Any Classicists?

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Propertius
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Any Classicists?

Post by Propertius » Sun Nov 17, 2019 4:46 am

I’m in a bit of a dilemma. I don’t know what to study at school. I’m stuck between Classics and Economics then Law school. I could do Classics then Law school, but that leaves Economics out, for which I have an interest. I feel as if I were to study Classics I would regret not having studying Economics, and the same thing vice versa (if I were to study Economics and not Classics). My original plan was to go for Economics then Law school while teaching myself Classics, but it’s so much harder than it seems (as many here would perhaps know how hard it is being an autodidact). What’s harder about teaching myself the Classics (for now still currently teaching myself Latin) is that I end up becoming disillusioned with the books I have tried out and doubt their validity as to whether they’ll get me to where I want to be at in terms of being able to read and write and maybe even speak Latin fluently. Which is why I want to become a Classicist: to write a book for such feat (I truly believe that I have a great idea in mind for such feat). If I were to study Economics and Law I don’t think I would have much time for such feat though.
By the way, I have used the Cambridge Latin Course (what a piece of crap that series is), then I used Øberg’s LLPSI series (I became disillusioned with Øberg forty chapters in), and now I’m reviewing my knowledge of grammar with D’Ooge’s book along with doing the composition exercises and looking up the answers for the translation exercises and using them as the exercises to translate them into Latin (I hate translation and strongly advise against it as many here will back me up on that, and wholeheartedly recommend composition). I’m also using A&G.
So where do I go from here? For now I would really like to increase my knowldge in Latin grammar and practice compostion. I went through Hillard and Botting’s Latin composition before I started D’Ooge, and doing the exercises in D’Ooge’s book is like taking a step backwards (they’re so easy; at least the first few lessons. Maybe they’ll get harder). I took a look through Bradley’s Arnold and they are way out of my league. Any recommendations as to what I should do next? Preferrably by some veteran Latinists.

Maximas gratias vobis ago.

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jeidsath
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Re: Any Classicists?

Post by jeidsath » Sun Nov 17, 2019 2:05 pm

Do you need to feed yourself after graduation, or is that taken care of?
Joel Eidsath -- jeidsath@gmail.com

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seneca2008
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Re: Any Classicists?

Post by seneca2008 » Sun Nov 17, 2019 3:38 pm

Propertius wrote:By the way, I have used the Cambridge Latin Course (what a piece of crap that series is), then I used Øberg’s LLPSI series (I became disillusioned with Øberg forty chapters in), and now I’m reviewing my knowledge of grammar with D’Ooge’s book along with doing the composition exercises and looking up the answers for the translation exercises and using them as the exercises to translate them into Latin (I hate translation and strongly advise against it as many here will back me up on that, and wholeheartedly recommend composition). I’m also using A&G.
Of course some courses suit some people better than others. But you mention two, one of which you dismiss as "crap" and the other you became "disillusioned with". I often see in this forum people searching for a course which will meet their needs. They and you would be better advised to simply pick something and stick at it. Constant revision and practice are the key to success. Its hard work and there is no shortcut. No shiny new method is going to get round the need to memorise and revise.

Reading writing and speaking Latin require different skills. For me prose composition is a means to an end to revise grammar. I have no interest in communicating in Latin with other people but I can see some people find it rewarding.

the key sentence in your post is "What’s harder about teaching myself the Classics (for now still currently teaching myself Latin) is that I end up becoming disillusioned with the books I have tried out and doubt their validity as to whether they’ll get me to where I want to be at in terms of being able to read and write and maybe even speak Latin fluently."

If you often doubt the validity of the method you use I would ask yourself whether the problem lies not in the textbooks but in your approach and the expectations you have.

Its admirable to have lofty ambition but this needs to be tempered with realism. I am not sure what you mean by "for such a feat" but I doubt many start off learning Latin in order to write a book in Latin. Who do you imagine will read it? Classicists learn ancient languages to read the literature. They want to communicate their thoughts about what they read and study and they want that to be read as widely as possible. Increasingly academic books translate almost all the Greek and Latin quoted in them. Of course some scholars do study Neo-Latin and the Catholic Church still produces Latin publications. If you ever find yourself having to edit a text for OUP you will have to write an introduction in Latin. But not many are called to that task.

If you feel you have a sufficient grasp of grammar you should read a much as you can. You can learn a great deal of grammar by say reading some Cicero, Livy and Tacitus. Very soon however you will have to confront the real difficulty in reading Latin is not so much the grammar but trying to understand what it actually means. That will probably take you the rest of your life.

In terms of what you should study in school my advice is to study what you love and really enjoy doing. Classics may not give you a ready made or well paid job but it is a wonderful opportunity to broaden your horizons and think about what it is to "engage with the past".

RandyGibbons
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Re: Any Classicists?

Post by RandyGibbons » Sun Nov 17, 2019 7:50 pm

I think Joel posed the relevant question. In addition, may I ask you what country you are from (which could tell us something about the job market you face)?

Propertius
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Re: Any Classicists?

Post by Propertius » Sun Nov 17, 2019 9:07 pm

jeidsath wrote:
Sun Nov 17, 2019 2:05 pm
Do you need to feed yourself after graduation, or is that taken care of?
What are you trying to say? That I wouldn’t be able to provide for myself if I became a Classicist? Are you a lawyer?

