Latinitium: Year in review 2018
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.
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.
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.
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.
We’ve published quite a few videos this year – of which three are larger productions, each taking over 30 hours to produce.
In Monstra 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 Petronius first 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:
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.
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!
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 paper was 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.
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.
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!