Monday, December 29, 2008

2009 National Mythology Exam

If you haven't registered for the 2009 National Mythology Exam, the deadline is fast approaching. The National Mythology Exam is sponsored by ETClassics, Excellence Through Classics, a standing committee of the American Classical League. Forms are due on January 15, 2009 and a study bibliography will be sent upon registration receipt.

The National Mythology Exam is a multiple choice exam designed for grades 3-9. It is also open to students in grades 10-12. Many English, art, social studies and history teachers include this exam as part of their yearly curriculum. The NME consists of a 30-item basic exam plus additional sub-tests, based upon the student's grade level. Visit the ETClassics website for complete information, including sample test questions, packet previews, internet resources, and much more!

ETClassics also sponsors the Exploratory Latin Exam, which closes its registration on March 1, 2009.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Felicem Diem Christi Natalem Omnibus Exopto!

(Merry Christmas to Everyone!)

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Bless Your Ipod with Some Latin!

According to USA Today, the Vatican has given its blessing to the iBreviary, an add-on application for the Iphone and Ipod Touch that assists the faithful, especially ordained clergy, in praying the Liturgy of the Hours.  This daily prayer includes the office, lauds, daytime prayer, vespers and compline.  

Currently, iBreviary supports five languages for the main part of the program -- including Latin -- with plans for additional languages to be added.  Unfortunately, only Italian seems to be supported in the additional features which link daily Mass readings and traditional Catholic prayers, though updates are planned.  iBreviary is currently available in iTunes App Store for 99 cents.  

Read Sacred Texts: Vatican Embraces iTunes Prayer Book. (USA Today, December 23, 2008)

Also available for the iPhone & iPod Touch is Holy Rosary, which is a fully functioning graphically-based virtual rosary.  This program includes the text of standard Rosary prayers in Latin, as well as English, Spanish, Italian and French. 

Not religious in nature are a variety of other widgets in the iTunes App Store: Latin-English mini-dictionaries, quotation and poetry collections, and a Roman Numeral converter.

Friday, December 19, 2008

O Abies! (O Christmas Tree!)

Nuntii Latini, the weekly Latin news from Finland, reports on the Arbor Natalicia Vaticana (the Vatican Christmas tree). There's also a story, De Muneribus Nataliciis (Regarding Christmas Gifts), which describes some of the presents Europeans are giving to each other this year. You can also find free audio podcasts of past Nuntii Latini programs on Apple Itunes.

Also, don't miss seeing Olympia, the world's Tallest Snow Woman. Olympia is, of course, named after Mount Olympus, the home of the Greek pantheon of mythological gods and goddesses. (Gratias tibi ago to Melissa Bishop of Creative Classical Curriculum for this link!)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Playmobil Romans Know Latin!

Our Playmobil Roman Arena set arrived! We bought the smaller set and decided to get some extra Roman soldiers nd gladiators to go along with it. Plus the Roman family, which we will name Caecilius, Metella, Quintus and Caecilia.

While wrapping the arena to put under the Christmas tree, we realized that the parchment that the Caesar character holds has some actual Latin on it. It's a list of Latin maxims including "Alea iacta est," "Dum spiro, spero," "In hoc signo, vinces," "Repetitio est mater studiorum," "Primus inter pares," "Fiat lux," "Quod erat demonstrandum," "De gustibus non est disputandum," and several others.

Very, very cool! Excellent attention to detail!

Io Saturnalia!

Today is December 17, the day that the ancient Romans began celebrating their week-long winter festival, Saturnalia, during which time schools and businesses closed, fans attended gladiator games, presents were exchanged (especially candles, according to William Smith's Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities), and parties took place at all levels of Roman society.

Sound familiar?

Of course, not everyone celebrated the Roman winter holiday by gaming or feasting. Pliny the Younger writes in Epistula II.17 about withdrawing to his sitting room to read and study quietly while the rest of his household made merry.

For Christmas and Saturnalia ideas, see previous Latinteach blog entries labeled Holidays.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

A Classical Christmas

There are just a few more days before Christmas break and winter holidays begin. Here are two more sites you may find useful for December planning.

The Association for Latin Teaching (ArLT) has a brilliant collection of resources for Classics teachers planning Christmas celebrations, including Latin carols, a selection of Nativity readings excerpted from the Vulgate Bible, plus the "Messianic Eclogue" from Vergil, greetings, quotations and clip art for cardmaking, as well as some factual information about the Roman Saturnalia.

If you're looking for some religious Christmas lyrics, the Latin Library's Christian Latin Hymni et Cantica has several songs appropriate for the season.

See all Latinteach blog entries labeled Holidays.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

No Escape from Pompeii

Discovery Channel News reports the reconstruction of the final hours of a prominent Pompeii family who perished following the 79 AD eruption of Mount Vesuvius, by analyzing the layers of volcanic ash and examining the DNA from skeletons found in the home. This is a perfect opportunity to show the connection between science and the study of Latin and the Classics. This article is accompanied by some excellent links to a slideshow and podcast and extension activities. Latin teachers who use the Cambridge Latin Course Unit I will find this reconstruction particularly relevant, but it will be of interest to anyone fascinated by life in Ancient Rome. A great deal of our modern understanding of the Ancient Romans comes from the archaeological evidence excavated at Pompeii and Herculaneum, in combination with accounts from historical and literary texts (see Pliny VI, 16, 20 for a Latin language account of the catastrophe.)

If you live near or will be travelling to Washington D.C. this winter, the National Gallery of Art is hosting Pompeii and the Roman Villa, a major exhibition featuring art, objects and artifacts pertaining to the disaster. Visit the NGA site for video background, exhibition guides, links to podcasts from behind the scenes, and information about related tours, lectures and talks.

Friday, December 12, 2008

More Christmas and Saturnalia Suggestions!

Ancient Roman nobility enjoyed feasting on stuffed dormice. However, it's likely that your students would prefer these chocolate Christmas Eve Mice from A Taste of Home cooking magazine. If you're looking for an authentic recipe (the ancient Romans didn't have chocolate), A Taste of Ancient Rome by Ilaria Gozzini Giacosa (translated by Anna Herklotz) includes one.

By the way, Caroline Lawrence, author of the Roman Mysteries series has completely redesigned her website. Your students will enjoy the first installment of her new online newsletter "Dormouse." This month features a fun quiz with questions that show the parallels between our modern Christmas celebration and the Roman Saturnalia.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Who Says Rome Wasn't Built in a Day?

You can build Rome in your very own house on Christmas morning!

