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Lively Latin Blog » 2010 » July

Archive for July, 2010

It’s Done!

Monday, July 26th, 2010

BigBook 2 is finally done, all 600 pages of it, including the audio files, history, and derivative sections!  It’s taken a lot longer than I thought or hoped but I’m pretty happy with it.

BB2 brings a student through the major uses of all the cases of nouns, the endings of all 5 declensions, the 6 active tenses of all 4 verb conjugations, the personal pronouns, and various other Latin grammar points in a systematic yet high interest fashion.  There are enough varied and appealing exercises to thoroughly reinforce grammar and vocabulary.  I’ve gotten good feedback and results using these with my own students.

A new feature of BB2 is a longer reading passage (average of a page) at the end of each lesson so that students can try their hand at translating not just sentences but paragraphs.  Since at advanced levels Latin is largely a read language, this is a skill students must begin to focus on.  The reading passages encourage this.

The “Word Power” section,  which is the study of English words derived from Latin, enriches students by connecting ideas from across all disciplines, from  architecture to zoology.  I’m happy with how this feature of BB2  demonstrates the depth and breadth of our cultural and intellectual debt to Latin.    To understand that there is a history of meaning behind the words they use every day enlarges a student’s perception of language, encouraging him to be more careful, precise,  and attuned in communication.  What a benefit!

I’m excited about the history section, too.  Its text is a combination of two works in the public domain with my own liberal editing and additions.  I added much more detail on perhaps the greatest Roman of all, Julius Caesar, tracing his rise to power, his astonishing accomplishments in the conquest of Gaul, the civil war with Pompey, and just why 60 Roman senators feared his power so much that they resorted to murder to get rid of him.  

Other additions:

  • A section on Livy, Horace, Vergil, and Ovid, the great writers of the Golden Age of Latin Literature.  This is to introduce students to some of the authors they may aspire to read after a few more years of Latin study. 
  • Just what was meant by a Roman triumph and why every Roman general aspired to have one.
  • A hands-on activity which instructs students on how to make a model of Trajan’s column. 
  • A section detailing the crisis in the 3rd century AD which put in motion forces that would move social and economic structure from that of the Roman Empire to that of medieval Europe.
  • Detailed instructions on how to build a model of Caesar’s seige works at Alesia, an example of his military genius.
  • An explanation of what Roman citizenship rights were, why everybody in the ancient world wanted them, and how they compare to US citizenship rights today.
  • Tons of maps, artwork illustrating key events, battle diagrams, timelines, etc.

There’s more but I’m getting carried away with this.  To sum it up, I’m excited to have a resource now that I can use to teach all through Roman history from its mythical beginnings in 753 BC to the last emperor in the West in 476 AD, complete with readings and reinforcement activities. 

Here are some Sample Pages to check out.  Here’s more about BB2.

To celebrate the completion of BB2, I’m offering several pricing specials that are good until September 15.  You can save up to $25 on BB2 or BB1 and BB2 sets.  Click on the Store tab  above to check them out.