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To the Editor of THE CLASSICAL BULLETIN: I am interested in the matter Mr. Coogan touched on in the February number of the BULLETIN under the caption, "Home-made Latin," I mean the subject of text books written by Ours. The proposal there made to take steps to promote such an enterprise should meet with unqualified commendation on the part of our teachers. If we are not in a position to produce our own texts, let us put ourselves in the position. By all means let our men look forward to writing text books. Even Juniors and Philosophers-I mean the capable ones among them may well cherish the ambition of being able one day to write a book, even a text book, on their favorite subject. How can they prepare themselves for this? There is only one way of doing it. Let them study their subject; study it thoroughly, persistently, painstakingly, and-diu, noctesque diesque.
Why have Ours written so few text books? Because so few of us know their subject-matter well enough; so few of us are scholars. It takes a scholar to write a good text book. The author of a text must know infinitely more than he can put into his book. To write a first year Latin book, for instance, the author should know the Latin language as such, should be thoroughly versed in rebus grammaticis. If he is not, he will reveal it on every page even though he be writing only on the declensions and conjugations. Some will conclude at once that I am thinking of text books put together on the strictly scientific method, of which we have had a great many the past thirty years. No, not so. I know by experience that the introduction of the scientific method has spoilt many an elementary book for the immature student, but I am now making a plea for a thorough comprehension of the subject on the part of the teacher, and that from every point of view, the scientific view included.
Of course, it ought to be self-evident that every writer should have his subject well in hand. It ought to be, but it is not. Moreover, knowledge of the subject admits of degrees. The degree that suffices for the teacher will not suffice for the writer. The latter should know it from A to Z, every nook and cranny of it. Not only that he should ever be studying his subject, and never flag in his devotion to it, or grow cold in his zeal. Some fifty years ago, when Gildersleeve's remarkable Latin Grammar first appeared, a certain professor stayed up all night to read it, and the next day upon returning the book to the man from he had borrowed it remarked, "It's the most interesting book I have ever read."
Mr. Coogan has some worthy suggestions to offer. But I have serious misgivings whether a board of editors will ever produce a satisfactory text book. I fear it would be a mere compilation, lacking that unity and perspective which are so necessary in every book. I can understand how two men of similar views may divide the work between them, but even then one of them should be the chief authority, the other being his collaborator. Yours sincerely in Christ,
M. GERMING, S. J.
Do You Use Byrne? Many of the Latin teachers of the province are acquainted with Byrne's "Syntax of High School Latin." Many others are not, and are thus deprived of a wonderful aid in their teaching of Latin. Byrne has done for high school syntax what Lodge has done for high school vocabulary. He has tabulated all the constructions of high school syntax according to their frequency of occurrence and has thereby given us a standard for estimating the importance of each construction. In regard to high school work, at least, he has planted an earthquake beneath traditional methods of teaching. Why, for instance, should we spend long hours drilling our pupils on the genitive of value and the ablative of price, which occur only six times in high school reading matter, and neglect the dative of reference, which occurs two hundred and eighty times? The ablative of penalty, the genitive of the charge, the double accusative after verbs of asking and after compounds, each occurs less than five times. Do not our grammars and exercise books give them as much space as they give to the ablative of cause and the partitive genitive, which occur more than two hundred times, or the ablative of manner, which occurs over four hundred times? Again, why should we spend a month in exhausting the possibilities of the accusative case, while far more important phases of the genitive, dativ and ablative are calling loudly for attention in the daily assignment in the author? Would not following the order of relative importance be a more logical method of procedure than blind slavery to grammatical categories?
Of course, we cannot guide ourselves solely by statistics. Constructions which are unimportant for the reading of authors may, for instance, be very important for the teacher who wants to teach Latin conversation. It is also true that frequently recurring constructions will emphasize themselves, while the rare construction needs to be hit hard on the few occasions where it does show its head. Nevertheless, a knowldge of the frequency with which constructions occur will greatly aid the teacher's judgment. By all means arm yourself with a Byrne. (60 pages, University of Chicago Press.) HUGH P. O'NEILL, S. J.
The following volumes have been received and will be reviewed in the near future:
From the Oxford University Press, American Branch: New Chapters in Greek Art. By Percy Gardner, D. Litt., F. B. A.
The Works of Aristotle Translated Into English; Categoriae & de Interpretatione, Analytica Priora, Analytica Posteriora. By Edghill, Jenkinson and Mure.
Cicero, First and Second Philippics, Text with Notes. By Denniston.
