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.

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! Your home task is to fill in your 'Palaeontology Times' worksheet, describing and illustrating your new dino discovery. Have fun!

09 January 2017

Lesson 5 - verbs, verbs, verbs

Into 2017 with a gear change of time (Monday lunchtime), venue (AG04) and focus of study (verbs). After making extra sure we know exactly what makes a verb a verb ('doing' or 'being'), we took a look at how Latin verbs show you not only what is happening, but who is doing it. Next week, we'll take a look at those verbs in sentences.

What + who = Latin verb

We then took a look at the six present tense endings that tell you who is doing a verb:

Using this verb ending 'code', we then 'cracked' some Latin verbs:

Next week, we'll take a look at those verbs in sentences.

03 December 2016

Lesson 4 - Stars in our eyes

Following the fascination we had last week in all things to do with stars, we had a special session today on celestial bodies and their links to both ancient mythology and modern science and belief.  

First of all, though, we tackled our language work, decoding the endings of Latin nouns to find out whether the noun was a subject (nominative) or an object (accusative). We then had a go at changing Latin words to show who was doing the action in a sentence, and who or what was having the action done to it.

Then onto things starry, and the VERY IMPORTANT distinction between astronomy (the branch of science which deals with celestial objects and space) and astrology (the study of the movements of stars and planets interpreted as having an influence on humans). Both contain the root 'astro-', which is Ancient Greek for 'star', but the class went on to discuss what the difference is between science and belief. Do you believe that all people born under the sign of Taurus are stubborn? Are all Virgos perfectionists? 

No matter what you believe, there are some amazing myths behind the constellations we can see in the night sky.
If you go to https://www.wwu.edu/skywise/greekmyth.html you can also see an extensive list of the myths of constellations.