Is this called reading Caesar?

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pin130
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Is this called reading Caesar?

Post by pin130 » Sun Aug 12, 2018 8:05 pm

After playing around with Latin for at least six years (playing because I only spend half an hour a day)
I have the satisfaction of reading Caesar's De Bello Gallico, an historical document rather than more contemporary stories. But is this called reading Caesar? I mean, is this typical of reading Caesar? I start off reading a section in Greenough's edition with his notes. For words, phrases, and idioms I didn't get, I move on to Walker's edition with his notes and vocabulary. I try to bang my way through it several times but usually after all this there are several blanks in my translation. I then look at Finch's excellent translation for the final word. I could attribute my slow going to the fact that I've never memorized properly the declensions and conjugations (though I can usually recognize if a word is past or present, active or passive, or which preposition goes with which noun, etc.). Then I could wonder if it's more profitable to read a simple text or
to reach above one's head. But I think the problem is not only mine. The text itself seems to present problems. For example, Caesar so identifies himself with the Roman people that he switches between third person plural and third person singular without batting an eye (at least this is one explanation I read; another is that in Latin "people" takes the singular). Also, words which before seemed simple, such as
"quod" in Book one, chapter 14, take on different shades of meaning in close proximity. The word "eo" at the beginning of a sentence refers back to an earlier sentence, but to what and where? While this is my lack of familiarity with Latin and not a textual problem, it does make for a difficult ride. In short, I wonder if everyone reads Caesar with notes, explanations, and finally a translation. Or is it just my lack of knowledge and experience?

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Re: Is this called reading Caesar?

Post by Jandar » Sun Aug 12, 2018 8:29 pm

Did you try operation Caesar ? It gives you several simplified versions (tiers) of the same text with increasing difficulty, easing you into the final (original) version.

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Re: Is this called reading Caesar?

Post by Barry Hofstetter » Mon Aug 13, 2018 1:49 am

Pin130, I think the simple answer to your question is that this reading Caesar for you, at your stage of development in learning the language. Everyone is a little bit different, advances at different rates, and even those who are accomplished now at the language were once rank beginners who needed instruction and help. Your method is a good one -- you are learning from teachers, it just happens that the teachers are in print rather than interacting live in a classroom.

Many self-learners have also found it helpful to reread the text after you've done everything you have described, and sometimes to read it even a third time. This helps you to remember both the text and what you've learned about that the language through that text, which makes it easier to recognize in the next encounter.

It sounds like you've already had good success, and it will only improve as you persevere.

Oh, and it might not hurt go back and memorize your paradigms!
N.E. Barry Hofstetter
The Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy
καὶ σὺ τὸ σὸν ποιήσεις κἀγὼ τὸ ἐμόν. ἆρον τὸ σὸν καὶ ὕπαγε.

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Re: Is this called reading Caesar?

Post by RandyGibbons » Mon Aug 13, 2018 2:10 pm

Or is it just my lack of knowledge and experience?
Yes.

Sorry, but I would add to this your apparent lack of seriousness of purpose. Unless you are conducting an experiment in language acquisition, not bothering to memorize the declensions and conjugations - why are you wasting your time?

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Re: Is this called reading Caesar?

Post by Aetos » Mon Aug 13, 2018 2:39 pm

Hi Pin130,
I've just finished D.B.G. myself, using my old high school textbook, so I can appreciate your questions. First off, as far as I recall, every text I used in school always had a commentary (or at least notes), whether it be Caesar, Cicero, Virgil, Catullus, Plautus or Livy. In the high school texts there was also vocabulary. In higher level college courses, the texts had only commentaries and one had to use a lexicon for vocabulary if there was a unfamiliar word. So, as Barry said, your method is a good one and I think it's the one that most people use, especially when you're going the self teaching route. The one thing that can be more difficult in self instruction is evaluating your understanding of the material and progress in mastering the language. In a formal environment, this of course is done through testing and recitation. This is why as a self learner you need a good translation to be able to check your work. A translation however will not answer all your questions and for that you have...Textkit!

