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Latinitium: Year in review 2018

This article has been reviewed in accordance with our editorial policy.

Legentibus-Latin-audiobooks-and-ebooks

A new year is about to begin, but before we step into the future with fire­works and cham­pagne, it is time to take a moment and gaze back into the year that we soon leave behind.

For Latini­tium, it’s been a busy, excit­ing year.

We stepped into a snowy last Jan­u­ary with the buzz of just hav­ing released our first book – Ad Alpes – still ring­ing in our ears. Soon we were blessed with a great review of that book writ­ten by Ioan­na Lae­ta – you can find it here.

After this, it wasn’t long before we took the first slow steps to write our own easy Latin book. But more on that fur­ther on.

Audio

2018 began with some Latin audio of Pliny the Younger, Vita Urbana, Vita Rus­ti­ca; we’ve con­tin­ued to pub­lish audio through­out the year, such as the sto­ry about Perseus. We also made sure to update our arti­cle and playlist on YouTube, pre­vi­ous­ly called 50-hours of Latin – now we’re up to 70 hours of spo­ken Latin!

We also made sure to make a list of all the sum­mer class­es for 2018 where you could learn to speak Latin and Ancient Greek. As a lot of our read­ers turn to us ask­ing about cours­es in Latin through­out the year, we put togeth­er a list of spo­ken Latin and Greek cours­es around the world. Our aim is for it to be com­plete, so if you know of any cours­es not in the list—please help us help Latin stu­dents and fill in the form locat­ed just above the list.

Articles

We have writ­ten quite a few arti­cles through­out the year, some in Eng­lish, oth­ers in Latin. Of our more pop­u­lar Eng­lish ones we have Latin Proverb #31 — Iac­ta alea est and Latin Expres­sion #32 — Omnia vincit amor: Love in Ancient Rome, but also Saxo Gram­mati­cus and the deeds of the Danes, which have become pop­u­lar not only amongst us Latin­ists, but among his­to­ry buffs, lin­guists and ordi­nary curi­ous peo­ple alike.

In Latin you can find arti­cles such as Codex Cenan­nen­sis et Bib­lio­the­ca Col­legii Trini­tatis about the Book of Kells and the Trin­i­ty Col­lege Library as found in Dublin, Ire­land, as well as Ad Muse­um artium Bostoniense about a vis­it and tour of the Muse­um of Fine Arts in Boston.

Guests

Through­out the year we have also had the hon­our to wel­come guest authors on Latinitium.

We began the year with the third part of Vic­tor Frans’ excel­lent series about runes; this time he turned his atten­tion to Eng­lish runes in the arti­cle Runae Angli­cae, writ­ten in a high­ly ele­gant and clear Latin style. As we here at Latini­tium are from Swe­den, and thus have a bit of a bias in our inter­ests towards Vikings and their runes, we are rather fond of this arti­cle and think every­one should read it have they not already.

A few months lat­er anoth­er of our dear friends, Alexan­der Vero­nen­sis wrote about music and its role in teach­ing Latin, Vin’ Vim Vir­tutesque videre musi­cae? Being both an expe­ri­enced Latin teacher and musi­cian writ­ing songs in both Latin and Greek, Alexan­der is able to pro­vide a great amount of prac­ti­cal sug­ges­tions on using music in Latin in the class­room. To hear more of his music, check out his Patre­on site.

From across the Atlantic Ocean, we received a speech writ­ten by Ter­ence Tun­berg, pro­fes­sor of Clas­sics at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Ken­tucky. This speech, writ­ten in exquis­ite Latin, giv­en at a con­fer­ence in Moscow was com­posed in hon­our of the late Hel­go Nikitin­skio. It is well worth a read and then a re-read.

The last of our guest authors this year was Ben­jamin Turn­er, M.D. who wrote a detailed and inter­est­ing arti­cle, in Eng­lish, by the title of On the lin­guis­tic ben­e­fit of Prayer in Latin and dis­cuss­es Latin prayer and its ben­e­fit to the learn­ing of Latin.

Videos

We’ve pub­lished quite a few videos this year – of which three are larg­er pro­duc­tions, each tak­ing over 30 hours to produce.