We ordered the Playmobil Romans for Christmas! Playmobil is a German toy maker that designs high quality playsets that include medieval castles, modern cities, zoos and much more. This year, they have released a set that includes the Colosseum, a Roman naval ship, gladiators, a Roman family, and of course, Gauls and barbarians.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Latin Christmas Carols

Soon it will be December (tomorrow!) which means it is time to start planning for Christmas and Hanukkah!

According to John Traupman's Conversational Latin for Oral Proficiency (4th edition), this is how to wish someone a Merry Christmas in Latin: "Faustem ac felicem Christi natalem (tibi exopto)!" Of course, the Romans didn't celebrate Christmas. They celebrated the ancient holiday Saturnalia, so according to The Bantam New College Latin & English Dictionary, Revised Edition (3rd edition, also written by Dr. Traupman) they would have wished each other "Io Saturnalia!" or "Hilara Saturnalia!" (See Mary Beard's Five Things the Roman's Did At Christmas to find out more about Saturnalia.)

Check out the Rosa Latina website for some holiday ideas! Latin teacher and author, Rose Williams, has an excellent selection of free teaching packets available there, including including Holidays for Latin Class.

Kentucky Educational Television Latin Distance Learning has some great activities for winter holiday celebrations, including The Nativity Story in Latin and suggestions for a Saturnalia party.

Visit the Minimus Etc. website to download some very creative materials, including Latin Christmas Carol song sheets, the Animals' Carol, recipes, and several skits and plays that your students might enjoy performing.

Laura Gibbs' Gaudium Mundo blog features an impressive selection of winter holiday songs - Christmas, Hanukkah and secular - in Latin.

Michael Myer has placed Cantica Adventus, a collection of religious and secular Latin lyrics on his school site.

Preces Latinae has a large selection of religious hymns in Latin for the entire liturgical year (In Temporibus Anni), including Advent (Tempus Adventus) and Christmas Time (Tempus Nativitatis). This collection includes familiar songs of praise, including Veni, Veni Emmanuel ("O Come, O Come Emmanuel") and Adeste Fidelis ("O Come All Ye Faithful") as well as many others.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Start Studying Greek and Latin Now

According to to Charlotte Higgins, a British Classicist, "to understand the next four years of American politics, you are going to need to understand something of the politics of ancient Greece and Rome." Writing for The Guardian, a major British daily, she asserts that Barack Obama is "The New Cicero," (November 26, 2008) an intellectual politician and gifted orator. Ms. Higgins gives concrete examples of the rhetorical techniques employed by the President-Elect. No matter which candidate you may have voted for, it's a fascinating article.

To learn more about Cicero and his discourse on rhetorical technique, you can read his De Oratore ("On the Orator") either in the Latin original or in English translation. An excellent resource for learning more about rhetoric and rhetorical devices is Dr. Gideon Burton's Silva Rhetorica ("the Forest of Rhetoric") at Brigham Young University.

Soap Operas and Sophocles: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Healing

Only the term "post traumatic stress disorder" is new. PTSD has been around for thousands of years. Over the centuries, this theme has become part of poetic and dramatic tradition. Ancient and modern authors have written about it and explored it in epic and tragedy.

Recently the ABC soap opera All My Children cast JR Martinez, an actual Iraq vet (and a spokesperson for the Coalition to Salute America's Heroes) in a storyline about a returning soldier who has chosen to hide his identity from his wife (whose character is also a veteran, portrayed by career actress Beth Ehlers) due to the extent of his injuries. So, what does an afternoon soap opera have to do with the Classics? Like the ancient Greeks, Americans are trying to understand what it means to have served in combat and what that does to a soldier and his family.

Soldiers, returning home from war, have always had to deal with the trauma of what they have seen and endured, often in isolation, because they cannot begin to describe the horrors of war to those who have not also experienced it. (See a recent public service announcement, Alone, from the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America Community of Veterans Project for a deeply moving depiction of this isolation, as well as links to support.)

On the November 25, 2008 airing of National Public Radio's All Things Considered, Elizabeth Bair relates how the tragedies of the ancient Greek Sophocles resonate with audiences of contemporary veterans and their families. Listen to In Ancient Dramas, Vital Words for Today's Warriors for a powerful story of the emotional toll of war, as well as hope and healing. There you'll also find several accompanying videos from recent productions of Ajax and Philoctetes, performed for veterans at a recent Warrior Resilience Conference.

To explore more about how the Ancient Greeks can help us understand the psychic wounds of war, also see the works of psychiatrist Jonathan Shay, Achilles in Vietnam: Combat Trauma and the Undoing of Character and its sequel Odysseus in America: Combat Trauma and the Trials of Homecoming. Dr. Shay does an incredible job of showing the parallels between the experiences of the Homeric warriors and those of contemporary American soldiers.

Please remember the soldiers, sailors, marines and airmen still serving far from home and family during your Thanksgiving this week.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Can You Go For a Day Without Latin?

The Anderson, IN, Herald-Bulletin editorial staff (November 20, 2008, Try to Go a Day Without Latin) questions the wisdom of the elected leaders in some British towns who wish to ban Latin in official documents.

Meanwhile, the Lexington (KY) Herald Leader (November 24, 2008, Latin Anything But Dead at Classics Convention) reports on the Kentucky Junior Classical League, whose members love the Latin language so much that they dedicated not just a day, but an entire weekend to Latin and the Classics.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Latin and the Recession

Nuntii Latini reports this week on the weakening economy in their story Recessio in USA Gravescit ("The Recession in the USA is Worsening.")

Meanwhile, the New York Times is reporting this week "Bankers to Learn What 'Malus' Is." That is to say, some financial institutions are changing their policies so that when fund managers make bad decisions, they will no longer get a bonus. In fact, they will lose money!

In Latin, bonus is, of course, an adjective meaning good, whereas malus is the opposite, an adjective meaning bad.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

To Read the Past is to See the Future

Read about North Central High School (Indianapolis, IN) Junior Classical League's unique charity outreach, the Libri Juliani Project, to benefit victims of domestic violence at a shelter in their city.

Ascanius Classics Institute: An Opportunity for HS and College Latin Students

Spread your enthusiasm for the ancient world to a new generation!

Ascanius: The Youth Classics Institute, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting the classical world in the elementary and middle school, is accepting applications for faculty positions at LatinSummer 2009 from now through January 26, 2009. Any high school or college Latin student is welcome to apply. LatinSummer is a two-week long program for students on the elementary and middle school levels.

