How Student Mulligan Would Answer the Short Questions on the Last Probatio

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Since Latin is an inflected language, what role does word order play in determining the role words play in a sentence? (note that the correct answer is not “nullus”) Since Latin is an inflected language its syntax is determined by word endings but word order does shape the rhetorical force of words (as they match or deviate from “neutral” word order,… Read more »

Hobbitus Ille

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If you are looking for some supplemental personal reading and you are a fan of The Hobbit, the first chapter is translated into Latin (with images) on the excellent Legonium site: 

Nostrae Peregrīnātiōnēs Optātae!

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Ecce, Nostrae Peregrīnātiōnēs Optātae! Notā bene: verbum Latīnum prō “to travel” est: peregrīnor peregrīnārī peregrinātus sum.  If this verb looks a little odd, it is! It is what’s called a deponent verb. Deponent verbs have “placed aside” (dēpōnō) their active forms and instead uses passive forms to mean the active! So you’re seeing passive forms; but good news! you can understand them like the… Read more »

Two Memorable Perfects in Roman Graffiti

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The first aptly demonstrates the narcissistic impulse found in many graffiti: Lucius pinxit. If you look at the principal parts of the verb — pingō pingere pinxī pictum — you should be able to guess the basic meaning of the verb. The second instance brings us a grotesque combination of lofty (a doctor in the service of the Emperor ipse) and base (bathroom activities). Yes, “cacavit” means… Read more »

The Mysterious Origins of Punctuation

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Commas, semicolons and question marks are so commonplace it seems as if they were always there – but that’s not the case. Keith Houston explains their history. As readers and writers, we’re intimately familiar with the dots, strokes and dashes that punctuate the written word. The comma, colon, semicolon and their siblings are integral parts of writing, pointing out grammatical… Read more »

Fabula 4a) Quīntus et Gāius ad lūdum sērō adueniunt

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Horātia cum amīcīs ad lūdum festīnat. Quīntus lentē ambulat, in uiā amīcum uidet, nōmine Gāium; eum uocat. Gāius ad lūdum festīnat sed ubi Quīntum audit, consistit et “quid facis, Quīnte?” inquit; “festīnāre dēbēs. sērō ad lūdum uenis. ego festīnō.” Quīntus respondet: “non sērō uenimus, Gāi, nec festīnāre possum; fessus sum.” Gāium iubet manere. ille anxius est sed manet. lentē ad… Read more »

Respondē Latīnē in Capitulō Tertiō (5 ways)

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Quid vendunt Scintilla et Horātia?  Scintilla et Horātia fīcōs et olīvās vendunt. Scintilla et Horātia fīcōs et olīvās vendunt. Scintilla et Horātia fīcōs et olīvās vendunt. Scintilla et Horātia olīvās et fīcōs vendunt. Fīcōs et olīvās Scintilla et Horātia vendunt. Quae mercēs aliī in forō vendunt? Aliī ūvās et lānam et fīcōs vendunt. Aliī ūvās vendunt, aliī lānam vendunt, aliī… Read more »