InMon­stra Mari­na: Sea Mon­sters, using Ice­landic tales and the 16th cen­tu­ry human­ist Olaus Mag­nus’ work, Daniel dis­cuss­es Nordic myths and tales of sea-mon­sters, such as the Mid­dle Earth ser­pent (Midgård­sor­men), and the Great Lake Mon­ster (Storsjöod­juret).

The video Life and Works of Petro­n­iusfirst gives an account of the sparse bio­graph­ic infor­ma­tion avail­able in the Roman his­to­ri­an Tac­i­tus, then touch­es upon the only extant work ascribed to Petro­n­ius, Satyri­con lib­ri, and final­ly briefly dis­cuss­es his style and language.

In this year’s Hal­loween spe­cial, we reworked an old sto­ry from the Broth­ers Grimm, that relates the fate of a boy who more than any­thing else want­ed to learn to shudder.

We also did some­thing rather excit­ing – as Latini­tium cel­e­brat­ed it’s sec­ond birth­day the 5th of Octo­ber, we launched a new video series: Loci et Locu­tiones.

This video series had Daniel explain expres­sions, words and texts in Latin for you every Fri­day. The last episode aired just before Christ­mas, and this sea­son gave you 14 episodes:

#1 Quid sig­ni­fi­cat ”Oculi emis­sicii”?;

#2 Quid sig­ni­fi­cat “in mor­bum incidere”?;

#3 Quid sig­ni­fi­cat “umbra”?;

#4 Quid sig­ni­fi­cat “Timeo quor­sum evadas”?;

#5 Quid sig­ni­fi­cat “In alien­as manus devenire”?;

#6 Quid sig­ni­fi­cat “Mag­ni aes­ti­mare”?;

#7 Quid sig­ni­fi­cat “Artifex”?;

#8 Quid sig­ni­fi­cat “Os alicui sub­linere”?;

#9 Daniel de Plinii epis­tu­la eiusque con­silio loquitur;

#10 Quid sig­ni­fi­cat “In ali­ud tem­pus dif­ferre”?;

#11 Quid sig­ni­fi­cat “Onus Aet­na grav­ius”?;

#12 Quo­mo­do Cato senec­tu­ti resti­ter­it;

#13 Fab­u­la de hor­tulis et dolo malo;

#14 Cicero sepul­crum Archimedis indagat.

This was not all though: For every episode we pub­lished on Latini­tium and YouTube, we also pub­lished one bonus episode for our kind Patrons on Patre­on, who sup­port and make Latini­tium pos­si­ble. And although the sea­son has end­ed for Loci et Locu­tiones on Latini­tium, our patrons still get episodes every Fri­day on Patreon.

More Latin on Patreon

Speak­ing of Patre­on, for those of you who do not know what it is—Patreon is a place where you can sup­port Latini­tium and help us keep going.

It is ONLY because of our patrons that we can afford to work with Latini­tium. Patre­on is like a tip jar, but at the same time, it is like a sub­scrip­tion where we give you val­ue in return for a few dol­lars. You can learn more about it here.

This year we have pub­lished quite a lot on Patre­on — five hours of spo­ken Latin on top of all the Latin that is already there:

Week­ly Patre­on-only episodes for Loci et Locu­tiones, which in Latin explain var­i­ous expres­sions or go through pas­sages from Latin literature.

Record­ings of Latin lit­er­a­ture, such as Pliny’s let­ter 1.6, Memo­ria Themis­to­clis (Cicero, De Ora­tore II.74), Cicero de ini­tio artis memo­ri­ae (De ora­tore II.76) as well as audio for the above men­tioned arti­cles Ad muse­um artium Bostoniense and Codex Cen­na­nen­sis.

A week­ly series in Latin called Ser­mo diei Vener­is where Daniel talks about a vari­ety of top­ics rang­ing from lan­guage learn­ing tips, and dif­fi­cul­ties learn­ers face, to lit­er­a­ture or our work on Latini­tium dur­ing the week.

We’ve also pro­duced a wide vari­ety of videos, where we’ve tried dif­fer­ent things and approach­es, had a lit­tle bit of fun while still speak­ing Latin and giv­en you his­tor­i­cal and/or lin­guis­tic knowledge.

