Friday, December 11, 2015

Ubi Fera Sunt: Where the Wild Things Are in Latin

Bolchazy-Carducci Publishers is proud to announce the arrival of Ubi Fera Sunt, the first published Latin translation (by Richard A. LaFleur) of the beloved children's story Where the Wild Things Are, by Maurice Sendak. This lively translation faithfully and playfully recasts Sendak’s unique writing style into classical Latin. It includes the beautifully remastered images employed in the fiftieth anniversary edition. Where the Wild Things Are has been published in numerous other languages, including French, German, Spanish, Hebrew, and even Finnish, but never until now into classical Latin.

Richard A. LaFleur, a.k.a. Doctor Illa Flora, has provided resources to enhance the classroom experience for his Latin translation. "Why NOT a Latin Wild Things" offers insight as to why LaFleur decided to translate Sendak's work and his hopes that "this modern rendering of his . . . charming classic" will join the Latin canon alongside other children's classics such as Winne Ille Pu and Cattus Petasatus. LaFleur has also provided an "About the Translation" resource to explain his always correct, but at times "Sendakian," choices in Latin. "Pronouncing Latin" gives Latin readers a refresher on pronunciation, while it also serves as a great tool for those learning and new to Latin. Lastly, LaFleur offers a glossary of all the Latin words employed in his translation. These resources are all designed to make Ubi Fera Sunt as effective a classroom component as it is a fun one.

Thursday, December 03, 2015

Lucretius: The Nature of the Universe

G. B. Cobbold's The Nature of the
Universe is an accessible translation
 of Lucretius's De Rerum Natura.
Lucretius:The Nature of the Universe is now in stock! This prose translation of De Rerum Natura offers an accessible encounter with Lucretius, who is at pains to convince readers of one main point: that their fears of death and punishment in the afterlife cripple them in their daily lives, and these dark fears can only be conquered by the light of rationality he offers through the philosophy of his Greek predecessor, Epicurus. This work does not fit into any of our ideas of distinct disciplines of knowledge. Instead, it smashes boundaries: science and poetry, religion and philosophy all find their place here, as do the profound and the mundane: the many and varied properties of atoms; stories of gods, heroes, and monsters; vivid descriptions of rainspouts, sex, a mother cow lowing for her newly sacrificed calf, human evolution.

Reading Stephen Greenblatt’s The Swerve: How the World Became Modern with the ACL Book Club? Cobbold’s translation is an excellent way to encounter the work that influenced Galileo, Montaigne, Jefferson, Freud, Darwin, Yeats, Santayana, Einstein, and many others—including our late founder, Lou Bolchazy.

If you’re looking to experience Lucretius’s thought in the original Latin (which Cicero described as having “lights of genius”—lumina ingenii), check out Bonnie A. Catto’s Lucretius: Selections from De Rerum Natura, which features notes and vocabulary along with illustrative quotations from ancient as well as modern authors.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Dolus aut Dulce? Halloween Costume Contest Results

Lydia Haile Fasset, dressed as
a wolf, holds her twin girls,
Secunda, left, and Prima, who
dress as Romulus and Remus.
Over the past month we asked teachers and students to dress up in classics-themed costumes for Halloween and to send their pictures to us through Twitter. We requested that those already intending to dress send us pictures as well. Though we had a nice mix of students and teachers send pictures to us, we will be seeking greater participation from both next year!
Mont Allen, right, and partner
Stephanie Pearson dress as a
blue-skinned Charun and
an Etruscan noblewoman.

Still, it was nice to see such an array of costumes, ranging from traditional Roman mythology, to Greek grammar, and even an Etruscan Charun and noblewoman! Thank you to all who participated, and congratulations to the winners, who were randomly selected from the pool of participants.

Congratulations to winner Mont Allen, Assistant Professor of Classics & Art History at Southern Illinois University. He and partner Stephanie Pearson, Assistant Professor of Classical Archaeology at the Humboldt University-Berlin, dressed together as a blue-skinned, hook-nosed Charun, one of the psychopompoi of Etruscan mythology, "claiming" an Etruscan noblewoman clutching her mirror.
Rebeccaa Sahlin, in her
rainbow bustle and train,
dresses as the personification
of the rainbow, Iris.

