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Lapsed Classicists

(148 Posts)
TunipTheVegemal Tue 09-Oct-12 16:47:24

As mentioned on the Mary Beard thread.

My name is Tunip and it is twenty eight years since I last read a full-length piece of Latin or Greek literature.

However I am glowing at the discovery that I can still apparently translate 'What's your favourite biscuit?' into Latin.

Anyone else?

WingDefence Tue 09-Oct-12 19:18:31

My heart will always belong to Vergil (I'm sure we never called him Virgil) when it comes to Latin. Although Suetonius was a laugh (on Caligula and Nero).

There was someone else I really liked in Latin, but I just can't remember his name. He wrote satirical poems... Catullus! That was it!

I love this thread too grin

LRDtheFeministDragon Tue 09-Oct-12 19:19:20

mooncup - I love In Dulci Jubilo. smile

LRDtheFeministDragon Tue 09-Oct-12 19:20:27

Oh, I probably just can't spell, wing. Sorry!

I like Herodotus, too.

Catullus is nice. My teacher was really fond of him and got us reading bits of his sparrow poem really early on - before we could properly translate it - so we'd enjoy it. She was fab.

notnowImreading Tue 09-Oct-12 19:21:23

Never underestimate the power of the Loeb! I read Greek Classics at uni but somehow ended up teaching Latin for a few years so I can manage all of the CLC but my Greek has practically disappeared sad. I used to love Euripides and I had a guilty fondness for the naffola ancient novels, especially Daphnis and Chloe. I'd love to resurrect my Greek now but I think I'd have to go all the way back to Thrasymachus! Oimoi o popoi smile

LRDtheFeministDragon Tue 09-Oct-12 19:22:40

Oimoi talas!

(I am thrilled I can remember that! grin)

WingDefence Tue 09-Oct-12 19:26:31

Oimoi!!! Haha grin

LRDtheFeministDragon Tue 09-Oct-12 19:27:50

Ahhhh ... this thread is reminding me of one of the supremely geeky moments of my teenage years, when my parents took me on a trip to Oxford and led me into Blackwells ... rows and rows of Loebs.

I got very starry-eyed.

MooncupGoddess Tue 09-Oct-12 19:32:32


<rends garments>

LRDtheFeministDragon Tue 09-Oct-12 19:34:06

Mmm, I have reached my limit now, I think. Um ...

oimoi talaina?

Is that one?

I find transliterating backwards a total bugger.

azazello Tue 09-Oct-12 19:41:41

Another lapsed classicist here. Now a solicitor so about the closest I generally get is legal dog Latin like mutatis mutandis and other such bollocks.

I did a fair bit of medieval Latin as well - read Speculum stultorum for finals and a fair bit of (filthy) poetry! I'm starting to ponder an MA for fun in comparative mythology so would need to get my Latin u to scratch and probably try Greek again. I was rubbish at Greek though.

azazello Tue 09-Oct-12 19:42:46

I'm an Ovid fan btw. Virgil sometimes gets a bit worthygrin

LRDtheFeministDragon Tue 09-Oct-12 19:44:09

Worthy?! Nooo!

(Mmm, mebbe I skipped those bits ... I like the pretty bits with the underworld and the ghosts. And Nisus and Euryalus. grin)

TunipTheVegemal Tue 09-Oct-12 19:56:56

What is Speculum Stultorum? It sounds like it would be good.

LRD - what is the title of your boar's head CD? I might get it! I love Latin carols too. Is it Personent Hodie that goes 'aurum thus thus thus, aurum thus thus thus, aurum thus, et myrrham....'

TheLightPassenger Tue 09-Oct-12 20:02:03

over 15 years since I read Latin. I do have fond memories of A Level, of Cicero's letters (really brought the aftermath of the civil war to life for me) and of Horace's odes. Less fond memories of Virgil and the Pageant of the Heroes /yawn.

MooncupGoddess Tue 09-Oct-12 20:03:18

Mirror of the Stupid? Sounds like the Daily Mail of its time grin

Yes, that is Personent Hodie!

LRDtheFeministDragon Tue 09-Oct-12 20:05:24

tunip - it's 'The Oxford Ramble' by Magpie Lane. In case you can't tell from that, my dad likes his folk. grin

It is a nice version of the carol, just warning you it's not angelic choirs of boys.

I love Personent Hodie. When I was at school my Latin teacher refused to translate it saying it wasn't 'proper' Latin, so I had a go.

I think I am winning on the 'geek' stakes here, btw.

azazello Tue 09-Oct-12 20:05:27

Yes, it's mirror of fools. Sort of a strangely Aesop's fables/ Canterbury tales sort of thing.

I love the Latin carols as well. I feel all Christmassy thinking about them!

LRDtheFeministDragon Tue 09-Oct-12 20:05:48

grin Nice one, mooncup.

besmirchedandbewildered Tue 09-Oct-12 20:08:42

My Greek is limited now to brekekekex ko-ax ko-ax which I'm pretty sure is frog song from about p3 of Thrasymachus. Happy days!

EdgarAllanPond Tue 09-Oct-12 20:09:04

i did Latin at home, and then Greek. My Parents did Classics at Leicester.

so lots of Aristophanes Homer, Catullus, Herodotus, Horace, one Sappho, stuff my Mum liked.

Brekekek coax coax...

LRDtheFeministDragon Tue 09-Oct-12 20:11:52

The frog song!

It's the chorus in Aristophanes' 'Frogs'.

It makes me happy.

LineRunner Tue 09-Oct-12 20:23:17

I was interested in what Mary Beard said about being able to study in translation. I can be a bit on arse about this, because I believe that those who can translate control the text. I've seen some very odd translations offered up to learners.

But she's right, if you don't offer study in translation it's stupid.

ScaryBOOAlot Tue 09-Oct-12 20:26:08

Studied first year of A level Classics and first year of A level Archaeology before my health got in the way. I can't read Latin or Greek, but did teach myself the basics when doing Classics.

Can I join still? grin

TunipTheVegemal Tue 09-Oct-12 20:31:52

Yes, there's no entry requirement grin
People who have done Classical Civilisation and never did any Latin or Greek are welcome too. In fact if anyone wants to start Latin or Greek I am sure they will find lots of enthusiastic advice and encouragement here.

LRDtheFeministDragon Tue 09-Oct-12 20:33:04

I think maybe the way round it is to do a little in translation, line?

We don't have time to teach undergrads Latin, but they have to read Geoffrey of Monmouth (amongst other thing in Latin), and it really helps if you take just one or two sentences and explain what the words are, maybe get them discussing how a particular word is translated in their English edition.

I think that's probably necessary if you are studying in translation, to at least get someone to walk you through bits of the language.

I have slightly vested interests in Classicists insisting on study in the original, though, because if not, where does it end?! 'Translations' for Shakespeare? Pope?

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