LatinSummer 2009 will run in Williamsburg, Virginia, from July 24 - August 7, 2009. Faculty members earn a small honorarium. All room and board costs, and all or part of travel costs, are paid for by the Institute. For more information or for an application, please visit Ascanius on the web at

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

A Love of Books and Languages

Anthony Marshall, "a linguist by temperament and training" as well as a bookseller by trade, writes about how his love of languages -- particularly Latin -- has benefited him (not necessarily in monetary terms) in "Minding My Languages," the current lead article in the November/December 2008 issue of Book Source Magazine, a journal of the antiquarian book trade. Interestingly enough, although customers seem to enjoy browsing through all the foreign language books that he has stocked in his Melbourne (Australia) store, these books do not generally sell very well. Mr. Marshall says his best sellers in the foreign language category are, without a doubt, Latin and Greek.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Doctor Who in Pompeii!

The fourth series of Doctor Who will start on BBCAmerica starting this weekend! What does Doctor Who have to do with teaching Latin? Well, a famous character from the Cambridge Latin Course will be guest starring in the second episode later this month!

In Episode 2, The Fires of Pompeii, which airs on Saturday, November 22, 2008, the Time Lord Doctor and his companion, Donna, find themselves in the doomed ancient city in 79 AD . (If you miss it, don't worry. BBCAmerica will carry seemingly constant re-runs and you can also download individual episodes on Itunes after the first run of each new episode.)

By the way, The Official BBC Doctor Who site has Series 4 The Fires of Pompeii wallpapers for your computer desktop!

Stephen Colbert cantat!

Stephen Colbert sang "Happy Birthday" to his mother -- in Latin -- on Comedy Central's Colbert Report TV show last night (Thursday, November 6, 2008, last segment of the show).

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Happy 88th Birthday, Mom Colbert
Colbert Report Full Episodes2010 ElectionFox News

Last April, he sang "Felicem Natalem Diem" to celebrate Pope Benedict XVI's birthday.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Review your Latin Grammar in Song!

The energetic teachers and students at Somerset Hills School District in Bernardsville, New Jersey, have put together a wonderful collection of Latin language resources! Included you will find helpful noun and verb charts and some clever songs to make it easier for you to remember noun and verb endings!

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Dickinson College Latin Workshops

Two upcoming Latin workshops at Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania have been announced.

Dickinson Latin Workshop: Roman Myth

Saturday, February 21 , 2009, 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Presented by Stephen Heyworth, Fellow and Tutor in Classics,
Wadham College, Oxford University
Dickinson College, Tome 115, Carlisle, Pennsylvania, USA

Details: Prof. Heyworth is an authority on Latin poetry, especially Propertius and Ovid. He is currently working on Ovid's Fasti, and will share his thoughts on Roman myth in a three hour workshop, with ample time for questions and discussion. Lunch will be provided. The workshop is intended for teachers of Latin, but please pass this along to teachers of other subjects who might be interested.

The workshop is free of charge, but pre-registration is required so that materials can be sent in advance. For further details, including directions and pre-registration, please visit the Dickinson College Department of Classics website at

Summer Latin Workshop at Dickinson College - July 12-17, 2009
Dickinson College, Carlisle, Pennsylvania
Application Deadline: May 1, 2009
Tuition: $300 (due June 4, 2009)

This year we will read Cicero's meditation on the Roman constitution, De re publica, in the edition of James Zetzel.

Tuition includes housing (consisting of single or double accommodations in college-owned houses), all meals, and access to Dickinson facilities, including library and gym. Participants are responsible for their own travel and book expenses.

Faculty: Christopher Francese, Associate Professor of Classics, Dickinson College; Meghan Reedy, Assistant Professor of Classical Studies, Dickinson College.

Further details, including how to apply for the course, are available at the Dickinson College Department of Classics Website at

Free Latin for the New Millennium Webinars

Bolchazy-Carducci Publishers is again offering free webinars (live, online presentation and voice discussion) on Latin for the New Millennium: Level 1, its recently released, innovative Latin program. Senior editor LeaAnn Osburn will be leading these sessions on these dates:

  • Thursday, December 4th, 2008
  • Thursday, February 19th, 2009
  • Thursday, June 18th, 2009

All three webinars will be free. Each will be presented at 5:00 CST (6:00 EST). The webinars will last from between 60-90 minutes depending on questions from attendees. These new webinars will also feature a sneak-peek into the forthcoming Latin for the New Millennium: Level 2 textbook which includes Medieval and Renaissance Latin. For more information on how to participate, please see Bolchazy's Webinar schedule.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Nota Bene: Latin is an Elitist Language

It was bound to happen eventually. According to the Daily Telegraph newspaper, some local council governments in the UK have decided to ban the use of Latin phrases in official documents. Among the phrases no longer acceptable are et cetera (etc.), id est (ie.) and quid pro quo. Read all about it in Councils Ban 'Elitist' and 'Discriminatory' Latin phrases (Daily Telegraph, November 2, 2008). Also included in the article is a handy list of English equivalents for Latin terms considering confusing.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Need Some Halloween Ideas for Your Latin Classes?

In addition to last year's Halloween ideas for Latin classes, here are a few more...

You might consider exploring the Latin of Harry Potter. Ginny Lindzey shows the Classical connection in Just Charming: Tapping into the Latin Magic of Harry Potter.

Michael Myer, Magister Lingua Latinae at Heathwood Hall Episcopal School, has some fun materials to share with you on his class website, including a list of the parts of the body (Partes Corporis) that can be used for playing Simon (or Caesar) Says, plus the lyrics to Illa Ossa (sung to the tune of 'Dem Bones').

For those of you who use Professor John Traupman's Latin Is Fun, Book 1 as a textbook or supplement, there is a scary Monstrum in Chapter 12 as well as a wonderful skit about the legendary Roman scientist Dr. Franciscus Frankenpetrus.

Dr. Melissa Schons Bishop has organized a Halloween activity kit which can be purchased at her new store, Creative Classical Curriculum. With up to three days of material for each class, "Horrible Haunted Halloween Horror" includes readings and activities for all four levels of Latin based upon authentic Latin texts: a haunted house story by Pliny for Latin I, the werewolf story from Petronius for Latin II, Lycaeon's metamorphosis into a wolf from Ovid for Latin III and Aeneas descent into the Underworld from the Aeneid for Latin IV. Each selection is accompanied by magic vocabulary lists and active learning followups. Dr. Bishop also includes two complete games Monster Bingus and the Underworld Game. The kit may be downloaded for $40 -- keep in mind that it can printed out and used for years. Also available and suitable for Halloween is "Gross Roman Facts."

Even More Latin Teachers in the News!

According to the Pioneer Press in Minneapolis-St. Paul, "students in Minnesota are clamoring to take Latin classes!" Read Metro Schools Giving Latin Language New Life. (Link no longer active.)

Tbe Fort Myers News-Press (October 29, 2008) reports on a winter resident who teaches Latin via long distance to students in Connecticut in South Fort Myers snowbird teaches long-distance Latin.