Congratulations also to our second winner, Lydia Haile Fassett. Another group entrant, she and her twin girls, who go by their Latin names of Prima and Secunda, dressed as Romulus and Remus, founders of Rome, with the maternal wolf who found and raised them in their infancy.

Lastly, congratulations to our third winner, Rebecca Sahlin. She dressed as Iris, personification of the rainbow and messenger of the gods, with a rainbow bustle and train.

Did you miss out on this year's Halloween contest? Be sure to follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook to keep up to date with upcoming contests, new books, and conference and webinar schedules!

Monday, November 02, 2015

October Answer for Roman Calendar Worksheet

If you have not already done so, check the inside back cover of our 2015-16 Roman Calendar for a reproducible worksheet that asks students to engage with the mythology-oriented artwork included in the calendar.

For those completing the worksheet, here is October's
This Vatican statue depicts Bacchus,
the god of wine and festivities.
image, question, and answer.

Question: What symbols in this statue identify the subject as Bacchus?

Answer: Classicists will identify this Vatican statue as Bacchus for several reasons. As Ovid writes, "The god himself, garlanded by clustered grapes in respect to his forehead, waves a wreathed wand" (Metamorphoses 2.666). Though this statue of Bacchus does not include the wand, it does capture the garland referenced in Ovid's epic poem. In Ovid, as well as in other sources, Bacchus is called boyish and youthful, but as often as he is depicted thus, artists choose to portray him as older and bearded. This sculptor clearly chose the latter take. Lastly, he holds a drinking vessel and a bunch of grapes, representative of his position as the god of wine.

Think your students know the answer to the November question on the worksheet? Tweet @BCPublishers the answer by November 25th for a chance to win five of our new buttons. We’ll announce our answers, as well as the winner, at the beginning of December. Submit an answer for your class, or encourage students to participate individually.

To add your name to our mailing list for the Roman Calendar, email with the subject line “Roman Calendar”; be sure to include your name and mailing address in the body of the email. Calendars are mailed annually in August.

Monday, October 05, 2015

Dolus aut Dulce? The Bolchazy-Carducci Costume Contest

Hail Caesar! The late Lou Bolchazy
sporting a toga at ACL 2005.
Are you dressing up in a toga for Halloween? Perhaps you've decided to finally wear that old aegis you've had lying around? Maybe you will be sporting one hundred peacock feathers, once held by the head of Argos? Bolchazy-Carducci urges you to! We not only suggest you do, but if you decide to dress up in classics garb, take a picture and send it our way!

Marie Bolchazy wearing a
floral stola and matching
garland at ACL 2005.
All we need from you is a photo of you in a classics-themed picture. Send it to us via Twitter to @BCPublishers, using the hash tag #BCPub. Do this, and you automatically make yourself eligible for one of three prizes! One photo will be accepted per Twitter account. If multiple people are in one picture all wearing classics costumes, the prize would only go to the owner of the account that tweeted the picture. If by request the contestants ask that another member of the picture stand as the contestant, one that is not the Twitter account member, or not a Twitter member at all, we will accept that as well.

Teachers, tell your students; students, tell your teachers. Tell all of your friends. No need to wait until October 31 to send a picture. We will start accepting photos this week and will continue to accept pictures until 11:59 PM CST on Tuesday, November 2nd. Even if it is not your Halloween costume, so long as you have a photo featuring a classics-themed costume, we'll take it!

Monday, September 28, 2015

Introducing the Newly Redesigned Roman Calendar

The 2015–2016 Roman Calendar has arrived! In the newly redesigned calendar, you will find full-color images featuring the Olympian gods alongside the ever-popular sententiae. The calendar also contains information about our latest books, longtime favorites, apps, and more. Check the inside back cover for a reproducible worksheet that asks students to engage with the artwork included in the calendar.

