Just Surviving, but with Progress

So, since I last wrote when my head was spinning with ideas and I was full of energy, I have apparently developed some weird heart arrhythmia. Yes, I am seeing a variety of doctors, have a stress echo scheduled and whatnot. The biggest problem is that it seems to be zapping my energy plus just feels damned weird.  And it seems to be constant. This is week two of school and I don't know what I will do once I have a mess of quizzes and tests to deal with. Ah well, one thing at a time.

However, little things have been going well enough.

Today I filled 8 (I only have 8 Latin 4s) paper bags ("sacculi") with various things, but included plastic spiders/spiderweb, perfume (cheap stinky stuff), and a packet of salt--things that get mentioned in Catullus 13. The other bags had: little toy dinosaurs, pens, candy (Jolly Ranchers), plastic googly eyes, and cups. Sometimes I feel we work the most basic things orally which they would understand well enough if in print. But that's ok.  I know that comprehending spoken Latin is a different beast.  So we worked meus sacculus, tuus sacculus, eius sacculus; cuius coloris and some other things about whether what was in the bag was mollis aut durus; and then finally "sacculus meus est plenus__(gen)__" (which is in Catullus 13). Genitives seemed to get a fair bit of work.

We might have done a bit more but this was the first day that Bluebell Ice Cream was back on the market in central Texas and a student (not mine but friends with mine) had gone to the local HEB and bought a tub of vanilla and spoons. I had cups and napkins.  We needed the ice cream break.

Anyway, I have a little PowerPoint (2 slides) with a picture of a wallet (crumena) and purse (perula) on the first slide with "quid est in crumena tua/perula tua?" and an indication that I want plenus to be incorporated in the reply.  On the next slide is a picture of a Roman reenactor with a little money bag (true saccula) attached to his belt and another of a little bag and some coins (admittedly medieval). So before we read the Catullus we will make that further connection.

Tonight they are reading chapter 2 in Orberg's Lingua Latina and doing a short reading log. Tomorrow will be discussion about the story in Latin and then tying into their own families with the idea that they will make a family tree with proper terminology for homework.  I may try to find a way to work in some adjectives for describing relatives (LOL) because I want to get venustus (charming) into their vocabulary before we meet it in Catullus 13. And perhaps work in some comments about family dinners. Wednesday is when I plan to use the PowerPoint mentioned above, and do some dictation to cover/reuse some vocabulary coming up in Catullus 13, especially affero. And then Thursday will be Catullus Day. Well, that's the plan. Wish me luck.

Reverse Engineering a text for CI

Although my Latn 2 and 3 classes will be taught via CLC this year (Latin 1 and some Latin 2 classes are taught by my fellow teacher), Latin 4 will be whatever I want.  It's not worked out.  I don't have a syllabus.  I'm flying by the seat of my pants. I'm not sure how I'm going to be grading / assessing them yet. I'm running out of time and I will figure out the basics (at least of how I will grade them!) very soon. I do know I'm going to be using as much CI (Comprehensible Input) and TPRS as I can.  Yet I've never "asked a story," and never really felt comfortable circling questions.  hohum. minor details.... (not)

With that said, I do have a vision and a couple of goals.  I want to make this year a year of consolidation and internalizing all that we have learned before.  I want students to take the SAT Latin exam in December, and the ACTFL Alira in May.  Those are my goals.  My vision is a year where we explore passages from a wide variety of authors from different time periods, where we have hands-on experiences with the language, where we lose our fear of writing or speaking. And we recognize that Latin is more than a means to better verbal scores.

I have spent the summer on two projects. The first was the CLC grammar stuff from previous posts.  The second was trying to pick passages I wanted to start with, analyzing them for certain concepts I want to include, and for things I can build towards--that is, concepts I can teach a different way earlier in the week which will seem unconnected at the time but will all come together to make reading the targeted passage seemless with the end result that we can spend more time talking about the heart of the passage--the author's intent--and anything else. I want it to be a pleasure to read not a chore. I want them to learn to love Latin for Latin. Right now, I'd say they love Latin 90% for me, 10% Latin. And that's ok. Most of the things I've enjoyed studying over the years was not about the subject, but because the teacher was just so damned enthusiastic about it that it was contagious. But I want them to be able to love Latin without me.

The first passage which has basically been calling out to me is Catullus 13. I have been making a bunch of notes and annotations for myself, which I will try to copy and include here:

Cēnābis bene, [GL1] Fabulle[GL2] [GL3] , apud mē
paucīs, sī tibi dī favent[GL4] , diēbus[GL5] ,
sī tēcum attuleris [GL6] bonam atque magnam
cēnam, nōn sine candidā puellā[GL7]
et vīnō et sale [GL8] et omnibus cachinnīs.
haec sī, inquam, attuleris, venuste [GL9] noster[GL10] ,
cēnābis bene; nam tuī Catullī[GL11]
plēnus sacculus [GL12] est arāneārum.
sed contrā accipiēs merōs [GL13] amōrēs
seu quid suavius elegantiusve[GL14] est:
nam unguentum [GL15] dabō, quod meae puellae[GL16]
dōnārunt Venerēs Cupidinēsque,
quod tu cum olfaciēs[GL17] , deōs rogābis,
tōtum ut tē faciant, Fabulle, nāsum.

[GL1]Use vocative of student names with mī from the beginning. ō Marce, mī Marce, quid agis hodiē?! etc.
[GL2]Is he writing a letter? Running into Fabullus in the street?
[GL3]Where do you think this takes place? In the street? in a letter? in the public toilets? at a fast food counter? HAVE PICTURES
[GL4]Surely I can start using this phrase with football games.  We will win sī nōbīs deus favet.
[GL5]Use paucīs diēbus and the future tense leading up to the day we read this.
[GL6]Find ways of using the forms of fero so much that it is second nature.
[GL7]Make sure you have looked at pictures of Romans in frescos first, especially at dinner parties, and discuss that the woman is fair and the man is tan.  (What’s tan in Latin?) (What’s darker vs lighter when referring to color?)
[GL8]If looking at a picture of Romans at a dinner party, can we see these things on the table?
[GL9]QUID SIGNIFICAT? venustus = lovely, charming, pleasing, elegant
[GL10]Royal We? ō Marce, mī Marce; ecce, amīcī, Marcus noster adest!
[GL11]How will I work genitives in front in?
[GL12]have a picture of a Roman with a purse on his him or the arm band purse to talk about what a “sacculus” is
[GL13]How will I work in merus = pure, unmixed, unadulterated. Maybe ask earlier in the week what they drink?  Maybe mix a drink in front of them.  Lemonade? Could be the same day I do smells.  Smells and tastes? (sī cum aquā ius limonis miscuerimus, limonadum faciēmus.)(Find out what lemonade really is in Latin.)
[GL14]neuter comparatives; how will I work these? OH, when discussing the Orberg reading!
[GL15]was perfume highly prized? was it a liquid or ointment? Find out.  Is it in the Latin wiki?
[GL16]Is she giving it away?  Does it really stink?  Is Catullus allergic to it?
[GL17]work in advance about animal smells (olet) versus us smelling animals (olfacit)

So, those are just some brainstorming notes.  I have plans for activities for several days before we read this so that when we read it should read fairly smoothly. For instance, to have their brains set and ready for the vocatives, I need to just make a big deal about using the vocatives of their names. To make sure they understand venuste noster--or at least noster used with the vocative--I intend to work that in when using the vocative with students. That sort of wonderful royal we. So that's small and easy. I just have to remember to do it.  And if possible, I can work in adjectives in the vocative too.

I want to work in plenus with the genitive during the week.  I also want to work in some classroom Latin.  So I'm going to get some paper lunch bags (sacculus) and fill them with different things: fibiculae chartarum - paper clips, gluten - glue (sticks), forfices - scissors, etc.  Then we can discuss what's in the little sacks - what they are full of - and then WHOSE bag has what (to work in the genitive).  sacculus Marcī est plēnus forficum.  I intend to use circling (questions with yes answer first, then no, then a choice, then open ended, etc).

I'm thinking about having perfume in one of the little sacks.  But I was thinking about whether the perfume would have been liquid or ointment or either.  I have bought fragrances in the past that were more of an ointment.  In fact, I probably will do that.  THEN maybe I can work in a discussion of olet vs olfacit. All in Latin. And from there I could work in some body parts.  You smell with your nose, and that could lead into maybe a song of Heads, Shoulders, Knees and Toes in Latin.

I have some materials (not directly related to this activity) which students will need to assemble, so learning terms for paper clips, glue, scissors, stapler/staples, etc, could be immediately put to use. If we have time that day.  It's possible.

I also intend to use Orberg's Lingua Latina as an easy reader to begin to develop the idea of extensive reading. Depending upon what we're told at in-service about required things we have to do, I intend to assign reading the first chapter Monday night and discussing it in class the next day. It's the chapter on geography. I thought I would review comparatives while talking about different things mentioned in the text (which island is larger? smaller?) etc.  I need to make sure I work in neuter comparatives so that the neuter comparatives (suavius et elegantius) will be no problem when we get to Catullus.

And either before or on the day we do the Catullus reading, I want to show some frescos of dinner party scenes (probably before) so the concept of a candida puella can be understood. I want to be able to discuss content not grammar, not how it all goes together. I want to discuss different scenarios beside Catullus just sending this in the form of a letter or published poem.  Can they imagine him running into Fabullus on the streets of Rome? Where? There's Martial's epigram (which they read last year) about the guy who hangs around in public toilets trying to get invites to dinner. I also am still trying to understand the perfume bit--is he only giving away the smell of the perfume? That is, you have to come over and sniff my girl to smell it?  Or what? Or is he saying that his girl naturally smells amazing because the gods have made it so?  (I'm sure I have a text at school with commentary on this.) But how fun to actually have a discussion, hopefully most of it in Latin but ok if we have to switch to English, about all of these issues, instead of spending the whole period just "translating" word for word.

