Friday, May 08, 2015

Lectiones Memorabiles, Volume I is at press!

Lectiones Memorabiles, Volume I is at press!

Lectiones Memorabiles: Volume I: Selections from Catullus, Cicero, Livy, Ovid, Propertius, Tibullus, and Vergil, now at press, is due out in June. This reader contains the prescribed passages for the Vergil, Women, and Love Poetry portions of the IB Latin syllabus with examinations in 2016, 2017, and 2018. Order today!

Volume II, which contains the prescribed Good Living and History passages, will go to press in a couple weeks and is due out later in June. When Volume II is available, you can save by purchasing both volumes as a bundled product.

Marianthe Colakis, author of Volume I, recently discussed her experiences writing the commentary with eLitterae newsletter editor Don Sprague. The following interview was originally published in the March 2015 issue.

DES: Bolchazy-Carducci chose to divide the IB Latin curriculum for exams in 2016, 2017, and 2018 into two volumes. What inspired you to choose the volume with selections from Vergil and selections on love poetry and on women?

MC: I had taught AP Vergil for years, so I felt as though I knew the text of the Aeneid very well and understood the issues that make the epic more complex than it would appear to be at first glance. As for love poetry, I was fortunate enough as an undergraduate to learn from one of the great experts of Roman poetry: Steele Commager. He was truly brilliant in that he always made you believe that you were seeing the Latin as the Romans saw it. We translated, but the focus was on the arrangement of the Latin words. I also was pursuing higher education in Classics at the same time that women's issues were coming to the forefront as a field of scholarship. I've followed the field with interest since then.

DES: Authoring the background and contextual essays along with the notes for the volume was a significant undertaking. What in your schooling and experience did you find especially prepared you for doing so?

MC: An undergraduate and graduate education in the humanities, including Classics, is excellent preparation for all types of research work and scholarly writing. I'm fortunate in that I like to research. I love working in libraries. The New York Public Library and Butler University Library at Columbia University are superb resources. At the same time, the amount of material available online has grown so much more extensive and dependable that I was able to work away from libraries also. I'm old-fashioned enough to think of brick-and-mortar libraries as my go-to resource, though.

DES: Besides the time crunch, what was the most challenging aspect of this task?

MC: I had not read many of those passages for years, and a few—such as Lygdamus—I had not read at all. I had forgotten how complex some of those authors, such as Propertius, were. I had a new appreciation for what students find difficult when reading the authors for the first time.

DES: What part of the project did you most enjoy?

MC: Although it wasn't always easy to read them, I liked becoming acquainted with authors I had not read much of, or at all, such as the above-mentioned Lygdamus. I liked becoming familiar with Sulpicia, also. We have so little authentic writing by Roman women that it was a pleasure to see something written from a female perspective ("a" female perspective, not "the" female perspective!).

DES: Which of the authors for this text— Catullus, Cicero, Livy, Ovid, Propertius, Tibullus, and Vergil—is your favorite? Why?

MC: I've always been fond of Ovid. He was younger than the other "Golden Age" poets—Vergil, Horace, Propertius, Tibullus—so it was more of a challenge for him to write something fresh, especially in the well-worn field of elegiac love poetry. He did so much more than rehash old tropes, though! It was interesting to read his take on the Odyssey from Penelope's point of view. All her worries—that her husband is dead, that he's found someone else, that they've grown into different people while he was away—ring very true.

DES: What advice do you give someone beginning their career as a high school Latin teacher?

MC: Take as many opportunities as you can to learn from other Latin teachers! If you're the only one at your school, find a way to connect with others online. Go to meetings and workshops, especially ACL institutes. You'll get more ideas than you can use in a year.

Marianthe Colakis has taught at Trinity College (Hartford), Queens College, Brooklyn College, and Davidson College. She is currently teaching at Townsend Harris High School in Queens, New York. Colakis holds a PhD in classics from Yale University. Much of her scholarly work has involved modern adaptations of classical myths and tragedies; her first book was The Classics in the American Theater of the 1960's and Early 1970's (University Press of America, 1993). In recent years, she has turned her efforts toward development of pedagogical materials. Colakis is author (with Gaylan DuBose) of Excelability in Advanced Latin: A Workbook for Students (Bolchazy-Carducci Publishers, 2003) and coauthor with Mary Joan Masello of Classical Mythology and More: A Reader Workbook (Bolchazy-Carducci Publishers, 2007).

