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Phaedrus Latin Composition Contest, 2011

Registration is now open for the 2nd annual Phaedrus Latin Composition Contest, hosted by New St. Andrew’s College!

Last year I had a few students participate and acted as a judge myself.  The experience proved to be a great opportunity.  One of my students made it to the semi-finals.  I will definitely encourage all of my upper level students to participate this year.

For you teachers out there, this is a contest that can easily be woven into your regular lesson  plans.  Phaedrus was a Roman author who translated Aesop’s fables into Latin, and added a few of his own.  These fables are wonderful reading material for classes of various levels.  My students who are studying in books 2 and 3 of Latin Alive are able to read several of the original fables, with few notes from me.  They love reading these short classics because they often recall memories of reading these stories when they were little.  Realizing that they can now read the original is “super cool.”  They relish the opportunity to let their creative Latin juices flow by writing e of their own.

Learn more about the details of this contest by visiting the offficial website for the Phaedrus Latin Contest.

The best way to prepare for the contest is by enjoying Aesop’s Fables as translated by Phaedrus.  Here are two excellent online resources:

1. The Latin Library by Ad Fontes Academy.

This site provides a great wealth of Latin texts from a wide variety of authors.  The site is easy to navigate.  To find the fables, click on “Phaedrus.”  Texts are readily available and easy to print.

2.  Bestiaria Latina by Laura Gibbs

This is a blog site by Laura Gibbs that provides a wealth of material on Aesop’s Fables.  Even if you are not going to participate in this contest, this blog is a must visit.  Very enjoyable!

3.  For lesson plan ideas with these fables please visit some of my other posts on this blog site.

One Response to “Phaedrus Latin Composition Contest, 2011”

  • Hi Karen, it is fun to hear about people’s Aesop adventures. Just a quick note about Phaedrus – I wish he had translated all of Aesop into Latin, but he comes far short of that (plus the edition we have of Phaedrus is sadly incomplete, so we don’t even have all of his poems) – there are hundreds of fables that appeared in Greek which you don’t find in Latin until the Renaissance, when the Greek Aesop became popular and was translated into Latin by eager scholars. So as a result lots of famous fables, like the Tortoise and the Hare for example, which were recorded in Greek don’t show up in Latin until the 15th or 16th century. That’s why I did the Mille Fabulae project, so that I could pull together something much closer to the complete Aesop tradition – of course, no book is ever the whole Aesop, but the Mille Fabulae et Una book, with 1001 fables in Latin, is the closest anyone has ever come to a complete Aesop in Latin. Anybody who wants a copy can download the book for free in PDF format here:
    The PDF format works great for reading fables on the iPhone or other handheld device while waiting in line at the grocery store… 🙂

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