Ancient Obscenities inquires into the Greco-Roman handling of explicit representations of the body in its excretory and sexual functions, taking as its point of departure the modern preoccupation with the obscene. The essays in this volume offer new interpretations of materials that have been perceived by generations of modern readers as “obscene”: the explicit sexual references of Greek iambic poetry and Juvenal’s satires, Aristophanic aischrologia, Priapic poetics, and the scatology of Pompeian graffiti. Other essays venture in an even more provocative fashion into texts that are not immediately associated with the obscene: the Orphic Hymn to Demeter, Herodotus, the supposedly prim scripts of Plautus and the Attic orators. The volume focuses on texts but also includes a chapter devoted to visual representation, and many essays combine evidence from texts and material culture. Of all these texts, artifacts, and practices we ask the same questions: What kinds of cultural and emotional work do sexual and scatological references perform? Can we find a blueprintfor the ancient usage of this material?
Charm, wit, and style were critical, but dangerous, ingredients in the social repertoire of the Roman elite. Their use drew special attention, but also exposed one to potential ridicule or rejection for valuing style over substance. Brian A. Krostenko explores the complexities and ambiguities of charm, wit, and style in Roman literature of the late Republic by tracking the origins, development, and use of the terms that described them, which he calls "the language of social performance."
As Krostenko demonstrates, a key feature of this language is its capacity to express both approval and disdain—an artifact of its origins at a time when the "style" and "charm" of imported Greek cultural practices were greeted with both enthusiasm and hostility. Cicero played on that ambiguity, for example, by chastising lepidus ("fine") boys in the "Second Oration against Catiline" as degenerates, then arguing in his De Oratore that the successful speaker must have a certain charming lepos ("wit"). Catullus, in turn, exploited and inverted the political subtexts of this language for innovative poetic and erotic idioms.
Since 1965, Donald Ayers' English Words from Latin and Greek Elements has helped thousands of students to a broader vocabulary by showing them how to recognize classical roots in modern English words. Its second edition, published in 1986, has confirmed that vocabulary is best taught by root, not rote. The importance of learning classical word roots is already acknowledged by vocabulary texts that devote chapters to them.
Why a whole book based on this approach? Ayers' text exposes students to a wider range of roots, introduces new English words in context sentences, and reinforces vocabulary through exercises. It promotes more practice with roots so that students learn to use them as tools in their everyday encounters with new words. English Words is written from the standpoint of English; it neither attempts to teach students Latin or Greek nor expects a knowledge of classical languages on the part of instructors. Its success has been demonstrated at both the secondary and college levels, and it can be used effectively with students in remedial or accelerated programs.
On the boundary of what the ancient Greeks and Romans considered the habitable world, Ireland was a land of myth and mystery in classical times. Classical authors frequently portrayed its people as savages—even as cannibals and devotees of incest—and evinced occasional uncertainty as to the island's shape, size, and actual location. Unlike neighboring Britain, Ireland never knew Roman occupation, yet literary and archaeological evidence prove that Iuverna was more than simply terra incognita in classical antiquity.
In this book, Philip Freeman explores the relations between ancient Ireland and the classical world through a comprehensive survey of all Greek and Latin literary sources that mention Ireland. He analyzes passages (given in both the original language and English) from over thirty authors, including Julius Caesar, Strabo, Tacitus, Ptolemy, and St. Jerome. To amplify the literary sources, he also briefly reviews the archaeological and linguistic evidence for contact between Ireland and the Mediterranean world.
Freeman's analysis of all these sources reveals that Ireland was known to the Greeks and Romans for hundreds of years and that Mediterranean goods and even travelers found their way to Ireland, while the Irish at least occasionally visited, traded, and raided in Roman lands. Everyone interested in ancient Irish history or Classics, whether scholar or enthusiast, will learn much from this pioneering book.
Diana Spencer, known for her scholarly focus on how ancient Romans conceptualized themselves as a people and how they responded to and helped shape the world they lived in, brings her expertise to an examination of the Roman scholar Varro and his treatise De Lingua Latina. This commentary on the origin and relationships of Latin words is an intriguing, but often puzzling, fragmentary work for classicists. Since Varro was engaged in defining how Romans saw themselves and how they talked about their world, Spencer reads along with Varro, following his themes and arcs, his poetic sparks, his political and cultural seams. Few scholars have accepted the challenge of tackling Varro and his work, and in this pioneering volume, Spencer provides a roadmap for considering these topics more thoroughly.