Monday, October 27, 2008

How to Cheer for the Philadelphia Phillies in Latin!

This is for the baseball fans who are following the World Series! Latin teacher and baseball fan Dennis McHenry II of Allentown High School, NJ, has composed the following cheers for supporters of the Phillies!

iō Philadelphiam! (Yo Philly!)
iō Philadelphias! (Yo Phillies!)
iō Philadelphenos! (Yo Philly (guys)!)

According to The Bantam New College Latin & English Dictionary, Revised Edition (Third Edition, John Traupman, 2007), is an interjection "(expressing joy) ho! hurray!" or "(in a sudden call) yo!"

Dennis felt that "'yo' ... seems natural in Philly." He further explains that this cheer "uses the exclamatory accusative. Philadelphenus,-a, -um is the adjective used in Latin for the people of ancient Philadelphia. This last one could refer to the players or the fans." Dennis recommends the second option, stating, "I think I like ' Philadelphias!' the best."

(For those of you who want to know precisely what an Exclamatory Accusative is, George Lane's Latin Grammar for Schools and Colleges explains that this type of accusative is used to call attention to something. It can occur with or without an interjection. Common interjections used with the Exclamatory Accusative are: heu, eheu, pro, iō, etc.)

Latin Teachers in the News!

A very recent article in the Delta Democrat Times of Greenville, MS, showcases Simmons High School's energetic Latin teacher Austin Walker and his bright and ambitious students. Read Hollandale Students Learn Roman Empire's Language.

Students in inner-city Hackney and other disadvantaged London (UK) boroughs are learning Latin, thanks to the Iris Project and Classics students from University College London and Kings College London. You can read more about this project at the Daily Telegraph in Latin, the Language of Literacy.

Illinois Latin Teacher Brian Tibbets (Monmouth-Roseville High School), has been featured in this week's Galesburg Register-Mail (October 20, 2008) after being awarded the Illinois Classical Conference Latin Teacher of the Year award. Read Latin is Not a Dead Language at MRHS.

Rocktown Weekly has a wonderful story entitled Rident Stolidi Verba Latina ("Fools Laugh at the Latin Language") (Link no longer active) highlighting the elementary school Latin classes taught by Arthur Rogers at Redeemer Classical School in Virginia.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Pretty Soon Everyone Will Want to Learn Latin!

Scotland's Education Minister Fiona Hyslop is calling for Latin to be reintroduced in Scottish schools, according to Scotland on Sunday (October 19,2008). The article indicates that there is a great deal of support for breathing new life into the Classics in Scotland, though there are the usual worries regarding funding and teacher preparation and availability. While many of the arguments are the usual utilitarian ones (grammar, literacy), Latinists will be happy to know that many of the educators and politicians are advocating Latin because it is interesting to young pupils!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Learning Latin is In Because Latin Teachers are Cool!

So says US News and World Report (October 17, 2008), which reports that "dynamic, enthusiastic educators might actually be the key to the language's surging popularity."

Latin is undoubtedly becoming more and more popular because the quality of teaching is high, the methodology varied, and the content rich, rigorous and relevant. Latin teachers are working hard to inspire and educate their students -- by educating themselves through attendance and participation at American Classical League Institutes and Workshops, conversational Latin Conventicula (several listed here which occur annually and have proven so popular that there are often waiting lists), blogs, online discussions, webinars, increased teacher recruitment, and inspired graduate level training. Then they bring what they've learned into the classrooms. Latin teachers don't always agree upon the best way to teach Latin. There are often spirited disagreements, but this is just evidence that they are continually thinking about ways to expand and improve their teaching skills.

Read Latin Surges in Popularity in the On Education section of this week's magazine online.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Latin by the Sea: University of Massachussetts Latin Seminar

This announcement just arrived this morning: The Conventiculum Bostoniense "is a full-immersion residential experience sponsored by Classics Department of University of Massachusetts at Boston, specifically designed for teachers in schools and universities, who want to gain some ability to communicate ex-tempore in correct Latin on a wide range of subjects. Two different graduate level courses are offered during the Conventiculum, one for first time attendees and the other for returning participants or those who already have experience with Latin as a communicative language. Days are filled with instructional activities, including sessions focused on oral expression or prose composition, opportunities for social interaction."

The faculty includes Jacqueline Carlon, Assistant Professor of Classics at UMass Boston; Emily McDermott, Professor of Classics at UMass Boston; Milena Mikova, Associate Professor of Classics at the University of Kentucky; and Terence Tunberg, Professor of Classics at the University of Kentucky.

The Conventiculum website provides further information about the Conventiculum Bostoniense, including available course descriptions as well as videos.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

What DID the Romans use for Toilet Paper?

Caroline Lawrence answers that question -- and a few others -- on the Roman Mysteries blog. (Unfortunately, the contest to win the prestigious Golden Sponge-Stick award isn't open outside the United Kingdom. Maybe someday...)

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Latin Still Lives at the New York Times

In this weekend's New York Times, Maureen Down asks "Are We Rome? Tu Betchus!" She seems to be saying "Gratias tibi ago, sed non gratias tibi ago" to the self-indulgence of the past decade and invokes somber and serious Stoicism. Maureen Dowd Latinam amat, so she asked Gary D. Farney to translate her editorializing about our current situation, "The Battle of Gall" (a pun on Caesar's Gaul, of course) into Latin.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Latin Lives in the New York Times!

There's actually some good news in today's newspaper! Read about "A Dead Language That's Very Much Alive" in today's New York Times -- enrollments are up, students are taking the National Latin Exam, and there's even some Latin conversation going on in the classrooms!

Friday, October 03, 2008

News for Novice and Experienced Speakers of Latin

From Nancy Llewelyn, President of SALVI (the Septentrionale Americanum Latinitatis Vivae Institutum, otherwise known as the North American Institute for Living Latin Studies) comes the news that there will be two Rusticationes Virginianae in West Virginia in 2009! One Rusticatio will be for novice and beginning speakers of Latin only, while the other will be for everyone, including more experienced conversationalists. Registration information hasn't been published to the SALVI website yet but it will be similar to previous Rusticationes, which you can read about at Keep checking SALVI as there should be more news in about a month or so. (Gratias tibi ago to Robert Patrick for sharing this!)

Read about John Piazza's experience at the 2003 Rusticatio California.

Latin Declension and Conjugation Review Sheets

Homeschooling mom Angelina from Louisiana has posted a schedule of lesson plans for the Latina Christiana curriculum as well as some handy declension and conjugation review sheets on her blog Permanent Things.

