Latin Quotes, Sayings, Tattoos, Phrases & Mottos

Most texts and materials on this site have to do with the Latin language, including its perception in popular culture: movies, tattoos, inscriptions, engravings, bits of ancient philosophy, online Latin resources and company names. There is also information about learning Latin and Greek: textbooks, dictionaries, DVDs and software that can be used in a homeschooling environment.


Secret Voyage

 
Friday, June 13, 2008, 13:13 - Poetry, Literature, Music, Reviews
Posted by Administrator
This is a blatant off-topic, but hey, don't I decide what's right and what's wrong around here? "Blackmore's Night" will release their new album, "Secret Voyage" on July 15. If this news leaves you wondering about who they are and what they do, I am willing to offer a quick explanation.

If you are into Latin, chances are you are a little bit into Middle Ages. And if you are into that sort of thing, there is a 60% chance that you're in for a treat, and that you will enjoy the music of Blackmore's Night. They do not painstakingly recreate medieval music, instead the band creates modern arrangements of old-time tunes, as well as their own material. Their music is very well-spirited, their melodies are captivating, and the performance is superb. All of this is to be expected, because apart from the excellent vocals by Candice Night the group features the talent and expertise of Ritchie Blackmore, of the greatest guitar players of all time. You may remember him from such projects ad "Deep Purple" and "Rainbow".

It would only be fair (no pun intended) to offer some critical notes. At times they seem a little bit too Renaissance fair (hence the unintended pun). The excursions into Ritchie's rock past may occasionally seem a little out of place. On the whole, this is solid enjoyable music with a medieval flare. I must add that when I tried to find something that even came close to Blackmore's Night, my efforts were unsuccessful.

Virgil's Aeneid: which edition NOT to buy

 
Saturday, May 3, 2008, 14:38 - Books, dictionaries and texts, Latin Translation, Poetry, Literature, Music, Reviews
Posted by Administrator
A few weeks ago I was at a used bookstore and a very promising title caught my attention: Virgil's Aeneid (Interlinear). The book was in one convenient volume, attractively priced -- something I just don't have yet. I like to have cheap editions of my favorite books, so I can take them places without the fear of loosing or damaging them (I won't take my Mynors to the beach!). Anyways... I opened this Aeneid and discovered that the way this edition was organized simply goes against everything that is good and honorable in this world. They simply translated the Latin text verbatim and then... and then... Well, they rearranged Virgil's text, so that the word order would follow the English translation. For instance, let's take the opening lines:

arma virumque cano, Troiae qui primus ab oris
Italiam fato profugus Laviniaque venit
litora.


This "interlinear" text has something like that:

cano arma que virum qui ob oris Troiae primus venit Italiam que litora Lavinia, profugus fato.

Then I remembered that I actually have a copy of Cicero published in this exact manner. I never fully understood the purpose of this pedagogical practice, but it is so much worse when it comes to poetry. So, people, be on the lookout for those "interlinear" texts!


Latin and Greek Courses by Assimil (the "sans peine" series) -- a review

 
Wednesday, March 12, 2008, 16:37 - Books, dictionaries and texts, Ancient Greek Language, Learn Latin Language, Reviews
Posted by Administrator
Got a chance to have a look at these:

Assimil - Le Latin Sans Peine
Assimil - Le Grec Ancien Sans Peine

One needs to realize that the Greek and Latin courses are strikingly different. I believe, the Latin one is older. It resembles other Assimil courses designed for modern languages. Le Latin Sans Peine operates under a whimsical assumption that a somewhere a country exists where one frequently hears conversations such as this:

- Quanti costat locusta?
- Decem francis!
- Nimio constat.

If you happen to concur with the writers of this textbook, and also happen to know where knowledge of this kind of Latin might serve you well, good luck and bon voyage. Even as the course progresses you do not see much in terms of real Classical Latin that you perhaps wish to read one day. This is the same problem that exists the Rosetta Stone Latin course exhibits. At least in Assimil there is enough wit and solid grammar.

The Greek Assimil course is more in tune with the needs of Classical education. The audio tracks sound almost eerily authentic. I am no expert, but it sure seems that if you want to learn Attic pronunciation this is one of the best ways to do it.

As far as I know, these two courses are not available in English. It would be great to see them translated, especially the Greek one. And even if you don't know French, but are serious about learning Ancient Greek listening to the audio tracks would probably be most beneficial.

See also: Rosetta Stone review

Latin course online - paid for by the British government!

 
That's right! A simple course, good enough for a beginner is available at the website of the National Archives:

The tutorial covers the period between 1086 and 1733, when Latin was the official language of documents written in England.

Knowing Latin will help you to read documents from this period. After 1733, official documents were written in English.

No previous knowledge of Latin is required.


Their mission is pretty clear and laudable. What makes these efforts special, they are aimed to teach Medieval Latin, which is somewhat rare, even though the demand for such courses is quite high, I believe. You can find a good number of quality textbooks online that cover Classical Latin, but for Medieval Latin there are only a few books that you probably have to buy. I particularly enjoy, as I have made it clear, the government involvement in this project.

Latin Course online (Beginner's Level)

Latin Course online (Advanced Level)



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