I second Barry's suggestion concerning learning the paradigms, chiefly because of word order in Latin and the different uses of the oblique cases (genitive, dative, accusative, ablative), such as the ablative absolute, partitive genitive, etc. This is why Caesar is such a good starting point, because you start to see these constructions in relatively small doses, as Caesar tends to write in short, but sufficiently complex sentences. Because it is essentially a history (granted, a somewhat one sided history), a great deal of it involves the use of indirect discourse, which is handled differently in Latin. For a quick overview, check out Hillard & North's Latin Composition Exercises, available on this site. It has an excellent description of "oratio obliqua", as well as numerous examples taken straight from Caesar. You'll also discover what happens when you put a relative pronoun at the beginning of a sentence in Latin (e.g. quod, quo) in their section on Latin word order.

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Re: Is this called reading Caesar?

Post by pin130 » Mon Aug 13, 2018 7:51 pm

Thanks to all of you for your advice, encouragement, and criticism; all of these needed to get anywhere.
I wish I could learn the paradigms. I have tried, while studying Wheelock and again with Lingua Latina.
The problem is that I cannot keep them in my mind long term because I don't read Latin several hours a day, every day, which is what it would take. I know this from my experience with other languages. If you spend say three hours a day for ten years reading a language, even if you don't speak it, you will learn to read it
fluently. I don't have that kind of time for Latin, nor do I have time to write each conjugation a 100 times.
So if anyone knows of a shortcut, I'd be happy to hear it. But I don't think it exists.

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Re: Is this called reading Caesar?

Post by Jandar » Tue Aug 14, 2018 9:46 am

pin130 wrote:... needed to get anywhere... So if anyone knows of a shortcut...
People who really like to travel, particularly enjoy the journey itself. Because by the time they reach their destination, they are not travelling anymore... A shortcut (taking a plane instead of a camel) is definitely not what they are after.
Try to enjoy what you are doing and what you already can do! Caesar may at this moment be too difficult. So what?

Collect a bundle of texts you can already read comfortably. Say at 20-30 pages per hour. That should include the beginning of Lingua Latina which you mentioned, etc. (don't include anything that drops you below 20 pages per hour). Start & continue re-reading that bundle for half an hour a day. That way you'll read 10+ pages per day... which should expose you to more Latin per day than you can ever hope to encounter by slowly 'reading' for 3 hours at x sentences per hour. And repetition is good.

Additionally, perhaps only once per week sit down for a little longer (an hour perhaps) and read something (slightly!) more difficult. It doesn't have to be a full book: one chapter is fine. Re-read that. And again. And again. Until you can read it at a speed of 20 pages per hour. Then add it to your 'speed bundle' and select another text/chapter for your weekly hour. Don't feel compelled to immediately finish a certain book: you can come back to it later. And don't select texts that are too difficult. Chapters from textbooks with a continuous narrative, like Familia Romana, Cambridge Latin Course, Ecce Romani and Oxford Latin Course, all are fine, and each adds a slightly different vocabulary to your bundle.

Keep re-reading your bundle as it slowly expands. Even if it means reading a certain text for the 20th time. Repetition is good.
And at some point when you accidentally look at Caesar again, it will look... more open. Not easy, but manageable. So, sit down, read and re-read, and add just 1 chapter to your bundle...

Enjoy your journey!

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Re: Is this called reading Caesar?

Post by rothbard » Tue Aug 14, 2018 10:02 am

If learning a foreign language required reading several hours a day, very few people would master them. There is an initial stage where one goes through a book, following whichever approach one prefers (e.g. Wheelock or LLPSI) and does the exercises. When one is strong enough to start reading independently, one can start doing that as well. After you are finished with the book and the exercises, you should continue reading, tackling more and more difficult texts.

Somebody estimated that one should read at least 5000 words a week in order to learn a language well. That's only about 700 a day. If you take a text which is suitable for your level (e.g. the LLPSI series, "Ad Alpes", etc) that hardly requires hours of work. I learned Latin while having a full time job. Sometimes when I woke up early I would do some reading at home, however most of the time I would read on the train going to work and coming back, or during my lunch break. In total, probably less than an hour a day.

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Re: Is this called reading Caesar?

Post by pin130 » Tue Aug 14, 2018 6:32 pm

This is a basic question: Is it better to read a lot of simple Latin (even if boring) or a little complex Latin
(more interesting,ego gratifying). I have switched back and forth between the options many times. I still wonder which is the most profitable way to learn. Or maybe one needs both, a kind of perpetual rise and fall which refines the character. I had never heard of Ad Alpes by Nutting. Looks possibly of interest, but the price of the new (2017) edition is high. I don't know if it's just a coincidence, but it seems a free printable PDF of the old edition is unavailable. At least I can't find one.

