At its 10 October 1936 General Meeting, the Society decided to organise a production of Terence’s Adelphi by the “ULB Young Theatre” troupe. These performances, which took place in Brussels’ Palais des Beaux-Arts during the first months of 1937, were a genuine success. The proceeds financed, in the same year, the printing of a work entitled Études horatiennes, published in the Travaux de la Faculté de Philosophie et Lettres de l’Université Libre de Bruxelles, and moreover the launching of a quarterly review dedicated to Latin studies. The new periodical, published under the editorship of M.-A. KUGENER and L. HERRMANN, was called “Latomus”, in memory of a friend of Erasmus, Barthélemy Latomus. From its first issue, which appeared in 1937, this journal attracted the attention of the world of learning due to the quality and variety of its articles, which came not only from the Brussels school but also from Latinists outside of Belgium.
The Second World War and the invasion of Belgium forced the Society to suspend its activities. Learning that it could only continue to publish its journal if it sought authorisation from the occupying power, the Management Committee “judged that it was beneath its dignity to seek anything whatsoever from the invader and resolved to wait for better days” (Latomus, 4, 1940-1945, p. 3). During these dark years, the Society mourned the loss of two of its founding members: its treasurer, G. HEUTEN, who was killed fighting against the enemy on 28 May 1940, and one of its editors, M.-A. KUGENER, who died in 1941.
After the Liberation, “Latomus” began to appear once again, at the instigation of L. HERRMANN, A. BOUTEMY and M. RENARD. His tireless dedication saw RENARD promoted to the roles of Redactor in Chief in 1953, Director in 1960 (alongside L. HERRMANN, who retained this title until his death in 1984) and Director-General in 1978 (a position he occupied until his own death in 1990). His successor was Carl DEROUX, Redactor in Chief since 1978 and Director-General from 1990 to 2012. During these 34 years at the head of Latomus, he shaped the institution enduringly by notably increasing the journal's volume, by creating the "Studies in Latin Literature and History" and by pushing forward the internationalisation of publications.
Among those who in the past took an active role in the production of management of “Latomus”, it is fitting to name three other contributors, who were alas taken from us too early: Louis BAKELANTS (treasurer from 1952 to 1965), Jean PRÉAUX (editorial secretary from 1946 to 1960, editor in chief from the beginning of 1960 and co-director from 1973 to 1978) and Guy CAMBIER (member of the management committee from 1962, treasurer from 1965 and co-director from 1973 to 1981).
Another significant area of the work of the Society, also internationally renowned, should also be mentioned here. In 1939, the Society launched the Collection “Latomus”, when A. SOUTEMY edited a previously unpublished Latin comedy, the Chrysis of Aeneas Silvius Piccolomini (1405-1464, Pope Pius II, 1458-1464). M. RENARD would very quickly become the mainspring of this enterprise. He edited the Collection until his death in 1990 and was followed by the current directors, Carl DEROUX and Jacqueline DUMORTIER.
On 4 October 1997, the Society celebrated the sixtieth anniversary of the “Latomus” by organising at the ULB campus a day of studies entitled “Rome, Latin and Us.” On this occasion, C. DEROUX delivered an address the title of which fully summarises the Society’s ambitions: “Latomus: Sixty years of service to Latin studies, research and culture, in Belgium and throughout the world”. A. MARTIN announced the completion of Tables des travaux publiés dans la Collection et dans la Revue (comptes rendus exceptés), published in a special volume of the Collection in 1999.
In 2011, an initiative to modernise the Society in line with information technology was launched. Latomus signed a contract with the JSTOR company in order to ensure the long-term electronic archiving of the journal and its lasting accessibility to an international audience. Work began on the current website, with its research functions, and it was made available online at the beginning of 2012. In February 2012, Carl DEROUX, after more than 40 years at the service of Latomus, resigned from his functions as president of the society and Director of the journal, and the society's board designed as his successor David ENGELS, who had recently also been designed as Redactor in Chief. In order to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the first publication of the journal, the Society organises a birthday party:
"Société d'études latines de Bruxelles - Latomus", A.S.B.L.
Président honoraire: Carl Deroux.
Conseil d'Administration de la Société: David ENGELS (président), Pol DEFOSSE (secrétaire), Jacqueline DUMORTIER-BIBAUW (trésorière adjointe), Caroline LEVI (trésorière), Michael VANNESSE (secrétaire adjoint).
Membres de la Société:
1) Membres effectifs: Alexandre BUCHET, Marie-Astrid BUELENS, Arlette BUNNENS-ROOBAERT, Pol DEFOSSE, Carl DEROUX (co-directeur de la Collection), Jacqueline DUMORTIER-BIBAUW (co-directrice de la Collection), David ENGELS (directeur général, rédacteur en chef de la Revue et co-directeur de la Collection), Taffy KOEGMANS, Caroline LEVI, Jacques MARNEFFE, Alain MARTIN, Marcel MEULDER, Jacques-Henri MICHEL, Hervé SAVON, Pol SIMELON, Michael VANNESSE, Ghislaine VIRÉ.
2) Membres adhérents:
a) membres correspondants: Maria H. DETTENHOFER (Allemagne et Autriche), C. J. SIMPSON (Canada), J.-M. BLÁZQUEZ (Espagne), James C. ANDERSON, Jr. (États-Unis), Hervé SAVON (France), Carlo PELLEGRINO (Italie), R. DUARTE CASTILLO (Mexique), Fr. CAIRNS (Royaume-Uni), Ph. MUDRY (Suisse).
b) autres membres adhérents (belges et étrangers): N. ADKIN, L.BONFANTE, J.-P. BRACHET, R. BRULET, Y. BURNAND, J.-L. CHARLET, A. COSKUN, J.-M. CROISILLE, Fr. DECREUS, R. DELMAIRE, J. DRINKWATER, R. DUNCAN-JONES, G. FREYBURGER, G. GALIMBERTI BIFFINO, J. GRAN AYMERICH, Th. HAYE, P. JAL, Y. LE BOHEC, B. LIOU-GILLE, E. LIPINSKI, J. LOICQ, G. MADER, J.-Cl. MARGOLIN, J. MEYERS, J. MOORHEAD, P. MURGATROYD, Fr. PASCHOUD, J. THOMAS, R. TURCAN, Chr. WALDE, E. WOLFF, F. WULFF ALONSO.
Membres décédés de la Société: Gilbert HEUTEN (1940), Marc-Antoine KUGENER (1941), Felix PEETERS (1964), Louis BAKELANTS (1965), Albert BROUWERS (1967), André BOUTEMY (1974), Jean PRÉAUX (1978), Guy CAMBIER (1981), Léon HERRMANN (1984), Maurice LEROY (1990), Marcel RENARD (1990), Jacques HEURGON (1995), Albert DEMAN (2005), Pierre SALMON (2005), Michel DUBUISSON (2008), Jacques DEBERGH (2011).