For those completing the worksheet, here is September's image, question, and answer.
Francesco Solimena's Venus
at the Forge of Vulcan

In this scene, Vulcan presents arms to Venus. For whom are they intended? In what literary work is this story told? How many weapons and types of armor can you identify?

Francesco Solimena’s Venus at the Forge of Vulcan is based on a scene from the Aeneid (8.370–449, 608–25) in which Venus asks Vulcan to make new weapons for Aeneas. Solimena’s painting depicts a helmet, a sword, a shield (described at length in Aeneid 8.626–731), a breastplate, and an axe.

Think you know the answer to the remaining questions on the worksheet? Starting in October, tweet @BCPublishers your answer to that month’s question by the 25th for a chance to win five of our new buttons. We’ll announce our answers, as well as the winner, at the beginning of the following month. Submit an answer for your class, or encourage students to participate individually.

To add your name to our mailing list for the Roman Calendar, email with the subject line “Roman Calendar”; be sure to include your name and mailing address in the body of the email. Also, let us know by email if you have not received your calendar yet!

Friday, September 18, 2015

Bringing Apps into the Classroom

When teaching language, no problem, arguably, causes more student angst than vocabulary acquisition. If you find that students are struggling to keep up with the amount of vocabulary that textbooks hand your students*, then tell them Bolchazy-Carducci has a solution: flashcard vocabulary apps for their smart phones! Products of gWhiz LLC, they act as companions to Latin for the New Millennium, Level 1 and Level 2Caesar: Selections from his Commentarii De Bello Gallico, and Vergil’s AENEID: Selected Readings from Books 1, 2, 4, and 6, and at $9.99 they are no more expensive than a comparable app. Additionally, while the LNM apps are designed for use with their respective, they could be helpful to any introductory Latin course.

Students choose from four different
modes: Adaptive, Self-Test/Quiz,
Flashcard Boxes, and Matching Game.
The flashcard vocabulary apps work just like a traditional set of flash cards, only now students don't have to worry about lugging around stacks of paper to and from class, misplacing some words (thus failing to master them!), or, sadly, remembering to look at them. Students will have the app right on their phone (and will never leave home without their phone), allowing students to keep all their cards in their pockets and on their persons at all times. The apps provide nearly 500 words for each of the LNM sets and an average of 200 flashcards for both the Caesar and the Vergil sets. Each flash card contains the Latin word, including principal parts for verbs and gender for nouns on the front, and the English definition and part of speech on the back. Additionally, each app provides four different study modes: Adaptive, Self-Test/Quiz, Flashcard Boxes, and Matching Game.

The Adaptive study mode passes through each card, keeping track of the known and the unknown, or the learned and the unlearned, words. Students determine themselves whether they know the word or not. Furthermore, the Adaptive study mode allows students to study the vocabulary chapter by chapter or in the entirety of the set, while also allowing students to revisit the words. Lastly, this mode allows students to switch between studying Latin to English and English to Latin.

Students can choose between a
multiple choice option or just
a single - the correct - option.
The Quiz mode is a lot like the Adaptive mode in presentation. It allows students to quickly evaluate their knowledge of the material while providing the student with a "Study Score," or a percentage of how many words the student knows. However, unlike the Adaptive mode, students can only test their knowledge on each flashcard once without starting over. In this way, Quiz mode accurately determines how much and what words the students need to study. The students also have the option of quizzing themselves in multiple choice form or without any options to choose from. 

The Flashcard Boxes mode uses boxes to sort the students's knowledge of the material. The cards can be filed into either the "Known," the "Unknown," or the "Mastered" box for future review. All the cards start in the "Unknown" box and as students cycle through the sets, they place the cards in the appropriate boxes based on their comfort with each. Afterward, students can choose which vocabulary box to study from to freshen up on the mastered cards and drill in the unknown ones - a great way for students to review many weeks' worth of materials for a midterm!