So, I have all of these ideas.  They are probably too much and too out there in some ways, but I think back to Rusticatio and all the things Nancy would teach us which she would then combine rather seemlessly later on. And of course she had a plan; it couldn't have been coincidence.

Somewhere in all of this I will probably do some dictation.  And afterwards I may even do a substitution drill of some sort, maybe with conditionals. If I were Fabullus, I would.... well, I don't know.  Haven't worked that out.  Or maybe, because indirect statements were the last things we were working on last year, I could do a dictation afterwords that is made up of indirect statements.  Catullus dixit Fabullum bene cenaturum esse. etc.

Anyway.  Enough of brainstorming in the blog.  I need to get it all organized tomorrow.  Make some serious plans.  But all of this DEFINITELY beats read/translate into English.

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CLC & the Objective Genitive

So, I will confess that I’m not sure that I had ever really heard of Subjective or Objective Genitives before this summer.  Perhaps that’s an indication that you really need to know the details of grammatical terminology; or more likely it means that I’ve been sloppy for far too long, especially since I’m the teacher.  While I’m not necessarily convinced that it’s worth understanding the difference between the Possessive and the Subjective Genitive (which will be for another post, I hope), I feel that understanding the Objective Genitive is worthwhile, if for no other reason than sometimes you don’t use “of” to translate it. I had this “I should have had a V8” moment—and wondered why I had missed this for so long. There was no need to be “winging it” as I felt I was sometimes in explaining why some genitives just didn’t sound right with “of.”

Truth be told when I think of what my grounding in grammar was, what my go-to reference was before daring to open Gildersleeve and Lodge in college, it was what certamen players rely upon: good old Amsco.  My well-worn Amsco 3-4 only has four things for the genitive: possession, description, partitive, and with certain adjectives (cupidus, perītus, imperītus, and plēnus). And sadly too many of us use texts like this to guide students (at least for certamen) on which grammar items are important instead of what is actually being used in our texts and in our stories. There is no in between, no grammar reference that has an intermediate range of information. After all, reading Gildersleeve and Lodge isn’t for everyone—that’s for sure!

Anyway, let’s look at what the grammarians say first, then the list of those sentences from CLC (17-40) which I think probably are Objective Genitive, and why we should care.

3.      objective genitive denotes the object of the activity implied by a noun or adjective (metus hostium)

Genitives, Bennett’s new Latin Grammar
195. With Nouns the Genitive is the case which defines the meaning of the limited noun more closely. This relation is generally indicated in English by the preposition of. There are the following varieties of the Genitive with Nouns:--

Objective Genitive, denotes the object of an action or feeling: metus deōrum, the fear of the gods; amor lībertātis, love of liberty

Genitives Gildersleeve and Lodge, p230ff
363. When the substantive on which the Genitive depends contains the idea of an action (nōmen āctiōnis), the possision may be active or passive. Hence the division into
1.The Active or Subjective Genitive: amor Deī, the love of God, the love which God feels (God loves)
2.Passive or Objective Genitive: amor Deī, the love of God, the love toward God (God is loved).
Remarks: The English form in of is used either actively or passively: the love of women. Hence, to avoid ambiguity, other prepositions than of are often substituted for the Passive Genitive, such as for, toward, and the like. So, also, sometimes in Latin, especially in Livy, and later Historians generally: voluntās Servīliī ergā Caesarem: the goodwill of Servilius toward Caesar. Odium in bonōs inveterātum, deep-seated hate toward the conservatives.

Genitives, Hale & Buck p 180ff
354. The Genitive may be used to express the Object or the Application of a Noun, an Adjective, or a Participle used adjectively.
The list of nouns is very large. The adjectives are especially those denoting desire, knowledge, skill, memory, or participation.
rēgnī cupiditāte, by desire of sovereignty
cupidum rērum novārum, desirous of a revolution
cōnscius iniūriae, conscious of wrong-doing
amantissimōs reī pūblicae virōs, firm friends of the state
reī pūblicae iniūriam, the wrong done to the state
excessū vītae, by departure from life
cui summam omnium rērum fidem habēbat, in whom he had the greatest confidence in all matters
praestantiam virtūtis, the preeminence in virtue
a.       Instead of the Objective Genitive depending on a noun, prepositions with the Accusative are often employed, especially ergā, in, and adversus, toward, against.
in hominēs iniūriam, wrong to men; deōrum summō ergā vōs amōre, by Heaven’s great love toward you.
b.      In Ciceronian Latin, only a moderate number of adjectives, mostly expressing or suggesting Activity, take this Genitive. With nouns it is more freely used.
c.       Freer poetic and later Genitive of the Object or of Application. In poetry and later Latin this Genitive is used with greater freedom.
fessī rērum, weary of trouble
integer vītae, upright of life
poenae sēcūrus, safe from punishment
indignus avōrum, unworthy of my ancestors
ēreptae virginis īrā, wrath at the loss of the maiden

Ok, here are the sentences that I think probably contain Objective Genitives.  Some may be wrong but I think most are correct.  You can decide for yourself.  I’ll discuss a few below.

·         20  mandō Quīntō Caeciliō Iucundō cūram fūneris meī.
·         21  multī medicī, ad aulam arcessītī, remedium morbī quaesīvērunt.
·         21  rēx Cogidubnus hūc venit, remedium morbī petēns.
·         23  Memorem ē cūrā thermārum iam dēmōvī.
·         25  Valerius nōs vult custōdēs carceris esse.
·         25  ūna est spēs salūtis.
·         28  Belimicus, spē praemiī adductus, mīlitēs Rōmānōs adiuvābat et incitābat.
·         28  aliī, spē praedae adductī, inter sē pugnāvērunt;…
·         28  mandō C. Salviō Līberālī cūram fūneris meī.
·         28  Belimicus, prīnceps Cantiacōrum, spē praemiī adductus, Salviō summum auxilium dedit.
·         28  Belimicus, metū mortis pallidus, surrēxit.
·         28  Belimicus, venēnō excruciātus, pugiōnem tamen in Salvium coniēcit, spē ultiōnis adductus.
·         29  nūlla spēs salūtis nōbīs ostenditur.
·         29  amōre līberōrum meōrum plūs quam timōre servitūtis afficiēbar.
·         29  amōre līberōrum meōrum plūs quam timōre servitūtis afficiēbar.
·         29  illūc multī senātōrēs, spē favōris Domitiānī, conveniēbant. * two gens
·         30  itaque ambō humum rediērunt, alter spē immortālitātis ēlātus, alter praesentī pecūniā contentus.
·         31  cēterī autem, oculīs in vultum praecōnis dēfīxīs, spē favōris manēbant.
·         31  …aliī spē pecūniae dēiectī invītī discessērunt.
·         32  etiam eī quī spē favōris cēnās magistrātibus dant, rē vērā labōrant.
·         33  labōribus cōnfectus atque spē sacerdōtiī dēiectus, ad vīllam rūsticam abierat ut quiēsceret.
·         34  Epaphprodītus “nōn modo ego,” inquit, “sed etiam Imperātor poenās Paridis Domitiaeque cupit.”
·         34  scīlicet falsa fuerat epistula, mendāx nūntius morbī!
·         34  nunc dēnique intellēxit quis esset auctor exitiī Paridis.
·         35  nūper ego et aliī senātōrēs ab Imperātōre cōnsultī sumus dē poenā illārum Virginum Vestālium quae incestī damnātae erant.
·         36  dīcis amōre tuī bellās ardēre puellās / quī faciem sub aquā, Sexte, natantis habēs. * love for you (your love = amōre tuō)
·         37  ibi mīlitēs nostrī, spē glōriae adductī, victōriam nōmine tuō dignam rettulērunt.
·         37  …omnēs scīmus Galbam cupīdine imperiī corruptum esse;…*or does cupīdō need a genitive?
·         38  est mihi nūlla occāsiō fugiendī.
·         38  est mihi nūlla spēs fugae.
·         40  subitō extrā cūriam īnfestae vōcēs sunt audītae clāmantium sē  ipsōs Salvium interfectūrōs esse sī poenam scelerum effūgisset.
·         40  eīs magnō auxiliō erat L. Mārcius Memor, haruspex et Salviī cliēns, quī, socius quondam scelerum Salviī, nunc ad eum prōdendum adductus est, spē praemiī vel metū poenārum.
·         40  eīs magnō auxiliō erat L. Mārcius Memor, haruspex et Salviī cliēns, quī, socius quondam scelerum Salviī, nunc ad eum prōdendum adductus est, spē praemiī vel metū poenārum.
·         40  patefēcerat enim Myropnous pūmiliō Salvium auctōrem fuisse exiliī Domitiae, Paridis mortis. *split from governing (?) noun (predicatively)
·         40  patefēcerat enim Myropnous pūmiliō Salvium auctōrem fuisse exiliī Domitiae, Paridis mortis. *note chiasmus, double genitive
·         40  quis tam stultus est ut crēdat mē mortem rēgis octōgintā annōrum efficere voluisse?
·         40  intereā Rūfilla, Salviī uxor, dum spēs eius firma manēbat, pollicēbātur sē sociam cuiusque fortūnae futūram esse.
·         40  intereā Rūfilla, Salviī uxor, dum spēs eius firma manēbat, pollicēbātur sē sociam cuiusque fortūnae futūram esse.
·         40  invidia Salviī aucta est suspīciōne Cogidubnum venēnō necātum esse.
·         40  subitō extrā cūriam īnfestae vōcēs sunt audītae clāmantium sē  ipsōs Salvium interfectūrōs esse sī poenam scelerum effūgisset.
·         40  …ille tamen, fīliī salūtis memor, hoc cōnsilium rēiēcit. *two gens

These two sentences, from Gildersleeve and Lodge, offer the kind of explanation that I think would be so helpful to students (since it was so helpful to me):

The English form in of is used either actively or passively: the love of women. Hence, to avoid ambiguity, other prepositions than of are often substituted for the Passive Genitive, such as for, toward, and the like.