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Re: Is this called reading Caesar?

Post by Jandar » Tue Aug 14, 2018 8:18 pm

In his preface, H.C. Nutting writes that with Ad Alpes he intends to help students make the transition from Caesar to Cicero. So it might not be the accessible text you hope it to be.

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Re: Is this called reading Caesar?

Post by Nesrad » Tue Aug 14, 2018 9:10 pm

pin130 wrote: I had never heard of Ad Alpes by Nutting. Looks possibly of interest, but the price of the new (2017) edition is high. I don't know if it's just a coincidence, but it seems a free printable PDF of the old edition is unavailable. At least I can't find one.
You can get it from Hathitrust. Use Hathi Download Helper to download it in PDF form.

Ad Alpes is the second reader, which comes after Nutting's First Latin Reader, which itself comes after Nutting's Latin Primer (key here). If you would like a refresher, I suggest going through the Primer, taking the time to properly learn the declensions and conjugations, then the two readers.

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Re: Is this called reading Caesar?

Post by pin130 » Wed Aug 15, 2018 1:55 am

Thanks Nesrad for the good links. I thought the Hathitrust was only available to those connected to institutions. I'd be very interested in downloading printable PDF's from them. I did download the Hathi
Download Helper as you suggested but I'm not sure how to proceed from there. They ask for a Hathitrust URL or a book ID, neither of them come up when you bring up Ad Alpes on their site. As for starting again with
Nutting's Latin Primer, there is something a little despairing about starting all over again but I'd do it if I thought it would be more successful than Wheelock's or Lingua Latina, both of which I learned through already together with the exercises. Is there something unique about Nutting's Primer?

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Re: Is this called reading Caesar?

Post by Nesrad » Wed Aug 15, 2018 11:12 am

pin130 wrote:I'd be very interested in downloading printable PDF's from them.
To save you and others the trouble, I've gone ahead and uploaded it to the Internet Archive, as I should have a while ago.
As for starting again with Nutting's Latin Primer, there is something a little despairing about starting all over again but I'd do it if I thought it would be more successful than Wheelock's or Lingua Latina, both of which I learned through already together with the exercises. Is there something unique about Nutting's Primer?
It's uniquely easy as a first Latin course. If you've already done Wheelock and Orberg, it's certainly below your level. That should make it a breeze for you.

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Re: Is this called reading Caesar?

Post by pin130 » Wed Aug 15, 2018 6:39 pm

Thanks for the upload. There are other books I might be interested in downloading printable PDF's from Hathi. As I mentioned before, I did download the Hathi Download Helper, but I couldn't proceed because they ask for a Hathitrust URL or book ID which is not listed with the relevant book on their site. I wonder if you could explain how to proceed after downloading the Helper. Hathi would be all the more helpful now that a very helpful Caesar page of links done by Wikispaces (part of Tes) closed down the page as of July 31.

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Re: Is this called reading Caesar?

Post by Nesrad » Wed Aug 15, 2018 8:40 pm

I've PMed you in order to avoid spamming this thread.

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Re: Is this called reading Caesar?

Post by pin130 » Fri Aug 17, 2018 4:08 am

Thanks Nesrad; looks like I will be taking a detour, going quickly through Nutting's Latin Primer at the same time reading his First Latin Reader to keep up the vocabulary and grammar I already know. I like his approach in the Primer, keeping down the vocabulary while concentrating on the declensions and conjugations, just the kind of review I could use. Can't get myself to translate the English into Latin exercises, valuable as they may be. Hoping I can get away with Latin into English since my goal is reading and not composition.

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Re: Is this called reading Caesar?

Post by Aetos » Fri Aug 17, 2018 12:41 pm

Hi Pin130,
Although the need for communicating in Latin is long past, there is a definite benefit to practicing composition. First off, it forces you to use the knowledge you have, thereby helping you to retain it. If you call up vocabulary you've learned and use it in composition, you'll find you remember it better. This is what's known as active learning. Secondly, it helps you identify areas of weakness. You may find, for example, that although you've mastered the 5th declension, you've forgotten the genitive plural in the 2nd declension, when called upon to write a sentence using a word from that declension. Finally, it will help your reading if you're already practicing writing using Latin word order and will make some of those passages a little less difficult. You probably don't have to do all the sentences in an exercise set, just enough to test your knowledge. Especially as a self-learner, this is one way you can evaluate your progress. So give composition a try!