The Matching Game is an alternative to the standard style of flashcard drilling. The cards are set in a grid size of the students's choice, either 6, 9, 16, or 24 pairs. Then they simply hit the back of a card and try to remember its location while they hunt for its match. As the student slowly picks off each pair, they simultaneously unveil the image in the background. Match each pair to reveal the full image! There are a lot of pictures so the the students will have to solve each puzzle to reveal them all.

In addition to the activities, the app allows students to customize the appearance to suit their needs. They can adjust the font style as well as the size. So don't wait! Let students review and master the literary-rich vocabulary from multiple Bolchazy-Carducci titles and Latin authors using traditional flashcard quizzing from Latin to English or English to Latin, or explore other functions of the app. Vocabulary study has never been so easy or so convenient! And if you and your students like the gWhiz apps, stay tuned for a future blog post where I cover the multimodal vocabulary program, eyeVocab.

Do you have experience with gWhiz vocabulary apps that you would like to share? Are there unanswered questions remaining about how to use the apps? Have you experimented with other means of vocabulary acquisition? Do your students have opinions on the apps you would like to share? Leave a question or comment below! I would love to hear from you.

-Connor Hart

*Note that for this reason, LNM includes both a Reading Vocabulary list and a list of Vocabulary to Know.

Wednesday, September 09, 2015

Teacher Tips for the Start of the Semester

For some, this past week marked the start of a new school year. For others, it stood as a reminder that the next school year is just around the corner. Regardless of whether your next semester has started or not, you will always find that you can never be too prepared for the school year. In this post, I will explore the ways you can get your classics classes off on the right foot. Using lessons in Latin phrases, maps, and deities and mythology, teachers can put students on the right track from the start and give them an early chance to get a good handle on their Greek or Latin.

One fun way to start the semester, particularly a Latin one, is to show your class how frequently people use the language today. State mottoes, court houses, even many clocks contain remnants of Latin, and this may be something your students don't know. The beginning of the semester is a great time to expose students to Latin's prevalence, in case they have any doubts of how alive it really is. Slide shows of images containing these common phrases will help students see this. If students enjoy this, have them work from Latin Everywhere, Everyday: A Latin Phrase Workbook to learn more Latin phrases still used today!

Maps often prove effective in the classroom, regardless of the subject. Using maps with geography familiar to your language students, such as the Mediterranean, allows for students to gain a grasp of some simple vocabulary. Questions and demonstrative pronouns, simply from the context of the map activity, slowly become familiar. For example, by pointing to Italy and announcing to the class, "Haec est Italia," students can, without any background in Latin, understand "This is Italy," or something close to it. With appropriate hand gestures and a quizzical countenance, the teacher can then ask, "Ubi est Italia?" By repeating this process throughout the Mediterranean, students have the potential to learn the words for island, Rome, Italy, Greece, and interrogative words, as well as demonstrative pronouns, and even begin to learn the verb "to be," without receiving their first formal lesson! If this lesson goes well, try incorporating A Roman Map Workbook into some lessons later on down the line. For those using Latin for the New Millennium, every review unit features Latin phrases, mottoes, and terms still in use today.

Understandably, not every student loves maps as much as I do, but who doesn't love a good myth about Zeus's exploits or the hunts of Artemis? Using simple sentences to reconstruct a myth and supplying the appropriate images to accompany it will both command the students's attention and keep them engaged. As with the maps, teachers can help students get an understanding of the story with the appropriate context and with hand gestures and facial movements. In this way, students can acquire the Latin or Greek for words such as god or goddess, father and mother, son and daughter. This lesson also provides an opportunity for students to learn the words for certain objects related to deities, such as lightning bolt, owl, stag, or epithets such as far-shooter or grey-eyed.

Do you have other means of starting the semester? Have you tried things that have worked wonderfully or failed miserably? Leave a question or comment below! I would love to hear from you.

