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.