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Re: Is this called reading Caesar?

Post by pin130 » Fri Aug 17, 2018 7:41 pm

Maybe I will give composition a limited try. You mentioned Aetos that you finished reading Caesar from a high school textbook with vocabulary. I wonder which textbook? I own something called Using Latin which has
some selections from Caesar, certainly not the whole of De Bello Gallico.

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Re: Is this called reading Caesar?

Post by Aetos » Sat Aug 18, 2018 11:43 am

Hi Pin130,
The textbook I used is Jenney & Scudder's "Second Year Latin" from Allyn & Bacon. There are many editions of this book. The one I used was from 1953. I like it because it starts off with a "rapid fire" review of first year Latin in 10 lessons, then introduces the remaining grammar required for Caesar over the course of 13 lessons, which also include reading selections as well as sight reading selections describing daily life in ancient Rome. Following these lessons, there is some more graded reading, which varies from edition to edition. Mine has adaptations of Livy's "Ab Urbe Condita" (The Story of Rome),Lhomond's "Viri Romae" (The Life of Julius Caesar), and "Jason and the Argonauts". If you were using this book in a formal setting, the first semester would be devoted to covering the grammar lessons and the graded reading. The second semester would cover selections from Caesar. Please note these are selections, not the complete books; however, the authors fill in the gaps with summaries of the omitted chapters so that you have the whole narrative.The first 2 books of D.B.G. are slightly adapted for beginners, but the last 5 are original Caesar. There are plenty of notes, with references to the grammar where needed.

The reason I suggest this book for you is that you've already have acquired some knowledge of the language, so the review lessons will hopefully fill in the gaps and once you've completed the first semester material, you'll find Caesar much easier, whether you go back to Walker, or just continue on in Scudder. You'll also notice that you're able to read more in one sitting as you progress through the books. In the beginning, I was doing a chapter or two each night, but as I continued, my pace increased to three to four chapters per night. After finishing DBG, I read the Battle of Pharsalus from the Caesar's Civil War, fifteen chapters=3 nights. At the very end of the book, is the story of Jason and Argonauts. 24 chapters=2 nights!

The books which Nesrad recommends will also help you achieve the same end and they're totally free!(As a matter of fact, I think I'll read Ad Alpes myself as I prepare to move on to Cicero.) The key is to fill in the gaps in your understanding, so that you can progress at a faster pace and enjoy the experience of reading Latin works, rather than slogging through material word by word.

If you do want to check out Scudder,the book was originally published in 1927, so it'll probably be in the public domain soon. Here's a link to Abebooks:
https://www.abebooks.com/servlet/Search ... &kn=&isbn=
As you can see, the prices are very reasonable. (I saw one for 2.89 + shipping!)
Last edited by Aetos on Sun Aug 19, 2018 12:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Is this called reading Caesar?

Post by pin130 » Sun Aug 19, 2018 4:38 am

Thanks Aetos; actually I already own Jenney's Second Year Latin. My early Latin wanderings were with old high school textbooks, but eventually I was put off by the lack of keys to the books. I never got to the Second Year book. Weren't you bothered by the lack of translations for the Latin selections? How could you check yourself or find a solution if stumped? It's true Caesar translations are easily available, but the others are probably not. In any case, it might be worth a try. I've already begun Nutting's Primer which, of course, is very elementary to start. If I get tired of it, Jenney might be a way to go.

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Re: Is this called reading Caesar?

Post by Aetos » Sun Aug 19, 2018 12:28 pm

To be honest, I didn't find the other reading selections all that difficult and as I was using the book as a means to systematically review the grammar prior to reading Caesar rather than learning from scratch, the book was ideal. Aside from looking up words that I'd forgotten, reading the selections prior to Caesar went quite smoothly. As you mentioned, there are plenty of translations out there for Caesar, so when in doubt, I could go to Perseus and I'll admit there were a few times when I was stumped in Caesar, particularly where he makes extensive use of indirect discourse as it's easy to lose track of who said what or who did what to whom; however, usually slowing down and rereading the material several times was enough to get the meaning and if I still couldn't figure it out, then and only then did I go to Perseus. Most of the reading, though, is like a sudoku puzzle-you know when you've solved it. I say that because quite often there are just a few ways that a sentence can make sense and fit the context of the rest of the section you're reading. I also try to incorporate some of Hale's techniques for reading Latin in my approach to the material. Here's a link to a talk he gave on "The Art of Reading Latin":
http://www.bu.edu/mahoa/hale_art.html
I found his ideas quite helpful. Hopefully they'll help you develop a strategy for reading as well.

