Ovid contributes to the abortion debate

A blogger who is a priest has (re)published a couple of Ovid poems with comments. Any teacher wanting to show the contribution of the Classics to contemporary moral problems might like to look up his blog here.

Greek and Roman Education – A Sourcebook

From Routledge Classical Studies

This looks interesting. The link is to the paperback, published in the USA yesterday at $35.95

This is the blurb:

Modern western education finds its origins in the practices, systems
and schools of the ancient Greeks and Romans. It is in the field of
education, in fact, that classical antiquity has exerted one of its
clearest influences on the modern world. Yet the story of Greek and
Roman education, extending from the eighth century B.C. into the Middle
Ages, is familiar in its details only to relatively few specialists.

Containing nearly 300 translated texts and documents, Greek and Roman Education: A Sourcebook
is the first book to provide readers with a large, diverse and
representative sample of the primary evidence for ancient Greek and
Roman education. A special feature of this Sourcebook is the
inclusion not only of the fundamental texts for the study of the
subject, but also unfamiliar sources that are of great interest but are
not easily accessible, including inscriptions on stone and Greek papyri
from Egypt. Introductions to each chapter and to each selection provide
the guidance which readers need to set the historical periods, themes
and topics into meaningful contexts. Fully illustrated and including
extensive suggestions for further reading, together with an index of
passages explored, students will have no further need for any other
sourcebook on Greek and Roman education.

Mark Joyal is Professor and Head of the Department of Classics at
the University of Manitoba. Iain McDougall is Professor of Classics at
the University of Winnipeg. John Yardley, formerly President of the
Classical Association of Canada, has been Professor and Chair of the
University of Ottawa since 1988.

Latin as part of a Challenge Program (is that G&T equivalent?)

From the Prescott Daily Courier

Why oh why don’t journalists ask a Latinist before attempting to write a Latin phrase? ANyway, here’s the puff for a school’s Latin.

Eruditio antiquus lingua

MAYER – About 50, fifth- through eighth-graders in the Challenge Program at Mayer Unified School District are learning another language – Latin – and enjoying it.

Mayer Jr./Sr. High School principal Judith Andrews said she proposed the idea of Challenge to MUSD Superintendent Pat Dallabetta in 2005, who bought it because it fit with what he was trying to offer in Mayer’s schools.

The Challenge Program Andrews developed includes: project-based learning, a robotic program, a Latin curriculum, character education, community involvement, yearbook coordinator, presidential physical fitness program, environmental studies and resource management.

“It is a rigorous academic setting for students in grades fifth through eighth,” she said.

An educator from New Jersey, Andrews and her husband moved to Yavapai Hills after retiring. She taught for 22 years before serving 10 years as principal at elementary and high schools.

“When my husband suggested we retire and move to Arizona, I said, ‘Only if we take our friends with them,’ which we did,” she said.

After getting tired of being retired and selling Dallabetta on the Challenge Program, Andrews called on one of her friends, Mary Lou Scalise, a retired teacher from Connecticut to teach Latin and math.

Using the Latin textbook, “Ecee Romani – IA” and “Ecee Romani – IB,” Scalise, who has taught Latin for 35 years, developed a curriculum that helps bring Latin alive for her young students.

Toward that end, each student gets a Latin name and must learn what that person’s significance was in Roman history. The students also study Roman history to help bring the language alive.

The students also use Latin in the classroom. They even do the Pledge of Allegiance in Latin.

On a visit to the class Tuesday, Andrews said, “Salve,” or “Hello/Good Morning.” The students answered, “Salve, Primo Magistra” or “Hello, most important teacher.”

As one of the class projects, Andrews said, students design Latin games. One group designed a Rome-opoly with Roman money, she said, while others have designed television game shows. All the words in the game and shows were Latin.

“They were really neat,” she said.

While Latin is a hard and rigorous language to learn, Andrews said students enjoy learning roots of words. An example is “agrae,” meaning agriculture. Students also are seeing many connections in other subjects, like “canis” for dog or canine.

The textbooks are set up so the students do the vocabulary first, then read the story and answer a list of questions. Andrews also said the book has a test for students at the end of each chapter.

At the end of each school year, the National Latin Exam tests students on their Latin skills.

Kya Teskey, a MUSD eighth grader in the Challenge program, got 37 of 40 questions correct when she was in the sixth grade.

“She was one of our top students. Most of the students get 25 out of 40 correct,” Andrews said.

She said Latin is now one of the Challenge students’ most favorite classes.

Teskey said she likes Latin because she likes to learn different things.

“In Latin, I’m learning a new vocabulary that I can put to use. It makes scientific names easier to understand,” she said.

To help students learn more Latin, Andrews got the Rosetta Stone Latin program for seventh and eighth graders to work with on computers. Four students an hour or 28 students in one day can work with the Rosetta Stone program, she said.

By taking two years of Latin on the Rosetta Stone program students get one credit.

She plans to offer the Rosetta Stone Latin program at the high school in 2009-2010. During the next three school years, she hopes to add a year of Latin until students can take four years of Latin at the high school.

Andrews said she likes the Rosetta Stone program because the students can see instantly if they are pronouncing the word correctly or not.

She would like to take her Latin students to Rome to complete their Latin education.

Sculpture Of Aurelius Unearthed In Sagalassos

Woops! Having posted a piece from the Turkish Press, I find much better coverage, with nice big pics, from the Daily Mail. Do look at the pics.

(There are more pics on the BBC site.)

Archaeologists have discovered an exquisite marble statue of the Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius.

The emperor, who ruled between 161 and 180 AD, was portrayed by Richard Harris in the film Gladiator.

The statue’s 3ft-tall head, 5ft-long right arm and huge lower legs were found at the ancient city of Sagalassos in Turkey.

Belgian Professor Marc Waelkens, who is leading the dig, said its eyes gaze upwards ‘as if in deep contemplation, perfectly fitting of an emperor who was more of a philosopher than a soldier’.

The statue was found in the largest room at Sagalassos’s Roman baths which is believed to have been a ‘frigidarium’, a room with a cold pool which Romans would sink into after a hot bath.

Archaeologists have been excavating the frigidarium for 12 years and enormous sculptures of Hadrian, his wife Vibia Sabina, emperor Antoninus Pius, his wife Faustina the Elder and Marcus Aurelius are all thought to have adorned the 13,500sq ft room.

Here’s the original post, from Turkish Press

AGLASUN – A sculpture of Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius has been unearthed during archaeological excavations in the ancient city of Sagalassos in southwestern Turkey.

In an interview with the A.A, Professor Marc Wealkens of the Belgian Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, who heads the archaeological excavations, said on Friday that the 80-centimeter sculpture was about 30 kg in weight.

Wealkens said that the sculpture would be exhibited in the archaeological museum in the southeastern province of Burdur.

(There’s more background about Marcus Aurelius, but no picture – follow the link above.)

Ideas, please

I’d like to ask Classics teachers if they have ideas for using a small patch of earth (flower bed) within their school.

I’ve used an area for pupils to bury items to try to demonstrate archaeological decay (as in Minimus Secundus).

I also have in mind to grow plants connected with the Classics (and Religious Studies, my other subject) – if they are suitable – myrtle, olive and so on.

Any ideas on these or other uses, please?

Roderick Clark
(Arnold Lodge School, Leamington Spa)