And here I thought it was just more of, “eh, sometimes ‘of’ just doesn’t work.”  This is being more specific about WHEN it doesn’t work and WHY it doesn’t work.  And what we are looking for “denotes the object of an action or feeling.”

And when looking for an example of a “feeling,” why not look to spē praemiī adductus? I was never keen on “driven by the hope of a reward,” but hear how much better it sounds when we translate it as “driven by the hope FOR a reward”! There are 16 examples that I’ve pulled which have a form of spēs. I think each and every one of them sounds better with “for” (and remember from a previous post, spē is not really Ablative of Means but Cause/Reason). Here are some examples:

·         25  ūna est spēs salūtis.
There is one hope FOR safety.
·         28  Belimicus, spē praemiī adductus, mīlitēs Rōmānōs adiuvābat et incitābat.
Belimicus, driven on account of his hope for a reward, was helping and inciting the Roman soldiers.
·         28  aliī, spē praedae adductī, inter sē pugnāvērunt;…
Others, driven on account of their hope for loot, fought among themselves;…
·         29  nūlla spēs salūtis nōbīs ostenditur.
No hope for safety is shown to us.
·         31  …aliī spē pecūniae dēiectī invītī discessērunt.
…others disappointed in their hope for money left unwilling(ly).
·         40  eīs magnō auxiliō erat L. Mārcius Memor, haruspex et Salviī cliēns, quī, socius quondam scelerum Salviī, nunc ad eum prōdendum adductus est, spē praemiī vel metū poenārum.
For a great help to them was Lucius Marcius Memor, diviner and client of Salvius, who, as a one-time ally of the crimes of Salvius, now was driven to betray him, from the hope for a reward or from the fear of punishments.
·         40 intereā Rūfilla, Salviī uxor, dum spēs eius firma manēbat, pollicēbātur sē sociam cuiusque fortūnae futūram esse.
Meanwhile Rufilla, the wife of Salvius, while hope him was staying strong,was promising that she would be his partner of whatever fortune.

This last one (with eius) I was never able to translate smoothly into English, even though I understood the Latin just fine, or so I thought. But maybe my lack of understanding about the Objective Genitive and its translations other than “of” was the real problem. Moreover, I like learning that the Objective Genitive has to do with actions and feelings, so that when I see spēs and mētus (and timor) I can already understand that in all likelihood we are dealing with something different from possession, something where “of” might not sound best. Surely the original authors of CLC would not have included so many examples, repeating and repeating the concept, if this weren’t one we were supposed to take note of and help our students to understand. If we just let them guess until something sounds right, it makes Latin seem arbitrary and and even a little vicious to the learner.

Another example which benefits from understanding what the Objective Genitive is would be the Martial epigram about Sextus: dīcis amōre tuī bellās ardēre puellās / quī faciem sub aquā, Sexte, natantis habēs. If tuī was functioning as possession, it actually would be the adjective tuō to modify amōre (“your love”).  That these girls were burning with “love of you” or even “your love” always sounded so wrong to me. But, put in “FOR you” and this epigram totally makes sense, because Sextus can’t be the object of love if he has a face like someone swimming underwater (an image I’m still trying to figure out—are his cheeks totally puffed out like he’s holding his breath or what?).

Looking for a “cure FOR the illness (remedium morbī) sounds so much more logical than a “cure of the illness”—even though it is comprehensible. After all, how many times have you asked for a couple of ibuprofen “of your headache”? No! It’s always “for your headache”! So even though remedium isn’t denoting the object of an action or feeling; it is, however, an “object or application of a noun.” The cure would be applied to the illness, right? What about all the times poena is used—wouldn’t this be about who the penalty was applied to? Consider this sentence: nōn modo ego sed etiam Imperātor poenās Paridis Domitiaeque cupit. The emperor desires punishments FOR Paris and Domitia—he wants the punishments to apply to them, he wants them to be the objects of the punishments.

Of course, ideally we should be trying to teach our students to stay “in” Latin—that the goal of learning Latin is not to translate it into English but to understand what we are reading in Latin through Latin. But I am also a realist; I know how the local big universities teach their classics courses (sadly) and I know that AP wants students who understand and can translate Latin literally.

So, maybe I wouldn’t put this one in the About the Language section, but I think I would certainly include it in the Language Information section at the back of the book, especially if you are going to include the Genitive of Indefinite Price/Value which could be included under Genitive of Description, according to some of the grammarians (see previous post).  I’m not sure I would bother Latin 2 students with this concept, but the Latin 3 students usually have higher aims and crave clarity and information, so I probably will show them.  And the 4s will definitely have this information.


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Whose Line is it Anyway?

OK.  This is just totally random but why not because this is my blog which needs full reviving and not just of really serious grammar stuff.

I have always loved the skit on Whose Line is it Anyway where they assign two lines and only two lines to two differenct actors (2 each, you understand), then a third person drives the scene with whatever the premise is.  Heck, look here to understand:

My question is whether there is a way to incorporate this in a language class.  Maybe target four idiomatic lines, and then have a some sort of storyline to play with.  The problem I foresee is that whoever the third person is would have to either be more fluent (Could I even manage it? Some days I don't feel very fluent at all...) OR they would have a story in hand that they are reading which they can stick with or digress from.  Not sure whether it is possible.

THIS IS WHEN I WISH I LIVED IN A LATIN COMMUNE so I could try it out with real people.  Like, could this be used to review a story already read?  While the main person is reading the story, he/she is constantly interrupted by the people who have their 2 lines?  The person reading would have to react to the lines, thus modify what he/she is reading or reiterate or explain, and then return to the story.

I dunno.  I would have to play with it a bit first.  It could work.... (This is all brainstorming out loud.)

What if instead each person in class got a single line.  Maybe one person doesn't get any lines so he/she can be score keeper.  I (as teacher) would begin to read the story and the interruptions would begin and I would react to them (and hopefully be able to reply to them).  Every time a person gets a line in, he/she gets a point.  Maybe if it gets big laughs that person gets double points.  This is what the scorekeeper would keep track of.  The person with the most points at the end of the story wins.

With luck, this would mean you could include:

1) a review of the story, (more repetitions of the target literature?)
2) the inclusion and repetition of idiomatic phrases that would either be useful for class (what time does the bell ring?) or for real discussion (What do you think the author meant by that?)
3) full active class involvement and listening
4) internalizing the language through active use
5) laughter

Wow. My head is spinning now.  I intend to go full CI/TPRS with my Latin 4s this year.  I think there will be a dozen kids in the class.  What 12 questions or phrases would be good to use early on?  Maybe I should have worked out in advance what my ANSWERS to those 12 questions might be too. And perhaps at the end of class I could provide the list of questions and answers or post them on a class website or something for reference.

OK.  I gotta figure out a way to make this work.  (Now back to pondering Objective Genitives....)

CLC & the Genitive of Indefinite Price/Value

[This was first posted to the Cambridge Latin Course list. FYI]

So I probably only have a couple more of these grammar quests to go after this one. I know we have gotten several new members to the CLC list since I began, so let me reiterate that I’m not doing this because I think CLC needs to “teach more grammar,” but rather that all the grammar we need is really included in CLC.  CLC is our toolbox, we are the master craftsmen/women.  I have taught from CLC for over 15 years now and I am still learning nuances about the Latin language from the text—I am still discovering new tools down at the bottom of the box.  I am clarifying my own understanding of some constructions, and perhaps I am suggesting that some grammar constructs at least be mentioned in the Language Information section at the back of the textbook. But most of all, *I* want to get really good at using those tools myself, in the spoken Latin that I use in class or may write in a story or whatever. (In my opinion there’s nothing worse than seeing teacher-written stories with bad grammar or phrasing! But I’m sure none of us has ever done that!!!!)

For me, it’s not about identifying grammar.  And early on in Latin 1 I may not even use such terms as “direct object” because I know that too many kids turn off their brains because they hear “grammar” and assume they are bad at grammar. However, I would like for my students to have a clear understanding of constructions, whether I call it by grammatical terms or not, so that when they see it in context they can move smoothly through a sentence.  I teach a lot of phrasing, a lot of reading-in-word-order techniques, etc. We do not decode, we do not hunt the verb. We learn to build expectations which help us to disambiguate function/cases more easily.  That is, in a sentence like mīlites Agricolam castra intrantem vīdērunt, not only do we see Agricolam castra intrantem as a unit, but that castra has to be accusative because it is with the present participle and nested inside the noun/participle unit. Nominative is never an option. But I digress…


There are only a handful of examples of what we should call the Genitive of Indefinite Price or Value in the text through Stage 40. I don’t believe it’s ever addressed in an About the Language section (doesn’t warrant it), but it is in the Language Information section for Units 3 & 4 as the last item under the uses of cases for the genitive:

4. Another use is the genitive of indefinite price or value:
id minimī momentī est.
That is of very little importance.

I had been thinking that perhaps other phrases fell under the concept of “indefinite price or value” so I wanted more information.  So here is what the grammarians say:

Allen and Greenough’s New Latin Grammar talks about it under the Genitive of Quality, which we (or CLC) called Description:
345. The Genitive is used to denote Quality, but only when the quality is modified by an adjective:
·         vir summae virtūtis, a man of the highest courage. [But not vir virtūtis.]
·         magnae est deliberātiōnis, it is an affair of great deliberation.
·         magnī formica labōris, the ant [a creature] of great toil
·         ille autem suī iūdicī, but he [a man] of independent (his own) judgement
417. Certain adjectives of quantity are used in the Genitive to denote indefinite value. Such are magnī, parvī, tantī, quantī

[Bennett’s New Latin Grammar doesn’t even mention it or have any examples like it. I suppose that’s because it considers it to be under the umbrella of the Genitive of Quantity (CLC’s Genitive of Description).]