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Re: Is this called reading Caesar?

Post by pin130 » Mon Aug 20, 2018 8:06 pm

Interesting article by Hale, though never having learned Latin in high school or college, it didn't have the
revelatory dimensions for me as it must have had for you. In order to suspend numerous interpretations in your head while you wait for the determining word requires much knowledge, more than I have except for simple sentences. In any case, the method is worth keeping in mind. I found Hale has a Latin Grammar book which I picked up from ABE for $4.00 (free shipping). I found one quite good review of it. It will be interesting to see if any mention of his method is found there.

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Re: Is this called reading Caesar?

Post by RandyGibbons » Fri Mar 15, 2019 7:21 pm

Just an update on Hathitrust. There is a note dated March 4, 2019 on the SourceForge site you linked us to, Nesrad, that says due to changes at Hathitrust, this Download Helper app no longer works.

To my knowledge, there's only three ways to download anything from Hathitrust. If you have a verifiable partner institution membership, such as I currently have from a local college, you can download the entire article or book as a pdf. (I don't see a way for an individual to sign up for/pay for an individual membership unaffiliated with an institution.) Without that, anyone can still download individual pages, one at a time, as pdf's. Lastly, of course, you can use screen grabbing software to capture a screen at a time; crude, but not bad if you wanted to paste a modest number of (uneditable) pages into, say, a Word document just to have them in one file (if you have pdf editing software that allows you to combine multiple pdf files into a single one, that would achieve the same thing).

I will lose my institutional access at the end of this semester, so if anyone does happen to know of a way to download entire articles as a pdf, I'd sure like to know.

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Re: Is this called reading Caesar?

Post by RandyGibbons » Fri Mar 15, 2019 8:32 pm

Hi pin130. I was looking for this thread because I wanted to refresh my memory on what it said about Hathitrust. But now that I'm looking at it, I see that I never noticed Aetos' recommendation of the Hale method, which I heartily second. You wrote
In order to suspend numerous interpretations in your head while you wait for the determining word requires much knowledge
Yes, it assumes at the very least that you've mastered the paradigms. I'm sorry if I expressed myself a little harshly on that before, but IMHO, if you can't do that then you're wasting your time. Time, you suggest, that maybe you don't have - understandable, but that's life, there's no silver bullet. Cycling through two then three then four grammars, two then three then four student editions of Caesar (or anything else) is just, well, spinning your wheels.

Back to Hale, though. It boils down to this: Grab your Caesar, read the first word. Stop and ask yourself what are the possibilities. For example, is the word a possible subject of the sentence (you have to know your paradigms)? Maybe even write the possibilities down at first. Then read the second word. Which possibilities does it eliminate, which new ones does it open up. Etc. Yes, initially it's tedious and slow going, but the method is like an honest friend: It will tell you what you know and what you need to brush up on.

Continuing, let's say at a certain point in your sentence the next word you unveil is cum. Does the meaning of the sentence so far allow for the possibility that cum is a preposition here? If so, which case(s) does the preposition cum govern? Is it also a possibility that it is introducing a subordinate clause (would a subordinate clause be allowed at this juncture in the sentence?)? If so, what are the kinds of subordinate clauses used with cum? Which kinds take an indicative, which ones a subjunctive, and of which tenses? Of those possibilities, which ones simply feel more likely in the context? Rather than passively reading a grammar or commentary or translation (and then, as you say, forgetting what you read), you are interactively learning the language in a way you're much more likely to internalize and remember. Most importantly, you'll be learning to read it and appreciate it in the order the author intended.

(I blogged something about Hale a few years back, which is why this finally caught my eye. I was largely experimenting with the application of Hale and an associated method to Greek as well as to Latin. Here it is, if it's of any use to you.)

Meanwhile, here's hoping you and Caesar have made some satisfying progress!

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Re: Is this called reading Caesar?

Post by Cathexis » Sun Apr 21, 2019 5:02 pm

Once again,

Textkit, and these forums in particular continue to impress with their generosity and their learning. Excellent thread!

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Re: Is this called reading Caesar?

