<br /><br /><br />Moreland & Fleischer: intensive but dodgy Latin, June 9, 2003<br /> Reviewer: Lena from Southampton, UK<br />I have used this book with my students (accelerated beginners course, undergraduates/postgraduates) over a period of several years, simply because it is THE intensive course available, there is nothing else on the market that moves quickly enough for my needs. However, I have strong reservations about it. Most seriously, some of the Latin is dodgy, the grammar simply is not correct. Also, the exercises often sound very un-Roman; you get the impression that the authors are making their sentences up from the handbook but haven't read enough of the real stuff. This is not the tongue that Caesar spake! Furthermore, the exercises are full of strange people doing strange things- so the poor student can never be sure that he has got the translation right. The English is almost as stilted as the Latin. My favourite sentence is the one about the man who would easily have overcome the soldiers "if his rather heavy arms had not fallen from his very strong hands" (extra marks if you can visualise!). To complicate matters further, Moreland & Fleischer are experts at explaining a grammatical concept three chapters after they have asked the student to translate it.<br />I deal with these difficulties by giving my students strict instructions as to what exercises they are supposed to do; but it is not a suitable book for teaching yourself. For my part, it is a book I am stuck with, not one I recommend.
<br />If you're trying to learn Latin, look elsewhere, May 1, 2001<br /> Reviewer: Kristin from Philadelphia, PA<br />If you wish to learn the Latin that was actually written and spoken by the Romans, look elsewhere. The authors of this book delight in inventing rules and misinforming the readers. Incorrectly placed long marks are just the beginning of their mistakes. The book tries to include too much information in each chapter, leaving the beginning Latin student overwhelmed and confused. On top of this, the sentences used as examples can be best described as poor Latin that no Roman would have ever used. The one good point of this book is a decent vocabulary, but if you are trying to learn Latin correctly, I recommend Wheelock or Bennett's New Latin Grammar. (On a side note, this book is notorious for its sexual innuendoes which seem a little out of place in a latin text book.)
<br /><br />totus means that something is considered as a whole (without distinct parts) : tota Italia is only one thing. Horatius says that, one day, he walked on the Forum totus absorbed in futile thoughts.<br /><br />But Ovid says non omnis moriar "I will not entirely die". He means that some parts of his person (thus considered as a reunion of several parts) will survive. He refers of course to his poetry, which will make him immortal. Also when Caesar writes Gallia omnis he considers that Gaul is made up of several distinct parts. But if tota Gallia arises against Rome, it shows that all Gauls have the same mind.<br /><br />Omnis can also mean "Any kind of" : Est omnis servitus misera "Any slavery is a bad thing".<br /><br />In the plural, you will find more often omnes, omnia.<br />omnes dies "all (the) days" (Omnia mihi tempora sunt misera, Cicero said)<br />totos dies means "whole, full days"<br /><br />I was wondering while I was doing this exercise what exactly the difference between omnis and totus was.<br /><br />
<br /><br />It may be legitimate, but I don't like it. I always get a helpless feeling when someone gives me an excercise, and I don't know how to do it. I'd rather have a chance to learn the stuff, then exercise it (many times!), then be tested on it. <br /><br />Keesa<br />I'm using it as a revision text so I'm not fazed by some things coming earlier than they're explained (indeed I believe in some circles this is regarded as a legitimate language teaching technique). <br /><br />
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