Gildersleeve and Lodge, Genitive with Verbs of Rating & Buying, p 243ff
379. Verbs of Rating and Buying are construed with the Genitive of the general value or cost, and the Ablative of the particular value or cost.
Verbs of Rating are: aestimāre, exīstimāre (rare), to value; putāre, to reckon; dūcere (rare in Cicero), to take; habēre, to hold; pendere (mostly in Comedy), to weigh; facere, to make, put; esse, to be (worth); fierī, to be considered.
Verbs of Buying are: emere, to buy; vēndere, to sell; vēnīre, to be for sale; stāre and cōnstāre, to cost, to come to; prōstāre, licēre, to be exposed, left (for sale); condūcere, to hire; locāre, to let.
380. 1. Verbs of Rating take:
magnī, much; plūris, more; plūrimī, maximī, most
parvī, little; minōris, less; minimī, least
tantī, tantīdem, so much; quantī (and compounds), how much; nihilī, naught
Equivalents of nihilī, nothing, are floccī, a lock of wool, naucī, a trifle, assis, a copper, pilī…and so also huius, that (a snap of the finger), all usually with the negative.
Remarks: tantī is often used in the sense of operae pretium est = it is worth while.

Hale and Buck, Genitive of Value or Price, p 189
356. Indefinite Value or Price* may be expressed by the Genitive of:
1.      Certain Adjectives, especially tantī, quantī, magnī, parvī; plūris, minōris; plūrimī, maximī, minimī.
2.      Certain Substantives not used with serious meaning, especially nihilī, zero¸naucī, a peascod, assis, a copper, floccī, a straw, pilī, a hair, huius, that much (snap of the finger).
haec nōlī putāre parvī, don’t reckon these things of small account; nōlī spectāre quantī homō sit; parvī enim pretī est quī tam nihilī est, don’t consider how much the fellow is worth, for he is of little value who is so worthless; (Note the parallel expressions parvī pretī, quantī, and nihilī.); nōn habeō naucī Marsum augurem, I don’t care a peascod for a Marsian augur.
* The principal verbs with which the construction is used are est, aestimō and exīstimō, putō, habeō, dūcō, faciō, pendō, emō, redimō, vēndō, and vēneō. Aestimō with this construction is rare before Cicero; exīstimō is always rare with it.

The following are all of the examples of the Genitive of Indefinite Price/Value which I could find through Stage 40. I have left highlights in (as I did above) so you can see the notes I made to myself.

·         18  praesidium tuum operāsque tuās floccī nōn faciō.
*first use “I don’t give a hoot about”
·         19  uxōrem fīliamque floccī nōn facis.
·         21  Britannōs etiam minōris pretiī habeō.
* “I care even less about”
·         21  “es homō magnae stultitiae,” respondit Memor. “aegrōtōs floccī nōn faciō.”
·         22  id minimī mōmentī est, quod in tenebrīs sumus.
*that seems very similar to Latrō being minimae prūdentiae earlier in the stage; it looks like Gen of Description—is there overlap??
·         22  Vilbia, tamen, quae pulchrae et obstināta erat, patrem floccī nōn faciēbat.
·         22  Vilbiam floccī nōn faciō.
·         33  illum psittacum Domitiānī floccī nōn faciō.
·         36  ignōscās petimus, Vacerra: tantī / nōn est, ut placeam tibī, perīre.
·         38  scīlicet dīvitiīs Sparsī corrupta es; amōrem meum floccī nōn facis.

There are ten examples here; 7 are floccī nōn faciō which we are told is the equivalent of “I don’t give a hoot.” I confess, depending upon the class (and especially when the phrase occurs in a story we read in Latin 3) that I sometimes say it means “I don’t give a rat’s ass.”  Before you think me too crude (for school as a professional), I use that phrase because it makes as much sense as “I don’t make (anything) of a lock of wool.” It’s a fun phrase, floccī nōn faciō, and honestly understanding the grammar of it does absolutely nothing for me thus I doubt I would mention it to students unless asked, and even then I’m not sure it’s worth explaining.

In Stage 21 we do have Memor say, “Britannōs etiam minōris pretiī habeo.” The book gives “I care even less about,” which is fine, but it is also, I believe, the only example of pretium in the stage and it is a vocabulary item. So for me, this is the sentence that I want to use on the vocabulary quiz, so I explain the phrase more fully as “I hold of less value/worth.” I have never explained the type of genitive, and probably still won’t, because “of” serves so well. Then again, it wouldn’t hurt to mention our idiom of something to be “of value” and note that it’s not really possession.  Unless you want to say that it possesses value… so maybe.

In Stage 22 we get another great phrase which I wish showed up more: id minimī mōmentī est, quod in tenebrīs sumus. (Like it is truly of the least importance that Gutta has a beard when dressing up as Vilbia!)  I had made a note to myself (see above) about this being so similar to the Genitive of Description (vir minimae prūdentiae) and I probably just considered it as such and never thought twice about it. Of course, now I can see how it is a Genitive of Indefinite Price or Value AND why I thought it was like Genitive of Description (see grammarians above—especially Allen and Greenough plus Bennett). And maybe, since it is Stage 22 where the About the Language section explains Genitive of Description and Partitive Genitives (without calling it that), it would be worth a discussion of the other types of genitives seen so far (not necessarily by name). I can see throwing id minimī mōmentī est and Britannōs etiam minōris pretiī habeō and maybe even floccī nōn faciō up on the screen to see what they would make of them. It is certainly important that they think more broadly about how ideas are expressed in different languages, and this might lead to an interesting discussion.

Or if the discussion isn’t worth the time, you can start working certain expressions into your oral Latin more in class. For instance, I have decided that I’m going to start using id minimī mōmentī est more myself, like when students whine about too many tests on the same day or too much homework from other classes—“id minimī mōmentī est!” And I’m guessing I could use the opposite to say something is very important: id maximī mōmentī est. (But I perhaps I should check to see if that was really used….)

In Stage 36 we get the important one: tantī / nōn est, ut placeam tibī, perīre. I feel like my students and I move through some of the longer epigrams, like this one, too quickly.  Looking at it now makes me realize that this would be an ideal time to pause and discuss the different ways tantum is used—tantum = only, tantus, a, um + ut = so great that (result clause), and now here, tantī est = it is worthwhile (it is of such great value).  (Hmmm… are there others we could include here?) In any event, tantī est is, no pun intended, worthwhile for students to know. So even if we don’t explain what’s going on with the grammar, just having the discussion and maybe, like with id minimī mōmentī est, working it into our oral repertoire will help students to internalize the idiom.

Now, in all honesty, I had been thinking that the following were Genitive of Indefinite Price/Value in one way or another, but realize now that the genitive is functioning differently. Here are first two:

·         30  prō agellō tuō igitur sēstertium vīciēns tibi offerō.
·         30  mē iuvat igitur sēstertium tantum trīciēns ā tē accipere.

The phrases sēstertium vīciēns (2 million) and sēstertium trīciēns (3 million) are simply glossed in the text.  I was thinking that sēstertium was a genitive at first, then realize that it was an accusative, and then was really confused. Luckily, Anne Mahoney from the Latin Best Practices list gave me the answer:

A sestertius is a coin, worth 2 1/2 asses (and the abbreviation HS is
IIS, II et Semis, with a horizontal line through the middle, like the
extra horizontal line in the E for "euro").

Sestertium is the genitive plural (the really old form, like deum rather
than deorum), and mille is understood. So you'd expect "tria millia
sestertium" = 3,000 HS (tria millia sestertiorum), but you actually have
"tria sestertium" -- but that looks funny, so the Romans started making
"sestertia" agree with "tria," giving us a new word "sestertium," neuter
singular, meaning a thousand sestertii.

But THEN, when you use a number ADVERB instead of a regular adjective,
the rule is that it's not 1,000 but 100,000 that's understood. So "ter
sestertium" (*or* "ter sestertia") = ter centena milia sestertiorum =
300,000 HS. And vicies sestertium = 20 x 100 x 1000 HS = 2,000,000
(that is, two million, not twenty million).

Why the adverbs go with hundred-thousands is NOT OBVIOUS AT ALL. This
is one of those points that argues against the view of the Romans as
"logical" and "hyper-rational"!!!

For reference, Allen and Greenough sections 633-634 and the Vicipaedia
article Sestertius, (the
English one doesn't go into this).

FINE.  I am happy to accept the glossed meaning and move on. I will never think twice about these two again!

The other set of genitives that I thought might have been Genitive of Indefinite Price/Value were these:

·         24  “cibum sex diērum tantum parāvī,” inquit susurrāns.
·         24  mox regressus, cibum sex diērum Quīntō et Dumnorigī trādidit.
·         37  mīsitne tribūtum septem annōrum ad aerārium? minimē!

I thought, you know, that cibum sex diērum was literally “food of six days worth” or something, thus it’s a value thing.  Now, of course, I realize it’s another type of Genitive most likely, one I will be writing about tomorrow: the Objective Genitive, which often uses the word “for” and NOT “of”—food for 6 days.  But more on that later. I’m just happy that I understand these three phrases more clearly for what they are and the Genitive of Indefinite Price or Value for what it is.


CLC & the Genitive of Definition/Material

Actually, this one could be separated out into several different genitives. I found a website ( which had Definition and Material together, which I also realized would include the Genitive of Specification. For my own students I am combining them but will include here what the grammarians have about these.  But first, I want to say that CLC does NOT mention any of these, not even Genitive of Material, which I think is a mistake because the very first instance of a genitive not piggybacking on a prepositional phrase is with a Genitive of Material (cumulum lapidum fulgentium) and it is in Stage 17 (where genitives are introduced).

