RSS Feed

Tag Archives: language

Septimus: a Latin novella from the 1930s

Posted on
Septimus: A First Latin Reader, by R. L. Chambers and K. D. Robinson.

Septimus: A First Latin Reader, by R. L. Chambers and K. D. Robinson.

My neighbour Pat has recently given me her Latin textbook, a 1950s reprint of a beautiful 1930s classic, which may actually have been the forerunner of a revolution in Latin textbooks. First published in 1936, it is titled Septimus, not because it is the seventh book in a series, but for its main character, a young British schoolboy named Septimus. When I first received the book, it was wrapped in the kind of thin brown paper that old parcels used to be covered in. I suspected that the greasy, battered brown paper was hiding something beautiful underneath, and on removing the paper I was not disappointed. As you can see above, the original cover design is perfectly preserved in yellow, green and red.

Continue reading →

On the merits of learning German

Happy news! I’ve just started learning German! I signed up for a super-intensive course (with the Goethe Institute, Melbourne) that runs all day each day from Monday to Friday this week.

DSC08521_3

There are so many good reasons to learn German if you like Classics. Perhaps you’ve realised everyone is citing German academics. Name any topic on Greece and Rome, and some German mastermind somewhere has written an immensely important monograph work on that very area. Mention this to anyone who isn’t a Classicist and they’ll reply with a slightly confused “huh?” and ask what Germany has to do with the Romans and Greeks anyway. Good question.

Continue reading →

Far too many Latin words for kill

Posted on
Far too many Latin words for kill

How many words does Latin have for kill? One of the quirky, somewhat morbid attractions of Latin is that it has many, many words for kill. If you’ve ever studied Latin, you’ll probably remember interficere and necāre, two very classic verbs for kill. But it seems that the more literature you read, the more creative the language gets when it talks about killing. As far as I’m aware, no one on the internet has yet attempted to compile a list of Latin verbs meaning “to kill” longer than about five or six words, or tried to convey a sense of their shades of meaning. So! After much sifting through Perseus’ Latin word study tool, I have here thirty-three words where “kill” is either a primary or a secondary meaning. I’ve also tried to give a potted history of each word, and a little taste of their semantic range.

Feast your deadly curiosity!

Continue reading →

A word in Latin

Posted on

fritillus, -ī m dice box.

Example sentence:

Marcus shook the dice box again. “Argh!” he said. “The lowest roll possible!”

Marcus iterum fritillum iecit. “Heu!” inquit. “Canis!”

A word in Latin

Posted on

pūnītor, -ōris m avenger.

Example sentence:

“Have you seen the new Avengers movie?”
“No, I haven’t even seen the first one.”

“vidistine pelilculam cinematographicam novam ‘Punitores’?”
“immo, peliculam cinematographicam primam etiam non vidi.”