Post by HumilisAuditor » Sun Apr 21, 2019 5:59 pm

Pin130,

I've struggled with paradigms and Latin in general too. Have you tried the Dowling method?

http://www.wcdrutgers.net/Latin.htm

I found it to be excellent advice. I keep the exercises in the back of my work binder and then write out the paradigms if I'm stuck in a meeting or conference call. It's a better use of my time, it brightens my time, and it improves my proficiency.

Also, Rusty Mason has a nice listing of paradigms for daily chanting here:

http://www.rustymason.com/latin/daily_latin_chants.pdf

I've found that I have an easier time memorizing paradigms if they are laid out horizontally instead of vertically.

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Re: Is this called reading Caesar?

Post by HumilisAuditor » Sun Apr 21, 2019 6:02 pm

I also recommend the link of RandyGibbons that he posted. It's excellent.

Nice work, Randy!

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Re: Is this called reading Caesar?

Post by hlawson38 » Sun Apr 21, 2019 6:43 pm

Here are some things that helped me.

1. Write out by hand the paradigms again and again.

2. Speak the paradigms aloud, in a singsong way.

3. I nearly always read the Loeb Classical Library texts. At first I covered the English translation with a card, but now I've learned, by focusing my attention on the Latin, not to see the translation until I need it. Because I read Latin very slowly, this is not a big expense.

4. I used William Whitaker's Words program, not just for lookups, but also for self-testing. For example, I challenge myself to spell the dative singular of femina, type it in the program, hit enter and see if I got it right.

5. If a long sentence overwhelms me, I write it out longhand, breaking the lines at grammatical breaks.

6. I find John Traupman's student dictionary helpful. First, it's mass-market paperback, about $6.00 US new. It includes proper names. The first 30 pages or so lay out paradigm tables. I have also used Gaffiot's student dictionary in French. Gaffiot has very well-chosen examples, and they are all translated, into French of course.

7. Sometimes, by typing a hard phrase in the google search box, I find a link to commentary on just that text.

8. Sometimes, I read a text at https://www.thelatinlibrary.com. I copy a passage into a text editor (or word processor), break the lines into grammatical units, and type in little notes about the grammar. I don't save this material, but I believe in writing to learn. For Latin classics, one can always find an English translation online, and sometimes you can find a helpful older commentary.

9. I the early days, I used Caesar's Gallic War Completely Parsed, which can be read here: https://archive.org/details/Commentarie ... kI/page/n7

10. Only recently have I started trying to conform to "The Ten Basic Reading Rules for Latin". If I could start over again, moving back some years in time, I'd do this from the beginning. You can find this here: https://www.cornellcollege.edu/classica ... 0Rules.pdf

11. I find Allen and Greenough's grammar very helpful. It prints tons of examples, and they are all translated. (One of my pet peeves is a dictionary entry whose untranslated examples are too hard for me.)

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Re: Is this called reading Caesar?

Post by RandyGibbons » Mon Apr 22, 2019 12:36 pm

If I could start over again, moving back some years in time, I'd do this from the beginning.

Amen. Again, I highly recommending getting Hoyos' complete pamphlet.

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Re: Is this called reading Caesar?

Post by Cathexis » Mon Apr 22, 2019 12:39 pm

Salve,

Just wanted to add an extra thanks to HumilisAuditor for his links which lead to the online "Dowling Wheel."
The only thing I could fault the more traditional method of Dowling (writing out by hand) is that the slow
creep of arthritis of my writing hand's thumb means copying out even a single page can get painful.
The Dowling Wheel bypasses that and is just as helpful for memorizing the forms. I am grateful.

Thank you,

Cathexis/Andrew
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Re: Is this called reading Caesar?

Post by Ronolio » Mon Apr 22, 2019 4:21 pm

I will echo hlawson38 and RandyGibbons. After discovering Hoyos and using his approach I have gotten much more enjoyment out of reading Latin. I have since read through De Bello Gallico Book 1, In Catilinam 1, Livy Book 1, Aeneid Books 1 and 2, reading about 30 minutes a day. I am currently working on Livy Book 2 and Sallust's Bellum Catalinae.

danbek
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Re: Is this called reading Caesar?

Post by danbek » Sun May 12, 2019 7:51 pm

There is apparently another book that has an explicit discussion about reading word-by-word. Latin, A Structural Approach, by Sweet. There is a scan on the archive (https://archive.org/details/latinstructurala00swee/), but it's not freely available - you have "check it out". I currently have it checked out, not clear if more than more person can check it out at a time.