From E. P. Dutton & Co.:
Sappho, the Poems and Fragments. By C. R. Haines, M. A.
In a doctoral dissertation of the Catholic University of America Brother Giles, M. A., presents an interesting study of "Latin and Greek in College Entrance and College Graduation Requirements." The investigation covers eighty publicly and one hundred and two privately controlled universities and colleges of the United States during the scholastic year 1924-1925. In the course leading to the A. B. degree the frequencies of Latin and Greek prescribed for entrance are respectively 30% and 17% higher in the private institutions than in the public institutions; and the frequencies of Latin and Greek prescribed for graduation are respectively 37% and 29% higher in the private institutions. Of the 11 public institutions which require Classics for entrance, however, only 4 require Classics in college; whilst of the 48 private institutions which require Classics for entrance, 37 also require Classics in college. Of the 182 institutions listed 17.1% of the public institutions prescribe Latin as an entrance requirement for the A. B. and 1.6% Greek; of the private institutions 47.1% prescribe Latin and 18.6% Greek. But for graduation only 18.1% of the public institutions require Latin and 10.6% Greek; whilst of the private institutions 54.7% require Latin and 39.8% Greek. From these figures it is seen that the Classics are functioning much more extensively in the private than in the public institutions. Moreover, if we consider that of the 102 private insti
tutions included in this survey only about half a dozen are Catholic colleges, the conclusion seems highly probable that if all the Catholic colleges were listed, the position of the Classics in the A. B. course would show to even better advantage.
Are we Catholic educators doing our duty by the junior high school movement? If we would get out of the Classics all that they can give, we must begin Latin at the latest in the seventh grade. The drudgery of declensions and conjugations, often so distasteful to the adolescent, is fun for the youngster of eleven or twelve. Moreover, without approximately six years of Latin and four of Greek in the secondary school, extensive reading and content study of the classical authors in college are impossible. And yet it is from wide reading and a thorough study of the thought of the ancients alone that the deeper cultural values of a classical education can be gained. Let us use all our influence then to promote the junior high school movement and to guide it wisely through the shoals of an exaggerated vocationalism, which at present constitutes its greatest danger.
The death was recently reported from England of Professor Sir William Ridgeway, the veteran classical archeologist of Cambridge. Besides being a fearless original investigator, to whom archeology owes a great
debt of gratitude for his contributions in the fields of numismatics, the Homeric question, the origins of tragedy, etc., Sir William was a sturdy Christian gentleman, whom even those who differed widely with him on fundamental questions could not help but respect and esteem. His was ever the temper of the soldier, who delights in the clash of arms and the smoke of battle. And now his strong spirit is at rest, and many of the present generation of classicists who drew inspiration from his life and work will long feel the void created by his passing.
An Index of the CLASSICAL BULLETIN for the year 1925-1926 is at present in preparation and will be sent in the near future to all who are on our regular mailing list.
The BULLETIN is now being printed by the Loyola University Press. Our readers will be pleased to note that, as one of the consequences of this change, the anomaly of printing Greek words in Roman type has been eliminated.
As the success and usefulness of the BULLETIN depends so largely on the active co-operation of our high school and college teachers, we cordially invite them all to send us contributions. If you are too busy to write an article, send us at least an occasional letter.
Adverbial Adjectives in the Aeneid
It is well known even to younger students of Latin that occasionally Latin adjectives are most conveniently rendered by an English adverb or a prepositional phrase. Thus, the line, "Socrates venenum laetus hausit" will, I imagine, invariably call forth the translation, "Socrates joyfully drank the poison." Not that here an adjective is really used for an adverb; but, while the Latin qualifies the agent and tells us in what state of mind he was at the time of acting, English often produces practically the same effect by qualifying the verb and telling us in what manner the act was performed. There is merely a shifting of the point of view which, however, leaves the essential thought intact.
Vergil, as may be expected, abounds in such "adverbial" adjectives. Frequently the translator is perplexed in his effort, on the one hand, to reproduce faithfully the original and, on the other, to bring his version into harmony with English idiom. I have selected for this paper three instances of an adverbial adjective, all occurring in the seventh Aeneid.
