Posted in Latin VII

Seven days before the kalends of May

To-day we started out with a probātio (quiz) to practise interpreting a Latin sentence.  We then proceeded to learn a little more about Caesar (doc. 406b).  Your homework is to complete 406b (if you have not already done so) so that we can discuss it next class.


Posted in Latin VII

Ides of April

To-day, we took a little holiday from our current topic to look at some images, words and music related to Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter Sunday.

nullum pensum uōbīs est: Have a happy and restful Easter!

Posted in Latin VII

Eight days before the ides of April

To-day we started reading a story (doc. 303), which we shall continue anon.  An important part of the story were prepositions.

  • A preposition is a little word that forms a unit (a complete idea) with the noun that follows it.
    • before dawn, on the table, under Mount Etna
  • In Latin, the noun that follows the preposition must have a certain case.
    • cum Lūciō (ablative) = with Lucius
    • in aquā (ablative) = in the water
    • in aquam (accusative) = into the water

Pensum: You must review the timeline below.  On Tuesday, I shall ask you to put five events in chronological order, and also to summarise one particular event (what is it, and why is it noteworthy, in one sentence or two).  I will not ask for precise dates.

The picture can be tricky to read, so I have typed out the same timeline in text below.  I have marked the ones that I think are most significant.  Note that all dates are approximate.

  • >>  Foundation of Rome: Rome started as a village near the river called the Tiber.  As time passed, more villages joined them and they formed a city.  There is a Roman legend saying that Rome was founded by a man named Romulus.  (753 BC)
  • Cincinnatus:  Lucius Quinctus Cincinnatus was a patrician, statesman and military leader of Rome.  He accepted the position of dictator during a crisis and, once he had resolved the threat, resigned again.  (430 BC)
  • Sack of Rome:  The Gauls camped outside Rome for two days.  During that time, most of the Romans escaped.  The rest stationed themselves on a steep hill.  The Gauls then sacked the city.  They then attacked the hill but suffered losses.  The Romans eventually surrendered and the Gauls left the city.  (387 BC)
  • >>  Alexander the Great:  Alexander the Great, king of Macedon, conquered the crumbling Persian Empire, spreading the Greek language and culture throughout the east.  On his death, his generals divided his empire between themselves.  (324 BC)
  • Pyrrhic War:  The Pyrrhic War was a mixture of battles between Greeks and Romans.  The armies in the battle were from the kingdoms of Epirus and Macedonia, and the city-states of Magna Graecia (southern Italy).  Rome won.  (280-275 BC)
  • >>  Second Punic War:  The Second Punic War was an epic war between Rome and Carthage.  The Carthaginian general Hannibal did the impossible when he crossed the Alps in the middle of winter with war-elephants, threatening Rome’s weakest frontier from the start of the war.  Although Hannibal’s assault on Italy caught the Romans by surprise, in the end Rome won the war and Carthage lost Hispania (the Iberian peninsula) forever.  (218-201 BC)
  • Fabius Maximus:  Fabius Maximus was a Roman politician and general during the Second Punic War, who was appointed dictator twice.  Fabius is mostly known for his unique war strategies, like guerrilla warfare, for which the Romans gave him the nickname Cunctator (the delayer).  (280 BC)
  • Plautus:  He was one of the earliest Roman playwrights.  Also, he was a great Roman dramatist who wrote true Latin plays.  (254-184 BC)
  • Brothers Gracchus:  Tiberius was the elder of the Brothers Gracchus.  He came to power as tribune of the plebeians in 133 BC.  He was sadly assassinated during his re-election as tribune.  10 years later, his brother Gaius became tribune of the plebeians.  He was considered more powerful than Tiberius.  Gaius was killed in 121 BC.  The two brothers both had the same mission, to improve the lives of the poor and the plebeians.
  • Social War:  The Social War (or Italian War) was a war between Rome and her allies.  Rome barely won, and granted more freedoms to her allies.  (90-89 BC)
  • >>  Sulla:  Sulla, a Roman general during the Social War, marched against Rome (twice!) to seize power, starting a civil war each time.  (88 BC)
  • Spartacus:  Spartacus was a slave and gladiator, and he led a slave revolt.  This revolt wasn’t successful, but was inspirational.  He was born in 109 BC and was executed in 71.  (71 BC)
  • Caesar’s conquest of Britain:  Julius Caesar wanted to show his greatness by conquering the island of Britain, which was thought to be the edge of the world.  (55-54 BC)
  • >>  Crossing of the Rubicon:  Julius Caesar crossed the river Rubicon illegally with his army, attacking Rome and starting a civil war.  He was victorious and became the sole ruler of Rome.  (49 BC)
  • >>  Assassination of Caesar:  The Senate thought that Julius Caesar was gaining too much power, so they assassinated him.  (44 BC)
  • Battle of Actium:  Octavian (Augustus) defeated Antony and Cleopatra, becoming the undisputed master of Rome.  (31 BC)
  • >>  Augustus:  Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus Augustus, previously Gaius Octavius, was the grandnephew and adopted son of Julius Caesar.  The Senate granted him the title of Augustus in 27 BC, and he is considered to be the first Roman emperor.  (27 BC)
  • birth of Christ:  Jesus Christ was born at Bethlehem, traditionally on 25 December.  This is the dividing line between the years Before Christ (BC) and Anno Domini (AD), to-day often restyled Before the Common Era (BCE) and Common Era (CE).  (AD 1)
  • Ovid:  Ovid was a Roman poet who lived during the reign of Augustus.  He was known for the Metamorphoses.  (AD 17)
  • Claudius:  The emperor Claudius was a major part of the Roman Empire’s expansion because he conquered Britain.  Claudius was ended because of his power-hungry wife, who poisoned him.  (AD 54)
  • >>  Mount Vesuvius:  Mount Vesuvius was a volcano that erupted in 79 BC.  This natural disaster is important because it is the oldest recorded sighting of an erupting volcano.  Additionally, hundreds of years later, when archaeologists found Pompeii, everything and everyone that had been there that day had been preserved.  (AD 79)
  • Pliny the Younger:  He is famous for his letters, one of which describes the eruption of Mount Vesuvius.  (AD 113)
  • >>  Trajan:  Under the emperor Trajan, who spent most of his time in the army, the empire reached its greatest extent.  (AD 98-117)
  • Crisis of the Third Century:  Civil war, plague, famine and invasion almost brought about the end of the Roman Empire.  (AD 235-284)
  • >>  Constantine:  Constantine was the first Roman emperor to become Christian.  He also planted the seed in Rome’s history that affected later life.  (AD 280-337)
  • >>  Fall of Rome:  As the Roman Empire weakened, different parts of the army tried to choose their own emperors and, at the same time, Germanic tribes took over large parts of the Empire.  In the end, a Germanic chieftain named Odoacre, who had served in the Roman army, deposed the last emperor in the west and declared himself King of Italy.  (AD 476)
  • >>  Fall of Constantinople:  Constantinople, which had been founded by Constantine, was the last Roman capital.  The garrison fought bravely to defend the city against the Ottoman Turks, but, in the end, they simply did not have enough manpower to keep the city.  (AD 1453)