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.

20 June 2015

Testing times...

Test week. Enough said. But for any of you who wanted exactly to know what was going on in that scene of marital strife, here's the full translation:

Once upon a time two friends, Caecilius and Quintus, were walking to the temple...

Caecilius looks around the forum. "I'm starving. Have you got any bread?" asks Caecilius. Quintus says, "I don't have any. But look! It's a tavern! Here we can eat bread." The friends run to the tavern. They go into the tavern. Many Roman men are there."Do you love to eat" says a slave. "Bread? Fish? Wine?"

The two friends dine well. They drink a lot of wine. The temple is forgotten. Oh dear, soon the friends are sleeping in the tavern.

Suddenly, Cassia comes into the tavern. Cassia is Quintus' wife. Cassia is savage. Cassia is very angry.

"What the heck*, husband!" exclaims Cassia."Why were you not in the temple? I was working very hard in the house, and you were eating food, you were drinking wine. You are stupid, you are wretched, you are drunk! The gods punish wicked men!"

Caecilius laughs and quickly leaves. Wretched Quintus sobs.

(* or words to that effect!)

13 June 2015

Lesson 26 - Looking to the future

Incredible to think, but Classics Club is now nearing its end. It's been a packed year, full of language, culture, trips, creativity and (best of all) enthusiasm. So, first of all, a bit of admin: here are our dates for the next few weeks:

19th June - test
26th June - INSET (so no Classics Club)
3rd July - possible trip date
10th July - our very last CC lesson!

I hope this clears up any confusion about dates (especially that INSET!). And just a reminder, the test (WHICH IS NEXT WEEK!!) will take the following format:

Part 1: Pick the correct Latin word to complete the sentence
Part 2: Translate an unseen block of text (including using vocabulary that you won't have seen before, given to you with the text)
Part 3: Classical culture multiple choice

infans leonem amat
We also cleared up a language loose end today: third declension nouns, those awkward ones that don't end in us/a/um like most of the others. We had a look at leo, infans and fur. You can now see how this works on our Latin grammar page

Next, onwards and upwards with another CLC translation about the arrival of actors in Pompeii. Your speed as a group at tackling chunks of Latin text has improved fantastically. This bodes really well for those of you who are thinking of carrying on your Latin studies in Year 9. Well done.

And in case we hadn't crammed enough into one lesson, we also started to think about The Odyssey, the greatest poem ever written (IMHO, at least). Here's a great synopsis...

Followed by Part II...

...and Part III

06 June 2015

Lesson 25 - Epic work...

Underline those verbs if it helps
Back to our old friends Felix, Caecilius and Clemens this week, and a heart-warming story of thwarted kid-napping. We're getting a little faster at unseen translation, but we'll get even faster if we always remember the golden rules, most importantly to ignore what your English-speaking brain is telling you. Don't go for the subject first. Find the VERB as it has loads of important clues about what is happening, when it's happening, who and how many people govern the verb. Parse the verb first, and then look for a subject (nominative) and then any object (accusative). Make a rough translation, then look for any other bits & bobs floating around (e.g. adverbials). Put them in, then polish up your translation. If you want to have another look at the translation, you can find an interactive version here.

Then a real treat. A twenty minute overview of The Iliad and why it's such an amazing piece of work.

1. It's very, very old and very, very long. Pretty impressive if you think that it was originally not written down but passed on through an oral tradition.

2. Some of the language is stunning, including the innovative use of similes and metaphors, setting images of war and peace in contrast to comment on the savagery (and futility?) of war.

3. It set the gold standard for both the war poetry and horror genres for the next few thousands of years.

4. It provided the inspiration for Troy, a film based on the Trojan War. Brad Pitt as Achilles - oh yes!

And, because we didn't have time to watch it in class, here's how the Trojan War ended (courtesy of Odysseus' brains, not Achilles' muscles)...
For your home task, start revising from that crib sheet you got in the lesson. The test date is 19th June.