:::: MENU ::::

Monthly Archives / March 2017

  • Mar 30 / 2017
  • Comments Off on Learning Latin with Apicius: a Delicious Experience
Latin

Learning Latin with Apicius: a Delicious Experience

The Apicius manuscript (ca. 900 AD) from the monastery of Fulda in Germany, which was acquired in 1929 by the New York Academy of Medicine

 

By André Bastos Gurgel, OAB

Most people don’t realize how fond of food the Romans were. Authors like Suetonius, Tacitus, and Eutropius made detailed descriptions of banquets in which a huge variety of fowl, meat, and fish were served. According to legend, the Romans would bring a feather and use it to scratch their throats in order to vomit so they could start eating again! Continue Reading

  • Mar 28 / 2017
  • Comments Off on Tips for Latin Teachers: Humorous Anecdotes from Classical Antiquity
Latin

Tips for Latin Teachers: Humorous Anecdotes from Classical Antiquity

Illustration to La Fontaine's Fables, To Bell the Cat by Gustave Doré

 

By André Bastos Gurgel, OAB

I believe teachers should try to develop a sense of discipline in their students, preparing them for the task of learning complex Latin grammar. Still, telling funny stories and anecdotes from classical times can be very positive for students as well. Most people see classics as a collection of boring tales about uninteresting people who died thousands of years ago, so it´s up to teachers to help them realize that the ancients had a sense of humor. Continue Reading

  • Mar 23 / 2017
  • Comments Off on Teaching Latin with Eutropius
Latin

Teaching Latin with Eutropius

Eutropius: Breviarium ab urbe condita

 

By André Bastos Gurgel, OAB

Eutropius was a Roman historian whose Breviarium ab Urbe Condita was read by Latin students throughout the Middle Ages. Some scholars today think that his style does not belong to classical Latin and, therefore, see him as a minor historian. What they neglect to realize in so doing is that he is a perfect option for Latin students, as his simple, straightforward style can be understood even by the intermediate student. Continue Reading

  • Mar 21 / 2017
  • Comments Off on Teaching the Aeneid with the Help of Servius
Latin

Teaching the Aeneid with the Help of Servius

Aeneas Flees Burning Troy, Federico Barocci, 1598

 

By André Bastos Gurgel, OAB

Vergil’s Aeneid is one of the most difficult classical texts ever written because of its complex word order, innumerable references to Roman history and mythology, and huge quantity of vocabulary. Even in classical times, people must have found it difficult to read. Looking to help, a learned grammarian named Servius wrote a commented edition with the intention of making Vergil’s work easier for students. In this article I will show why this Latin writer can be the key to making the Aeneid easier for advanced Latin students. Continue Reading

  • Mar 16 / 2017
  • Comments Off on Teaching Latin with Comic Books
Latin

Teaching Latin with Comic Books

The Asterix comic book in Latin

 

By André Bastos Gurgel, OAB

Comic books can be a great way to learn any language. It was thanks to Franco-Belgian comic books that I was able to build an extensive vocabulary in French. The visual aspect of comic books can help anyone increase his or her vocabulary in a foreign language. Why, then, can’t we use comic books to learn Latin? Continue Reading

  • Mar 14 / 2017
  • Comments Off on Teaching Latin with Phonetics
Latin

Teaching Latin with Phonetics

Carmenta student reading Latin

 

By André Bastos Gurgel, OAB

Most language teachers totally ignore a tremendous tool for teaching – phonetics. How many of you are familiar with the International Phonetic Alphabet? I suspect 99% of language students have never heard of it or know how excellent a tool it can be to achieve mastery in language studies. Continue Reading

  • Mar 09 / 2017
  • Comments Off on Teaching Latin and Ancient Greek with Calligraphy
Latin

Teaching Latin and Ancient Greek with Calligraphy

Calligraphy

 

By André Bastos Gurgel, OAB

The word calligraphy comes from the Ancient Greek καλός “beautiful” and γραφία “writing”. Therefore we can define it as the art of writing beautifully. Continue Reading

  • Mar 07 / 2017
  • Comments Off on Teaching Latin with Dares’ Destruction of Troy
Latin

Teaching Latin with Dares’ Destruction of Troy

Triumphant Achilles dragging Hector's body around Troy, from a panoramic fresco of the Achilleion, by Franz Matsch

 

By André Bastos Gurgel, OAB

Have you ever heard of Dares Phrygius? I hadn’t either, until a few months ago when I stumbled upon his Destruction of Troy during a search for sources relevant to the Epic Cycle. Continue Reading

  • Mar 02 / 2017
  • Comments Off on Formal Education vs Tutoring: Which Is Better?
Latin

Formal Education vs Tutoring: Which Is Better?

Carmenta Latin Student

 

By André Bastos Gurgel, OAB

What are schools and colleges good for? I have asked myself this question many times. It is a sad fact that schools and colleges have essentially become “diploma factories”—a mere formality, a rite of passage which people must go through in order to be able to work as doctors or lawyers. These institutions prefer to teach students useless information which they need to memorize just to pass an exam. Then once the exam is over, they forget everything. Is this an ideal educational system? Continue Reading