Latin Teacher Breathes Life into a Dead Language

Maryland Latin teacher Ruth Ann Besse was recently profiled in her local newspaper, The Gazette. Ruth Ann began teaching Latin in 2002 to her son, but now teaches "part-time" at a local school as well as to a co-op class of homeschoolers. (She's really much too busy to be described as a "part-time" Latin teacher.) Ruth Ann also serves as a North American points of contact for the Primary Latin Project, which promotes the Minimus Latin course, a popular British series. Read more about Ruth Ann and her experiences as a Latin teacher in The Gazette's profile of this energetic teacher (August 28, 2008).

Friday, September 26, 2008

New Games at FreeRice!, in partnership with the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University and the United Nations World Food Program, is an educational website that donates rice to the UN Program to End World Hunger. The way it works is that everytime you answer a question correctly, FreeRice's sponsors donate 20 grains of rice to help feed the starving and hungry.

Help end world hunger

FreeRice has been around for a while and started out with only an English vocabulary game. Recently, more games have been added: art, chemistry, geography, and math, English grammar, and language learning (French, German, Italian and Spanish.) Unfortunately, there's no Latin game yet, but your knowledge of Latin grammar and vocabulary will definitely help you with the English grammar and vocabulary games!

Register Now for the Medusa Mythology Exam 2009!

Registration is now open for the Medusa Mythology Exam 2009. An international competition for mythology enthusiasts, any student in grades 6-12 is encouraged to enter. No knowledge of Greek or Latin is required. According to the website, the Medusa Mythology Exam committee encourages English and homeschoolers to enroll interested students. Prizes include certificates of honorable mention, gold and silver medals, and there are cash scholarships for the highest honors. This exam is approved by the Contests & Activities Committee of the National Association of Secondary School Principals.

Each year a theme is set. This year focuses on "Adventures on the High Seas: Stories and Characters of Jason and the Argonauts: Theseus, Aeneas, and Odysseus."

Cost per student is $3.00. There is a $15 school fee. The test is administed by the teacher and should take place during the week of March 23-27. With prior arrangement, teachers can administer the test earlier if there is a spring break conflict.

The deadline for registration is February 14 (Valentine's Day), 2009.

For more details, visit the Medusa Mythology Exam 2009 website. There you will find downloadable registration forms and schedules, syllabi, sample exams, certamen (quiz bowl) questions, online practice tests, book suggestions, study questions and past results.

Marble relief of Medusa from Greek temple in Syracuse. Photo by Barbara McManus. Courtesy of VRoma.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Bolchazy's Fall Webinar Schedule Announced

Bolchazy-Carducci has just announced their fall Webinar schedule. Designed for busy Latin teachers, attendees of these interactive online seminars can converse with each other and the speakers, view presentations, and explore teaching materials used by the speakers -- all from the comfort of home. Each webinar lasts for 2 hours with a mid-point break.Tuition for each session is $99. A subscription for all 3 can be purchased for $249. Many school districts will accept participation in these Webinars as fulfillment of required continuing education credits. (Check with your school district or department of education before enrolling.) Visit Bolchazy-Carducci for details about each webinar as well as registration instructions.

October 16, 4-6 pm EST (3-5 CST) "Oral Interpretation of Latin Poetry: The Delight of Latin Aloud" Robert P. Sonkowsky, University of Minnesota, Emeritus Professor of Classics.

October 21, 7-9pm EST (6-8 CST) "Unlocking Catullus" LeaAnn Osburn, Emerita Latin Teacher and Helena Dettmer, University of Iowa.

November 6, 3-5 EST (2-4 CST) "The Pleasures of Teaching Lucretius" Bonnie Catto, Assumption College.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Mark Your Calendars!

According to Yahoo! News, German radio station Kiss FM will be broadcasting entirely in Latin for part of the day on September 26th!

Save the Medieval Latin Department at the University of Heidelberg!

Sign the petition seeking to save the Department for Medieval and Neo-Latin Philology (Seminar für Lateinische Philologie des Mittelalters und der Neuzeit in Heidelberg) from closure!

Pompeii and the Roman Villa, National Gallery of Art, Washington DC

If a trip to Italy to visit the ancient cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum is too expensive this year, consider taking a trip to our nation's Capitol, Washington D.C., where the National Gallery of Art will be hosting an exhibition entitled Pompeii and the Roman Villa: Art and Culture Around the Bay of Naples from October 19, 2008-March 22, 2009.

By the way, the National Gallery of Art has a wonderful online lesson plan for teachers and parents interested in introducing students to Greco-Roman art, Greco-Roman Origin Myths, which includes an interactive presentation of great works of art with clickable images, student activities, downloadable worksheets, related links, a glossary and more. Don't forget to try out NGAClassroom's Ancient Arcade game too!

Photo of a street in Pompeii with Mount Vesuvius in the background courtesy of Note the stepping stones so that inhabitants of the ancient city could cross the street without getting their feet and shoes messy.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Free Classical Podcasts - Archaeology, Myth and History

Texas Christian University archaeologist Jennifer Lockett, also known as "Indiana Jen," has published 3 enhanced podcasts and syllabi on Itunes: Introduction to Classical Mythology, The Ancient City of Rome, and Classical Archaeology. These are podcasts include slideshows -- if you have an Ipod capable of displaying video, you can see the slides while Dr. Lockett lectures. Of course, you don't need to have an Ipod to enjoy these podcasts -- and the accompanying slides -- if you have a current enough version of Itunes installed on your computer. You can watch and listen on your computer.

(Itunes is a free download and available for both Macintosh and Windows.)

You can find descriptions and links to each of the podcasts at

(Gratias tibi ago to the ARLT Weblog for pointing these podcasts out!)

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Homecoming Chants in Latin

Deborah Stakenas, Latin teacher at East Kentwood High School in Michigan, has written some wild and crazy Homecoming Chants. East Kentwood High School's mascot is the Falcon. Deborah hopes that other Latin teachers will enjoy these chants and modify them to fit their own mascots.

First Fight Song: Sinistrovorsum. Dextrovorsum. Sta-te. Se-de-te. Pug-na-te! (Turn to the left. Turn to the right. Stand up, Sit down, Fight, Fight, Fight.)

Second Fight Song: Falcones sumus. Falcones fortes. Falcones sumus. Iam quis est? (We are the Falcons, the mighty Falcons. We are the Falcons. Now who are you?) Clap with this one and point with the last three words.

Third Fight Song: (Spell it out and clap!) F-A-L CONES! F-A-L CONES! (Based on the Ohio Junior Classical League chant: O-hio Oh Oh hio.)

Fourth Fight Song: Falcones amamus! Iam laeti sumus. Falcones amamus vel vincatis. Quando amittatis, sumus tristes! O, Falcones, amamus! (We love you, Falcons, oh, yes, we do. We love you, Falcons, whether you win or lose. But when you are losing, we're blue! Oh, Falcons, we love you.)

