Hodie Papa Francesco Titiavit

I’ve long wanted to do a post analyzing the Pope’s Latin style, but I think I need to start collecting exempla first, so this is the first in what will probably be a regular series … I’m trying to display them in a ‘compact’ manner:

@Pontifex_ln:

Ut sinant Deum clementia et mansuetudine in se uti omnes hortatur Ecclesia.

glossed by @Pontifex:

The Church invites everyone to be embraced by the Father’s tenderness and forgiveness.

… after we get a few in the ‘corpus’, we’ll begin commenting … feel free to begin commenting yourselves …

Gamifying Latin Prose Comp

From the Old Gold & Black:

In a classroom where students battle away at mythological creatures and Latin grammar, Dr. Gellar-Goad has reinvigorated an out-dated course and brought new teaching methods with a twist of adventure.

In his first year as a Teacher-Scholar Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Classical Languages, Gellar-Goad has developed a unique and innovative method for teaching Latin Prose Composition, a class which is a major requirement for Latin majors. It is typically a course designed to be an intense review of Latin grammar and rigorous practice translating English sentences into Latin.

The original textbook used for the class contains material that is largely antiquated; the original publication of the book was in 1839. As Gellar-Goad pointed out, while not only is the subject matter very hard, the support in the text is not necessarily sufficient.

“This can lead to disengagement because the examples [in the textbook] don’t match the modern American experience of studying Latin,” said Gellar-Goad.

Last summer, he came upon a book called The Multiplayer Classroom: Designing Coursework as a Game by Lee Sheldon, which has inspired him to reimagine the way Latin Prose Composition is taught.

In the style of a classic tabletop roleplaying game (RPG), each student selects a character from Greek or Roman mythology at the beginning of the semester. Students then assume the roles of these player-characters and use them in class and for homework the rest of the year. The assignments include scribe spell-scrolls, side quests, dungeon maps, and more — all of which require the use of the appropriate Latin grammar.

“A typical class will consist of about half the class going over nitty-gritty grammar details — more of a traditional class format. The second half will then be an exercise on that day’s lesson or review tied to some in-game element.”

Grading in the class is also non-traditional. Instead of beginning with an A and only having the opportunity to lower their grade, students improve their grade by gaining experience points through assignments, homework, and projects.

“There is the extrinsic value of getting to the next level — which is tied to their grade — and the intrinsic value of learning Latin,” said Gellar-Goad.

Though it is only his first semester teaching the course, so far Gellar-Goad has seen encouraging student response. He finds that given room for creativity, students are able to find things which make them happy within the class material, a feature some might say is unusual of the typical course.

“The students do work extremely hard, but I feel like they don’t see it as drudgery; the improvement I have seen is amazing,” he said.

“I think we were all a little shocked the first day when we told that our class would be modeled off of Word of Warcraft and that we would all have to choose characters to role-play for the rest of the semester,” sophomore Sarah Stewart said.

“Professor Geller-Goad’s class is an experiment in 21st century pedagogy; a synthesis between technology and ancient works that makes students capable of grasping the most poignant and powerful messages of what would be highly exclusive materials,” sophomore Lee Quinn, a classics major, said.

“He teaches the students to develop a personal connection to the information,” Quinn said.

Gellar-Goad also said he is fairly certain this is the first time the course has ever been taught this way.

“It’s teaching Latin Prose Composition as a semester long mythological adventure for fun and profit,” he said.

… folks might remember Ted Gellar-Goad as one of the minds behind a lolcattish ‘Take Latin’ campaign last summer (e.g. Promoting Latin Internets Style:The Series I)

An Appeal from Rick LaFleur

In the interests of keeping online Latin teaching alive and well:

If you teach at a college/university, or know of one, that offers Latin classes online, would you please let me know off-list? UGA is, at least for the immediate future, discontinuing its online Latin offerings, and, having been involved in distance education for a great many years, I am exploring ways of continuing my online courses (currently Introductory Latin and Latin Teaching Methods), including possibly interesting another university in hosting them. GRATIAS!