1. At rex sollicitus monstris oracula Fauni,
Fatidici genitoris, adit, lucosque sub alta
Consulit Albunea, nemorum quae maxuma sacro
While many commentators are silent as to the interpretation of "opaca," Page offers this explanation: 'opaca' clearly goes with 'mephitim,' 'the vapours hang thick over the water.'" Knapp likewise considers "opaca" a transferred epithet. But why does Vergil use “opaca" rather than some appropriate word qualifying "mephitim"? Undoubtedly, he intends to bring out, in a striking manner, the external appearance and the physical features of Albunea. Whether Albunea denotes "a wooded hill, with a sulphurous spring" or "a nymph who dwells in the falls of Albunea," the meaning of "opaca" is clear. The adjective, agreeing with Albunea, supplies a strong local coloring and represents the "shady" wood as a suitable setting for the communication of an oracle, as if an unearthly voicefor such is an oracle-needed a dimming of the glare of daylight for its full effect.
How, then, has this adjective been handled in our English translations? Page draws the adjective to "mephitim," thus: "mightiest of the forests (i. e. of the nymphs or waterfalls of the forest) echoes with hallowed fountain, while she breathes forth a deadly overshadowing vapour." Anthon, on the other hand, keeps close to the Latin: "Which, greatest of the forest-streams, resounds with its sacred fountain, and, buried in shade, exhales a noisome stench." Finally there is a group of eminent translators that draw the adjective to the verb and give it a prepositional force. Conington: "ever breathing from its dark heart deadly vaporous steam." Fairclough: "and breathes forth from her darkness a deadly vapor." Nesbitt: "which, greatest of woods, resounds with sacred waters and breathes forth pestilen
tial vapors from its dark shade." Rhoades offers this version:
"Vexed by such portents, to the oracle
Rings with her haunted well, and through the gloom
2. Heus, etiam mensas consumimus! inquit Iulus, Nec plura, adludens. Ea vox audita laborum Prima tulit finem. VII 115-118.
In boyish mirth Iulus exclaims: "heus, etiam mensas consumimus." These startling words recall the prophecy of Celaeno and now for the first time the full realization of its meaning bursts upon father Aeneas. "This speech was the first to tell them that their labours were ended," says Nesbitt, who takes "prima" as predicate. The use of the adjective "prima," referring as it does to "vox," is effective in defining the exclamation of the boy as the first announcement that assured the exhausted Trojans that finally they have reached the land where they are to establish their homes and found a city. Most translators, however, connect "prima" with the verb and render it by some adverb. Papillon and Haigh: "That word first proclaimed our troubles' end." Similarly Page: "that utterance when heard first brought an end of toil." Conington: "That utterance first told the hearers that their toils were over," and in his verse translation: "That word at once dissolved the spell." Rhoades likewise takes "prima Rhoades likewise takes "prima" as an adverb: “That utterance heard first set a term to trouble." Conington has an interesting comment: "Prima' almost 'tandem'." Following up this hint, we may say: "that utterance at length announced to the hearers the end of their toil." Perhaps "at length" may seem too free for a simple "prima." But if that voice of Iulus was the first thing that brought an end to the toil of the Trojans, then, evidently, "prima" is used much in the same sense as the adverb “demum.” "Idem velle, idem nolle," says Cicero, "ea demum firma amicitia est." In our search for the right definition of friendship, we finally exclaim: "this at last is true friendship; this, and nothing short of this, is genuine friendship." here: "that utt'rance heard at length announced their troubles' end." And thus "prima" is a good instance of the adverbial adjective.
Prima tulit finem, primamque loquentis ab ore Eripuit pater, ac stupefactus numine pressit. VII 117-119.
The close succession of the same adjective ("prima followed by "primam"), in the same line is somewhat puzzling. Conington throws some light on the passage: "It is not easy to give a definite sense to 'primam': it may be 'ut primum omen' (comp. III, 547, a sense which perhaps lurks in 'prima' also): it may have the force of 'instantly' (comp. 'quam primum'): or it may be a
mere repetition of 'prima,' iterating the notion that this was the dawn of hope. Comp. generally I, 442, 450, which will illustrate these different shades of meaning, and perhaps incline us to believe that Virg. had all of them in his mind." In both his verse and prose translations, Conington uses the same phrase for "primam": "That utterance first told the hearers that their toils were over: even as it fell from the boy's mouth his father caught it up and broke it short, wondering at the power of heaven." And
"That word at once dissolved the spell:
With warning look all utterance stilled,
Rhoades, too, offers "as it left the lip" as the best rendering of "primam." That a rendering like this is not outside the possibilities of an adjective, will be seen if we recall the idiomatic use of "primus, summus, imus" and similar adjectives; thus, "prima insula,' when there is question of one island only, is "the edge of the island"; "summus mons" is "the top of the mountain"; "in imo lacu" is "at the bottom of the
The situation here is similar; as the first fatal word was just leaving the mouth of little Iulus, even before it had left his lips, the father was quick to catch it up. In the poet's use, the repetition "prima primam" is forceful in calling attention to the words of the lad as a harbinger of the joyous fulfilment of a long cherished wish. In both cases, the substantive "vox" is strongly emphasized. The repetition not only portrays the father as hanging upon the inspired words of his son, but also reveals his mental attitude, as Page remarks: "The repetition of 'prima' and 'primam marks excitement and eagerness. It was essential, when words of good omen were uttered, to lay hold of them at once and accept the omen before any interruption could take place, or anything occur to mar it." The version of Papillon and Haigh is not much different: "That word first proclaimed our troubles' end; at once his father caught it from his lips, and, awestruck with the omen, checked his speech."
