Classics and pop culture / Random thoughts / The Common Room / Weird and Wonderful

The Classics Christmas Charts

As term draws to an end, as Cambridge receives its first wintry snowfall of the year and as Christmas draws ever nearer, how do Cambridge Classics postgrads keep themselves occupied? Without our weekly dose of seminars, teaching and Faculty yoga, what keeps us ticking? The answer, it turns out, is a bit of festive fun: coming up with our own list of Classics-inspired Christmas No.1 singles.

For the past week or so, the white board in the common room has asked ‘What song is no.1 in the Classics Christmas Charts?’, and members of the postgraduate community have gradually peppered the board with their own suggestions, drawing on Latin, Greek and myth to add a Classical twist to some of our favourite Christmas tunes.

In the hope that our efforts might be appreciated by some outside the common room, I’ve decided to share a sample of what we’ve come up with below – enjoy!

And If you have any more suggestions yourselves, do feel free to add them in the comments below!


Nessus the Red-Nosed Centaur

Ding-us Dong-us hilariter in alto

Ningat (ningat, ningat)20171130_1251192.jpg


Jingle Bell Saxum

(Somnio) Christmas Album

O abies / ὦ ἐλάτη

Ψύχρος ὁ χιονάνθρωπος

Habe tibi hilare christmaculum

Merry Christmas; bellum finit

Fairytale of Novum Eboracum

Emperor Claudius is coming to town

Last Saturnalia

XII Days of Christmas

Tacitus night, Augustus night

Coming Soon: NOW AD79

Bonus Rex Nero (olim espexit)


From all of us in the Cambridge Classics Grad community, we wish you an enjoyable festive break and all the best for the New Year!


And if this isn’t enough Christmas Classics for you, you might also like:

Tim Whitmarsh’s Greek Literature Christmas Quiz 2017

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and Jingle Bells in Ancient Greek, from 2011



8 thoughts on “The Classics Christmas Charts

  1. Pingback: The Classics Christmas Charts — res gerendae – It's All Greek To Me

  2. These are all great! I’ve got another one for the list: “per terram hibernam admirabilemque ambulamus”

  3. Hilarious! One suggestion: Wouldn’t Frosty the Snowman would be Ψυχρὸς ὁ χιονάνθρωπος ( no article in the beginning) or even Ψύχρος ὁ χιονάνθρωπος (in case we wanna make a Frosty-like name for him)? Thoughts?

    • Thanks for your message, and sorry for the slow reply – it ended up in ‘spam’ for some reason…! The (dis-)advantage of the white board is that everybody’s suggestions are anonymous, so I don’t know who originally proposed that one. But yes, your correction makes complete sense – we don’t need the article because ‘Frosty’ is an individual, and changing the adjective to a proper name with a recessive accent follows common Greek practice (like Πύρρος from πυρρός). I’ll update the list accordingly, thank you!

  4. Hello Cambridge Classics students! We are Brentwood School’s most epic Greek GCSE Class and we’d like to share our creation. We were translating Plato’s parable of the cave but we got a bit bored (sorry Plato!) and ended up translating a Christmas song in Greek instead. Can you guess from the title which song it is?

    συ εἰ παν ὁ τοις Χριστουγεννοις βουλομαι!

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