This work has been developed independently from and is not endorsed by the International Baccalaureate (IB).

Tuesday, May 05, 2015

Classics in the News, Part I

Classics in the News, Part I
Bringing Modern Reports of Ancient History into the Classroom

The eLatin eGreek eLearn homepage.
It might surprise some to learn just how frequently an article pops up discussing the themes of a museum display or the arrival of a new exhibit, or about how an ancient town or statue has been digitized, or about an archaeological find such as the caryatids at Amphipolis or the Antikythera shipwreck. With so much pertinent information circulating, articles could easily slip past a student unnoticed. I set up an alert through Google to keep me updated and have adopted the forum on eLatin eGreek eLearn, the Ning run by Bolchazy-Carducci, as a place to post them. Doing so has sparked an idea for a classroom project.

An image, courtesy of  the Greek Ministry
of Culture, of a caryatid found in a tomb
at Amphipolis.
The project involves a little sleuthing around the internet and drawing some connections, but it should ultimately be a fun learning experience. Students should bring a relevant, interesting, or fun article they find and share it with the class, touching on the main message of the article and where they found it, its significance today, and how it relates to classical studies, giving the project the opportunity to be both enjoyable and educational. Have students sign up or assign them a day throughout the term when they can present their discoveries. Students going earlier may have difficulty digging stuff up, but I have provided plenty on the Ning's forum to serve as a jumping-off point.

Colin Jost, left, and Michael Che
currently host Saturday Night
Live's "Weekend Update." 
The project also provides students the opportunity to get creative with their presentation styles. In an older blog post I mentioned some programs useful in mapping projects. If appropriate for the article, they may also be useful here. For example, students may find Prezi, mentioned in the older post, useful for this type of project, but students have other options, such as a PowerPoint slide show or making a movie with Animoto, or perhaps they would enjoy emulating Saturday Night Live anchors Michael Che and Colin Jost and providing the class with their own classics-related weekend update. There are many ways to get creative, and I urge classrooms to do so.

Stay tuned for my next post where I provide an example of one of the many ways this can be done. In the meantime, if you have any ideas on how else to make this an effective project or if you have other classroom projects, comment below! I would love to hear from you.

-Connor Hart

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Lucan Wins: Recap of Martia Dementia

Lucan Wins: Recap of Martia Dementia
The End and Future of Martia Dementia

An image of the final
Marita Dementia bracket
Euclid learned all too well last weekend, which marked the conclusion of the 2015 Martia Dementia, that all good things come to an end. His Cinderella story included a narrow victory over the No. 1 Seed Plato, a marginal triumph over Aristophanes, and pivotal victory over the increasingly popular Xenophon. Some believed that the No. 10 Seed Aeschylus, advancing to the Elite Eight, might stop him, but no, that honor went to Lucan. Lucan, the prolific writer of many titles and epigrams. Lucan, who beat the esteemed Apuleius just a day after upstaging Augustine, and who even pulled out a few tricks from his De bello civili for a victory over the heavily favored Vergil. Lucan beat Euclid 13-2 to take home the glory, thus winning Martia Dementia. Many narratives sprouted from the bracket as voting created conflict between these authors of antiquity, and many surprises came as dark horses produced upset after upset; Hesiod, a four seed, was the highest ranked author to advance past the Elite Eight! These narratives, and the success of Martia Dementia, all happened thanks to our participants.

An image of Marie's
final bracket.
The initial response to Martia Dementia was overwhelming, but thinking that the number of participants would match this was a dream, though it soon became a reality as bracket after bracket began to flood my email. With that, I would like to thank all the teachers, professors, friends, students, and everyone else for their participation. I would also like to take time to acknowledge and congratulate the following for their success in this year's competition. First, to our in-house winner, Marie Bolchazy who, though not in the running for prizes, put up enough points to take second place. Now, to Sabrina Epstein of the Bullis School who, with only three picks remaining after the Round of 32, never gave up hope, I say congratulations for having the most abysmal bracket! To Evelyn Beckman, also of the Bullis School, to whom I am partial for also going with team Ovid, I would like to say congratulations for picking up 48 points and taking third place! To Inna Kunz, whose faith in Lucretius allowed her to just squeak by with a 49-point effort, I would like to say congratulations for finishing in second place! Lastly, I congratulate Thanh Tran who, with 128 points and a near-perfect bracket, won this year's Martia Dementia by a landslide! 