So first, let’s see what the Grammarians say:

Genitives, Bennett’s new Latin Grammar
195. With Nouns the Genitive is the case which defines the meaning of the limited noun more closely. This relation is generally indicated in English by the preposition of. There are the following varieties of the Genitive with Nouns:--
197. Genitive of Materialtalentum aurī, a talent of gold; acervus frūmentī, a pile of grain

Genitives Gildersleeve and Lodge, p230ff
360. The Genitive Case is the Case of the Complement, and is akin to the Adjective, with which it is often parallel. It is the substantive form of the Specific Characteristic.
Appositive Genitive, or Genitive of Specification.
361.The Genitive is sometimes used to specify the contents of generic words instead of Apposition in the same case; there are two varieties:
1.      Appositional Genitive. – Genitive after such words as, vōx, expression; nōmen, name, noun; verbum word, verb; rēs thing, etc.
nōmen amīcītiae, the name friendship
2.      Epexegetical Genitive – Genitive after such words as genus, class, vitium, vice, culpa, fault.
virtūtēs continentiae, gravitātis, iūstitiae, fideī, the virtues of self-control, earnestness, justice, honour
1.      The former variety is very rare in Cicero, the latter much more common. A special variety is the use of the Gen. after such words as urbs, oppidum, flūmen, etc. This is not found in Plautus and Terrence, occurs perhaps but once in Cicero, and seems to be confined to a few cases in poetry and later prose. Often personification is at work; thus, in fōns Timāvī, Timāvus is a river god, and fōns is not equal to Timāvus.
2.      Examples like arbor abietis, fir-tree, arbor fīcī, fig-tree, etc, occur only here and there
3.      Colloquial, and probably belonging here are: scelus virī, a scoundrel of a man; flāgitium hominis, a scamp of a fellow, and the like. quaedam pēstēs hominum, certain pestilent fellows.

Genitives, Hale & Buck p 180ff
339. Possession or Connection may be expressed by a Genitive attached to a Noun.
Explanatory Genitive
341. The Genitive may be attached to a Noun to define or explain its meaning.
             hoc poētae nōmen, this name of “poet”; Troiae urbem, the city of Troy
Genitive of Material or Composition
349. Material or Composition may be expressed by a Genitive attached to a Noun.
obtortī circulus aurī, a chain of twisted gold; ancillārum gregēs, crowds (composed) of maidservants

The following are the sentences that I think demonstrate what I am calling the Genitive of Definition/Material. I am leaving in the notes I made to myself, which are highlighted.

Piggybacking on Prepositional Phrases (as they were introduced in stage 17).
·         17  tum post cumulum gemmārum sē cēlāvit.
·         19  post multitūdinem puellārum tubicinēs et puerī prōcēdēbant.
·         19 post turbam puerōrum tubicinumque vēnit dea ipsa.
·         19  in hāc multitūdine servōrum erant nōnnūllī Aethiopes, quī hastās in manibus tenēbant.
·         20  nihil dē arte nāvigandī sciunt.
·         22  per silentium noctis thermās intrant Bulbus et Gutta.
·         29  forum ab ingentī multitūdine cīvium cotīdiē complētur.
·         39  in aulā Imperātōris, duo puerī in studiīs litterārum sunt occupātī.
Not Following a Prepositional Phrase (CLC assuming you have seen enough instances and can recognize them without the additional cue.)
·         17  in nīdō mōnstrī mercātor cumulum lapidum fulgentium cōnspexit.
*First instance without a prepositional phrase!
*first with a present participle?
·         19  puellae corōnās rosārum gerunt.
·         19  turba Alexandrīnōrum tōtam viam complet.
·         19  statim multitūdō spectātōrum clāmōrem sustulit.
·         19  corōna rosārum dē mālō nāvis pendēbat.
·         20  rediit, ubi artem medicīnae exercēbat.
·         20  Petrō artem medicīnae in urbe diū exercuerat.
·         21  pōculum vīnī fert.
·         21  in thermīs multitūdinem aegrōtōrum vehementer clāmantium fabrōrumque Memorem absentem vituperantium invēnit.
*2nd present participle used in the gen plural; more challenging because of the adverb.
·         21  in thermīs multitūdinem aegrōtōrum vehementer clāmantium fabrōrumque Memorem absentem vituperantium invēnit.
*3rd present participle used in the gen plural; more challenging because of the accusative object. Both of these (see above) are emphasizing the verbal aspects of the participle. 
·         22  multī mīlitēs vulnera fingunt, quod perīcula bellī vītāre volunt.
·         22  quanta est summa illōrum? (centum, centum et quīnquāgintā, trīgintā, sexāgintā)
*or is this really just Possession? The sum belonging to these numbers?
NB: meaning of summa is different here from gen of description, etc!
·         22  volō tē persōnam Vilbiae agere.
·         23  rēgem prīncipēsque manus armātōrum custōdiēbat.
·         23  “domine,” inquit, “pōculum aquae sacrae tibi offerō.”
·         26  Agricola tamen hīs verbīs diffīsus, Salvium dīligentius rogāvit quae indicia sēditiōnis vīdisset.
·         27  iubē Aulum amphoram vīnī ferre, Pūblicum lucernam āleāsque.
·         27  subitō manum hominum per tenebrās cōnspexit.
·         27  amphoram vīnī ē manibus Aulī ēripuit et vīnum in tunicam fūdit.
·         27  statim manus mīlitum, ā Valeriō ducta, ad horrea contendit.
·         29  spectātōrum tanta erat multitūdō ut eī quī tardius advēnērunt nūllum locum prope arcum invenīre possent.
*gen first
·         29  avium cursus ab auguribus dīligenter notābātur.
*gen first
·         29  Glitus, magister fabrōrum, Haterium lēnīre temptābat.
·         30  ibi sedēbat ōtiōsus Glitus magister fabrōrum.
*not what he’s made of but it does define his job
·         30  tōta ārea strepitū labōrantium plēna erat.
*present participle, 2nd on its own?
·         31  ubīque sonitus labōrantium audiēbātur.
*present participle, 3rd on its own?
·         32  hominēs eiusmodī cīvibus urbānīs nōn placent.
·         32  “ēn Rōmānī, dominī orbis terrārum, ventris Venerisque servī!”
*note chiasmus
·         32  “ēn Rōmānī, dominī orbis terrārum, ventris Venerisque servī!”
*note chiasmus
·         33  mox Dominus noster, rēx glōriae, ad nōs reveniet; ē caelō dēscendet cum sonitū tubārum, magnō numerō angelōrum comitante.
·         34  tandem audīvit Paris strepitum cēterōrum mīlitum domum irrumpentium.
* with present participle and object of participle
·         34  …puerī puellaeque deōrum effigiēs corōnīs flōrum ōrnābunt;
*gen first
·         34  …puerī puellaeque deōrum effigiēs corōnīs flōrum ōrnābunt;
*kind of chiasmus… certainly framing in a way
·         34  Myropnous ubi strepitum pulsantium audīvit pyram incendit.
*present participle
·         34  tum manibus ad caelum sublātīs nōmen Salviī dētestātus est.
·         34  ātrium magnificē ōrnātum erat: ubīque lūcēbant lucernae, corōnae rosārum dē omnib*first time present participle used in the singular us columnīs pendēbant.
·         34  amphoram oleī ē culīnā portāvit quā flammās augēret.
·         36  nōmine Diaulus sum. artem medicīnae nūper exercēbam….
·         36  dīcis amōre tuī bellās ardēre puellās / quī faciem sub aquā, Sexte, natantis habēs.
*present participle, only one used as a substantive in the singular
·         37  initiō huius aestātis, exercitus noster ad ultimās partēs Britanniae pervēnit.
·         38  diēs nūptiārum adest.
·         38  ō mea fīlia, tibi haud lacrimandum est; diē nūptiārum nōn decet lacrimāre.
·         38  chorus musicōrum carmen nūptiāle cantāre incipit.
·         40  septimō annō Domitiānī prīcipātus, C. Salvius Līberālis, quī priōre annō fuerat cōnsul, ab Acīliō Glabriōne falsī accūsātus est.
*double genitive
·         40  eīs magnō auxiliō erat L. Mārcius Memor, haruspex et Salviī cliēns, quī, socius quondam scelerum Salviī, nunc ad eum prōdendum adductus est, spē praemiī vel metū poenārum.
*separated from governing noun (?) (quondam is post-positive?) Separation not used until after a few instances of being used predicatively.
·         40  interim, ut sollicitūdinem dissimulāret et speciem amīcitiae praebēret, Salvium dōnīs honōrāvit, ad cēnam invītāvit, cōmiter excēpit.
·         40  fāma praetereā vagābātur reliquiās corporum in thermīs Aquārum Sūlis repertās esse, dēfīxiōnēs quoque nōmine Cogidubnī īnscrīptās.
·         40  fāma praetereā vagābātur reliquiās corporum in thermīs Aquārum Sūlis repertās esse, dēfīxiōnēs quoque nōmine Cogidubnī īnscrīptās.
·         40  prīmō diē cognitiōnis Glabriō crīmina levia et inānia exposuit.
·         40  postrīdiē Ursus Serviānus, quī cognitiōnī praefuerat, sententiam prōnūntiāvit: nōmen Salviī Fāstīs ēradendum esse;…
·         40  aliī exīstimābant Domitiānī  īram magis timendam esse quam minās accūsantium;…
*present participle
·         40  postulāvit tabulās testāmentī.

Genitives nested inside prepositional phrases or inside noun/adjective pairs.    
·         29  illā nocte Eleazārus, dē rērum statū dēspērāns, Iūdaeīs cōnsilium dīrum prōposuit.
·         30  apud Haterium tamen nūllae grātulantium vōcēs audītae sunt.
*present participle, 1st on its own?
·         32  …sed Euphrosynē ab eiusmodī actīs abhorruit.
·         40  ingēns senātōrum multitūdō in cūriā convēnerat, ubi Gāius Salvius Līberālis accūsābātur.
·         40  diē dictā, magnā senātōrum multitūdō ad causam audiendam in cūriā convēnit.
·         40  eōdem diē mīrum fideī exemplum oculīs populī Rōmānī obiectum est.