-Connor Hart

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

NJCL: Bigger in Texas

NJCL: Bigger in Texas
2015 National Junior Classical League Report

The 62nd Annual National Junior Classical League Convention was held at Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas, from July 27 to August 1, 2015. The Fiesta Room was open to book exhibitions July 29 to 31. Don Sprague and Connor Hart represented Bolchazy-Carducci during the allotted time, holding down seven tables of books and buttons through waves of people and periods of quietude. Traffic at our exhibit varied, most likely due to scheduling conflicts and being located adjacent to the Student Union rather than in it. Students and teachers had to decide to come to the exhibits; no “street traffic” wandered in. Still, several times conferees had to wait in line to purchase books or ask about Lectiones Memorabiles, eyeVocab, and other products.

The new buttons were a hit. One teacher even bought out our supply of four buttons for her classes. One young woman asked if we had a button with Cogito. Ergo sum femina. A number of students and teachers wore the buttons they received in their registration packets from our "classic" stock. Sue Roberts, on behalf of the NJCL leadership, came by the display to thank us personally for the buttons and encouraged us to do something similar again.

A fraction of the the B-C display,
with Lectiones Memorabiles,
and new buttons!
We held a fishbowl drawing and met good success. Twenty-three teachers and fourteen students signed up. Publicity via social media started late as we did not have internet access for the first couple hours at Trinity but once that was sorted out we sent out several live tweets as reminders. Unfortunately it seemed that not everyone was keeping up, or could keep up, with our tweets, as several students showed up after the drawing hoping to win. Student Winston Durand of Miramonte High School in Orinda, CA, took home Bundle 1, a set of culture resource books, while Andy Ellis, a teacher at Anderson High School in Austin, TX, took home Bundle 2 with the IB volumes and some Cicero and Ovid texts.

Students seemed very interested in the wide selection of prose authors and poets to choose from in the BC Latin Readers. Many students were also thrilled about the Dr. Seuss and Shel Silverstein books and many of these books were purchased. When the Wall Street Journal spoke to ACL Administrative Secretary Sherwin Little about an article on Latin and Latin translations, he immediately referred the reporter to Allan Bolchazy, who gave the comments published at the end of this article. A good number of students also showed interest in our Greek language books, such as Plato Transitional Reader, Twenty Greek Stories, and others, primarily for independent use. In addition, several sought Greek history and culture textbooks.

It impressed us to see all the students interested in Greek, especially at the independent study level. Some remarked how the term "classics" seemed more synonymous with "Latin" than with the relevance of the ancient Mediterranean altogether. Aside from this minor disappointment, students seemed overall enthusiastic and happy to be in Texas, despite the average temperature of 97 degrees. Even with the heat, we caught a parade of students in togas marching through campus as we packed up to leave on Friday.

-Connor Hart

Monday, July 20, 2015

From Products to Presentations: Recap of the ACL Institute 2015

From Products to Presentations
Recap of the ACL Institute 2015

Bolchazy-Carducci Publishers at the 68th annual ACL Institute in Storrs, CT.
The 68th Annual Institute of the American Classical League was held at the University of Connecticut in Storrs, Connectitcut this past June 26 to 28. In attendance for Bolchazy-Carducci were Marie and Allen Bolchazy, Don Sprague, and Laurel Draper. They managed a nice looking exhibit with six tables of books, buttons, and more, though you may have missed them with the brisk and heavy traffic and the lines of people ordering books. This consisted of people with questions and comments about our books, such as Latin for the New Millennium and Lectiones Memorabiles, as well as those interested in our new buttons and the fishbowl drawing. Additionally, there was plenty of activity outside of our display.

One comment at our tables was that Latin for the New Millennium (LNM) does not align with the National Latin Exam. This is not unlike any other Latin program, as the NLE is not tailored to any single series. Because of this, no matter what book a teacher uses they will have to supplement and accelerate the introduction of some topics. For this reason, Bolchazy-Carducci has had an LNM correlation to the NLE on their website, found here.