Propertius
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Re: Any Classicists?

Post by Propertius » Sun Nov 17, 2019 9:15 pm

seneca2008 wrote:
Sun Nov 17, 2019 3:38 pm
Propertius wrote:By the way, I have used the Cambridge Latin Course (what a piece of crap that series is), then I used Øberg’s LLPSI series (I became disillusioned with Øberg forty chapters in), and now I’m reviewing my knowledge of grammar with D’Ooge’s book along with doing the composition exercises and looking up the answers for the translation exercises and using them as the exercises to translate them into Latin (I hate translation and strongly advise against it as many here will back me up on that, and wholeheartedly recommend composition). I’m also using A&G.
Of course some courses suit some people better than others. But you mention two, one of which you dismiss as "crap" and the other you became "disillusioned with". I often see in this forum people searching for a course which will meet their needs. They and you would be better advised to simply pick something and stick at it. Constant revision and practice are the key to success. Its hard work and there is no shortcut. No shiny new method is going to get round the need to memorise and revise.

Reading writing and speaking Latin require different skills. For me prose composition is a means to an end to revise grammar. I have no interest in communicating in Latin with other people but I can see some people find it rewarding.

the key sentence in your post is "What’s harder about teaching myself the Classics (for now still currently teaching myself Latin) is that I end up becoming disillusioned with the books I have tried out and doubt their validity as to whether they’ll get me to where I want to be at in terms of being able to read and write and maybe even speak Latin fluently."

If you often doubt the validity of the method you use I would ask yourself whether the problem lies not in the textbooks but in your approach and the expectations you have.

Its admirable to have lofty ambition but this needs to be tempered with realism. I am not sure what you mean by "for such a feat" but I doubt many start off learning Latin in order to write a book in Latin. Who do you imagine will read it? Classicists learn ancient languages to read the literature. They want to communicate their thoughts about what they read and study and they want that to be read as widely as possible. Increasingly academic books translate almost all the Greek and Latin quoted in them. Of course some scholars do study Neo-Latin and the Catholic Church still produces Latin publications. If you ever find yourself having to edit a text for OUP you will have to write an introduction in Latin. But not many are called to that task.

If you feel you have a sufficient grasp of grammar you should read a much as you can. You can learn a great deal of grammar by say reading some Cicero, Livy and Tacitus. Very soon however you will have to confront the real difficulty in reading Latin is not so much the grammar but trying to understand what it actually means. That will probably take you the rest of your life.

In terms of what you should study in school my advice is to study what you love and really enjoy doing. Classics may not give you a ready made or well paid job but it is a wonderful opportunity to broaden your horizons and think about what it is to "engage with the past".
You misunderstood me when I said that I want to write a book in Latin, or maybe I didn’t clarify myself: I meant I want to write my own Latin course for people to teach themselves Latin.
As for what I’m going to study in school, I made up my mind. I watched a video on youtube last night on whether law school is meant for you. It was by a lawyer. I’m going to study Classics instead.

Propertius
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Re: Any Classicists?

Post by Propertius » Sun Nov 17, 2019 9:16 pm

RandyGibbons wrote:
Sun Nov 17, 2019 7:50 pm
I think Joel posed the relevant question. In addition, may I ask you what country you are from (which could tell us something about the job market you face)?
America: the great country of debt.

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seneca2008
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Re: Any Classicists?

Post by seneca2008 » Sun Nov 17, 2019 9:30 pm

Propertius wrote:You misunderstood me when I said that I want to write a book in Latin, or maybe I didn’t clarify myself: I meant I want to write my own Latin course for people to teach themselves Latin.
As for what I’m going to study in school, I made up my mind. I watched a video on youtube last night on whether law school is meant for you. It was by a lawyer. I’m going to study Classics instead.
I was mystified by "Which is why I want to become a Classicist: to write a book for such feat (I truly believe that I have a great idea in mind for such feat)." It doesn't make sense in English and I had to guess what you meant. Maybe English is not your first language in which case you will need to do some polishing. In the main though what you write is clear enough.

The best of luck with your studies!

Propertius
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Re: Any Classicists?

Post by Propertius » Sun Nov 17, 2019 10:34 pm

seneca2008 wrote:
Sun Nov 17, 2019 9:30 pm
Propertius wrote:You misunderstood me when I said that I want to write a book in Latin, or maybe I didn’t clarify myself: I meant I want to write my own Latin course for people to teach themselves Latin.
As for what I’m going to study in school, I made up my mind. I watched a video on youtube last night on whether law school is meant for you. It was by a lawyer. I’m going to study Classics instead.
I was mystified by "Which is why I want to become a Classicist: to write a book for such feat (I truly believe that I have a great idea in mind for such feat)." It doesn't make sense in English and I had to guess what you meant. Maybe English is not your first language in which case you will need to do some polishing. In the main though what you write is clear enough.

The best of luck with your studies!
In the sentence previous to that one I said:
“What’s harder about teaching myself the Classics (for now still currently teaching myself Latin) is that I end up becoming disillusioned with the books I have tried out and doubt their validity as to whether they’ll get me to where I want to be at in terms of being able to read and write and maybe even speak Latin fluently.”

That’s the feat I was hoping to accomplish with such a book: to effectively teach people to write, read, and maybe even speak Latin.
On second thought I feel as if I might have clarified myself enough.

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