As the new term approaches and gets underway, the SCS Blog is bringing you fresh perspectives and actionable ideas on teaching the languages, history, and material culture of the ancient Mediterranean. Try something small — or something big — to kickstart your course!
τίς δ’ οὐχὶ χαίρει νηπίοις ἀθύρμασιν;
Who does not find delight in childish amusements?
Intermediate Latin students typically encounter Latin poetry for the first time with Vergil’s Aeneid. After a brief tutorial on the rules and patterns of dactylic hexameter, they plunge in with arma virumque cano. They learn scansion not only for the sake of tradition and proper understanding of the poem, but also so that they can appreciate its rhythms and artistry—the same reasons English teachers have for teaching their students iambic pentameter for Shakespeare. The symphony of “longs and shorts” can seem forbidding to students at first, and the remedy for this is most often simply practice. Today, given the convenience of phone and tablet apps, and their potential to transform idle moments of otium into more productive ones, the Pericles Group, LLC has created the Latin Scansion App to help Latin AP students practice scanning Vergil.