eLatin eGreek eLearn

More wired than a Roman Internet café

A few months back, as an offshoot of Schola, I started a second interactive site, the Universitas Scholarium.

I had the germ of an idea - to recreate a germ of a Renaissance Learning Community, in Latin, covering the breadth of subjects that would have been covered, plus some modern ones.

That site died when NING went behind its paywall, although funds were found to keep SCHOLA alive.

The idea sat on the back burner. Recently, I started to convert my Adler -Comenius course into a Latin-only introduction to Latin, using YouTube. Initially I had been skeptical about YouTube, but thought I would give it a try as a serious venture.

I removed the motley collection of Latin videos I had accumulated, of varying quality, with only the Latin course on offer from August to October. My subscription base rose from 300, to 1 400. This is now a big enough user base for me to justify a serious investment of time and energy into developing the project, and diversifying the material available:

Part of the rationale behind this, is the importance of broad reading to acquire fluency. To fully command a language, a student needs to encounter a wide range of texts. Technical books - such as textbooks, have a great virtue for a language student - they cover topics with which he or she might already have passing familiarity, and are written in relatively simple Latin.

Simply providing a reading list is not sufficient, however. Many of these texts are in old typefaces, and use abbreviations and typographic conventions that are unfamiliar to a modern reader. Having the text read aloud while the student follows along with the original text, has the advantage of familiarising the student with these typefaces. This in turn will help them become independent and more confident users of old texts.

Much of the material ever printed in Latin is only available in digital form. Many books only exist in editions from the sixteenth to nineteenth centuries. Exposing the student to these texts, and helping him or her read them, is a worthwhile project in and of itself.

This course will take many years to build. I can imagine an Aesop course, a metrics course, a physics course, a chemistry course, a mathematics course, etc etc.

The ground work will be laid with Adler, and Comenius, to build the users' base vocabulary, so they can read a wide range of texts.

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