Novus Ordo Scholarum

Ah, the beginning of a fresh school year.  That one moment in time when I seem to possess any measure of organizational skill.  When I actually have pens and pencils, long before the last precious writing utensil is snagged by sneaky freshman and I’m reduced to signing passes in crayon or highlighter or ketchup.  When I jot notes about lessons or upcoming events in crisp planners, instead of on crumpled Panera receipts.  When all my books and papers are placed neatly into a sturdy Swedish backpack, rather than hurled into a trash-bag wrapped in duct-tape.
That having been said, I’m sure you’re ready to ask, “Since you seem like a reliable person to ask for advice concerning any form of preparation, would you mind telling me what resources you plan on using for those first couple weeks of school?”  I’m glad I imagined that you asked that question!  Here are a few books to which I’ll be turning in these early weeks, to build some lessons and supplement what’s in our textbooks (i.e., Latin for the New Millennium).
( 1 )  Scribblers, Sculptors, and Scribes, by Richard A. LaFleur.
( 2 )  Roman Lives:  Ancient Roman Life as Illustrated by Latin Inscriptions, by Brian K. Harvey.
( 3 )  Latin Epigraphy:  An Introduction to the Latin Inscriptions of the Roman World, by J. E. Sandys.
Inscriptions shine so much light on the life of an ordinary Roman citizen, and, as they vary so widely in their complexity, are accessible to Latin students of all levels.  I tend to work a lot of the easier inscriptions into my Latin I classes as supplementary readings, as that is the level during which we spend the most time discussing topics like clothing, food, games, et cetera.  These books also provide excellent background information on the inscriptions, as well as on how and why Romans produced various types of inscriptions.
( 4 )  A Primer of Medieval Latin, by Charles H. Beeson.
( 5 )  Medieval Latin (2nd edition), edited by K. P. Harrington, revised by Joseph Pucci.
The second level of Latin for the New Millennium focuses on the Latin of the Middles Ages and the Renaissance, so these anthologies are handy for supplementary readings pertaining to the cultural and historical topics we’ll explore in this textbook.  The introduction to Medieval Latin also discusses, briefly but helpfully, later Latin grammar, and provides quite a few examples of how the vocabulary and grammar of Vulgar Latin transformed into that of the modern Romance languages (which can be worth introducing to your classes if you have many students who are also enrolled in Spanish or French).
( 6 )  Luxorius:  A Latin Poet among the Vandals, by Morris Rosenblum.
My Latin III/IV CP1 course is only loosely tied to the LNM series; most of the readings and materials for that class I produce on my own.  I thought we would begin the year with some of Martial’s epigrams, but also, for the sake of comparison, some of those penned in the 6th century AD by Luxorius.  Perhaps one might think I simply feel pity for authors such as Luxorius and Marcellinus the Count and Pomponius Mela, who seem to unfairly languish in obscurity, despite being, in my opinion, as enjoyable to read as so many more prominent names.  I would, however, suggest instead that my aim is to simply to demonstrate the tenacity of Roman culture, even in a peripheral province ruled by what had been a Germanic tribe of Arian heretics, by means of an author whose style is easily comprehended by a third-year student.

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