Genitives used predicatively? (Separated from the noun it modifies by the verb? I am uncertain what the grammarians mean by “predicatively” and I found the examples unhelpful.)
·         28  Belimice, tē rēgem creō mortuōrum.
·         37  Domitiānus autem nūllum signum dedit neque odiī neque gaudiī neque invidiae.
·         39  ipse tridente suō terram percussit, at ill / intremuit mōtūque viās patefēcit aquārum. (Ovid)
·         40  subitō extrā cūriam īnfestae vōcēs sunt audītae clāmantium sē  ipsōs Salvium interfectūrōs esse sī poenam scelerum effūgisset.
*present participle used predicatively modifying vōcēs and governing an indirect statement.

The first set above are those that are piggybacking on prepositional phrases to add that additional visual cue that we indeed have genitives at hand. There is only one example in Stage 17, post cumulum gemmārum. There is only one from the 2nd set, those without the visual cue of the prepositional phrase, cumulum lapidum fulgentium. Both of these come from the story mercātor Arabs. This latter example I find curious. To begin with, it is the first example of a genitive occurring without a prepositional phrase. There’s also one in Stage 18, the very last sentence in the chapter (nunc Clēmēns est prīnceps tabernāriōrum). We don’t begin to see genitives without a prepositional phrase regularly until Stage 19. The second curious thing about this example is that it is the first time time we see a genitive with a present participle, fulgentium, which we don’t see again until Stage 21 (more on that in a moment). In fact, we don’t even get present participles until Stage 20. Then again, CLC often sneaks in previews of grammar to come. I’m betting, though, that this one hardly gets noticed.  It is glossed thus we don’t need the visual cue to help students understand that this is a genitive and most students (or teachers) never reread old stories to notice those details.

In Stage 19 we get five examples of the Genitive of Definition/Material with both words for “crowd”—post multitūdinem puellārum, post turbam puerōrum tubicinumque, in hāc multitūdine servōrum, turba Alexandrīnōrum, multitūdō spectātōrum. Students and teachers never question theses phrases being genitives because “of” flows so naturally in the English, but it’s not like these crowds belong to the girls, the boys, the trumpeters, the slaves, the Alexandrians, or even the spectators.  However, they are made up of these people; the crowd is defined by what it is made of.

I’m making a point about “crowds” because it is with multitūdō that CLC throws students a curve ball in Stage 21 with this sentence: in thermīs multitūdinem aegrōtōrum vehementer clāmantium fabrōrumque Memorem absentem vituperantium invēnit. This is the first time we see present participles in the genitive plural once we have formally been introduced to present participles. And in fact in this one sentence we have two of them, and each is demonstrating that half verb/half adjective quality of the participle: aegrōtōrum vehementer clāmantium has an adverb modifying the participle, nested in the middle of the phrase; fabrōrumque Memorem absentem vituperantium has a direct object governed by vituperantium—and even it has its own participle, absentem. (Ok, and I love the Memorem absentem line because of the line in Book 4 of the Aeneid: illum absens absentem auditque videtque.) It’s definitely a loaded sentence. I would like to think that if we as teachers make a big deal of having “crowds OF people” already, this more extended version with a present participle is doable. And if students think that this sentence is overly long and overwhelming, we can remind them that this is exactly the way Cephalus is supposed to feel here—overwhelmed by what he has been ordered to deal with, and certainly people shouting and cursing would be upsetting for him.

The present participles used in the genitive, especially those on their own acting as substantitives with the meaning “of those verbing,” have always interested me. It’s the sort of thing that trips up my students and I have wondered whether there was a better approach to teaching them. If we have discussed with students, whether formally or informally, about Genitive of Definition/Material, then I think these genitives can be easier to recognize. Consider the first example from Stage 30, apud Haterium tamen nūllae grātulantium vōcēs audītae sunt, which has the genitive all by itself nicely nested between the adjective and noun. We can assume that those missing voices of those congratulating him would be of clients, since in the previous paragraph in the story Salvius is being congratulated by clients. And in fact we discover in the next sentence that Haterius hasn’t been allowing clients nor friends into his house.  The next two genitives on their own are tōta ārea strepitū labōrantium plēna erat (later in Stage 30), which is followed fairly closely in Stage 31 with ubīque sonitus labōrantium audiēbātur. If we compared these to the ones in in thermīs multitūdinem aegrōtōrum vehementer clāmantium fabrōrumque Memorem absentem vituperantium invēnit, we could discuss with students that it was necessary to specify that it was the crowd of sick people shouting as opposed to the crowd of craftsmen cursing. But when there is nothing to specify in that regard, one doesn’t need to include virōrum or hominum. There are a few more instances of the present participle in the genitive without a noun acting as a substantive: strepitum pulsantium (34), faciem…natantis (36, Martial; the only singular), and minās accūsantium (40).  Although they are nowhere called “substantives” in the Language Information section, they are remarked upon under Uses of the Participle. (Adjectives used as substantives are not remarked upon whatsoever that I can find, which is disappointing.)

In Stage 22, where we have the difference between Genitive of Possession, Partitive Genitive, and Genitive of Description explained, we also have this one time (at least through Stage 40) occurrence of summa = sum, total.  I think it is worth taking a diversion to discuss with students that we see forms of summus in several different constructions in Latin and the translation does vary depending upon context:

·         22  quanta est summa illōrum?
How great is the sum of those [figures]?
(with a Genitive of Definition/Material or perhaps Possession)
·         22  prope virum SUMMAE VIRTŪTIS stō.
I am standing near a man of the highest/greatest courage.
(in a Genitive of Description)
·         15  intereā Dumnorix, quī summā cum cūrā nāvigābat, circum mētam nāvem dīrēxit.
Meanwhile Dumnorix, who was sailing with the highest/greatest care, steered his boat around the turning point.
(in an Ablative of Manner)
·         29  …ultimae marmoris massae ad summum arcum tolluntur.
…the last blocks of marble are being raised to the top of the arch.
(simple adjective—not sure how better to explain)

In Stage 29 we start seeing Genitives appearing before the noun they modify. The first example is ūnā cum eīs in carcere erant quīnque līberī, QUŌRUM Simōn nātū maximus sōlācium mātrī et aviae fere temptābat, where we are not surprised to find the relative pronoun, which naturally comes first in a relative clause, being in a case that is not normally first in a sentence. The next two examples having a genitive come first are these, and both are Genitive of Definition/Material:

·         29  spectātōrum tanta erat multitūdō ut eī quī tardius advēnērunt nūllum locum prope arcum invenīre possent.
·         29  avium cursus ab auguribus dīligenter notābātur.

Of these two, the very first one harkens back to “crowd” (see above). I do not know whether it is significant, but the first instance of the genitive occurring after the verb and separated from the noun it modifies appears in Stage 28 (Belimice, tē rēgem creō mortuōrum), perhaps to get us used to the genitive being in different places depending on context or emphasis. Placement can also be determined because the genitive doing more than just modifying the noun, such as this substantive present participle:

·         40  subitō extrā cūriam īnfestae vōcēs sunt audītae clāmantium sē  ipsōs Salvium interfectūrōs esse sī poenam scelerum effūgisset.

Not only does it come after the verb, it also governs the indirect statement, sē  ipsōs Salvium interfectūrōs esse, which follows it. This is something I really like about the progression or evolution of constructions in CLC: once you get a handle on the construction, it gets combined with other constructions to make that densely packed periodic Latin that we love (or should love). After all, this sentence has a perfect passive verb with the participle coming after sunt and not before it, a present participle in the genitive plural acting as a substantive which in turn is governing an indirect statement which also contains a condition!

So, let me say that I think that the Genitive of Definition/Material is one of the types of genitives which CLC should mention. Clearly we get by without it because if you know that the genitive means “of” you can easily translate cumulus gemmārum as “a pile of gems” or multitūdō spectatōrum as “a crowd of spectators” etc. But I think it would be a much easier shift in concept when we get to strepitus pulsantium, “the noise of those pounding (on the door)” if we already had this concept in our mind of the genitive defining that pile or that crowd or that noise by explaining what material the pile, the crowd, or the noise is made of. We are, indeed, specifying what the pile consists of, what kind of crowd it is, and even what the noise is from.

If you use the About the Language with students, you may note that in the one in Stage 17 provides this information:

A.    Study the following sentences:
·         ad portum Alexandrīae mox pervēnimus.
We soon arrived at the harbor of Alexandria.
·         in vīllā Barbillī erant multī servī.
In the house of Barbillus were many slaves.
·         mīlitēs Rōmānī per viās urbis incēdēbant.
Roman soldiers were marching through the streets of the city.
[A variation of what is really seen in the model sentences:
 multī mīlitēs per viās urbis incēdunt.]

·         in multitūdine Aegyptiōrum erat senex.
In the crowd of Egyptians was an old man.
·         agmen mīlitum per urbem incēdit.
A column of soldiers is marching through the city.
[I cannot find any use of agmen with a genitive in CLC, not that anything is wrong with this sentence, and mīlitum used in the genitive this way only occurs 3 times (in 24, 27, & 34)].
The words in the boldface are in the genitive case.

I do take issue with the last example because nothing like it is seen in this stage and I believe all examples in the About the Language section should be taken straight from the stories. But I digress. In the About the Language II: More About the Genitive in Stage 22, you will find:

A.    In Unit 2 you met examples of the genitive case like these:
·         marītus Galatēae erat Aristō.
Galatea’s husband was Aristo.
[No, this sentence was not used.]
·         prō templō Caesaris stat āra.
In front of the temple of Caesar stands an altar.
[Actually it was prō templō Caesaris erat āra.]

These are obvious examples of Genitive of Possession. Although not called such here (which I have no issue with), the Language Information section does have Possession identified as a use of the genitive case. The About the Language section in Stage 22 then continues on with examples of Partitive Genitive/Genitive of Quanitity, and Genitive of Description. What is notably absent now are the examples of Genitive of Definition/Material. It’s not in the examples, it’s not mentioned or shown subsumed in another category in the Language Information section. And yet it was important enough to include in the Stage 17 About the Language. Why does it disappear? Why not get students who want to understand the workings of language with that tiny bit of extra information to think on—that genitives can be used to define and specify?

