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Latin

  • Jul 13 / 2017
  • 1
Latin

Hyginus: a Perfect Fabulist for Latin Students

“Fabularum liber” by Gaius Julius Hyginus

 

By André Bastos Gurgel, OAB

Introduction

Every ancient civilization has a great corpus of fables. In the case of Greek literature, we are all familiar with writers like Phaedrus and Aesop and their immortal works. Perhaps less well known, though, is the great fabulist Hyginus. Continue Reading

  • Jul 11 / 2017
  • 1
Latin

Homework Suggestion: Columbus’ Latin Letter

“Landing of Columbus” by John Vanderlyn

 

By André Bastos Gurgel, OAB

Introduction

One of the greatest unknown Latin gems of the post-medieval period is a letter written by Christopher Columbus to his employers. This important historical document written in the language of Cicero contains Columbus’ first impression of the New World on his journey to find a new route to the Indies. Continue Reading

  • Jun 28 / 2017
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Latin

Latin Homework Suggestion: Calgacus’ Speech

19th century print depicting Calgacus delivering his speech to the Caledonians

 

By André Bastos Gurgel, OAB

Introduction

Throughout history there have been a handful of speeches that have been remembered and elevated to the status of great works of oratory. Some of the most well-known include the Gettysburg Address, Charlie Chaplin’s speech in the movie “The Great Dictator” and Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream…” speech. Today I’m going to be focussing on a speech that dating from the Roman invasion of England, delivered by Calgacus, chieftain of the Caledonian Confederacy who fought the Roman army of Gnaeus Julius Agricola at the Battle of Mons Graupius in northern Scotland in AD 83 or 84. Continue Reading

  • Jun 20 / 2017
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Latin

Learning Latin with the Vulgate

“Saint Jerome in his study”, by Domenico Ghirlandaio

 

By André Bastos Gurgel, OAB

Introduction

When I started my Latin studies many years ago, I wondered why my tutor wanted me to buy Collin’s “Primer of Ecclesiastical Latin”, a textbook generally used only in seminaries and Catholic colleges. My goal was to read Cicero and Vergil, and at first I didn’t understand why I was starting with the Vulgate. I soon realized, though, that the Vulgate is a great introduction to Latin and a bridge to more advanced texts. In this article I will share my experiences working with this Medieval Latin work. Continue Reading

  • Jun 15 / 2017
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Latin

Great Speeches of Mankind: “Against Catiline”

Cicero Denounces Catiline, fresco by Cesare Maccari

 

By André Bastos Gurgel, OAB

Introduction

This is the first of a series of articles about great speeches by classical orators. This first article deals with one of the greatest lawyers of mankind, Marcus Tullius Cicero, the famous Roman orator, writer, philosopher and statesman. In this short essay, I will demonstrate how Cicero’s speeches can be turned into effective and exciting homework for Latin students. Continue Reading

  • Jun 13 / 2017
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Latin

Homework Suggestion: the Magna Carta

King John signs the Magna Carta

 

By André Bastos Gurgel, OAB

Introduction

There are an astonishing number of people who think that Medieval Latin has produced no great literary works. They couldn’t be more wrong! Medieval Latin has produced many true jewels of literature, including poetry, novels, and great legal documents like the Magna Carta. Continue Reading

  • May 25 / 2017
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Latin

Learning Latin with Publilius Syrus

Publilius Syrus

 

By André Bastos Gurgel, OAB

Introduction

Although proverbs and maxims are by their nature very brief, they can contain a tremendous amount of wisdom. And in my mind one of the wisest writers of proverbs was Publilius Syrus! His writing has provided many generations with precious life lessons, and I therefore have no doubt that this present generation of Latin students is no different. In this article, as a means of introduction for those not yet familiar with his work, I have selected three sample proverbs of his. Continue Reading

  • May 23 / 2017
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Latin

Res Gestae Divi Augusti: An Emperor’s Autobiography

Caesar Augustus bust

 

By André Bastos Gurgel, OAB

Introduction

Have you heard of Augustus Caesar? What a silly question! Of course you have. But did you know that he wrote a first-person account of his own life? That’s right! Augustus left the text in his will, instructing the Senate to engrave the text on a pair of bronze pillars in front of his mausoleum. In this article I will be discussing three excerpts from the Res Gestae and explaining why I think this text is so great for intermediate Latin students. Continue Reading

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