From pages 34 - 35:
Analysis of Basic Sentences

We will now analyze the utterances word by word, observing both the lexical meaning and the structural meaning. For a Latin subject, give an English subject, something that fits into the frame A ____ does something; for a Latin object give an English object, something that fits into the frame Somebody (Something) does something to a ____. Vestis therefore means Clothing does something, while vestem means Something or Somebody does something to clothing.

...

Now go through the Basic Sentences with your teacher by metaphrasing. Metaphrasing is the technique of showing both lexical and structural meaning of each item as it occurs.

For outside work, review this metaphrasing. Then commit the ten Basic Sentences to memory. To help you practice metaphrasing at home, here is an analysis of each sentence:

Vestis ...
Clothes do something
Vestis virum ...
Clothes ____ the man, Clothes do something to the man
Vestis virum facit
Clothes make the man.

Furem ...
Something happens to a thief
Furem fur ...
A thief does something to another thief.
Furem fur congnoscit ...
A thief recognizes another thief.
Furem fur cognoscit et ...
A thief recognizes another thief, and something else happens.
Furem fur cognoscit et lupum
A thief recognizes another thief, and something happens to a wolf.
Furem fur cognoscit et lupum lupus.
A thief recognizes another thief, and a wolf does something to another wolf.

In a situation like this, where there is no verb, we infer that the verb is so obvious that no information would have been added if we had included it. What is the only verb in the world that would fit into this frame?
(He continues with more examples, and there are other examples later in the book).

HumilisAuditor
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Re: Is this called reading Caesar?

Post by HumilisAuditor » Tue May 14, 2019 1:00 am

Hi, Danbek.

That looks interesting.

I read what I think is an early version (graduate thesis?) of Latin a Structural Approach (LASA).

I think only one person at a time can check that book out. I just tried.

RandyGibbons
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Re: Is this called reading Caesar?

Post by RandyGibbons » Sun Jun 16, 2019 5:48 pm

Thank you danbek and HumilisAuditor for calling my attention to Waldo Sweet's Latin: A Structural Approach.

I was curious enough to get my hands on a used copy (2nd ed., 1966; unfortunately, while the book is apparently still in print, it is prohibitively expensive). It is, as you aptly pointed out, similar to Hale and Hoyos, especially Hale. It's first sentence, in its Introduction, is LANGUAGES ARE DIFFERENT (authors' caps). Very similar to Hale's "The Latin sentence is constructed upon a plan entirely different from that of the English". Sweet uses structural linguistics, in a digestible, not heavy-handed way, to illustrate this. Most importantly (for me), its approach to teaching Latin proceeds on the premise that Latin is structurally quite dissimilar to English, specifically, IN LATIN, WORD ORDER IS NOT STRUCTURALLY SIGNIFICANT (again authors' caps). This is illustrated initially with the utterances (a technical term in structural linguistics) vestis virum reddit, virum reddit vestis, vestem reddit vir, reddit virum vestis, virum vestis reddit.

Picturing myself in Hale or Sweet's classroom makes me wish I was learning Latin all over again. Because I think I would have been learning Latin, not the Latin equivalent of English.

Do either of you (danbek and HumilisAuditor) or does anyone else happen to know if Sweet's textbook or at least his approach is being used anywhere today?

R

hlawson38
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Re: Is this called reading Caesar?

Post by hlawson38 » Mon Jun 17, 2019 4:44 pm

RandyGibbons wrote:
Sun Jun 16, 2019 5:48 pm

Picturing myself in Hale or Sweet's classroom makes me wish I was learning Latin all over again. Because I think I would have been learning Latin, not the Latin equivalent of English.

Do either of you (danbek and HumilisAuditor) or does anyone else happen to know if Sweet's textbook or at least his approach is being used anywhere today?

R
Randy, Many of Sweet's instructional books are on sale here:

https://www.abebooks.com/servlet/Search ... atin&isbn=

HumilisAuditor
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Re: Is this called reading Caesar?

Post by HumilisAuditor » Sat Jun 22, 2019 1:42 am

Hi, Randy. I don't know. Waldo Sweet greatly influenced the University of Michigan Latin program, so I would imagine someone who went there would be able to speak to his influence better. He also wrote the Artes Latinae textbooks, as mentioned above.

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