Lectiones Memorabiles, Volume I is at press!
Lectiones Memorabiles: Volume I: Selections from Catullus, Cicero, Livy, Ovid, Propertius, Tibullus, and Vergil
, now at press, is due out in June. This reader contains the prescribed passages for the Vergil
, and Love Poetry
portions of the IB Latin syllabus with examinations in 2016, 2017, and 2018. Order today!
, which contains the prescribed Good Living
passages, will go to press in a couple weeks and is due out later in June. When Volume II is available, you can save by purchasing both volumes as a bundled product
Marianthe Colakis, author of Volume I, recently discussed her experiences writing the commentary with eLitterae
newsletter editor Don Sprague. The following interview was originally published in the March 2015
DES: Bolchazy-Carducci chose to divide the IB Latin curriculum for exams in 2016, 2017, and 2018 into two volumes. What inspired you to choose the volume with selections from Vergil and selections on love poetry and on women?
MC: I had taught AP Vergil for years, so I felt as though I knew the text of the Aeneid very well and understood the issues that make the epic more complex than it would appear to be at first glance. As for love poetry, I was fortunate enough as an undergraduate to learn from one of the great experts of Roman poetry: Steele Commager. He was truly brilliant in that he always made you believe that you were seeing the Latin as the Romans saw it. We translated, but the focus was on the arrangement of the Latin words. I also was pursuing higher education in Classics at the same time that women's issues were coming to the forefront as a field of scholarship. I've followed the field with interest since then.
DES: Authoring the background and contextual essays along with the notes for the volume was a significant undertaking. What in your schooling and experience did you find especially prepared you for doing so?
An undergraduate and graduate education in the humanities, including Classics, is excellent preparation for all types of research work and scholarly writing. I'm fortunate in that I like to research. I love working in libraries. The New York Public Library and Butler University Library at Columbia University are superb resources. At the same time, the amount of material available online has grown so much more extensive and dependable that I was able to work away from libraries also. I'm old-fashioned enough to think of brick-and-mortar libraries as my go-to resource, though.
DES: Besides the time crunch, what was the most challenging aspect of this task?
MC: I had not read many of those passages for years, and a few—such as Lygdamus—I had not read at all. I had forgotten how complex some of those authors, such as Propertius, were. I had a new appreciation for what students find difficult when reading the authors for the first time.
DES: What part of the project did you most enjoy?
MC: Although it wasn't always easy to read them, I liked becoming acquainted with authors I had not read much of, or at all, such as the above-mentioned Lygdamus. I liked becoming familiar with Sulpicia, also. We have so little authentic writing by Roman women that it was a pleasure to see something written from a female perspective ("a" female perspective, not "the" female perspective!).
DES: Which of the authors for this text— Catullus, Cicero, Livy, Ovid, Propertius, Tibullus, and Vergil—is your favorite? Why?
MC: I've always been fond of Ovid. He was younger than the other "Golden Age" poets—Vergil, Horace, Propertius, Tibullus—so it was more of a challenge for him to write something fresh, especially in the well-worn field of elegiac love poetry. He did so much more than rehash old tropes, though! It was interesting to read his take on the Odyssey from Penelope's point of view. All her worries—that her husband is dead, that he's found someone else, that they've grown into different people while he was away—ring very true.
DES: What advice do you give someone beginning their career as a high school Latin teacher?
MC: Take as many opportunities as you can to learn from other Latin teachers! If you're the only one at your school, find a way to connect with others online. Go to meetings and workshops, especially ACL institutes. You'll get more ideas than you can use in a year.
has taught at Trinity College (Hartford), Queens College, Brooklyn College, and Davidson College. She is currently teaching at Townsend Harris High School in Queens, New York. Colakis holds a PhD in classics from Yale University. Much of her scholarly work has involved modern adaptations of classical myths and tragedies; her first book was The Classics in the American Theater of the 1960's and Early 1970's
(University Press of America, 1993). In recent years, she has turned her efforts toward development of pedagogical materials. Colakis is author (with Gaylan DuBose) of Excelability in Advanced Latin: A Workbook for Students
(Bolchazy-Carducci Publishers, 2003) and coauthor with Mary Joan Masello of Classical Mythology and More: A Reader Workbook
(Bolchazy-Carducci Publishers, 2007).
This work has been developed independently from and is not endorsed by the International Baccalaureate (IB).
Classics in the News, Part I
Bringing Modern Reports of Ancient History into the Classroom
It might surprise some to learn just how frequently an article pops up discussing the themes of a museum display or the arrival of a new exhibit, or about how an ancient town or statue has been digitized, or about an archaeological find such as the caryatids at Amphipolis or the Antikythera shipwreck. With so much pertinent information circulating, articles could easily slip past a student unnoticed. I set up an alert through Google to keep me updated and have adopted the forum on eLatin eGreek eLearn, the Ning run by Bolchazy-Carducci, as a place to post them. Doing so has sparked an idea for a classroom project.
|The eLatin eGreek eLearn homepage.
|An image, courtesy of the Greek Ministry
of Culture, of a caryatid found in a tomb
The project involves a little sleuthing around the internet and drawing some connections, but it should ultimately be a fun learning experience. Students should bring a relevant, interesting, or fun article they find and share it with the class, touching on the main message of the article and where they found it, its significance today, and how it relates to classical studies, giving the project the opportunity to be both enjoyable and educational. Have students sign up or assign them a day throughout the term when they can present their discoveries. Students going earlier may have difficulty digging stuff up, but I have provided plenty on the Ning's forum
to serve as a jumping-off point.
|Colin Jost, left, and Michael Che
currently host Saturday Night
Live's "Weekend Update."
