When I studied Latin in college and struggled with the rapid pace of reading, I got a good piece of advice from Professor Theis. He recommended that every time I went for the dictionary to look up an unfamiliar word that I also write it down in a notebook. I can recall one difficult passage where I had to look up the vaguely familiar adipiscitur - “acquire, gain". It was familiar because I’d written down four times before, and I had the pages in my notebook to prove it. Personal embarassment is better than any mnemonic
I never gave the interjection much thought until I stumbled across this interesting 2004 article by Gabriela-Alina Sauciuc first published in the Revue Roumaine de Linguistique.
To students: For class this week we are finishing section 4.7.12 of the Confessions (from ad te, domine to the end of the section), then summarizing IV.8.13 quickly before starting a new translation with book V section 5.3.3.
If you’d like to compare your work against a good English translation, try this translation at CCEL.
Thanks to Latinteach for turning me on to Cornell classics profesoor Michael Weiss’ blog for his book Outline of the Historical and Comparative Grammar of Latin. I haven’t seen his book, but the comments have piqued my curiosity.
Just to give one quick example, Weiss discusses evidence for the accent of the word calefacit. I’ve always pronounced this with an accent on the 1st and 3rd syllables, never noticing this technically violates the book rule that the accent should fall on the 2nd syllable (since the a in facit is short). Weiss’s citation from Priscian (supporting my pronunciation) was one I hadn’t seen before, and now I’m interested in learning more–that, my friends, is the kind of exploration the internet was made for (porn notwithstanding:-).
Anyway, I’m recommending that you take a look at his blog; I’m sure you’ll find a similar Latin detail to obsess over.
While I acknowledge ancient notions of love weren’t as sentimental and empathetic as modern greeting cards, I’m not sure I completely agree with Hamilton College Classics Professor Barbara Gold when she says:
“They (the Romans) melded coarse obscenities with deepest expressions of sexual, erotic longing…(A)bove all there was no sharing or caring and no real idea of a friendship of equals.”
I’m sure Professor Gold is aware that classical poetry is an extremely mannered form–Catullus’ obscenity notwithstanding–and that youthful hormones may have had something to do with the erotic obsession of the Roman elegists (as for Ovid, his insincerity was a lifelong disease). That’s not the best recipe for heartfelt emotion–and yet there are more than a few fleeting moments of tenderness in extant Latin literature.
Valentine’s Day is next Sunday…and now it’s my mission to refute the idea there was “no sharing or caring and no real idea of a friendship of equals” in ancient Rome. Look for posts in the next few days and judge for yourself…or give me a few ideas in comments.
|<< <||Current||> >>|