Isabel Raphael, Latin for Pleasure tutor
Latin for Pleasure offers an opportunity to enjoy and appreciate Latin poetry and prose from a literary and historic point of view, without the linguistic grind that so many of us remember with dismay. A basic understanding of the language is necessary, but the essential structure and vocabulary come back remarkably quickly, and I am there to guide the group through unfamiliar word order, and to identify forgotten endings of nouns, adjectives and verbs. This allows us to read at a comfortable speed, with time to recognise and appreciate the force and elegance of the language but without getting bogged down in ‘the obscurity of a learned language’. Our readings stimulate discussion of all kinds; every session brings something new and interesting to think about.
We cover a wide range of classical authors, including Catullus, Ovid, Virgil, Martial, Livy, Tacitus, Pliny, Cicero and Caesar, but we also take in Latin epitaphs and eulogies, ancient and modern, and extracts from Medieval Latin, for example the murder of Thomas a Becket and Peter Abelard’s autobiography. Passages are selected but not altered; we read only the genuine texts. Appropriate vocabulary is provided for each piece.
There is no ‘level’ to be attained. Students go at their own pace, and there is always time for questions, for background and grammatical explanation from me, and for contributions from everybody. We have a really good time!