But no matter.  Teachers should always remember that textbooks are merely tools to use and that they as teachers are in charge of what is taught.  I find CLC to be a fantastic tool which I learn more and more from each year, and I have been teaching from it for over 15 years now. We teachers can use our own ingenuity to reinforce what we think is important.

Teachers could have great fun orally engaging students by changing up some of these genitives in an effort to point out that these are Definition/Material when encountering pōculum vīnī (estne pōculum aquae? lactis? CocaColae?) or perīcula bellī (suntne perīcula pacis? scholae? lūdōrum? dormiendī? autoraedam agendī?).  Or if you feel as if you don’t have enough time for such side diversions when reading a story with students, perhaps you could compose a humorous paired reading activity for a “musical pairs” warm-up/ice-breaker for the beginning of class.

Another concern of mine is that not properly addressing the Genitive of Definition/Material could lead to problems later on. I found a page on the internet (which I won’t cite; I am not trying to ridicule the teacher) that had this:

Specification: The purpose of this genitive is to specify or narrow down the meaning of another word. This is also what I like to call the cop-out genitive. If you don't know how to parse the genitive, put this and you just might get it right.

I found this terribly disappointing but not surprising because we all get in a rut of teaching what we feel we need to teach (what’s in the textbook) and not thinking about the rest.  I have been guilty of this laziness—or maybe not laziness but a type of blindess—from time to time, which is why I have been obsessing this summer over ablatives and genitives. The easiest (though time-consuming) part of this project has been going through and finding the sentences with genitives.  The trickier part was labeling them. Sure, I understood what was going on in the sentence, but there’s a reason why those grammarians of past ages got so nitpicky. They wanted complete understanding of how things were functioning—that scientific dissection of language.  We avoid it now because parsing a sentence doesn’t improve your fluency and turns into a totally tedious and mind-numbing drill. It is bad teaching if done constantly. And since the goal of CLC is not producing fluent language but being able to read fluently, the need to understand in order to produce is not necessary.

HOWEVER, piling up example after example after example as I have done, comparing and contrasting, and in the case of CLC, watching the evolution of usage, is truly enlightening.  In my mind I feel like this sort of examination is like future doctors doing dissections for better understanding of human anatomy and all its variations. I love noticing something in CLC, and asking myself, “how long have they been sneaking this in?” or “how are they comparing and contrasting this concept?” and then hunting down the answer.   But I digress.

Teachers jumping from CLC to AP need not feel like they suddenly have to teach all of these structures that we haven’t met before—because we HAVE met them all before.  We don’t have to call it a Genitive of Specification or Material or Definition or Explanation; but we can discuss the concept.  CLC’s strength is learning through reading and the repetitions in the readings.  It’s just that sometimes we aren’t aware of those repetitions or evolutions. I’m hoping these little articles (which I suppose I should really be posting on my old blog which I stopped using a few years back) will raise awareness of how much “grammar” truly is in CLC in an organized way, even if it is never formally addressed in the texts.

CLC & the Partitive Genitive

Although Partitive Genitives are covered in Stage 22, I thought it might be worth taking a closer look.  So first to the grammarians:

Language Information (CLC Unit 4)
2.      The partitive genitive or genitive of quantity indicates the whole from which a part is taken:
a.       Rūfus est optimus tribūnōrum meōrum.
Rufus is the best of my tribunes.
b.      plūs pecūniae volō.
I want more money.

From Bennett’s New Latin Grammar, 195:
Genitive of the Whole – (partitive) with nouns, pronouns, comparatives, superlatives, and ordinal numbers: magna pars hominum, a great part of mankind; duo mīlia peditum, two thousand foot-soldiers, quis mortālium, who of mortals?, maior frātrum, the elder of the brothers, gēns maxima Germānōrum, the largest tribe of the Germans; prīmus omnium, the first of all
Also used with Nominative or Accusative singular neuter of pronouns or of adjectives used substantively, etc.: quid cōnsilī, what purpose?, tantum cibī, so much food; plūs auctōritātis, more authority; minus labōris, less labor; satis pecūniae, enough money, parum industriae, too little industry.
Also dependent upon Adverbs of place: ubi terrārum? ubi gentium? where in the world?

From Gildersleeve and Lodge:
367. The Partitive Genitive stands for the Whole to which a Part belongs. It is therefore but an extension of the possessive Genitive. It may be used with any word that involves partition, and has the following varieities (368-372):
368. The Partitive Genitive is used with substantives of Quantity, Number, Weight.
maximus vīnī numerus fuit, permagnum pondus argentī, there was a large amount of wine, an enormous mass of silver. in iūgerō Leontīnī agrī medimnum trīticī seritur, on a juger of the Leontine territory a medimnus of wheat is sown. Campānōrum ālam, quīngentōs ferē equitēs excēdere aciē iubet, he orders a squadron of Campanians, about 500 horsemen, to leave the line.
369. The Partitive Genitive is used with the Neuter Singular of the following and kindred words, but only in the Nominative or Accusative.
tantum, so much
multum, much,

paulum, little,
satis, enough,
hoc, this
quantum, as (how much),
plūs, more,
minus, less,
parum, too little
id, illud, istud, that
aliquantum, somewhat,
plūrium, most
minimum, least,
nihil, nothing
idem, the same
quod and quid with their compound

370. The Partitive Genitive is used with numerals both general and special.
            centum mīlitum, a hundred (of the) soldiers, a hundred (of) soldiers
            (centum mīlitēs, a, the hundred soldiers)
            quīntus rēgum, the fifth (of the) king(s)
            (quīntus rēx, the fifth king)
            multī mīlitum, many of the soldiers, many soldiers
            (multī mīlitēs, many soldiers)
371. The Partitive Genitive is used with Pronouns.
iī mīlitum, those (of the) soldiers. iī mīlitēs, those soldiers
illī Graecōrum, those (of the) Greeks
Fīdēnātium quī supersunt, ad urbem Fīdēnās tendunt, the surviving Fidenates take their way to the city  of Fidenae.
372. The Partitive Genitive is used with Comparatives and Superlatives:
            prior hōrum in proeliō cecidit, the former of these fell in an engagement. Indus est omnium flūminum maximus.
Remarks. 2) Instead of the Partitive Genitive with Numerals, Pronouns, Comparatives, and Superlatives, the Abl. may be employed with ex, out of, , from (especially with proper names and singulars), in, among (rare) or the Acc with inter, among, apud: Gallus prōvocat ūnum ex Rōmānīs, the Gaul challenges one of the Romans; Croesus inter rēgēs opulentissimus, Croesus, wealthiest of the kings. With ūnus, ex or is the more common construction, except that when ūnus is first in a series, the Gen. is common.

The following is a breakdown off what I found, stages 17-40. The notes I have highlighted in yellow are really for myself, but thought I would leave them in in case they are beneficial to anyone.

Partitive with pars, partis (I have only separated these out because partitives were introduced several stages before the concept was discussed using the very word pars, partis. I never noticed or thought about it because, hey, genitive = “of” in the simplest of terms. However, maybe it would be worth talking about what’s going on sooner, or leading students to recognize what’s going on sooner.  Note that many of these examples are also using superlatives or general numbers, which also take partitive genitives.)

Piggybacking on prepositional phrase:
·         17  omnēs Graecī ex hāc parte urbis fūgērunt.
·         18  in hāc parte urbis via est, in quā omnēs tabernāriī vitrum vēndunt.
·         18  “sunt multae operae,” inquit, “in illā parte urbis.”
·         19  per partem praediī flūmen Nīlus lēniter fluēbat.
·         23  deinde omnēs in eam partem thermārum intrāvērunt, ubi balneum maximum erat. *first use of is, ea, id as a demonstrative?
·         24  itaque nōbīs festīnandum est ad ultimās partēs Britanniae ubi Agricola bellum ferit.
·         24  vīllam Memoris praetereuntēs, Quīntus et Dumnorix duōs equōs cōnspēxērunt, ad ultimās partēs īnsulae abiērunt.
·         24  postrīdiē, cum Quīntus et Dumnorix ad ultimās partēs īnsulae contenderet, mīlitēs Dumnorigem per oppidum frūstrā quaerēbant.
·         24  dominus meus cum Dumnorige in ultimās partēs Britanniae discessit. *first use of in = to; or indicating into not up to the edge of?
·         31  puella, servō adstante, in extrēmā parte multitūdinis cōnstitit;…
·         35  dīcit Calēdoniōs in ultimīs partibus Britanniae habitāre, inter saxa et undās.
·         37  in hāc epistulā Agricola nūntiat exercitum Rōmānum ad ultimās partēs Britanniae pervēnisse et magnam victōriam rettulisse.
·         37  initiō huius aestātis, exercitus noster ad ultimās partēs Britanniae pervēnit.

