Learning Classics is a bit like putting on a magic pair of 3-D glasses. Once you start delving into the language and the culture, you'll start to see it all around you. This blog is a record of the club's journey through the worlds and language of ancient Rome and Greece... and through modern times, too, searching for the influence of classics all around us. You'll also be able to find vocab, home tasks, links and generally enlightening info here, too.

15 November 2014

Lesson 8 - Curse you!

Her Maj enjoys a nice red
Today we all got a bit mean. The first cruelty was dished out in the form of a test (yes, without looking at our books!) to see what we'd remembered about nominatives, accusatives, singulars, plurals, feminines, masculines, neuters AND... vocabulary. Everyone had to describe six pictures in Latin. Could it get any more challenging?

The Metamorphosis of Narcissus, Salvador Dali, 1937
 Next, we investigated some curses in ancient mythology: Tantalus, Narcissus and Cassandra. To the right you can see an interesting interpretation of the Narcissus myth by surrealist painter Salvador Dali. Take a close look at the picture and see if you can relate any details back to the story of Narcissus. By the way, you can see this actual painting here in London at the Tate Modern.

Steady on, you mean lot!!
In language work, we took a look at imperatives - verbs that command - which are very useful for casting curses, or, if you're in a more kindly mood, giving benedictions ('bene', well/nicely + 'dictum', thing spoken). After assembling a few imperatives (and negative imperatives) together with adverbs on paper, we got all authentic and etched our curses on metal to make defixiones. These were curses written on lead and thrown into a sacred well to 'activate' them. You can see some brilliant examples at the Roman Baths in Bath - but more about this next week.