Carpe Diem: Put a Little Latin in Your Life
Liber prosperissimus et mirabilis ex Britannia ad Americam tandem advenit! Umquam vexatus es quando homo inritans "sine qua non" aut "mea culpa" dicit? Aut postmeridiana tempora vetera, quando verba obscura ediscere conatus es, terrunt?
Linguae Latinae hoc in itinere iucundo, qui omnia ex lectione grammatica ab Monte Pythone ad Angelinae Jolia in pelle nota...more
I didn’t bother trying to learn the conjugations and declensions – hardly seemed worth the effort if I wasn’t going to actually learn the language. I think this book was, in many ways, an attempt to bring English Public School Old Boys back into the fold ...more
When Harry Mount went to Oxford to study Classics in the late 1980s, he had learned Latin for eight years and Greek for seven, probably on a timetable which allowed him a decent number of periods per subject per week. Since Latin had already been in steep decline since 1960 – when Oxbridge abandoned its entry requirement of Latin or Greek at GCE – Mount was fortunate to get the education he did. The situation in state schools at that time was deteriorating even faster, as a result of Kenneth Bak ...more
The author of this insignificant, error-ridden little book, this flocculus, thinks he can cast aspersions at the CAMBRIDGE LATIN COURSE? There are words in Catullus for people like that.
More significantly, it pretends to be an introduction to Latin, but the grammatical explanations (and the instructions to consult Kennedy) would be useless ...more
The end is an impassioned defence of classics in education. It's not exactly in keeping with the modern trend towards chasing easy, employer-friendly qualifications and it's all the more stirring for being doomed to failure. I'm not sure I agree though. The British are hopeless at learning other lan ...more
My copy ...more
The grammar and vocabulary part served mainly to remind me how much Latin I had forgotten and how much I had probably never known in the first place. Readers who have never studied Latin may find this part interesting, although I suspect people who have had at least a little Latin will be able to relate to it more fully.
The a ...more
If you are a classicist yourself, you might find some of the stereotypes funny (the frequent depiction of classicists in fiction as evil or mad has not escaped me), but the humour itself is nothing to write home about. I suppose someone might get some use out of it a ...more
I found some of the pop culture references a bit forced, but not entirely un-funny. The second to last chapter is a valuable reminder of how many latin phrases remain in use (to varying degrees) in the english speaking world.
For American readers, the British case order in Mount's charts is slightly disconcerting but the inanity of plopping such declensions down in the middle of digressive anecdotes is much more so.
It was kind of fascinating, when I started reading it, it had been a couple of years since I had taken Latin and I was having trouble remembering how it went. But by the end of the book, I could glean a lot and it was fun.