… contact Doctor Illa Flora at lafleur922 AT hotmail.com

Translating Pliny’s Letters

I finally got a chance to check out Pedar Foss’ latest blog-related project … here’s an intro from his very self:

This begins a series of posts that will translate and comment upon Pliny the Younger’s two letters (6.16 and 6.20) about the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in AD 79–the disaster that buried Pompeii, Herculaneum, and other sites. These posts are part of a book project that intends to understand the scholarly and popular reception of those letters. I am also teaching these letters in LAT 223 at DePauw this Fall term, so this is a good time to do it.

I will provide the Latin (using Mynors’ 1963 Oxford Classical Text [OCT]), and then work through it with a translation, dissection of grammatical constructions, and discussion of what the letters tell us. I will doubtless make mistakes as I proceed, and will be grateful for comments and corrections; the essence of scholarship is rectification through better evidence, arguments, or questions.

… the posts are being gathered under the Pliny category at [quem dixere chaos] … definitely worth a look

Latin Today

Tip o’ the pileus to Joseph Yarbrough for alerting us to this item in the Gyrene Gazette:

“Salvus sīs!” says your classmate, walking into the room.

You smile as you respond, “Salvē! Ut valēs?”

“Bene. Et tū?”

“Nōn male.” Soon, the room is sparkling with foreign chatter—before the professors have even arrived. Sermo Latinus Hodiernus has begun.

Latin Conversation Today, as the class is known to English speakers, is a living challenge to the assumption that the language of Caesar and Augustine is dead and gone. Every Friday, members meet under the instruction of Dr. Ritter and Dr. Yarborough for an hour of linguistic gymnastics that includes everything from telling time to describing objects—all conducted in Latin.

In the past, AMU students have gathered informally for the same purpose, but this is the first year the school is offering the course for credit.

Latin Today is not what Dr. Ritter would call a “typical” language class. By getting an inside look at the mechanisms of the language, students are able to step outside the normal pattern of learning and see Latin as more than a two-dimensional puzzle.

The course is geared toward taking the passivity out of studying Latin and turning it into an active experience through immersion and a diversity of exercises—in the words of Dr. Ritter, “doing Latin without really realizing you’re doing Latin.”

“It’s very hard to say, ‘What does it mean?’ at the end of the day,” Dr. Ritter says about straightforward memorization and translation. His goal is to “take a Latin class and do something a little bit more.”

Still, the class is more than a cryogenic experiment. Up until the nineteenth century, Latin pervaded everyday communication; indeed, for medieval Europe, it was a way of life. A working knowledge of the language, then, provides an inlet to philosophical, theological, and even historical goldmines. In order to cultivate an appreciation for classical writers, Dr. Ritter hopes to eventually have his students working with ancient texts, such as Genesis, the Gospel of John, and St. Augustine. He agrees with Pope John XXIII, who saw Latin as that link between past and future which allows us to read into other cultures and prevents ideas from growing stale. Dr. Ritter himself objects to the view of Latin as a “dead language” when it continues to enrich so many lives. “It would be naïve to sell it short in that way,” he says.

But let’s not forget the element of fun involved: namely, what Dr. Ritter calls “the joy of naming”—the rush of life that accompanies learning, for the first time, how to express oneself in a new language.

“It’s that delight of ‘I’ve found something,’” he says, experienced only when you learn how to say “window” as Aquinas might have, or the connection you make when you realize that Romans furrowed their brows when we ourselves frown.

Dr. Ritter recalls how “shocked” he was the first time he heard anyone speaking Latin for any length of time. But he acknowledges the sense of accomplishment that comes with “passing on with great ease what you learned with great difficulty.” It Dr. Ritter’s hope to imbue his pupils with this skill.

While the Latin language certainly wasn’t born yesterday, one thing remains certain: at Ave Maria, students and faculty continue to show that Latin today is very much alive.

For more inforamation about Latinus Hodiernus and the Classics and Early Christian Literature department of Ave Maria University, please visit their web page: classics.avemaria.edu.

via: Dead or Alive? They Say Alive (Gyrene Gazette)