Not with a prepositional phrase:
·         20  Phormiō, quī servōs vulnerātōs sānāre solēbat, tunicam suam sciderat; partem tunicae circum umerum Barbillī dēligāverat.
·         22  Bulbus, quī magnam partem huius colloquī audīvit, surgit.
·         23  maxima pars spectātōrum stābat immōta.
·         29  deinde aggerem ascendērunt, magnamque partem mūnītiōnum ignī dēlēvērunt.
·         29  huius gāzae pars pretiōsissima erat mēnsa sacra, tubae, candēlābrum, quae omnia aurea erant.  gen first
·         35  dē Calēdoniā ipsā omnīnō incertus sum, mī Lupe. utrum pars est Britanniae an īnsula sēiūncta?
·         40  postrīdiē Ursus Serviānus, quī cognitiōnī praefuerat, sententiam prōnūntiāvit: … bonōrum eius partem pūblicandam, partem fīliō trādendam;…*two gens *gen first
Nested inside a prepositional phrase
·                     26  tū enim in ultimīs Britanniae partibus bellum geris et victōriās inānēs ē Calēdoniā refers;…
·                     30  Haterius, cum fabrōs labōre occupātōs vīdisset, Salvium ad aliam āreae partem dūxit.
·                     32  in omnibus vītae partibus moderātus ac temperāns esse cōnābātur.
Partitive with any words that involve partition
·         29  duae enim fēminae Iūdaeae, superstitēs eōrum quī contrā Rōmānōs rebellāverant, fortūnam suam lūgēbant. *a form of is quī pattern
·         29  nōs, quī superstitēs Iūdaeōrum rebellantium sumus, Rōmānīs servīre nōlumus. *a form of is quī pattern
·         37  quis nostrōrum ducum est melior quam Agricola?
·         37  quis nostrum Sulpiciī Galbae exemplum nescit? *vestrum/nostrum used with partitive (when acting as substantive/noun); vestrī/nostrī with objective
·         36  Martiālis, quī iam ūnam hōram recitat, ad fīnem librī appropinquat.

With Numbers Specific and General
·         20  “necesse est vōbīs,” inquit, “magnum numerum arāneārum quaerere.”  *first without pars, partis
·         22  ōlim tria mīlia hostium occīdit.
·         23  magnum numerum armātōrum sēcum dūcit.
·         27  tantus erat numerus mīlitum Rōmānōrum ut Britannōs facile superārent.
·         29  in illā clāde periēunt multa mīlia Iūdaeōrum;…
·         29  post Imperātōrem ambō ībant cōnsulēs, quōrum alter erat L. Flāvius Silva.  *gen first
·         33  hunc Deum vērum quem plērīque vestrum ignōrant, oportet mē nunc vōbīs dēclārāre. *vestrum/nostrum used with partitive (when acting as substantive/noun); vestrī/nostrī with objective
·         37  nōnne audīvistī, mī Glabriō, Imperātōrem ipsum proximō annō multa mīlia Germānōrum superāvisse?
Nested between noun and participle
·         29  cum hanc dīram et saevam rem cōnfēcissent, decem eōrum sorte ductī cēterōs interfēcērunt.
·         33  mox Dominus noster, rēx glōriae, ad nōs reveniet; ē caelō dēscendet cum sonitū tubārum, magnō numerō angelōrum comitante.
Contrast these to Partitive Genitive               
·         24  ūnum ē servīs suīs iussit hanc epistulam quam celerrimē ad Agricolam ferre.
·         27  ūnus ē Britannīs Modestō appropinquāvit ut dēligāret.
·         28  tandem ūnus ex amīcīs, vir callidissimus,….
·         27  cum Strythiō cēnam et amīcōs quaereret, decem Britannī ā Vercobrige ductī, castrīs cautē appropinquābant. (because there were only ten; not part of a whole)

Not with a prepositional phrase
·         22  Modestus, fortissimus mīlitum, adest.
·         28  ego Titum Flāvium Domitiānum, optimum Imperātōrum, hērēdem meum faciō.
·         29  ūnā cum eīs in carcere erant quīnque līberī, quōrum Simōn nātū maximus sōlācium mātrī et aviae fere temptābat. *gen first
·         33  spectātōrum plūrimī eum vehementer dērīdēbant;…*gen first
·         35  Calēdoniī crēduntur ferōcissimī omnium Britannōrum esse, terribilēs vīsū auditūque.
Nested in a noun/adjective phrase
·         35  rēctē dīcis Calēdoniōs omnium Britannōrum ferōcissimōs esse.
Nested in a prepositional phrase
·         36  complūrēs audītōrēs sē convertunt ut Sabidium, quī in ultimō sellārum ōrdine sedet, spectent.

With aliquid
·         21  Quīntus eī multa dē vītā suā nārrābat, quod rēx aliquid novī audīre semper volēbat.
·         21  “sed domine,” inquit Cephalus, “aliquid novī nūntiāre volō.”
·         32  “nōbīs placet, mea Euphrosynē,” inquit, “ā tē aliquid philosophiae discere.”
·         34  “cavendum est nōbīs,” inquit. “aliquid mīrī hīc agitur.”
·         34  Domitia ad aulam quam celerrimē regredī cōnstituit priusquam aliquid malī sibi accideret.
With nihil
·         21  nihil perīculī est.
With nimium
·         21  “dominus nimium vīnī rūrsus bibit,” sibi dīxit lībertus.
With plūs
·         22  iubeō tē plūs vīnī ferre.
·         28  heus! puer! plūs garī!
·         32  Haterius, plausū audītō, oblītus philosophiae servīs imperāvit ut plūs vīnī convīvīs offerrent.
With satis
·         32  sed cōnsul Sabīnus, quem iam taedēbat fābulārum, exclāmāvit, “satis philosophiae!”
·         35  sed satis querēlārum!

Partitive with Adverb of Place, (Quantity, or extent)
·         28  “ubi gentium est?” rogāvit Belimicus.

As you can see by some of my divisions, I wanted to track when genitives stopped appearing (almost) solely as a modifier piggybacking off of prepositional phrases. I also wanted to be aware when they became “nested” in phrases, whether those phrases were participial phrases, between noun and adjective, or between noun and participle.

We first start seeing nested genitives in prepositional phrases (at least with these partitive genitives), in Stage 26 (tū enim in ultimīs Britanniae partibus bellum geris et victōriās inānēs ē Calēdoniā refers;…) when Salvius takes Agricola to task for not understanding that what he is doing in the north has nothing to do with what Domitian really wants (taxes/wealth).  We see another in a prepositional phrase in stage 36 (complūrēs audītōrēs sē convertunt ut Sabidium, quī in ultimō sellārum ōrdine sedet, spectent.)

In Stages 29 (cum hanc dīram et saevam rem cōnfēcissent, decem eōrum sorte ductī cēterōs interfēcērunt.) and 33 (mox Dominus noster, rēx glōriae, ad nōs reveniet; ē caelō dēscendet cum sonitū tubārum, magnō numerō angelōrum comitante.) we see genitives nested in participial phrases. Up to this point we have only been seeing ablatives of agent and means (maybe some ablative of cause) with perfect passive participles or accusatives with perfect active or present active participles.

Another thing I was tracking was when genitives started appearing before the nouns being modified.  I have them grouped here:

·                     29        huius gāzae pars pretiōsissima erat mēnsa sacra, tubae, candēlābrum, quae omnia aurea erant.
·                     29        post Imperātōrem ambō ībant cōnsulēs, quōrum alter erat L. Flāvius Silva.
·                     29        ūnā cum eīs in carcere erant quīnque līberī, quōrum Simōn nātū maximus sōlācium mātrī et aviae fere temptābat.
·                     33        spectātōrum plūrimī eum vehementer dērīdēbant;…
·                     40        postrīdiē Ursus Serviānus, quī cognitiōnī praefuerat, sententiam prōnūntiāvit: … bonōrum eius partem pūblicandam, partem fīliō trādendam;

So, in Stage 29 quōrum accounts for 2 of the 3 genitive-first words. If students are already sensitive to having a variety of cases appear in the relative pronoun (or even just accusatives vs nominatives), this is not too much of a stretch to comprehend. I’m not sure how I want to work this or emphasize this, but genitives all too often jump out in front when least expecting it—so maybe we need to develop that expectation. (Consider the opening lines of the Aeneid: Arma virumque cano, Troiae qui primus ab oris / Italiam,…)

Of course, the fault in this document is that I am not including ALL of the genitives I “hunted” but only the partitives, so we are not seeing other genitives that end up nested or appear in front of what it is modifying.  I might do a separate document that is inclusive later on.  But these observations do give us something to think about. I heavily emphasize reading  by phrases/groups/units in my class. Being able to recognize those chunks and to disambiguate what’s “in the middle” because of known possibilities does improve reading skills. (After all, if I see mīles, castra ingressus, there is no way that I would consider castra to be nominative because you just don’t see nominatives in that position, ingressus is governing it, etc.)

And here’s another thing: PERSONALLY being aware of phrasing and word order makes me a better writer of Latin so that I am exposing my students, even with made up sentences or stories, to the best Latin I can.

There are other ways that these (above) categorical breakdowns can help us as teachers:

·         When students are in groups (or pairs), you can have students determine who goes first by determining quis discipulōrum est nātū maximus? or quis discipulārum est statūrā minima? (EGO!) You can work partitive genitives and ablative of respect at the same time! Or simply quis nostrumquis vestrum…, etc.
·         Have students set up proofs (this is a WAYK thing) or demonstrations showing the difference between something like decem mīlitēs and decem mīlitum (the former showing that we were only ever talking about ten of them, the latter that the remainder of the soldiers are somewhere else). Add to this that when you are talking about just one of the soldiers that you should use ūnus ē mīlitibus. Visually work taking part from the whole—use props, draw a picture, etc.  You can work specific numbers, superlatives, etc, depending upon how you have it set up.
·         Find ways to work phrases like aliquid novī or satis querēlārum into your everyday conversations with students. And surely one can exclaim “ubi gentium…?” the next time something is lost in your room!

Years ago when I was teaching middle school, I had designed some simple downloadable posters for the National Committee for Latin and Greek when I was designing/maintaining their website. ( - I am sure I should redesign many of the items on the page; they were done in 2003).  One was a picture of three monkeys, the ol’ “See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil” image.  Someone helped me with a translation because I know I didn’t have the same sensitivity to partitive genitives that CLC has given me: nihil malī vidē audī dīc.  Uses a nice partitive genitive.  For the poster go here: There was also a cute bunny saying “quid novī, medice?” ( Another partitive.

Yes, CLC is written so that there is significantly less emphasis on grammar and more on reading, but it doesn’t mean that we as teachers should be sloppy with our own grasp of the details.  We don’t have to share every grammatical detail with students, but we should be keenly aware of what the book is doing, in what progression, and why.

Thoughts? Comments? J