Latin on line – a page of links

John Whelpton has collected a large number of sites which you may find useful, and has kindly shared them. The page can be found here.

There are useful comments about all the sites.

A couple of books – GCSE Latin and Seneca

Two books perhaps worth a look.

OUP has published a collection of essays on Seneca, edited by John Fitch, at £29. The blurb says:

  • A collection of the very best essays about Seneca written over the past forty years
  • Represents the diversity of approaches by which recent critics have attempted to understand this multifaceted figure
  • New introduction locates the essays in the context of current trends in academic criticism and research

Seneca was a man of many facets: statesman, dramatist, philosopher, prose stylist. His life was marked by extremes of fortune – extremes that are reflected in much of his writing, and in the vicissitudes of his reputation in later centuries. This volume brings together some outstanding essays written about him over the past four decades, and illustrates the diversity of approaches by which modern critics have attempted to understand this multifaceted figure. Just as Seneca's writings often reflect his times, so current critical approaches often reflect issues in contemporary thought and society. Several of the essays have been revised by their authors for this volume, and two of them are translated for the first time. A new introduction places the articles within the context of recent academic thought and criticism. All Latin has been translated.

The other book is rather different. I saw it at the Hellenic Book Service display in London last Saturday, and can't comment on how good it is, but if I were teaching GCSE Latin I'd get at least one copy to look at. (Update: Anna Davey of OCR writes: “the [Amazon] customer review would suggest that this is a reprint/revised version of a resource originally published for the old 1400 syllabus (which we stopped examining in 2002).”

It's called GCSE Latin Resource Book, and the contact address is 20 Apsley Street, Rusthall, Tunbridge Wells TN4 8NU – but probably better to contact the Hellenic Book Service. The price is now under £15.

Podcasts on Latin set texts

This is just floating an idea.

The decision of QCA that set texts in Latin and Greek AS and A2 will be different means that many schools with small Sixth Form groups will no longer be able to teach set texts to both Upper and Lower Sixth students in the same class.

While we wish to fight for this decision to be reversed, we realise that a change cannot happen for several years. Meanwhile the subjects will become impossible to teach in many schools, unless new ways of individual learning are found. The Cambridge DVDs have shown how powerful IT can be where a specialist teacher cannot be there to teach a class.

Podcasts could form part of a (much lower-tech) set of resources for students studying set texts.

I have recorded a 2-minute off-the-cuff podcast to show the possibilities of the medium.

Listen here.