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Latin for Beginners

Latin for Beginners
Title: Latin for Beginners
Release Date: 2006-04-25
Type book: Text
Copyright Status: Public domain in the USA.
Date added: 25 March 2019
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This textbook uses many letters with macrons (straight line abovevowel):
ā ē ī ō ū ȳ   Ā Ē Ī Ō Ū
If these characters do not display properly—in particular,if the macrons do not appear directly above theirletters—you may have an incompatible browser or unavailablefonts. First, make sure that the browser’s “character set” or “fileencoding” is set to Unicode (UTF-8). You may also need to change yourbrowser’s default font.

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Other combined forms occur much less often, and may be disregarded solong as the macrons display correctly:
ă ĕ ĭ ŏ ŭ (single letter with breve)
o͝o (“oo” with breve)
ē̆ (“e” with combined breve and macron)
ā́ ī́ ṓ   ắ ĕ́ ĭ́ ŏ́ ŭ́ (letters with combined breve/macron andaccent, used only in Pronunciation section)
Note that most accents will correctly appear after aletter:
īn´sula, ha´bitat, illī´us

The variation between “æ” (English text) and “ae” (Latin text) is as inthe original.

A few typographical errors have been corrected. They have beenmarked in the text with mouse-hover popups. Some possible image-displayproblems are addressed at the end of this file.







The Athenæum Press



To make the course preparatory to Cæsar at the same time systematic,thorough, clear, and interesting is the purpose of this series oflessons.

The first pages are devoted to a brief discussion of the Latin language,its history, and its educational value. The body of the book, consistingof seventy-nine lessons, is divided into three parts.

Part I is devoted to pronunciation, quantity, accent, and kindredintroductory essentials.

Part II carries the work through the first sixty lessons, and is devotedto the study of forms and vocabulary, together with some elementaryconstructions, a knowledge of which is necessary for the translation ofthe exercises and reading matter. The first few lessons have been madeunusually simple, to meet the wants of pupils not well grounded inEnglish grammar.

Part III contains nineteen lessons, and is concerned primarily with thestudy of syntax and of subjunctive and irregular verb forms. The lastthree of these lessons constitute a review of all the constructionspresented in the book. There is abundant easy reading matter; and, inorder to secure proper concentration of effort upon syntax andtranslation, no new vocabularies are introduced, but the vocabularies inPart II are reviewed.

It is hoped that the following features will commend themselves toteachers:

The forms are presented in their natural sequence, and are given, forthe most part, in the body of the book as well as in a grammaticalappendix. The work on the verb is intensive in character, work in otherdirections being reduced to a minimum while this is going on. The formsof the subjunctive are studied in correlation with the subjunctiveconstructions.

vi The vocabulary has been selected with the greatest care, using Lodge’s“Dictionary of Secondary Latin” and Browne’s “Latin Word List” as abasis. There are about six hundred words, exclusive of proper names, inthe special vocabularies, and these are among the simplest and commonestwords in the language. More than ninety-five per cent of those chosenare Cæsarian, and of these more than ninety per cent are used in Cæsarfive or more times. The few words not Cæsarian are of such frequentoccurrence in Cicero, Vergil, and other authors as to justify theirappearance here. But teachers desiring to confine word study to Cæsarcan easily do so, as the Cæsarian words are printed in the vocabulariesin distinctive type. Concrete nouns have been preferred to abstract,root words to compounds and derivatives, even when the latter were ofmore frequent occurrence in Cæsar. To assist the memory, related Englishwords are added in each special vocabulary. To insure more carefulpreparation, the special vocabularies have been removed from theirrespective lessons and placed by themselves. The general vocabularycontains about twelve hundred words, and of these above eighty-five percent are found in Cæsar.

The syntax has been limited to those essentials which recentinvestigations, such as those of Dr. Lee Byrne and his collaborators,have shown to belong properly to the work of the first year. Theconstructions are presented, as far as possible, from the standpoint ofEnglish, the English usage being given first and the Latin compared orcontrasted with it. Special attention has been given to theconstructions of participles, the gerund and gerundive, and theinfinitive in indirect statements. Constructions having a logicalconnection are not separated but are treated together.

Exercises for translation occur throughout, those for translation intoLatin being, as a rule, only half as long as those for translation intoEnglish. In Part III a few of the commoner idioms in Cæsar areintroduced and the sentences are drawn mainly from that author. Fromfirst to last a consistent effort is made to instill a proper regard forLatin word order, the first principles of which are laid down early inthe course.

vii Selections for reading are unusually abundant and are introduced fromthe earliest possible moment. These increase in number and length as thebook progresses, and, for the most part, are made an integral part ofthe lessons instead of being massed at the end of the book. Thisarrangement insures a more constant and thorough drill in forms andvocabulary, promotes reading power, and affords a breathing spellbetween succeeding subjects. The material is drawn from historical andmythological sources, and the vocabulary employed includes but few wordsnot already learned. The book closes with a continued story whichrecounts the chief incidents in the life of a Roman boy. The lastchapters record his experiences in Cæsar’s army, and contain muchinformation that will facilitate the interpretation of the Commentaries.The early emphasis placed on word order and sentence structure, thesimplicity of the syntax, and the familiarity of the vocabulary, makethe reading selections especially useful for work in sighttranslation.

Reviews are called for at frequent intervals, and to facilitate thisbranch of the work an Appendix of Reviews has been prepared, coveringboth the vocabulary and the grammar.

The illustrations are numerous, and will, it is hoped, do much tostimulate interest in the ancient world and to create true and lastingimpressions of Roman life and times.

A consistent effort has been made to use simple language and clearexplanation throughout.

As an aid to teachers using this book a “Teacher’s Manual” has beenprepared, which contains, in addition to general suggestions, notes oneach lesson.

The author wishes to express his gratitude to the numerous teachers whotested the advance pages in their classes, and, as a result of theirexperience, have given much valuable aid by criticism and suggestion.Particular acknowledgments are due to Miss A. Susan Jones of the CentralHigh School, Grand Rapids, Michigan; to Miss Clara Allison of the HighSchool at Hastings, Michigan; and to Miss Helen B. Muir and Mr. OrlandO. Norris, teachers of Latin in this institution.


Michigan State Normal College


The illustration in section77 with interlocked text may not display properly on allbrowsers.

Picture by Itself

Two grammatical diagrams were given as images.They are shownhere in plain-text format.

Prepositions, section179:

              _________    ā or ab  |         |  ē or ex/____________|    _____|_____________\            |  Place  |             /             |_________|                  |                  | dē                  |                  V

Demonstrative pronouns,section 290:

          hic           iste           illeSPEAKER ---------->-------------->---------------->        _this_, _he_;  _that_, _he_;  _that_, _he_          (near);       (remote);     (more remote)
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