If you were disappointed in how your bracket went this year and wish to prepare for a better outing next time, Tran shared her winning strategy, making it seem easy, saying, "I basically chose the authors whom I liked best in each pairing if not entirely at random." Still, a little more effort and a little outside support helped to make a winning bracket: "I may have asked a lot of my students to vote for my bracket." So there you have it, the winning strategy: a little randomness and a lot of votes.
This Attic red figure vase, found in the University
Museum, University of Pennsylvania, shows Hercules
wrestling with the Nemean lion.

Looking forward to next year's Martia Dementia? Already counting down the days? Want to see a favorite author who did not make this year's cut? Would you rather see gods and goddesses versus heroes versus beasts? Perhaps you prefer political bouts? Tweet @BCPublishers what and who you would like to see, and include the hash tag #MartiaDementia or give feedback in the comments below. Did you have questions or comments about how this year's competition went? Were you able to find ways to incorporate Martia Dementia into the classroom, or do you have ideas of how you might next year? Comment below; I would love to hear from you!

-Connor Hart

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Martia Dementia in the Classroom

Martia Dementia in the Classroom

The excitement of Martia Dementia has stirred up a considerable amount of internet buzz in the classics community. Our Facebook, Twitter, and BlogSpot have all seen a lively amount of activity. Now the brackets are live (and already coming in!) and the surveys ready for launch next week. Still, one question sits like an elephant in the room: How can Martia Dementia serve not just as a rewarding competition but also as something rewarding in the classroom?
An image of the BC Bracket, now
available on Twitter and our blog.

Teachers should see Martia Dementia as an opportunity for students to learn about authors they may not normally cover, or even hear about, in the standard Latin or Greek classroom. One way is for teachers to have students take a look at the bracket and pick an author they would like to present, by themselves or in groups. Depending on time, this could be a one-minute activity, where students give two important facts and one "fun" fact about the author (the "fun fact perhaps resembling something I attempted with the survey, which you will see in due time). To save time, I have already created a document so students do not have to dig up the information themselves. If allotted more time to present, students will have the opportunity to present a more expansive biography of the authors to the class.

Another way to turn Martia Dementia into a fun classroom activity is to play "Two Truths and a Lie." This option serves as a chance for students to get creative and have fun while still learning. Teachers may choose to assign authors to individuals or perhaps groups of three, or allow them to pick their own. Then the goal is for students to find and generate two truths and one lie about each author. As a group, two students can pose as truths and one as the lie and have the class guess which is posing as the lie. This task can take the form of simple presentations or can also serve as a competition where students aim to find he most ridiculous truths and make their lies so believable that they stump the classroom.

Seize the opportunity to have fun with Martia Dementia! Have you started to already? Do you have other ideas as to how you might use this in your classroom? We would love to hear your thoughts and ideas in the comments below!

-Connor Hart

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Scandal Surrounds Martia Dementia

Scandal Surrounds Martia Dementia:
Confusion and Scandal Strike Soon After Finalized Bracket Is Released

Confusion has led to scandal here in Chicago as Martia Dementia rapidly approaches. The finalized bracket, released this past Monday, March 2, sparked cries ranging from “foul” to “outrage” that could be heard from Ilium to Illinois.

Late last night, Seneca the Elder was seen going into the very locker room his son occupied earlier that day. This led to the belief that lack of specification on the bracket was their way of covering up the fact that both would try to compete to gain votes. Though his father could not be reached for comment, the underdog Seneca the Younger spoke out on their behalf: "Calamitās virtūtis occāsiō est" (“Disaster is the opportunity for bravery”). We also reached out to his first-round opponent, Petronius, and asked if he had any comment, to which the favorite, in a very Senecan way, replied, "Nōn est vir fortis ac strēnuus quī labōrem fugit" (“The person who runs away from hard work is not a brave and active man”). We expect neither participant will back down from the competition after this.
Someone spied Pliny the Younger reaching out
to his uncle Pliny the Elder late last night.

As if this father-son attempt at rigging the competition were not enough, an outside source spied Pliny the Younger writing letters to his uncle for help in his match-up against the lower-seeded Martial. Martial, not expected to receive much help from votes, hopes the committee will leverage sanctions against Pliny the Younger. As of today, the committee has yet to determine whether or how to penalize either familial pair for their scandalous attempts.