September 11th and the Classics

Seven years ago, after the 9/11 attacks, University of Georgia Professor Richard A. LaFleur (editor of the Wheelock's Latin Course, 6th Edition, Revised) wrote a moving piece with the title Sunt Lacrimae Rerum et Mentem Mortalia Tangunt (from the Aeneid Book I, line 462: "There are tears for human events and mortal matters touch the soul,") that is still well worth reading.

Click the link above and scroll down about halfway to read Dr. LaFleur's comments.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

More Classical Allusions from the '08 Campaign

Classical allusions abound this election season. Ariana Huffington has declared Sarah Palin to be "a Trojan Moose concealing four more years of Bush," referring no doubt to the famed wooden horse of ancient Greek mythology. Meanwhile, Maureen Dowd of the New York Times is lamenting the "Clash of the Titans" this presidential contest might have been if Barack Obama had chosen Hillary Clinton as his running mate.

For those of you who are rooting for the Democrats, Anima Altera has created a t-shirt with the slogan "quidquid id est timeo Republicanos et dona ferentis" -- whatever it is I fear the Republicans even those bearing gifts (modified from Vergil's Aeneid II.49-50).

Amazing Mazes!

Amazeingart is a pretty cool site, designed by Christopher Berg, where you can read all about mazes and labyrinths, learn how to draw mazes, download free printable mazes, subscribe to a free maze newsletter, and more. Christopher Berg is a professional maze artist and author of Amazeing Art: Wonders of the Ancient World. The free printable mazes available on the website include the Colosseum of Rome, the Statue of Zeus at Olympus, the Pantheon at Rome, as well as many other famous places from antiquity.

Monday, September 08, 2008

The Classical Association of New England Emporium

The Classical Association of New England Emporium is now making maps, posters, t-shirts, mugs, tiles, bags, magnets, buttons, and a variety of other merchandise available on the brand new CANE Emporium CafePress Store.

The CANE Emporium Cafepress Store features many of the classic designs people have enjoyed in the past and some new ones, including assorted posters of Classical maps in many sizes, Aeneid-related designs, a raeda with a warning about a fossa, gladiators with a quote from Peter Alphonsus, and many more. New designs will continue to be added.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Nuntii Latini Has Returned from Vacation!

Those of you who follow Nuntii Latini, the Latin News, broadcast by YLE (the Finnish Broadcasting System) will be happy to know that the summer hiatus is over and transmissions have resumed for the fall!

Links to current stories may be found in the sidebar of this blog.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

VRoma now speaks classical Latin!

VRoma now speaks classical Latin!

Barbara McManus, Professor Emerita of Classics at the College of New Rochelle, New Rochelle, NY, recently sent this announcement, reproduced here with her permission:

"If you haven't been to VRoma lately, I encourage you to visit, because the site has been enriched with many new educational tools, such as threaded discussion boards and slide projectors, and now with a Latin interface. Thanks to a grant from the Classical Association of the Atlantic States, all of the system messages, menu items, buttons, etc. (the "voice" of the VRoma MOO) have been translated into classical Latin. More information about this exciting development can be found on the VRoma Home Page, located at, including information and photos from the translation workshop and a glossary that explains the underlying principles of the translation (we used words that an educated Roman of the second century CE would have recognized, even if their modern applications would have been incomprehensible). Users have to ask for the Latin (by selecting Language in Preferences), so visitors who do not know Latin can still enjoy a virtual visit to Rome completely in English. Latin students should be able to understand VRoma's Latin voice with the help of the glossary, and it is possible to keep the "tool tips" (explanations that appear when the cursor hovers over a word or phrase) in English or to see them in Latin as well."

Professor McManus continues:

"Of course all the cultural information in VRoma (site and object descriptions, extra web pages, etc.) is still in English. The Help section of the VRoma website contains illustrated guides that explain all the new features and how to use them. There is a new class of players, called "teachers," who have administrative powers, including the ability to create and manage accounts for their students, build classroom complexes, etc. Any real-world teacher with an existing VRoma account can be upgraded to "teacher" status in VRoma by writing to me at bmcmanus [at] Celebrate the new school year with a visit to (virtual) Rome, and see Latin playing an exhilarating new role!"

Barbara McManus, Co-Director, The VRoma Project
Professor of Classics Emerita
The College of New Rochelle, New Rochelle, NY 10805
Co-Director, The VRoma Project

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Sarah Palin and the Art of Rhetoric

Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin showed off her own keen oratorical skills this evening at the G.O.P. convention. Like Democrat President Clinton, she demonstrated that Republicans also know the value of a well-timed turn of phrase, working in a nice chiasmus -- an artful use of interlocking word order -- into tonight's acceptance speech: "In politics, there are some candidates who use change to promote their careers. And then there are those, like John McCain, who use their careers to promote change."

The presidential election season is always a wonderful opportunity to examine the speeches of politicians and how they use language artfully to persuade and sway the electorate. A great place to start is Silva Rhetoricae, a site dedicated to the study of Classical and Renaissance rhetoric. There's also a much briefer, but still useful Glossary of Rhetorical Terms maintained by the University of Kentucky Classic Department.

Those of you who are reading and studying great Classical authors, speakers and poets may want to consider how the figures of speech used by the likes of Caesar, Cicero and Vergil are imitated by modern politicians and activists to evoke emotional responses and persuade people to action.

New Aeneid Resource

If you are reading, studying, teaching or simply interested in the life, poetry and influence of the poetry of Publius Vergilius Maro -- Vergil -- then you need to check out Timothy Abney's new site, The site's stated mission is to be the central web clearing house for the Aeneid.

Currently, there are two sets of annotated resources on the site. The first is a general set of links pertaining to Vergil. The second set focuses on sites useful for teachers and students preparing for the AP Vergil exam. Each site has a brief review, critiquing the content and usefulness of the site. includes some interesting daily features. Each day of the month, you can read about a different character important to the exam syllabus. There is also a daily rotating figure of speech or rhetorical device.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

This Column is about Columns...and Democrats and Republicans

The Latinteach blog usually doesn't mention politics, but the politicians are now talking about the Greeks and Romans, so...

John McCain's official website has recently posted a video (link no longer available) in which Fox News Channel commentators criticize Barack Obama and the Democratic National Convention for erecting "Roman" columns at Invesco field in Denver. Rush Limbaugh also criticizes the set on his website, although he identifies the columns as Greek. He also likens Barack Obama to a Greek god -- in an attempt to stereotype him as an elitist. points out, succinctly, that the columns are no doubt intended to evoke the image of the Lincoln Memorial and Martin Luther King.

