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Latin Primer with Vergil

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Latin Primer with Vergil

Postby mingshey » Thu Apr 03, 2008 9:52 am

Is there a Latin equivalent to Clyde Pharr's Homeric Greek? In other words a Latin Primer that uses Vergil's Aeneid as the main text? My colleague Spanish teacher wants to start a Latin class that leads to AP Latin:Vergil. Most of the students here has no experience of learning Latin. So he wants to introduce Latin and at the same time to Vergil's Aeneid and/or Georgica. He does not expect the student to be prepared for AP Latin Exams in a short period, but there are some enthusiastic students who want to start learning Latin anyway.

Thanks in advance.
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Postby spiphany » Thu Apr 03, 2008 3:10 pm

I don't know of any texts based on Vergil, but there is a book called Latin via Ovid by Goldman and Nyenhuis which offers a similar approach and is based on poetry rather than prose authors.

He might also check what beginning readers are available, as some of them are probably based on Roman history/mythology and would include stories modified from the Aeneid.
IPHIGENIE: Kann uns zum Vaterland die Fremde werden?
ARKAS: Und dir ist fremd das Vaterland geworden.
IPHIGENIE: Das ist's, warum mein blutend Herz nicht heilt.
(Goethe, Iphigenie auf Tauris)
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Postby timeodanaos » Thu Apr 03, 2008 5:10 pm

It would be odd, seeing as Homer is relatively easy compared to other poetry and prose such as Plato, while Virgil is easily one of the most difficult authors of the classical period to read.
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Postby nov ialiste » Thu Apr 03, 2008 8:35 pm

There is a beginner's book based on the text of Caesar's Gaulish Wars.

An Inductive Latin Method.

by Willam R. Harper and Isaac B. Burgess

American Book Company, 1888


It uses Caesar's original text from the start and explains grammar etc. step by step.

Long vowels are marked with macrons.

I've only looked at the few first pages but it looks quite good. The book is available on Google books.
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Postby nov ialiste » Fri Apr 04, 2008 3:58 am

nov ialiste wrote:There is a beginner's book based on the text of Caesar's Gaulish Wars.

An Inductive Latin Method.

by Willam R. Harper and Isaac B. Burgess

American Book Company, 1888



This book is to be found at the Internet Archive in various formats. The texts are Chapters 1 to 20 of Book I of Caesar's Commentaries on the Gallic war.

Here's the page:

http://www.archive.org/details/inductivelatinme00harprich
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Postby thesaurus » Fri Apr 04, 2008 1:25 pm

I suppose I wouldn't recommend that anyone start learning any language with its verse.

However, Latin Via Ovid is the only guide I know of that uses this approach. If you were to study straight from Caesar I'd suggest just using Lingua Latina instead, as its less frustrating and more interesting.

An idea: get Clyde Pharr's well annotated "Aeneid I-VI" and use that as a prime text. It has a full grammar reference as well as all of the vocabulary you'll need, interesting commentary, and even a few pictures! You could probably jump into Vergil after a quick and vicious grammar survey if you wanted, but I wouldn't want to be in your shoes.
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Latin Via Vergil

Postby paulusnb » Fri Apr 04, 2008 8:02 pm

How fast are you all trying to get these kids reading Vergil? From my experience, adapted stories make students less interested in the original. My students have read adapted Ovid in various textbooks for the past two years. By the time they get to Latin III, they are not interested in Ovid. There is an adapted Vergil for beginners, but it is short and of little use.

I would suggest using one of the many Latin readers/grammar books for Latin and read the Aeneid in translation. If you insist on Vergil, you could use an interlinear reader. But I am not sure what this will do for their Latin.

The other method is the way CS Lewis learned Greek. Blast them with essential morphology for a few months and then just sink them into Vergil. Most of them will drown. Some may survive.
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Re: Latin Via Vergil

Postby thesaurus » Fri Apr 04, 2008 8:39 pm

paulusnb wrote: The other method is the way CS Lewis learned Greek. Blast them with essential morphology for a few months and then just sink them into Vergil. Most of them will drown. Some may survive.


Perhaps I'm a glutton for punishment, but I prefer to study languages this way (for reading, at least; I've done the same thing with a few others). I was reading straight Vergil after six months of study (Wheelock->some Caesar->Vergil & Ovid). I had zero training in reading verse. At first it was very difficult and frustrating, but it's possible if you have a teacher (or an internet forum) to help you. Fortunately, I was under the tutelage of a very eccentric, hillarious, and learned Greek man, so it worked out.
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