Since Latin became the standard language for plant naming in the eighteenth century, it has been intrinsically linked with botany. And while mastery of the classical language may not be a prerequisite for tending perennials, all gardeners stand to benefit from learning a bit of Latin and its conventions in the field. Without it, they might buy a Hellebores foetidus and be unprepared for its fetid smell, or a Potentilla reptans with the expectation that it will stand straight as a sentinel rather than creep along the ground.
An essential addition to the gardener’s library, this colorful, fully illustrated book details the history of naming plants, provides an overview of Latin naming conventions, and offers guidelines for pronunciation. Readers will learn to identify Latin terms that indicate the provenance of a given plant and provide clues to its color, shape, fragrance, taste, behavior, functions, and more.
Full of expert instruction and practical guidance, Latin for Gardeners will allow novices and green thumbs alike to better appreciate the seemingly esoteric names behind the plants they work with, and to expertly converse with fellow enthusiasts. Soon they will realize that having a basic understanding of Latin before trips to the nursery or botanic garden is like possessing some knowledge of French before traveling to Paris; it enriches the whole experience.
Dirk Panhuis University of Michigan Press, 2006 Library of Congress PA2087.P275 2006 | Dewey Decimal 478.2421
In Latin Grammar, Dirk Panhuis has created an innovative reference that makes use of many of the advances that have taken place in linguistics during the last half century. Using a syntactic—instead of the traditional morphological—approach to syntax, Panhuis explains linguistic concepts clearly, thoroughly describing the structure of the sentence and its parts. For ease of use, Panhuis often presents the theory in well-organized tables and charts, and provides the reader with illustrative texts by Latin authors.
Through clear structuring of language phenomena, Panhuis provides a reference that integrates traditional linguistic knowledge with linguistic innovation and didactic clarity. This concise reference, ideal for students and instructors of Latin in high schools and colleges, will supplant the out-dated grammars of Allen & Greenough and Hale & Buck.
Dirk Panhuis graduated in classical philology at the State University of Ghent, Belgium, in 1963 and obtained his PhD in linguistics at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, in 1981. He has been assistant and academic secretary of the Institut Supérieur Pédagogique in Kananga (Democratic Republic of Congo) and a teaching assistant at the University of Michigan. He taught classical languages in high schools of the Flemish Community in and around Louvain (Belgium) until his retirement in 2002.
"Panhuis brings a very welcome linguistic orientation to the study of Latin, an approach not found in the older traditional grammars currently used at the college level. Among the features likely to prove most helpful for students is the presentation of information in clear and easily readable charts and grids, and the explanations accompanying the English translations, allowing students to see clearly how to render a Latin structure into English both literally and idiomatically."
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—Deborah Ross, Department of Classical Studies, University of Michigan
"This innovative grammar incorporates current viewpoints of syntax and semantics, making it a unique tool, especially for the study of sentence structure."—Philip Baldi, Professor of Linguistics and Classics, Pennsylvania State University
"In his Latin Grammar, Panhuis artfully integrates traditional description and modern analysis. It will provide intermediate and advancing Latin students mature help in understanding Latin syntax and offers material on the dynamics of text which is unique for an introductory reference tool. Not to be overlooked is its value as a resource to those who teach Latin."
—Charles Elerick, Professor of Languages and Linguistics, The University of Texas at El Paso
The mother tongue of the Roman Empire and the lingua franca of the West for centuries after Rome’s fall, Latin survives today primarily in classrooms and texts. Yet this “dead language” is unique in the influence it has exerted across centuries and continents. Jürgen Leonhardt has written a full history of Latin from antiquity to the present, uncovering how this once parochial dialect developed into a vehicle of global communication that remained vital long after its spoken form was supplanted by modern languages.
Latin originated in the Italian region of Latium, around Rome, and became widespread as that city’s imperial might grew. By the first century BCE, Latin was already transitioning from a living vernacular, as writers and grammarians like Cicero and Varro fixed Latin’s status as a “classical” language with a codified rhetoric and rules. As Romance languages spun off from their Latin origins following the empire’s collapse—shedding cases and genders along the way—the ancient language retained its currency as a world language in ways that anticipated English and Spanish, but it ceased to evolve.