At any rate, take a look at the set where George W. Bush made his acceptance speech in 2004 at that year's Republican National Convention, courtesy of

By the way, for those of you who love Classical Rhetoric, did you catch the antimetabole (similar to chiasmus) in President Clinton's speech this evening? Antimetabole and chiasmus are two similar types of interlocking word order.

"People the world over have always been more impressed by the
power of our example than by the example of our power."

(Visit Silva Rhetoricae, the Forest of Rhetoric, to find out more about the ways orators use the power of word arrangement to artfully craft their speeches.)

Image of actual Roman columns courtesy of Vroma -- where you can find many more pictures of both Greek and Roman columns!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Save the Latin Program in Avon, Massachussetts!

Avon School District (Avon, Massachussetts) needs to hire a full-time Latin teacher or the program will be discontinued!

Read Lack of Latin Teacher Means No Latin for Avon Students.

Ecce Romani et Ecce Roma!

An announcement arrived today from the Ecce Romani folks!

"Plan to be a part of the next tour designed just for teachers, historians, and all those interested in the ancient Roman world – July 2-11, 2009. The itinerary is based on the textbook series ‘Ecce Romani’ and will follow the Cornelii family from the Bay of Naples to Rome, visiting major places of interest. Whether or not you use ‘Ecce’, this trip is a chance for in-depth learning, and an opportunity to preview places that you might like to revisit with your own student group. Of special interest to AP teachers will be visits to Cumae, the Phlegraean Fields and Lake Avernus. Complete details and full schedule can be found at

Patsy Ricks of Inside Italy Tours, and Caroline Switzer Kelly, Ecce teacher and author/consultant of Ecce Romani 2009 will be your guides. College Credit and CEUs will be available.

COST: $2980 – includes all travel and admissions in Italy; all meals in Campania; all breakfasts in Rome. (This price does not include airfare to and from Italy, transport to and from the Rome airport and single supplements. It is based on the current dollar-euro exchange rate and 15 participants.)

If you have further questions email Caroline at caroline.kelly [at]"

You can find out more about the new Ecce Romani, 4th edition at Pearson Education.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Now I Know My Latin!

In most modern language classes, one of the first lessons is how to pronounce the letters of the alphabet. Most teachers teach an alphabet song, much like the English alphabet song most of us learned as children.


W-X-Y-and Z!
Now I know my A, B, Cs,
Next time won't you sing with me.

Here are a few versions taught by Latin teachers...

(Posted with the permission of the authors.)

Jacque Myer's Latin Alphabet Song

Jacque has written her own variation on the English a-b-c song...The tune is basically the same, but the "line" divisions are a little different:

a, be, ce,
de, e, ef
ge, ha, i, ka
el, em, en, o, pe
cu, er, es,
te, u, ix
upsilon, ze-e-ta

Dennis M. McHenry II's Latin Alphabet Song

Dennis' alphabet song goes like the traditional English alphabet song (but without the pauses that normally follow g, p, s, v, x, & z):

a, be, ce, de, e, ef, ge, ha,
i, ka, el, em, en, o, pe, qu,

er, es, te, u, ix, y graeca,
zeta: haec sunt elementa.

quae possumus recitare,
visne nobiscum cantare?

Dennis reports that, "My students at all levels loved it, which surprised me."

He goes on to describe the Elementa.

"...the letters of the alphabet, the elements of the language, and I've worked in a question, a relative clause, some infinitives, cum with a personal pronoun ... what more could you want? I had all of my students learn the song and reproduce it on a test, which nearly every one found to be an easy way to earn some points."

"If it seems like a mouthful without the usual pauses, you can have kids trade off lines by gender, by seating arrangements, by legions, etc."

Ginny Lindzey's Alphabet Song (To the Tune of "The Barney Song")
Also available from The Latin Zone.

(CAPS for long vowels)

A, bE, cE
dE, E, ef
gE hA I

kA el em en

O-pE-cU (fast) er es tE

U et ypsIlon

zEta now our song is done

Robert Patrick offers 2 alternative endings for Ginny's Lindzey's song:

...zEta carmen factum.


zEta carmen factum'st.

Robert suggests really punching the "st" for fun. (Factum'st is a contraction for factum est.)

Laura Higley's alternative ending for Ginny Lindzey's song:

zeta. carmen nostrum iam.

Laura's ending almost makes it rhyme.

Enjoy your singing. Cantate!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Test Your Classics Knowledge

The UK Telegraph has a new feature -- Homework for Grown Ups! Test your knowledge of the Classics in this week's installment!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

What the Ancient Greeks Have To Teach Us About Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

A fascinating story from Yahoo! News, about the relevance of the works of Sophocles and other Greek tragedians to today's world, specifically the psychic wounds of war and post traumatic stress disorder. Read Greek Tragedies Offer Modern Lessons on War's Pain.

The epic poet Homer (composer of the Iliad and Odyssey) also has some wisdom about combat stress. Listen to MacArthur fellowship winner, Dr. Jonathan Shay, of the Department of Veteran's Affairs Outpatient Clinic in Boston, relate the Odyssey to today's OIF (Iraq) veterans on a 2007 NPR radiocast.

Image of Odysseus returning to Penelope courtesy of the Vroma Image Archive

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Minimus is Coming to the US!

Barbara Bell, author of the highly praised Minimus series, is coming to the U.S.! Minimus, as you all know, is the mouse who made Latin cool!

Barbara's visit is tentatively scheduled July 13-27. 2009.

Events will include an "Online Webinar" from the offices of Cambridge University Press in New York. It will solve the problem of having to gather the teachers in a physical spot and will open the event to a nationwide audience. Teachers can, whether they are on vacation or not, log on at a certain time on a given day. Of course, Cambridge and and MinimUS will announce the webinar date and time when all is finalized.

In addition, Barbara will spend a few days in Pittsburgh and hold a workshop for teachers, an event for children, and possibly participate in celebrations being held to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the American Classical League's Excellence Through Classics Committee, which has done so much to promote Classics for elementary and middle-school students.

Then, she'll head to the Baltimore area to hold another teacher-training event and a children's Minimus celebration (perhaps in a local museum). She also has a huge following among homeschoolers in this area and will probably be feted one evening! A very busy two weeks...