In addition to comments on LNM, there was a clear interest in other Bolchazy-Carducci products, including eyeVocab. Current teachers of LNM look forward to adding this multi-sensory implement that covers all of the vocabulary in the textbook, to their classrooms. One teacher mentioned how she would like to have her students buy it (the cost being, as our editor Don pointed out, comparable to a couple visits to Starbucks). eyeVocab is not only available for LNM but also for Clyde Pharr's AENEID I-VI, Caesar: Selections from his COMMENTARII DE BELLO GALLICO by Hans-Friedrich Mueller, and for Barbara Weiden Boyd's Vergil's AENEID: Selected Readings from Books 1, 2, 4, and 6.

Interest in Lectiones Memorabiles Volume I and Volume II attracted many customers. These texts contain all the unadapted Latin passages prescribed for the IB Latin Syllabus. Interestingly enough, not all customers interested in the titles taught in the IB program. Such strong appeal led to an abundance of sales, and we sold out of all copies on hand but one Volume II! Many others ordered them at the booth.

Also at the conference, we received a request to have our Vergil and Caesar notebooks available digitally. The nature of these teacher-friendly books is to have students write in them at home and bring just the notebook to class. However, the workbooks for Vergil and Caesar are available digitally, a nice alternative! Another request came to us at our booth, and that was to have a Teacher's Guide for our Ecclesiastical, Medieval, and Neo-Latin Sentences. It was great to see interest in this, as we had just given the green light for this!
Winners of the fishbowl drawing Paul Giblin (left) and
Lance Piantaggini each took home a book bundle.

Though comments and questions on our books drew in much of the traffic, and though our new buttons were a hit (people seemed thrilled with our promotional "Buy a book, get a button from our classic stock"), Bolchazy-Carducci also held another “fishbowl” drawing. Having met success with the last drawing at the Medieval Conference in Kalamazoo, MI, we decided to offer two book bundles this time. Congratulations to the winners! Paul Giblin and Lance Piantaggini, who each won a bundle of books. When attending conferences, always be sure to stop by our booth, so that you don't miss an opportunity to win prizes!

There were plenty of good presentations at the conference this year, and a few of particular interest to us. Linda Montross gave a presentation geared toward preparing for the NLE, during which she made mention of several B-C titles, including Classical Mythology and More, To Be a Roman, Excelability in Advance Latin, and Roman Map Workbook. Ronnie Ancona also addressed our BC Latin Reader on Lucan, A Lucan Reader: Selections from Civil War, during the organized panel entitled "A Little Lucan Goes a Long Way: The Value of Introducing Lucan's De Bello Civili into the Secondary School Latin Classroom." Besides Ancona, the other presenters were graduate students who had studied Lucan with her, using the BC Reader. Lastly, Rose Williams gave a presentation entitled "New Spain or New Rome? Hispanic Work in the New World." She presented various aspects of Roman influence in New Spain, including references to the authors and works in our forthcoming text, authored by Williams, Latin of New Spain. The session concluded with small group work translating three Latin passages followed by a question and answer period. This book should be out in late August.

The weekend concluded with the banquet and the emeritus/emerita awards. John Traupman, author of Conversational Latin, received an award, which was accepted for him by Ronnie Ancona in his absence. Awardee Virginia Blasi touched B-C staff with her praise of the late Lou Bolchazy in her acceptance speech. David Pellegrino, author of several B-C vocabulary card compilations for AP Latin selections, also accepted an award, as did ACL technology guru Cindy Caltagirone. Latin and English sing-a-longs followed dinner, which included a timely and felicitous "Over the Rainbow."

Overall we had a great time talking with friends, customers, and all attendees. Were you unable to make the conference, and still have questions? Did you attend, and is there a part of your experience you would like to share? Feel free to comment or ask questions below. I'd love to hear from you!

-Connor Hart

Monday, July 06, 2015

Classics in the News, Part 2

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

In a recent blog post I touched on a few ways for students to take classics-related news they find online and bring it into the classroom. The idea is to have students briefly browse the internet for or set up an alert to help find an article relevant to classics studies. Then, students share the article with the class, discussing its main points and the significance of the article, as well as its relation to classics. Additionally, I mentioned a couple of different ways to present the article. In light of the March 2015 eLitterae, where Lynne West provides a "Tech Tip" on the movie-making program, Animoto, I will here show how students can use the program for this type of classroom project.
An article taken from the UK news site,
Independent, discusses a botched
restoration  job that ruined mosaics.