Leonhardt charts the vicissitudes of Latin in the post-Roman world: its ninth-century revival under Charlemagne and its flourishing among Renaissance writers who, more than their medieval predecessors, were interested in questions of literary style and expression. Ultimately, the rise of historicism in the eighteenth century turned Latin from a practical tongue to an academic subject. Nevertheless, of all the traces left by the Romans, their language remains the most ubiquitous artifact of a once peerless empire.
A Lexicon to the Latin Textof the Theological Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg (1688–1772) by Dr. John Chadwick and Dr. Jonathan S. Rose is a unique specialist dictionary of fourteen thousand Neo-Latin words and their usages as contained in eighteenth-century theological works of Emanuel Swedenborg.
Beyond its use for scholars of Swedenborg, the Lexicon is also of great assistance to students and academics of history, philosophy, theology and science, and anyone who encounters texts written in Neo-Latin (the branch of Latin that was in use by learned writers and thinkers from the Renaissance period through to the Enlightenment and beyond). The Lexicon is beautifully and simply designed and easy to navigate. In addition to a preface by editor John Chadwick, this edition also features a new introduction by Jonathan S. Rose containing an important section on the morphology of Swedenborg’s Neo-Latin (as distinct from the morphology of classical Latin); an appreciation of the life of John Chadwick by John Elliott; an appendix with a detailed listing of the various Latin editions of Swedenborg’s theological works; and an appendix on Swedenborg’s use of the Latin Bible of Sebastian Schmidt.
The story of how Latin and Arabic spread across the Mediterranean to create a cosmopolitan world of letters.
In this ambitious book, Karla Mallette studies the nature and behaviors of the medieval cosmopolitan languages of learning—classical Arabic and medieval Latin—as they crossed the Mediterranean. Through anecdotes of relationships among writers, compilers, translators, commentators, and copyists, Mallette tells a complex story about the transmission of knowledge in the period before the emergence of a national language system in the late Middle Ages and early modernity.
Mallette shows how the elite languages of learning and culture were only tenuously related to the languages of everyday life. These languages took years of study to master, marking the passage from intellectual childhood to maturity. In a coda to the book, Mallette speculates on the afterlife of cosmopolitan languages in the twenty-first century, the perils of monolingualism, and the ethics of language choice. The book offers insight for anyone interested in rethinking linguistic and literary tradition, the transmission of ideas, and cultural expression in an increasingly multilingual world.
Ellen D. Finkelpearl's Metamorphosis of Language in Apuleius studies the use of literary allusion by the Roman author Apuleius, in his second century C.E. novel the Metamorphoses, popularly known as The Golden Ass. Apuleius' work is enticing yet frustrating because of its enigmatic mixture of the comic and serious; a young man is transformed into a donkey, but eventually finds salvation with the goddess Isis. Finkelpearl's book represents the first attempt to place Apuleius' allusive practices within a consideration of the development of the ancient novel.
When Apuleius wrote his Metamorphoses, the novel--indeed the very concept of fiction in prose--was new. This study argues that Apuleius' repeated allusions to earlier Latin authors such as Vergil, Ovid, and Seneca represent an exploration on his part of the relationship between the novel and more established genres of the era. Apuleius' struggle with this tradition, Finkelpearl maintains, parallels the protagonist's move from an acceptance of the dominance of traditional forms to a sense of arrival and self- discovery.
An introductory chapter includes general discussion of the theory and practice of allusion. Finkelpearl then revisits the issues of parody in Apuleius. She also includes discussion of Apuleius' use of Vergil's Sinon, the Charite episode in relation to Apuleius' African origins, and the stepmother episode. Finally a new reading of Isis is offered, which emphasizes her associations with writing and matches the multiformity of the goddess with the novel's many voices.
This book will be of interest to scholars of literature and the origins of the novel, multiculturalism, and classical literature.
Ellen D. Finkelpearl is Associate Professor of Classics at Scripps College, Claremont, California.
From the first encounter with the Latin language to its full presentation, the objective of Ossa Latinitatis Sola is to get people into immediate contact with and understanding of Latin authors, and for these encounters to grow into a love and use of the entire language in all its literary types and periods of time and authors of the past 2,300 years.
