 (SSS 114). William Harkness Hall (WLH) will once more serve as the site of the tournament proper. The centrality of both buildings will allow easy access to the rest of Yale’s campus.

Likewise, the tournament will again feature Yale’s “two-bracket” system in all levels, allowing everyone—age, skill, and experience notwithstanding—to enjoy the competition. More information about the system can be found here.

Players of all experience will also benefit from Mr. Michael Howard’s Certamen Starter Kit, which features among several aids on the Study Materials page, as well as the videos of last year’s “Finals,” available here.

All other information about preparation and the tournament, including how to register, may also be found on this website. Please note especially the schedule, the suggestions for food, travel, and lodging, and the bank of past questions. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out to me at, or to the general staff of Yale Certamen at

And finally, some thank-yous. My gratitude first goes to the many Certamen enthusiasts who, in extraordinary generosity, continually answer our call to write questions for the tournament. Theirs is an unheralded but all-important task. I would also like to thank Samir Al-Ali and Lina Kapp, the tournament’s true superintendents, and all the volunteers who assist each year. These are the individuals who ensure that the Classics live on in the form of competitive Certamen.

I hope to see you in New Haven in November.

Until then,

Michael Kearney
Tournament Director
Yale College '20