Monday, July 20th, 2015

Sulpicius Severus Life of St. Martin in full

At the kind suggestion of William Turpin I have collected the recordings of the Latin text of Sulpicius Severus’ Life of St. Martin that I originally made to accompany my commentary on that text. So here it is, the Life of St. Martin entire, over an hour and a half of Latin read aloud (no translation), broken […]

Tuesday, October 8th, 2013

Rhythmic Fluency 2: The Hendecasyllable

In this second installment of a three part series, Lance Piantaggini drums his way to a better understanding of the Latin hendecasyllable, using Catullus 1.1-2 as an example. He also discusses the downside of scansion, and suggests a system where, rather than indicating metrical feet above the line, we simply rely on macrons to make […]

Monday, August 19th, 2013

Rhythmic Fluency: The Dactylic Hexameter

Rhythmic Fluency – 1 In this guest podcast (first of a three-part series) Latinist and drummer Lance Piantaggini discusses the dactylic hexameter, and provides drum backing tracks (of the kind a jazz musician might use) for us to practice feeling the natural rhythms of the line. He pays special attention to the caesura, and argues […]

Monday, May 13th, 2013

Abracadabra (Serenus Sammonicus Lib. Med. 923-941)

Abracadabra   mortiferum magis est quod Graecis hemitritaeos vulgatur verbis; hoc nostrā dicere linguā non potuēre ulli, puto, nec voluere parentes. inscribes chartae quod dicitur abracadabra saepius et subter repetes, sed detrahe summam et magis atque magis desint elementa figuris singula, quae semper rapies, et cetera figes, donec in angustum redigatur littera conum : his […]

Saturday, January 19th, 2013

The Wrath of Achilles (Homer, Iliad 1.1-8)

Iliad 1.1-8 Μῆνιν ἄειδε θεὰ Πηληϊάδεω Ἀχιλῆος οὐλομένην, ἣ μυρί’ Ἀχαιοῖς ἄλγε’ ἔθηκε, πολλὰς δ’ ἰφθίμους ψυχὰς Ἄϊδι προΐαψεν ἡρώων, αὐτοὺς δὲ ἑλώρια τεῦχε κύνεσσιν οἰωνοῖσί τε πᾶσι, Διὸς δ’ ἐτελείετο βουλή, ἐξ οὗ δὴ τὰ πρῶτα διαστήτην ἐρίσαντε Ἀτρεΐδης τε ἄναξ ἀνδρῶν καὶ δῖος Ἀχιλλεύς. Τίς τάρ σφωε θεῶν ἔριδι ξυνέηκε μάχεσθαι; Alexander Pope […]

Wednesday, January 16th, 2013

I Hate and I Love (Catullus 85)

Catullus 85 Odi et amo. Quare id faciam, fortasse requiris. Nescio, sed fieri sentio et excrucior.   C.H. Sisson (1967): I hate and I love. You may well ask, why I do so. I do not know, but I feel it and suffer.   Horace Gregory (1956): I HATE and love. And if you ask […]

Monday, October 22nd, 2012

Now winter’s grip loosens (Horace, Odes 1.4)

Horace Odes 1.4 Solvitur acris hiems grata vice veris et Favoni trahuntque siccas machinae carinas, ac neque iam stabulis gaudet pecus aut arator igni nec prata canis albicant pruinis. iam Cytherea choros ducit Venus imminente luna, 5 iunctaeque Nymphis Gratiae decentes alterno terram quatiunt pede, dum gravis Cyclopum Volcanus ardens visit officinas. nunc decet aut […]

Tuesday, September 25th, 2012

Wish to Be What You Are (Martial, Epigrams 10.47)

Guide to a happy life, from the Roman epigram writer Martial (M. Valerius Martialis). The Martialis mentioned in line 2 is L. Julius Martialis, the poet’s closest friend. My translation is below. Martial 10.47 Vitam quae faciant beatiorem, Iucundissime Martialis, haec sunt: Res non parta labore, sed relicta; Non ingratus ager, focus perennis; Lis numquam, toga […]

Friday, August 17th, 2012

Basics of Scansion 7: Elision

Explanation of the concept and practice of elision in Latin poetry, with lots of examples.

Friday, August 17th, 2012

Basics of Scansion 6: The Mute + Liquid Rule

Explanation of the mute + liquid rule in Latin poetry, whereby a syllable is not counted long when a short vowel is followed by two consonants if those consonants are a mute and a liquid (br, tr, gl, etc.)