Beginners and experts alike will find a complete immersion into the workings and nature of the Latin language embodied in the incomparable, insuperable epistles of the great Marcus Tullius Cicero, something which other commentators pass over or scorn. This second volume puts “meat on the bones” of the Latin language presented in the first volume: Ossa Latinitatis Sola: The Mere Bones of Latin. The personal letters of Cicero provide ample meat to enflesh the skeletal structure of the language, thus the title: Ossium Carnes Multae: The Bones’ Meats Abundant from the epistles of Marcus Tullius Cicero.
Part 1 presents 51 complete letters from the Tyrell-Purser text. Facing each letter is an image of its oldest manuscript edition as early as the ninth century, which are preserved and guarded in the Medicea Laurentiana library in Florence, Italy, witnessing to the human hand preserving this monument of world heritage for over two millennia.
Part 2 follows with a most careful rendition into English of Tully’s living, telephone-like Latin discourse. A thorough treatment and explanation of noteworthy elements of his natural talk follows with numerous references to the Encounters in Volume I. All this has students, learners, teachers, experts of the Latin language in mind and is humbly designed to deepen the understanding and appreciation of specific expressions and peculiarities of Cicero’s language itself.
Part 3 provides 500 sentences consisting of from 1 to 5 words and suited for the beginnings or continuation of Latin conversations: 200 declarations, 100 questions, 100 exclamations, 100 injunctions drawn from his letters. The volume is amply indexed.
All this has been done to enhance the study and use of Latin, to popularize Cicero’s correspondence, to prepare the reader for Volume III which will deal again with the letters and their usefulness for Latin conversation.
Having an understanding of botanical Latin unlocks an entirely new layer of the plant world. Gardeners deciding between a Crocus flavus and Crocus graveolens will know that one produces deep yellow flowers while the other boasts a prominent smell. They can tell whether a plant should have one (unifolius), two (diphyllus), or even nine leaves (enneaphyllus). And they can catch the nods to Sir Joseph Banks in Cordyline banksia and Queen Victoria in Agave victoriae-reginae. A Portable Latin for Gardeners is the perfect quick reference for working in the garden, shopping for plants, or doing botanical research—and no prior knowledge of Latin is required. The 1,500 terms are grouped by categories, making it easy to describe color, size, form, habitat, scent, taste, and time. Gardeners will make new connections and discoveries in a way standard alphabetical lists simply don’t allow. Alternately, gardeners who want to look up a particular term can jump right into the alphabetical index. Each entry includes the different forms of the term, a basic pronunciation guide, the definition, and an example plant species.
Rich botanical illustrations make this guide as beautiful as it is useful, while a durable flexi-bound cover means the book can withstand both days in the garden and evenings on the nightstand.
In Reading Medieval Latin with the Legend of Barlaam and Josaphat, Donka D. Markus offers comprehensive commentary on the 13th-century Dominican theologian Jacobus de Voragine’s retelling of the ancient story of the life of the Buddha that will resonate with contemporary students of Latin.
Jacobus’s version of the legend serves as a compelling, original Latin text. Vividly conveyed through parables, fables, and anecdotes, it naturally lends itself to a critical consideration of ethical principles and philosophical truths commonly shared across many cultures. With its rich stylistic devices and authentic classical Latin word order, it provides superb training for reading rhetorical prose before advancing to the works of more complex classical prose authors. At the same time, the text offers a unique opportunity for systematically learning the special features of Late and Medieval Latin. Included in this volume are two presentations of Jacobus’s text: one maintaining the original orthography reflecting Latin as it appears in medieval manuscripts, and one in which the orthography follows Classical Latin norms.
This textbook is designed for intermediate-level learners of Classical or Medieval Latin, whether in college, high school, or by self-directed study. The 5,000-word narrative text lends itself to a semester-long experience of reading one continuous work of prose. Each of the legend’s embedded stories can also be read as an independent selection with the help of the ample commentary, vocabulary, and grammar guidance. The extensive introduction provides the necessary background to contextualize the legend in its Latin iteration and sufficient historical information to make the reading meaningful for those without prior knowledge of Buddhism or medieval history. Additionally, this work makes Latin attractive to students of diverse backgrounds, as it highlights the language’s important role in disseminating the universally shared cultural legacy of humanity.