On the eastern side of the bracket, many were confused to find the 16-seed assumed not by a Greek but by the Christian apologist Lactantius. This play-in position pits Lactantius, a dark horse, against the top seed on the Greek side of the bracket. Though reporters could not reach Lactantius for comments his opponent Homer, considered the tournament's favorite by many, had a few words to say when asked about not playing a Greek in his first round: "Not a Greek, but a Roman? ἄνδρα μοι ἔννεπε. And what of the Achaeans?"

There you have it! Competition is heating up in the early stages of the tournament. Stay tuned for more pregame interviews, smack talk, and more from our fierce competitors. Also, don't forget to download your bracket and cast your votes!

-Connor Hart

Friday, February 27, 2015

Martia Dementia

Martia Dementia:
Ancient Author March Madness

April showers bring May flowers, but March brings the madness, and this next month Bolchazy-Carducci Publishers will bring March Madness to the ancient world. We have created a bracket of 64 ancient authors, 32 Latin and 32 Greek, one of whom will reign supreme. How will one author rise above the others as champion of the Mediterranean? The answer is you. To the victor belong the spoils, and whoever finishes with the best bracket, spoils await, but before the prizes, here is the way the competition will work.

A volute krater in the British Museum depicts
a fight between Achilles and Hector.
The Bracket
There are two parts to the participation in this event; the first is the bracket. Contestants will need to download a bracket from below, when made available, and save it as a PDF file. Having done this, simply advance the authors of your choosing through the bracket, writing in your picks and eliminating the others, until one remains above the rest. Once filled out, send the bracket along to the email provided on the bracket. The rankings are random. There is no rater’s index or previous statistics to consider, and no author has an advantage over another. The only factor determining an author’s advancement is your participation. Filling out the bracket to be eligible for the prizes is the minimum requirement.

The Survey
To further improve your chances of winning, a survey will be available for each round (below) where you can vote for your picks or, as it gets closer to the championship, vote against any picks that might hurt your chances of winning. This aspect is separate from the bracket and not necessarily required, but actively participating in the survey betters your chances at winning. We will determine the victors of each match by who has the most survey votes by the time the survey closes.

As a company based out of the Chicago area, we cannot stress enough the importance of voting early and voting often. So when the survey goes live, cast your votes; get your friends to vote for your picks; teachers, get your students to stuff the survey with favorable votes.

Victori Spolia
The competition is not solely for bringing posthumous glory to your favorite ancient author. Bolchazy-Carducci Publishers is offering book prizes for the brackets that most closely resemble the final results; a $100 book credit will be awarded to the first-place participant, a $50 credit to the second-place participant, and a $25 credit to the person finishing in third place. Feeling like you no longer stand a chance? Do not give up! There will also be a $25 credit for having the most abysmal bracket! So get ready, and stay tuned. Brackets will be available next week and the voting madness begins March 19!

-Connor Hart

Be sure to bookmark this post, as we will post the survey links for each round as they become available here:


Round of 64

Round of 32

Sweet Sixteen

Elite Eight

Final Four

Championship Round

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Update - gWhiz Latin for the New Millennium Vocabulary Apps

Study by chapter functionality is now available in gWhiz Latin for the New Millennium Levels 1 and 2 vocabulary apps. Based on customer feedback gWhiz has added the study by chapter feature to these apps.

The study by chapter function is in the app "Setting".

If you have purchased these apps run the update to add this functionality to your app.

If you have not tried these apps check them out with the FREE sample and purchase the full app with the in App purchase option.

These apps contain all of the "Vocabulary to Learn" from each level.
LNM Level 1 Vocabulary App
LNM Level 2 Vocabulary App

Master high-frequency Latin words for the Latin AP* exam with these gWhiz apps that correspond with Bolchazy-Carducci AP titles:

Caesar Selections from his Commentarii De Bello Gallico Vocabulary App
Master the 221 words in the Caesar app to be prepared to read more quickly and with greater comprehension.

