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.

24 October 2015

Lesson 5 - OMGs

We came, we saw, we recapped our Latin grammar. And don’t forget, the nominative case is for the SUB-JECT, accusative is for the DI-RECT OB-JECT. Here’s that little earworm to burrow its way into your brains…

...and you can see how those nouns change depending on their role in the sentence on our grammar page

Next, one of the most interesting parts of Classical culture - the gods and goddesses. We opened up with a quiz to see just how much you knew about Zeus*, Poseidon et al. Then we explored the family tree of the gods. It’s interesting how many of the god myths explain natural phenomena (remember our lesson on the reasons for myths?). Here, for example, is the ancient explanation for the seasons, with Persephone’s annual departure to her husband’s home in Hades…

You can see more in-depth information about the Greek gods family tree here. Have a great half-term holiday, everyone, and don’t forget to visit the Classics Club Memrise module to help you learn your vocabulary.

*Hmm, about Zeus. Appears quite a lot in the family tree, doesn’t he? As Taj says, a bit of a player.

18 October 2015

Lesson 4 - Creature creations

We opened with a fun exploration of how ancient languages often blended word parts to make compound words, especially for mythological characters (Mino-taur, uni-corn, hippo-gryph), and we noted how this still happens today (labrad-oodle, beef-alo, ze-donk). We each got a word-part card and as a class tried to make some well-known compound words. We got a bit stuck on cephalo and pod, but knowing the meanings of these words in Greek, we could work out that a head-foot creature might be something like a snail. Then the really fun bit: mixing up the word cards to make new compound creatures of our own. Here's a selection...
Shantay's cephalosaur

Angel's dinodactyl

Oliwia's dinopod

Andrei's pterolyc

Jagoda's pusanthrope

After all that creativity, we settled down to our language work, and to ponder subject and object nouns. In English, meaning is defined by the order in which nouns come in the sentence, but we all know now that Latin conveys meaning through word ending. As many students correctly guessed, we have to look at the ending of nouns to see which one is doing the action and which one is receiving the action. Silence descended on the class as we tackled a worksheet full of nominative (subject) and accusative (object) endings, and all that could be heard was the ticking of brains!...

And finally, for any of you who enjoyed that rap at the beginning of the class, here it is:

Valete omnes!

04 October 2015

Lesson 3 - Mythbusters

Breaking & entering - serial offender
Picking up where we left off last week, we took a look at some myths - Greek and modern - to investigate why these intriguing and often scary tales play such an important part in so many cultures. We all agreed on Mormo and Father Christmas as tales used to keep naughty children in check. There was also consensus on mermaids and the Taraxippi as
Fact or fiction?
myths that helped explain observed phenomena. However, the debate got very lively when it came onto the origins of UFO stories. Some of us bought into the fact that these stories tap into human physiology (sleep paralysis) and psychology (addressing our deepest fears), but others argued that they weren't myths at all, but true accounts of actual events. We even had a vivid first-hand account of a mysterious light in the sky. Fun stuff, and loads of food for thought...

taurus magnus est...
...vacca magna est
In language work today, we looked at how the ends of Latin nouns denote their gender (-us for masculine, -a for feminine and -um for neuter). We then explored how adjectives have to agree with their noun by changing their endings, and completed some sentences of our own , supplying the correct adjective.

No home tasks this week, and see you all in a fortnight as there's an INSET day next Friday.