In one video, Daniel gave a cook­ing class on mak­ing Roman wine à la Api­cius. In anoth­er, we trav­elled to the absolute­ly mag­i­cal place Vil­la Kery­los, a mod­ern-day repli­ca of an ancient Greek vil­la in south­ern France, and brought you along for a tour. In one video we brought you to the Swedish Roy­al Library for a glimpse and pre­sen­ta­tion of the first edi­tion of Saxo Gram­mati­cus’ Ges­ta Dano­rum. We also brought you behind the scenes of Mon­stra Mari­na, took you on a jour­ney through Eras­mus’ life and death in Basel and a made Hap­py Birth­day video with bal­loons.

On top of this, some of our patrons have ear­ly access to YouTube videos.

Our Patrons are heroes, and we can­not say thank you enough!

IRL

In the name of Latini­tium, Daniel has been out and about this year, vis­it­ing the con­fer­ence held by Gre­co Lati­no Vivo in Naples to give a speech on his research on the 16th cen­tu­ry human­ist Col­lo­quia. He also gave a talk in Spain at the con­fer­ence orga­nized by Cul­tura Cla­si­ca in Don Ben­i­to about learn­ing Latin in the mod­ern world.

For Christophe Rico’s the Polis Insti­tute in Jerusalem, Daniel wrote a paper on mem­o­ri­sa­tion as a cen­tral exer­cise in the 16th cen­tu­ry Col­lo­quia class­room. The paper­was read in absen­tia.

Dur­ing his time off from teach­ing his own sum­mer course held at Stock­holm Uni­ver­si­ty—the first uni­ver­si­ty course in spo­ken Latin in Sweden—he spent a week of the teach­ing Latin togeth­er with James Dobr­eff in a Latin immer­sion course at Bridge­wa­ter State University.

Easy Latin

At the end of the year, we return to what we men­tioned in the begin­ning – the book in easy Latin. As the year start­ed we began work­ing ever so slow­ly on a new book. Many ask what to read to learn, and to be frank, there isn’t that much for the ear­li­er stages of learn­ing Latin. Apart from the text­books, there are but a few novel­las in easy Latin. So we decid­ed to do some­thing about it!

We want­ed a book that not only con­tained great Latin, but that was also a good book—a page-turner—a book that you would want to read again and again.

This work took almost the entire year, from the first care­ful steps of out­lin­ing a sto­ry and doing research to make its his­tor­i­cal con­text as authen­tic as pos­si­ble, to reduc­ing the num­ber of unique words to an easy lev­el – but not too easy (we still want to chal­lenge read­ers), sprin­kle it with ref­er­ences to clas­si­cal texts, illus­trat­ing it, tweak­ing it, adding macrons, proof­read­ing, type­set­ting, design­ing the cov­er, get­ting our own ISBN, bat­tling with Amazon’s direct print­ing ser­vice KDP who in the mid­dle of every­thing decid­ed that Latin is not a lan­guage they can sup­port, find­ing Lulu instead, record­ing the audio­book, edit­ing the audio, mix­ing the audio, and so on and so forth.

Then, the 13th of Decem­ber, we were done and released Pugio Bru­ti – a Crime Sto­ry in Easy Latin and Pugio Bru­ti — the Audio­book to the world. Proud and exhausted.

This was a fit­ting end of the year for us. The feed­back thus far has been fan­tas­tic, which is all we could ever have hoped for. Thank you to every­one tak­ing the time to let us know how they liked Pugio Bru­ti.

At the moment we are cre­at­ing an online course to go with the book, that will be done ear­ly 2019, so keep an eye out.

The Fabulous End of 2018

We would like to take the oppor­tu­ni­ty to thank you all for all the sup­port through­out the year—to thank all of you for all the hap­py shout outs, for read­ing our arti­cles, for all the com­ments, for watch­ing and re-watch­ing our videos, for lis­ten­ing to our audio, for all of you who are enthu­si­as­tic about our books and work, for read­ing our newslet­ter, for writ­ing nice things on social media that con­tin­u­ous­ly warm our hearts and for all the amaz­ing sup­port on Patre­on.

Thank you all! May you all have a very Hap­py New Year!

Amelie Rosengren

Amelie Rosengren

Amelie Rosengren, M.A. and co-founder of Latinitium, is a published author, illustrator and historian. She specializes in daily life, has a soft spot for historic curiosities, and works as a museum educator at the world’s oldest open air museum, Skansen.
Written by Amelie Rosengren

Written by Amelie Rosengren

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