Vergil's Aeneid Selected Readings from Books 1, 2, 4, and 6 Vocabulary App
Memorize words occurring eight times or more on the AP Vergil syllabus. Students who have mastered the entire set of words in the Vergil app will be prepared to read more quickly and with greater comprehension

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Classics in Pop Culture, Part III

Classics in Pop Culture, Part III

In a recent post I discussed how to effectively include pop culture in a classics course by suggesting teachers send their students on a "scavenger hunt" to find songs containing lyrics or titles in Latin and/or Greek. I followed this suggestion with another post, proposing to have students translate some of their favorite songs into Latin or Greek, going as far as composing their own music to the reworked lyrics. I also posited the idea of reworking pop songs with lyrics relevant to themes from classics history and culture. In this post, the third and final of the series, I offer an idea for a classroom project that will get students thinking of pop culture as it relates to classics. The project is one I actually did when I was a student at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst and taking an introduction to Latin poetry class with Professor Elizabeth Keitel.
This bust of Catullus, a 1st
century BCE poet, rests in the
Piazza Carducci in Sirmione

The task is for students to find a song and to make an argument that the songwriter drew influences from classical literature. The goal is to find stylistic similarities, as well as similarities in diction and tone, or anywhere else. This will not only give the student further understanding of the ancient author's own choices and use of poetic and rhetorical devices, but it will additionally yield an understanding of the relevance of classical studies. (This project can also be done with contemporary poetry, but I found it most effective, and more enjoyable, when done with music.) This is how I would do it with a musician in a class covering the poetry of Catullus (translations come from Henry V. Bender and Phyllis Young Forsyth's Catullus: Expanded Edition: Teacher's Guide):

First, I would start with playing an excerpt, or the whole song depending on the allotted time, of Bob Dylan's "You're Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go," having distributed a copy of the lyrics to the class so that they may read along. Once the music had finished, I would make my case.

"You're Gonna Make Me Lonesome
When You Go" is the fifth track off of
Bob Dylan's 1975 album Blood
on the Tracks.
In Catullus 7 the poet, when presented with the question of how many kisses would be enough for him, writes quam magnus numerus Libyssae harenae...aut quam sidera multa "as great as the quantity of sand in the Libyan desert...or as many as are the stars" (3, 7). This same juxtaposition of ideas, of the high and the low, appears in Dylan as he sings, "Dragon clouds so high above/I've only known careless love/It's always hit me from below," or again when he sings, "I'll see you in the sky above/In the tall grass." In these same excerpts is a clear attention to nature; Catullus points to the sand and the stars, Dylan to the clouds and the grass.

Additionally, in the same poem Catullus references geography and sites that would be familiar to his Mediterranean audience, such as Libyssae (3), Cyrenis (4), and Batti verteris sacrum sepulcrum "the sacred tomb of old Battus" (6). Likewise, Dylan makes mention of cities familiar to his American audience: "I'll look for you in old Honolulu/San Francisco, Ashtabula." In Catullus 2B and 3, the poet makes repeated references to mythological characters and tales, again recalling scenes familiar to his audience; Dylan repeats this with his reference to the tempestuous love affair of Verlaine and Rimbaud.

Catullus's use of polyptoton and alliteration at the end of 8 adds a certain harshness to the conclusion of his relationship: Quae tibi manet vita?/Quis nunc te adibit? cui videberis bella?/quem nunc amabis? "What life waits for you? Who now will come to you? To whom will you appear beautiful? Whom will you now love?" (8.15–17). This same harsh sound shows up in Dylan, building up to the thought of him crying: "Purple clover, Queen Anne's Lace/Crimson hair around your face/You could make me cry if you don't know."

In Catullus 5, Catullus makes a plea to his lover: Da mi basia mille, deinde centum,/dein mille altera, dein secunda centum "Give me a thousand kisses, then a hundred, then another thousand, then a second hundred" (5.7–8). Dylan's lyrics parallel this plea with remarks such as "You might be spoiling me too much love." 

Lastly, even the refrain, "Yer gonna make me lonesome when you go," and the acknowledgement that the love Dylan has will come to an end recalls Catullus's idea that nox est perpetua una dormienda "there is one never-ending night for sleeping" (5.6), though not as somberly, or the idea, quod vides perisse peditum ducas "consider as lost what you see as perished" (8.2), though not as austerely.

Through similar devices such as juxtaposition and alliteration, through use of geological and cultural scenes familiar to their audiences, and through parallel ideas such as too much love, one can make the case that Dylan had Catullus in mind as he wrote this song.

Students should be graded on the strength of their argument as much as their ability to answer any questions at the conclusion of their presentation. Additionally, the students should be able to demonstrate mastery over the Latin or Greek text and the ancient author's style and diction. This should be stress-free as much as it should be educational and, above all else, fun!

-Connor Hart

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Book Buzz: Why Homer Matters

Marie Bolchazy, EdD, recommends popular modern fiction and nonfiction with ties to Classics.

