Learning Classics is a bit like putting on a magic pair of 3-D glasses. Once you start delving into the language and the culture, you'll start to see it all around you. This blog is a record of the club's journey through the worlds and language of ancient Rome and Greece... and through modern times, too, searching for the influence of classics all around us. You'll also be able to find vocab, home tasks, links and generally enlightening info here, too.

09 February 2017

Lesson 8 - Number time

Today we looked at numbers in Latin and in Ancient Greek, and discovered that they're still all around us in the modern world. Firstly, Latin, where we played a game of Word Roots Challenge, trying to find as many English words that come from...
This then led to several of the students asking, puzzedly, "If 'octo' means eight, then why isn't October the eighth month?" Well, because of these guys inserting their not-immodest egos into our calendars and making everything wonky...
Julius Caesar (July)

Augustus aka Octavian (August)
For more details behind the months' names, click here. We then turned our attention to Ancient Greek numbers. This time, working in reverse, we used English words as clues to help us work out Greek numerals:


This then led to another discussion about words ending '-athlon' (e.g. triathlon, pentathlon, decathlon): 'athlon' means 'competition' or 'contest' in Ancient Greek, so the number before it denotes how many competitions, or events, there are.

02 February 2017

Lesson 7 - Putting it all together

Today we focused just on our Latin language work, drawing together all of the things we've learned since starting in October.

We know about nouns....


We know about verbs...


We know some vocabulary...



So now, we put them all together, to work with sentences. But remember the number one rule in translating Latin sentences: find the verb (usually at the end), see who is doing the action by looking at the ending, then see what is happening by looking at the rest of the verb. By the end of the lesson, we were happily translating sentences that were four words long.

17 January 2017

Lesson 6 - Dinosaur discoveries

ich bin ein Ohrwurm!
Quite a lot packed into our session today. We warmed up with a game of Quick Fire Verbs: look at the beginning of the verb to see what's happening and the end to see who's doing it. The class has got impressively quick at this - looks like the o-s-t chant has done its job of giving you an earworm! (For more information on earworms - also known as brainworms - have a look here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earworm).

After going through our verbs worksheet, we then talked
about dinosaurs. But this is Classics Club, right? What have dinosaurs got to do with anything? Well, you knew that the word 'dinosaur' meant 'terrible lizard'. We then discovered that this comes from the Ancient Greek 'deinos', meaning 'terrible' and 'sauros', meaning 'lizard'. Many dinosaur names are compounds with their parts coming from Ancient Greek (and the odd bit of Latin). 'Tyrannosaurus rex' means 'king-lizard-king', just in case there was any doubt that he's at the top of the food chain. 'Velociraptor' means 'speedy thief'. And my personal favourite, the brontosaurus, or 'thunder lizard'. We then had a go at synthesising (putting together) compounds to create new dinosaurs. There were some pretty terrifying creatures, with more than two compound parts in many cases!