salvēte, lectōrēs fidēlissimī! In my next post, I want to share a few thoughts about the logistics of the Tres Columnae project. But first, I really want to give you a taste of a Tres Columnae Lectiō. Please feel free to be ruthlessly critical in your comments. 🙂
So here is a bit of Cursūs Prīmī Lectiō Tertia. So you know, the goals of Lectiō Prīma are to:
- directly comprehend a Latin sentence
- distinguish Latin nouns and verbs
- recognize and explore English derivatives of Latin words
- compare housing and family structure in Roman world with our own housing and family structure
- Begin to understand, analyze, and explore the concept of pietās
In Lectiō Secunda, we also aim to:
- Distinguish nominative, genitive, and ablative noun forms
- Distinguish and classify nouns by declension pattern
- Continue to explore the concept of pietās
- Understand procedures regarding salūtātiō; compare and contrast it with aspects of daily life in participants’ own culture(s)
For Lectiō Tertia, the additional goals are to:
- Distinguish accusative noun forms
- Create sentences with nominatives, genitives, accusatives, ablative prep phrases
By now, we’ve learned a bit about the history and geography of Herculaneum (before the eruption of Vesuvius) and have met two (fictional) Roman families: the wealthy Valeriī and their poor clients, the Lolliī, who live in an īnsula owned by the Valeriī. Both families have eight-year-old sons (Lucius Valerius and Cāius Lollius) as the story opens. We don’t yet know why, but the C. Valerius, the paterfamiliās of the Valeriī, has a strong sense of obligation toward the Lolliī.
First, everyone reads this brief story, which will have audio and illustrations from the beginning and eventually (as soon as someone wants to create it) at least one participant-created video.
- Milphiō est servus Valeriī.
- Milphiō in ātriō domūs stat, quod hōra prīma est.
- Valerius servum ad iānuam mittit.
- servus iānuam aperit, quod hōra salūtātiōnis est.
- Lollius vīllam intrat, quod hōra salūtātiōnis est.
- Lollius per ātrium ambulat.
- Lollius tablīnum intrat.
- Lollius Valerius salūtat, quod Valerius patrōnus Lollius est.
- Valerius sportulam offert, quod Lollius cliēns Valerius est.
- Lollius sportulam accipit, quod Lollius pauper est.
Having read the story, they’ll answer questions like the following:
quis iānuam aperit?
quid Valerius offert?
Where does Lollius go?
- the atrium
- the study
- the street
- the kitchen
Why does Lollius get the sportula?
- he is the patron of Valerius
- he is the client of Valerius
- he is the servant of Valerius
- he is the son of Valerius
Once participants feel comfortable with this first story, it’s time for a brief explanation of the “new thing”– accusative case nouns – and how they relate to the noun forms we already know. There’s a brief diagnostic exercise after the first explanation:
Find the accusative noun in each sentence
- Lollius vīllam intrat.
- Milphiō clientem salūtat.
- Valerium Lollius salūtat.
Choose the right form to express this idea Latīnē.
Lollius enters the house.
And there’s another after the second explanation:
Which of the following is the correct accusative form for culīna, culīnae?
- none of these
Make the accusative form of each noun
- fīlius, fīliī
- sportula, sportulae
- Milphiō, Milphiōnis
If you’re successful, there’s no need for further exercises; if not, a learning path with additional practice opens up. On the “big picture” iter, one then proceeds immediately to read the next story, then to do some exercises with accusatives if necessary. On the “small picture” iter, the exercises, if necessary, come first. These are variations on the exercises above, but with detailed explanations for the wrong answers in multiple-choice versions and for the common errors in constructed-response versions.
Either before or after the exercises, depending on their iter, participants read this story:
in domō Valerius Lollium accipit et salūtat. “quid agit Cāius, fīlius tuus? nōnne Cāius octō annōs est nātus?” inquit Valerius “ita vērō, domine, Cāius octō annōs est nātus,” respondet Lollius. “nōnne Lūcius, fīlius tuus, quoque octō annōs nātus est?” “ita vērō, mī amīce,” inquit Valerius, “Lūcius meus octō annōs nātus est. hodiē Lūcius meus ad lūdī magistrum ambulat. Cāius tuus ad lūdī magistrum ambulat?”
“minimē, domine,” respondet Lollius trīstis, “Cāius meus ad lūdī magistrum ambulāre nōn potest. lūdī magister nimium pecūniae postulat.”
“mī Lollī,” clāmat Valerius īrātus, “Cāius tuus ad lūdī magistrum ambulāre dēbet! nōnne Cāius tuus legere et scrībere potest?”
“minimē, domine. lūdī magister enim –”
“mī amīce, fīlius tuum legere et scrībere dēbet. nōnne iste lūdī magister quoque cliēns meus est? Milphiō, vocā istum magistrum in tablīnum!”
They check their comprehension with questions like these:
quem Valerius salūtat?
quō Lūcius hodiē ambulat?
- ad forum
- ad vīllam
- ad iānuam
- ad lūdī magistrum
Where does the story take place?
- in Valerius’ house
- in Lollius’ house
- at the school
- in the street
What is Lollius’ son’s name?
Having successfully comprehended the story, we move on to tasks of Understanding (Paideia), Rhetoric (Trivium), or Synthesis, Evaluation, and Creation (Bloom and Marzano). For example,
- In each sentence, there is at least one error involving an accusative noun. For example, an accusative might be used where a nominative is needed, or vice versa. Try to correct the errors. In some cases, there might be more than one right answer.
- Lollius vīlla Valeriī intrat.
- Milphiōnem Lollium salūtat.
- Try to create your own original illustrations or video version of the story. Upload them and send the URL to us as usual.
- Try to create your own, original story, at least five sentences long, about one of the following scenarios
- What happened when Fabius the lūdī magister got home and talked to his familia about the day’s events?
- What happened when Lollius got home and talked to his familia about the day’s events? How do you suppose his family – especially his son – responded to the good news?
- How well do you suppose Lucius and Caius know each other? How do you suppose Lucius reacted when his father told him that Caius would be joining him at school?
- Try to add at least 3 sentences in the middle of the following mini-story to expand it and make it more interesting You decide whether all three sentences go together or whether they go in different places:
Lollius ē vīllā Valeriī exit. Lollius laetissimus est, quod sportulam habet. Lollius per viam prōcēdit. Lollius tabernam spectat. Lollius tabernam intrat et mercātōrem salūtat. Lollius cibum emit et ad vīllam laetus ambulat.
They then participate in a Continuing Virtual Seminar, which is a threaded discussion that leads up to this Big Question:
In what ways do the characters seem to display (or not display) pietās and dignitās in this story? In what ways are their actions not aligned with pietās and dignitās?
Dear readers, I’d love your thoughts about all aspects of this sequence. The more critical, the better! Tres Columnae will always be a work in progress, so the sooner we can start our constant improvement, the better. 🙂
More about how we can make it all work in the next post.