Comenius – Still Useful (or, Comenius Comania)

ἀρχὴ παιδεύσεως ἡ τῶν ὀνομάτων ἐπίσκεψις principium eruditionis vocabulorum consideratio est Epictetus I certainly spent a lot of time on Comenius the preceding decade, extolling his usefulness for Latin and Greek vocabulary acquisition and making YouTube videos to that end. I mean a lot of time — my wife got to calling it Comania! Here …

Looking back

Ten years ago, on the brink of retirement, I began dusting off the Latin and Greek I had learned decades ago in college. In the process, I discovered there were two ways of going about learning ancient languages. For lack of better terms, we can call these the grammar-first approach and the natural-language approach. In …

Graecists and Latinists, Welcome

Welcome to my Languages blog on WordPress. Ten years ago, as I was transitioning to retirement, I began dusting off my Latin and Greek. I had been a Classics major in college, and in fact I have an ABD (All But Dissertation), but I had not read these ancient languages in decades. How did that …

Reading Latin and Greek Sentences

[January 2021. I have made some relatively minor edits to the original text.] The Problem The ideas in this post grew out of reading Livy and Polybius this winter/spring term.  Livy is the master of the Latin periodic sentence (a single sentence that packs a large quantity of information into multiple and in Livy’s case …

The ancient Mediterranean: finding your way

[January 2021. I am on iOS 14.4, and when I returned to this app after some while, I found the Gazeteer/Search function was no longer working. The good folks at Princeton University Press advised me to delete the app and reinstall it, and that fixed the problem.] In the 2014 winter/spring term just ended, I …

Homer and Greek Epic

This previous fall (2013) I took a seminar in Homer’s Odyssey. While they are still fresh in my mind, I’ll review some resources here for studying Homeric Greek. Homer first? First there is the question, for those beginning ancient Greek, whether or not to start with Homer. My answer is, if Homer is what you …

The "OTC Moment"

Hello all. Has it really been a year and a half since I’ve posted anything of substance? Well, the sun has completed a few more revolutions around the earth (if I am to think like an ancient), and in that interval my Latin and Greek have not been idle, so here is my most unTweetish …

Beefing up your Latin Vocabulary, and How I Learned to Love Comenius

I am grateful in these times to have a job. But in whatever spare time I’ve had the last two years, I’ve done my best to resurrect my Latin and Greek, strictly on my own. Drawing on my experience, I have been using this blog to pass on some hopefully helpful information to other aspiring …

Teaching Yourself Latin and Greek, Part II

[January 2021. Here are a few other important updates: For learning classical Greek, a lot of people are using Donald Mastronarde’s Introduction to Attic Greek, in its second edition (2013) (see here for additional resources). I have not seen it, but I know Mastronarde to be very thorough and meticulous. Mastronarde is the creator of …

Teaching Yourself Latin and Greek

In college too many decades ago, I was a classics and ancient history PhD candidate. I did not stay in the field and did not keep up with the languages. But a little more than a year ago, beginning to plan for retirement, I decided to resurrect my Greek and Latin. I have been pretty …