The first step is to find the article. As mentioned in the previous post, I receive daily Google alerts, so it was easy to find this article from a United Kingdom news site, the Independent, on a restoration job that left several mosaics warped and ruined. I recommend that part of the project involve students setting up an "ancient news" alert, using terms such as "Ancient," "Greek," and "Roman" to help narrow the results of their alerts.

Next, it is important for students to find out what the main point of the article is, the article's relevance to classics, and why it is significant. Students should not have to force the answers. If they cannot answer these questions easily they should scrap the article and find another as there will be plenty to choose from. In this article, the Independent reports that "negligence in the process of moving the artefacts [sic]" led to the damage of eight or nine mosaics, including one depicting the sacrifice of Isaac and one of Dionysus. This point is at the center of the article. These mosaics are ancient Roman artifacts, directly linking them to the ancient world and thus, making this article relevant to classics. Lastly, the article is important because it raises awareness to the issue of negligence when handling ancient artifacts and how, when not handled properly, valuable pieces can be lost.
A shot of the Animoto dashboard.

Once students have established these points, they should then put it all into presentable format. With Animoto (which, for those interested in trying this approach, allows for a free 30-day trial), all students need to do is pick a video format, add photos and some text, pick some music to accompany the project, and produce it! Students might want to let their film run while they present over it or designate a spot during their presentation to show it to the class. Something simple like this one I've created may work better as an illustrative auxiliary for when the presenter makes their points, though something fancier may deserve more attention.

Students have a chance to let their creative sides shine in a variety of ways! If you have any ideas or suggestions on how else to make "Classics in the News" an effective project, if you you have any experiences using Animoto or any similar format, or if you have other classroom project ideas, comment below! I would love to hear from you.

-Connor Hart

Monday, June 15, 2015

What to Do in Kalamazoo: 50th International Congress on Medieval Studies

What to Do in Kalamazoo: 50th International Congress on Medieval Studies

Laurel Draper and Adam Velez
representing Bolchazy-Carducci
in Kalamazoo, MI in May.
Last month marked the 50th year of the International Congress on Medieval Studies at the Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Michigan. In attendance for Bolchazy-Carducci were assistant editor Laurel Draper and senior graphic designer Adam VelezCheck out what people bought, said, and won at our booth this year!

Rumor had it that overall attendance for the conference may have been down, but it appeared to be about normal from our end. The Wheelock's Latin supplement, Ecclesiastical, Medieval, and Neo-Latin Sentences, was very popular this year and and attracted many customers seeking help in their transition from elementary Latin to medieval Latin. This supplement moved like hot cakes off of the booth. The usual top sellers, the children’s books and the Dr. Seuss titles, How the Grinch Stole Christmas and The Cat in the Hatwere readily sold as well.

There was also continued strong interest in the BC Latin Readers and LNM. Also, while a few people did come by to look at Artes Latinae, our self-teaching Latin program, most in attendance commented on their expectation of and desire for something more technologically and pedagogically more modern. Looks like we’ll need to make some adjustments to what we bring next year to further suit your interests!
Laurel Draper presenting "fishbowl drawing
winner V. M. Roberts with four new books.

Bolchazy-Carducci also held a “fishbowl” drawing for a bundle of four books, including Ecclesiastical, Medieval, and Neo-Latin Sentences.  When attending conferences, always be sure to stop by our booth, lest you should miss an opportunity to win prizes! Congratulations to V. M. Roberts, the lucky winner of the Kalamazoo "fishbowl" drawing, who took home this book bundle.

Were you able to attend the International Congress on Medieval Studies this year? Do you have questions, or is there anything you hope to see next year? Tell us about your experience in the comments below. I'd love to hear from you!

-Connor Hart

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