The project also provides students the opportunity to get creative with their presentation styles. In an older blog post
I mentioned some programs useful in mapping projects. If appropriate for the article, they may also be useful here. For example, students may find Prezi
, mentioned in the older post, useful for this type of project, but students have other options, such as a PowerPoint slide show or making a movie with Animoto
, or perhaps they would enjoy emulating Saturday Night Live anchors Michael Che and Colin Jost and providing the class with their own classics-related weekend update. There are many ways to get creative, and I urge classrooms to do so.
Stay tuned for my next post where I provide an example of one of the many ways this can be done. In the meantime, if you have any ideas on how else to make this an effective project or if you have other classroom projects, comment below! I would love to hear from you.
in the Classroom
The excitement of Martia Dementia
has stirred up a considerable amount of internet buzz in the classics community. Our Facebook, Twitter, and BlogSpot have all seen a lively amount of activity. Now the brackets are live (and already coming in!) and the surveys ready for launch next week. Still, one question sits like an elephant in the room: How can Martia Dementia
serve not just as a rewarding competition but also as something rewarding in the classroom?
|An image of the BC Bracket, now
available on Twitter and our blog.
Teachers should see Martia Dementia
as an opportunity for students to learn about authors they may not normally cover, or even hear about, in the standard Latin or Greek classroom. One way is for teachers to have students take a look at the bracket and pick an author they would like to present, by themselves or in groups. Depending on time, this could be a one-minute activity, where students give two important facts and one "fun" fact about the author (the "fun fact perhaps resembling something I attempted with the survey, which you will see in due time). To save time, I have already created a document
so students do not have to dig up the information themselves. If allotted more time to present, students will have the opportunity to present a more expansive biography of the authors to the class.
Another way to turn Martia Dementia
into a fun classroom activity is to play "Two Truths and a Lie." This option serves as a chance for students to get creative and have fun while still learning. Teachers may choose to assign authors to individuals or perhaps groups of three, or allow them to pick their own. Then the goal is for students to find and generate two truths and one lie about each author. As a group, two students can pose as truths and one as the lie and have the class guess which is posing as the lie. This task can take the form of simple presentations or can also serve as a competition where students aim to find he most ridiculous truths and make their lies so believable that they stump the classroom.
Seize the opportunity to have fun with Martia Dementia
! Have you started to already? Do you have other ideas as to how you might use this in your classroom? We would love to hear your thoughts and ideas in the comments below!
Scandal Surrounds Martia Dementia:
Confusion and Scandal Strike Soon After Finalized Bracket Is Released
Confusion has led to scandal here in Chicago as Martia Dementia rapidly approaches. The finalized bracket, released this past Monday, March 2, sparked cries ranging from “foul” to “outrage” that could be heard from Ilium to Illinois.
Late last night, Seneca the Elder was seen going into the very locker room his son occupied earlier that day. This led to the belief that lack of specification on the bracket was their way of covering up the fact that both would try to compete to gain votes. Though his father could not be reached for comment, the underdog Seneca the Younger spoke out on their behalf: "Calamitās virtūtis occāsiō est" (“Disaster is the opportunity for bravery”). We also reached out to his first-round opponent, Petronius, and asked if he had any comment, to which the favorite, in a very Senecan way, replied, "Nōn est vir fortis ac strēnuus quī labōrem fugit" (“The person who runs away from hard work is not a brave and active man”). We expect neither participant will back down from the competition after this.
|Someone spied Pliny the Younger reaching out
to his uncle Pliny the Elder late last night.
As if this father-son attempt at rigging the competition were not enough, an outside source spied Pliny the Younger writing letters to his uncle for help in his match-up against the lower-seeded Martial. Martial, not expected to receive much help from votes, hopes the committee will leverage sanctions against Pliny the Younger. As of today, the committee has yet to determine whether or how to penalize either familial pair for their scandalous attempts.
On the eastern side of the bracket, many were confused to find the 16-seed assumed not by a Greek but by the Christian apologist Lactantius. This play-in position pits Lactantius, a dark horse, against the top seed on the Greek side of the bracket. Though reporters could not reach Lactantius for comments his opponent Homer, considered the tournament's favorite by many, had a few words to say when asked about not playing a Greek in his first round: "Not a Greek, but a Roman? ἄνδρα
ἔννεπε. And what of the Achaeans?"
There you have it! Competition is heating up in the early stages of the tournament. Stay tuned for more pregame interviews, smack talk, and more from our fierce competitors. Also, don't forget to download your bracket and cast your votes!