Subscribe

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

The Classic Texan – April 21, 753 B.C. and A.D. 1836

All classicists know that today, April 21, is the anniversary of the founding of Rome. All Texans know that today, April 21, is the anniversary of the Battle of San Jacinto. Do you know the story of the Classic Texan, the legendary figure of Sam Houston and the imprint of the Classics in his own life? His tale is truly that of a modern Odysseus or Aeneas beset with a torment that forces him from his home and sends him wandering through the wild west. Eventually, Providence would guide him to Texas where his destiny and that of the land he came to love became forever inextricably linked. Read the rest of this entry »

Excavating the Circus Maximus!

Archaeologists are discovering what some call the greatest shopping complex of the ancient world. I suppose this really shouldn't surprise us at all. Modern man is not really that different from ancient man. Visit any NASCAR or Formula One race track and you are likely to find a plethora of concession stands, clothing venues, souvenir shops, and large bathroom facilities. You might also find stories posted of the greatest drivers and the cars that set records. All this has been discovered at the Circus Maximus. Several shops have been found including ancient laundromats that would clean your garments with the preferred agent of the time: urine. Large latrines have been uncovered that used the nearby aqueducts to continually "flush" water and waste through to the sewers. Archaeologists have even found images of a winning race horse by the name of Numitor, who seems to have gained some measure of fame in the great city. Read the rest of this entry »

Planning the Invasion of Gaul

Gallia est omnis divisa in partes tres . . . Thus begins the first chapter of Comentarii de Bello Galllico, written by General Julius Caesar c.58-49 B.C. This is a line that most veterans of Latin studies know by heart for it has long been the traditional "first book" for young students graduating from grammatical studies into original readings. The work is chosen for its excellent prose, whose arrangment is fairly easy for novice readers to follow. That is once you become adept at recognizing ablative absolutes and extensive relative clauses and very long stints of indirect discourse. The work certainly cannot be read without great attention to the author, Julius Caesar, his military endeavors and his political ambitions. This work can also be enjoyed as a study in ancient geography as Caesar begins the very first chapter by laying out the geographical composition of Greater Gaul in the manner of a chartographer. Read the rest of this entry »

Beauty and the Beast and Latin

Walt Disney has turned many beloved classical fairy tales into successful movies. Often classical references may be found hidden within them as precious gems. To find them is to better appreciate the artistry of their cinematic work. This is particularly true of the older movies, but can be found in more "recent" creations that have drawn from the earlier tradition. Such is the case with the 1991 animated classic Beauty and the Beast. The opening sequence is stunning for its visual and musical elegance that draws the viewer deep into an enchanted forest. As the castle comes into view the scene focuses attention on a lovely stained glass window that seems to resemble a royal family crest. Beneath the scene, etched on a scroll in Latin one reads Read the rest of this entry »

How My Road Led to Rome – A Latin Teacher’s Testimony

I am often asked why I became a Latin teacher. The story is not what one might expect. It is every bit a testimony of God's direction in my life. The Lord had a plan and a purpose for me. He made sure to lead me down a path that He clearly purposed for my life, my own Roman road of sorts. Read the rest of this entry »

Latin Alive vs. Henle – A Comparison

To tell the truth, I didn’t think it was possible to have a better Latin education than I was offered. But my mind went wild with the Latin Alive! Reader book that comes after, or perhaps with, level 3 of the series. I would have loved that book!!!

My son and I have jumped right in with Latin Alive! Book 1 this summer. Last school year, he completed the first pass of Henle in Classical Conversation’s Challenge A program. Already, though, just working a little over the summer with Latin Alive, we are much happier with this new program. Furthermore, I can see that my son is understanding and retaining more readily with Latin Alive. This is a much better program than Henle—which I always held in high regard before.

The above quotation is an excerpt from a letter written by a co-op leader from Classical Conversations.  To read her full review of the Latin Alive program and how it compares with Henle (another excellent Latin curriculum) please visit the full article on the Classical Academic Press blog site:  Switching from Henle to Latin Alive – A Letter.

The Griffin Warrior: Amazing Archaeological Discovery on Pylos

On a drizzly May morning in an unremarkable olive grove two archaeologists made the discovery of a century. They found an ancient tomb rich in bronze, ivory, gold, and incredible stories. They found the tomb of the Griffin Warrior. For classicists around the world this may be the discovery of the century. For husband-wife archaeologist team Jack Davis and Sharon Stocker, this is the discovery of a lifetime. The find certainly ranks with the likes of Heinrich Schliemann who found the legendary city of Troy and the remnants of the ancient Mycenaean culture, home of Agamemnon. It ranks with the likes of Carl Blegen who unearthed the Palace of Nestor on the Greek island of Pylos. Read the rest of this entry »

Scripture Memory

My New Year's Resolution? This year it began in August. I am in the process of joining my daughter and her classmates in memorizing the book of Philippians. This exercise is part of a vision that began in 2010 when my 7th grade ancient humanities class first memorized the book of James. Since then our school, Grace Academy, has challenged our students to commit an entire book of the Bible (or extensive passage) to memory each year, hiding God's Word in their hearts. The Association of Classical Christian schools asked me to write an article for Classis, their quarterly journal, about the vision and implementation of our Scripture Memory program. I share it here with all of you. Read on to learn the historical precedent, the present implementation, and the fruit this work is bearing in the lives of our students. Read the rest of this entry »

Gingerbread Pantheon

Augustus was said to have found Rome a city of brick and left it a city of marble. Our Classics Club at Grace Academy is rebuilding Rome as a city of gingerbread! Each year our students take on the task of rebuilding a significant piece of ancient architecture from gingerbread and other edible materials. This year our group took on the Roman Pantheon. We entered the finished piece in the Georgetown Library's annual Edible Extravaganza contest where it won first place in its division. This post shares some of the secrets behind the triumph. Read the rest of this entry »

Imitation in Writing through Latin

l believe the purpose of learning the Latin language is in order to study Latin literature. By studying Latin literature, I mean studying the Great Books. These are great pieces of literature of outstanding merit that have stood the test of time. Such works reflect the worldview of the culture and time in which they were written. Such works have often influenced not only the people of their own time, but the people of times that would follow. Such works should demonstrate some combination of Truth, Beauty, and Goodness. By studying such works we better understand the flow of human thought over the course of history. We better understand our civilization when we know from whence it came. We better understand what is truly great literature. By studying Latin literature, I mean Read the rest of this entry »