If you'd like to find out more information, contact Latin teacher Ruth Ann Besse at rabesse17 [at] Ruth Anne teaches Latin at a Catholic high school in Laurel, MD, as well as to homeschooling students and has done a great deal to promote Latin, the Classics, and of course, Minimus, including editing MinimUS, a newsletter for American teachers of the series.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Loafing with Latin: Afterschooling the Classics

Recently from the

Tom Hodgkinson and his son discover the "absolute genius" of the Cambridge Latin Course as they embark on an "afterschooling" adventure with Caecilius, Metella, Quintus, Grumio and the rest of the lot in Pompeii. This is why reading-based courses are so wonderful. When they are done well -- and the Cambridge Latin Course really is written quite brilliantly -- students (and teachers) want to keep on reading! There is real motivation for learning the forms and syntax!

My favorite line in the whole piece: "I was speaking Latin after two pages."

Read The Idle Parent...

Afterschooling: Supplementing your child's traditional school education by providing educational opportunities in the home.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Render Unto Caesar, That Which is Caesar's...

Dexter Hoyos passes along the word that there is a new website dedicated to telling the life of Julius Caesar through coins. Designed and maintained by the Australian Centre for Ancient Numismatic Studies at Macquarie University, Sydney, The Coinage of Julius Caesar is a unique biographical look at the his life, accomplishments, and legacy. There are numerous high quality clickable photographs of coins and viewers can examine both obverse and reverse images via a mouseover. Major highlights include the early career of Julius Caesar, the Gallic and Civil Wars, portraits of Caesar, as well as the influence of the first Caesar upon the coinage of his successors.

A bibliography, glossary and reference catalogue accompany the main site.

This is a particularly interesting site for anyone reading Caesar's De Bello Gallico or De Bello Civili, as well as students of Roman history or ancient numismatics (the study of coins.)

Friday, August 08, 2008

Call for Latin Teacher Presenters: NECTFL Conference

The Northeast Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (NECTFL) is a multi-level, multi-language conference of national stature held each year in the spring, generally in New York City. In 2009, the conference will take place April 16-18 at the Marriott Marquis overlooking Times Square on Boardway. The theme is "Engaging Communities."

NECTFL puts out a call for proposals every year in January with a May 15 deadline. A Program Committee of its Board of Directors reads all proposals and selects the best for presentation at the following year's conference (in March or April). The purpose of the conference is to provide outstanding professional development for teachers of language and culture, so selection criteria reflect that priority.

Occasionally, NECTFL finds that it does not have a sufficient number of sessions to attract teachers of a given language or level of instruction. Although the conference is too small to provide sessions in all languages and levels during each of its ten time slots on Friday and Saturday, NECTFL tries to have good representation for the languages that are dominant in the northeastern U.S. and has been quite successful in convincing teachers of Latin to attend the conference and to present sessions. A session on Latin by Ashley Broseker-Tremper was chosen as "Best of NECTFL" last year and sent on to the 2007 ACTFL Conference in San Antonio!

Nonetheless, NECTFL needs to recruit several more presenters for 2009 to ensure a rich, full program of offerings for teachers of Latin at all levels of instruction.

To that end, NECTFL invites Latin teachers to consider submitting a proposal.

Sessions are 75 minutes in length and focus on one of the following categories:

* articulation
* assessment/testing
* communities/workplace
* connections/comparisons
* culture/literature
* curriculum
* diversity
* instructional strategies
* materials
* policy/issues
* professional development
* research
* technology

Sessions may be intended for any level of instruction from prekindergarten through adult/government language schools. They may be presented in English with Latin (and possibly other target languages) providing examples to illustrate. Conference attendees are seeking either a very lively presentation or a hands-on, interactive experience. Attendees do not sign up in advance for sessions, so it is difficult to predict exactly how many will come to any given session, but NECTFL avoids scheduling two sessions during the same time slot on any language with relatively few offerings, specifically to ensure that every attendee who teaches that language will probably go to the one available session. (Of course, some sessions do not focus on any particular language, and there will also have an exhibit hall with a large number of companies promoting materials and services that attendees love to visit.)

NECTFL is a small non-profit, so unfortunately presenters must cover their own expenses and must pay the preregistration fee of $150. NECTFL also charges a nominal fee for certain AV items and technology services to help us defray the very high hotel costs for those items. Presenters choose the equipment they need by checking boxes on the proposal form.

The online proposal form is at

NECTFL encourages Latin teachers to have a look and to contact the executive director if you have any questions. If you do decide to submit a proposal, please do so as soon as possible so it can be publicized, in order to encourage more attendance by teachers of Latin.

The point of contact for NECTFL's Northeast Conference is Rebecca R. Kline, Ph.D. Executive Director, Northeast Conference at Dickinson College, Carlisle PA 17013. The website address is:

Monday, August 04, 2008

Second Free Webinar Planned: Latin for the New Millennium

On Thursday, August 7, 2008, at 3:00pm EDT, Bolchazy-Carducci will be presenting a second free Webinar focusing on their new, introductory two year series, Latin for the New Millennium. Series editor LeaAnn Osburn will review the textbooks, teachers' manuals and other ancillary materials, as well as take questions from the attendees. Attendance will be capped at 30 participants.

All you need to participate is high speed internet access, a speaker phone and an access code which will be provided in an electronic invitation sent one day prior to the webinar, containing a link and login information. Contact Bolchazy-Carducci Publishers for further information.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Latin Lives -- in New York City!

Latin is alive and flourishing in New York City, but there is a continued need for certified teachers in the Big Apple, according to Professor Ronnie Ancona, a Latin and Classics professor at Hunter College in Manhattan. This weekend's Staten Island Advance reports that "the market for Latin is very strong in the New York City area."

(Link no longer active): Latin Undergoing a Resurgence Among Students: 'Resquiescat in pace' (rest in peace) no longer seems an appropriate dismissal.

Friday, August 01, 2008

2009 Dickinson College Latin Workshops

Start planning now for next year!

What: Dickinson Latin Workshop: Roman Myth
When: Saturday, February 21, 2009, 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Where: Dickinson College, Carlisle, Pennsylvania, USA
Speaker: Stephen Heyworth, Fellow and Tutor in Classics, Wadham College, Oxford University

Details: Prof. Heyworth is an authority on Latin poetry, especially Propertius and Ovid. He is currently working on Ovid's Fasti, and will share his thoughts on Roman myth in a three hour workshop, with ample time for questions and discussion. Lunch will be provided. The workshop is intended for teachers of Latin, but please pass this along to teachers of other subjects who might be interested.

The workshop is free of charge, but pre-registration is required so that materials can be sent in advance. For directions and pre-registration, please contact Mrs. Barbara McDonald by email before February 1, 2009:

What: Summer Latin Workshop at Dickinson College
When: July 12-17, 2009
Where: Dickinson College, Carlisle, Pennsylvania, USA
Application Deadline: May 1, 2009
Tuition: $300 (due June 1, 2009)

Daily schedule will involve group translation and discussion of Cicero's De Re Publica.

For more information visit