Why Homer Matters
by Adam Nicolson

Did Homer create the Iliad and the Odyssey on his own or did he build upon the oral tradition of epic songs of battle and disaster? Is the Iliad based on the Trojan War or on a war that happened much before that? When did Homer live? And, is he one person or many? These fascinating questions are covered in Why Homer Matters.

When I started reading Why Homer Matters, I struggled to find Homer’s answers to life’s important questions: Do we love others as ourselves? Do we indulge ourselves? Do we surrender when we face seemingly insurmountable challenges? How much should we fight for our principles? Homer is silent on such questions. So why does he matter? Nicolson posits that Homer’s purpose is providing enlightenment on how things are and that a detailed engagement with pain and sorrow through poetry is the way we are enlightened. He believes that the wars happened so that the poems could happen. We find the wisdom that Homer provides gradually as we progress with the reading of this book. It should be read carefully and thoughtfully and with many time-outs for reflection.

The author is a polymath; his knowledge of so many fields of study is deep and breathtaking. In this book, he weaves in information on Michael Ventris, who deciphered Linear B, and Albert Lord, who researched the oral traditions possibly underlying Homer’s epics. He compares the ethic of the Greek warriors with the code of conduct of gangs in South Central LA and East St. Louis. Nicolson also gives a very personal account of his rape by a young man in the Syrian desert and relates the episode to Homer’s warriors. 

According to Nicolson, the Iliad is not an antiwar poem. Nicolson’s primary focus is on demonstrating that Homer’s writing provides us with a vade mecum, a kind of metaphysical guidebook on how to lead a meaningful life in a world of terrifying and wondrous changes. Homer does not provide guidance “if the lessons derived are the usefulness of violence, the lack of regret at killing, the subjection and selling of women, the extinction of all men in a surrendering city or the sense that justice resides in personal revenge.” Homer doesn't answer questions about how we should behave. Instead, Homer provides us with wisdom, a sense of reality, and an embrace of the complexity of life. By telling the stories of the Iliad and the Odyssey, he helps us learn how we became who we are.

Marie Carducci Bolchazy, EdD
President, Bolchazy-Carducci Publishers

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Classics in Pop Culture, Part II

Classics in Pop Culture, Part II

In my last post I presented a project idea that involved sending students out on a scavenger hunt to find songs with Latin or Greek in the lyrics, and then relaying their discoveries to the class. This week I offer an idea that requires more creative engagement from the students.
Rondellus’s album, Sabbatum, is
composed entirely of Black
Sabbath covers…in Latin!

Instead of driving students to go out and find songs with Latin or Greek, have them choose popular songs they like and translate them into Latin or Greek! This is a task that some professional musicians have undertaken in recent years—and have met with success in their attempts. The band Rondellus has taken the music of Black Sabbath, such as “Planet Caravan,” translated the lyrics into Latin, and set the music to a medieval-like composition. Fint Floyd, a Pink Floyd cover band, has taken the entire album The Dark Side of the Moon and reworked it with Latin lyrics. For example, “Pecunia,” is the band’s take on the 1973 hit “Money.”

There are different ways students could approach a project like this. For some a simple translation might suffice, while others may wish to record the lyrics and put them over the track they use. Even more ambitious students might record their own composition with the translated lyrics. The most ambitious may do this along with a music video.

To make the project most useful for learning Latin, students should be able to account for the decisions they made in word choice and arrangement. Students could, and perhaps should, also aim to include some poetic devices, like alliteration or chiasmus, in their translations. An ambitious student may choose to emulate the style of his or her favorite ancient author, or an author relevant to the course.

This project can also be used for classics courses that do not emphasize language. Students might take historical or cultural themes and work them into the lyrics and melodies of popular songs. There are many great examples of this done already on YouTube. Those done by historyteachers are particular favorites of mine. For classes without time to create their own songs, viewing or lip syncing to videos such as “Trojan War” (“Tainted Love” by Softcell) or “Viva Roma No. V” (“Mambo #5” by Lou Bega) would make a great fun class day.

Urge your students to get creative with some of these project ideas! Have you had experiences with projects like this? Do you have similar project ideas that you would like to share? Are you still uncertain how you might make a project like this work? Leave your comment or question in the section below! And be sure to stay tuned for a future post where I take classics in pop culture one step further.

-Connor Hart