Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Grotto of Romulus and Remus May Have Been Found

The mythical cave Lupercal, where legend holds that the infant twins Romulus and Remus were cared for by a wolf, may have been unearthed by Italian archaeologists. More details from the New York Times.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Full Time Position for a Latin Teacher in FL

Windermere Preparatory School seeks a 7th and 8th grade Latin teacher, to start on January 2, 2008. It is a full-time position with five sections of Latin a day. Windermere's 7 th and 8th graders use Ecce Romani and are required to take the Latin 1A and 1B series. The successful candidate will work with the high school Latin teacher to build a dynamic program in the Classics. Interested candidates should forward their CV, 3 letters of reference and a statement of teaching philosophy to William Ford, Assistant Headmaster, Windermere Preparatory School, 6189 Winter Garden-Vineland Road, Windermere, FL 34786.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Semester finals are coming!

Need some clever and imaginative ways to help your students prepare for semester finals?

Visit Perlingua for some wonderful ideas including a template for a Dial a Verb wheel that students can make for themselves, a Circle of Life sentence machine and an Excel template for a noun-adjective agreement booklet.

Friday, November 16, 2007

The Poet's Calendar

I came across this poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow recently and thought that others might enjoy it. It's positively full of allusions to mythology and the Classical world and seems appropriate for the upcoming winter holidays.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


Janus am I; oldest of potentates;
Forward I look, and backward, and below
I count, as god of avenues and gates,
The years that through my portals come and go.
I block the roads, and drift the fields with snow;
I chase the wild-fowl from the frozen fen;
My frosts congeal the rivers in their flow,
My fires light up the hearths and hearts of men.


I am lustration, and the sea is mine.
I wash the sands and headlands with my tide;
My brow is crowned with branches of the pine;
Before my chariot-wheels the fishes glide.
By me all things unclean are purified,
By me the souls of men washed white again;
E'en the unlovely tombs of those who died
Without a dirge, I cleanse from every stain.


I Martius am! Once first, and now the third!
To lead the Year was my appointed place;
A mortal dispossessed me by a word,
And set there Janus with the double face.
Hence I make war on all the human race;
I shake the cities with my hurricanes;
I flood the rivers and their banks efface,
And drown the farms and hamlets with my rains.


I open wide the portals of the Spring
To welcome the procession of the flowers,
With their gay banners, and the birds that sing
Their song of songs from their aerial towers.
I soften with my sunshine and my showers
The heart of earth; with thoughts of love I glide
Into the hearts of men; and with the Hours
Upon the Bull with wreathed horns I ride.


Hark! The sea-faring wild-fowl loud proclaim
My coming, and the swarming of the bees.
These are my heralds, and behold! my name
Is written in blossoms on the hawthorn-trees.
I tell the mariner when to sail the seas;
I waft o'er all the land from far away
The breath and bloom of the Hesperides,
My birthplace. I am Maia. I am May.


Mine is the Month of Roses; yes, and mine
The Month of Marriages! All pleasant sights
And scents, the fragrance of the blossoming vine,
The foliage of the valleys and the heights.
Mine are the longest days, the loveliest nights;
The mower's scythe makes music to my ear;
I am the mother of all dear delights;
I am the fairest daughter of the year.


My emblem is the Lion, and I breathe
The breath of Libyan deserts o'er the land;
My sickle as a sabre I unsheathe,
And bent before me the pale harvests stand.
The lakes and rivers shrink at my command,
And there is thirst and fever in the air;
The sky is changed to brass, the earth to sand;
I am the Emperor whose name I bear.


The Emperor Octavian, called the August,
I being his favorite, bestowed his name
Upon me, and I hold it still in trust,
In memory of him and of his fame.
I am the Virgin, and my vestal flame
Burns less intensely than the Lion's rage;
Sheaves are my only garlands, and I claim
The golden Harvests as my heritage.


I bear the Scales, where hang in equipoise
The night and day; and when unto my lips
I put my trumpet, with its stress and noise
Fly the white clouds like tattered sails of ships;
The tree-tops lash the air with sounding whips;
Southward the clamorous sea-fowl wing their flight;
The hedges are all red with haws and hips,
The Hunter's Moon reigns empress of the night.


My ornaments are fruits; my garments leaves,
Woven like cloth of gold, and crimson dyed;
I do not boast the harvesting of sheaves,
O'er orchards and o'er vineyards I preside.
Though on the frigid Scorpion I ride,
The dreamy air is full, and overflows
With tender memories of the summer-tide,
And mingled voices of the doves and crows.


The Centaur, Sagittarius, am I,
Born of Ixion's and the cloud's embrace;
With sounding hoofs across the earth I fly,
A steed Thessalian with a human face.
Sharp winds the arrows are with which I chase
The leaves, half dead already with affright;
I shroud myself in gloom; and to the race
Of mortals bring nor comfort nor delight.


Riding upon the Goat, with snow-white hair,
I come, the last of all. This crown of mine
Is of the holly; in my hand I bear
The thyrsus, tipped with fragrant cones of pine.
I celebrate the birth of the Divine,
And the return of the Saturnian reign;--
My songs are carols sung at every shrine,
Proclaiming "Peace on earth, good will to men."

Friday, November 09, 2007

Latin Thanksgiving Blessings and Graces

Perhaps some of you are looking for a Latin Grace before Meals for your Thanksgiving celebration. Not every Latin teacher will be able to use this in his or her classroom, but every year, there certainly are requests for a grace.

The following is a well-known blessing:

"Benedic nos Domine
et haec tua dona
quae de tua largitate
sumus sumpturi
per Jesum Christum
Dominum nostrum

("Bless us, O Lord,
And these they gifts
which from your bount
we are about to receive
through Jesus Christ
Our Lord

A different version of the above prayer as well as a number of other traditional graces and blessings in Latin can be found at Queens College, Cambridge University's website.

It's possible that you might want to serve some authentic Roman recipes for Thanksgiving, but it's probably more likely that you'd serve a Thanksgiving Cornucopia. (Cornucopia derives from the Latin cornu, meaning horn, and copia, meaning plenty. The lesser Roman divinity of luck, Fortuna, was often portrayed with a cornucopia in one hand and a rudder in the other hand.)

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