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45.5.Bennett

We recently received a grant from The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey to work with our professor to create a textbook for Lucian’s True History (Vera Historia), written c. 160-190 CE. We were originally motivated to write this book after our own class on Lucian and Longus. While the text we used for Longus' Daphnis and Chloe had ample notes and vocabulary, we were occasionally frustrated by the student edition we were using to read the True History. At that time, the only textbook available geared toward undergraduates was C.S. Jerram’s 1879 edition currently offered by Bolchazy-Carducci, the leading publishers for undergraduate texts in Greek and Latin. Jerram’s edition lacks a vocabulary list, has limited notes on grammatical and syntactical constructions, does not include discussion questions, fails to provide a bibliography, and the text is highly censored. Moreover, it does not benefit from modern scholarship on Lucian due to the fact that it is over one hundred years old. We resolved to create a textbook for Lucian’s True History that would address each of these issues with the goal of creating a suitable edition for the intermediate and/or advanced levels of Ancient Greek. Unfortunately, during our work on the project another independent group released a student edition for Lucian’s True History, a collaboration between Professor Stephen Nimis and his student, Evan Hayes, both from the Classics Department of Miami University. We did not and could not have known of this other project when we began work on our own. Since this new text rendered our own work redundant and alleviated our concerns about a lack of a student edition for Lucian, we have begun work on a new text, a student edition for Aesop’s Fables, an endeavor to which we intend to apply everything we have learned from our work on a text for Lucian. Aesop’s Fables are highly entertaining, extremely accessible, and are very appropriate for undergraduate students to read in language courses. There is, however, an unfortunate lack of available textbooks on the Fables appropriate for students at the intermediate and advanced levels. An ideal textbook, for example, would include the Greek text in clear and easy-to-read type, grammatical explanations, a commentary, vocabulary, discussion questions, and a bibliography of the most relevant and accessible modern critiques of the text. This presentation will outline our reasons for composing a textbook, the intended format and audience of the book, our experiences with the process of composing a text, the issues and difficulties we faced along the way, and what we have learned from our efforts. A presentation such as this would be particularly useful for and of interest to undergraduate students and faculty interested in such a collaboration. Students have unparalleled insight into what notes and vocabulary should appear in a text geared toward undergraduates, and faculty can provide the experience and supervision needed for such a project. This collaborative effort has been an amazing and unique experience for us, and we have learned so much in the process.

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