Adverbial adjectives are scattered in great profusion over Vergil's poems, and the "stateliest measure ever moulded by the lips of man" offers problems that continue to vex the acumen of Latin scholars. May I venture to think that a true, inspired poet is perhaps the last man on earth who would wish to see his utterances coldly analyzed? In Vergil, genius and instinct are not far apart in wielding with unerring correctness so perfect a tongue as the Latin; they coin the phrase and, this done, leave the rest of us to see-what we can make of it.
Selected Odes of Horace. With Notes for the Use of a Fifth Form. By E. C. Wickham, M. A. Second Edition. Clarendon Press. 85c.
The lure of Horace will never die. There is now no dearth, either in this country or in England, of all kinds of editions to suit all kinds of tastes. In some schools only a few fleeting months, if not weeks, can be spared for the Muse of the little Venusian. The present selection comes (in a second edition) to meet the demands of teachers so pressed for time. The neat and convenient booklet contains 30 Odes and Epode 16. The Notes are really copious and bristle with hints for translation. Each one is preceded by a summary of its thought-content. There is an Index of Metres and a Vocabulary. Some twenty illustrations scattered through
the book help in reproducing the necessary historical background. A brief note on the order of words deserves to be quoted: "In poetry the order of the words is ruled to a great degree by the necessity of the metre. But the true poet shows his skill in making the order which suits the metre also give a special force or turn to the meaning." This is sound doctrine and keeps the golden mean between exaggerations in either direction. JAMES A. KLEIST, S. J.
The Odyssey of Homer. Translation by Sir William Marris. Oxford University Press, American Branch, New York. Price $3.00.
The fact that the poems of Homer stand at the apex of the world's literary pyramid is apt to create the impression in the minds of the uninitiated that they constitute a lofty literature in the forbidding sense of that term. The timid student is inclined to imagine that even after unbarring the cumbersome gates of a stupendous vocabulary, his journeyings through the Homeric paradise must lead him forever upward along dizzy paths of subtle thought and poetic imagining, far removed from the ordinary ways of human life. To allay such forebodings is the main justification of any translation into the vernacular; and we are willing to welcome any number of new additions to our already long list of translations, provided only that each newcomer adds a tiny spark to the student's courage and desire to read Homer in the original. We think that the present version justifies itself on that score, for we feel that Sir William Marris was inspired in his work by the conviction that the songs of Homer were meant for the ears of ordinary people, that they are made of the same stuff as the folk-lore of other lands, that though they are replete with the heroic achievements of extraordinary mortals and the interventions of an ever busy Olympus, their main theme is nothing more than a vivid portrayal of the fundamental emotions of the human heart.
The translation is done in blank verse, but with such spirit of freedom in regard to the introduction of other than iambic feet, of pauses, and in fact, of utterly nondescript lines, that the movement is extremely plastic, suiting all moods and situations. The movement in general is rapid, the expression simple and direct, thus doing to the original all the justice that can be expected of a translation. The translator makes frequent use of inversions, which, however, are not labored, and he contents himself with a minimum of archaic words. He frequently avoids the problem of handling Homeric epithets by the use of relative clauses, e. g., "Zeus who rolls the clouds," "Poseidon that dost girdle earth." In other places he avails himself of time-honored equiv. alents, and occasionally ventures an original expression with satisfying effect, e. g., "Poseidon, earthquakelord." His "goodly Odysseus," however, is not convincing. In general he preserves Homeric dignity, but at times permits himself the use of words and phrases
which, on this side of the Atlantic at least, are painfully commonplace. The version can safely be put into the hands of the ordinary high school student with the hope that it will be both understood and appreciated.
H. O'NEILL, S. J.
Cicero: Select Letters. With Historical Introductions, Notes, and Appendices. A New Edition based upon that of Watson, Revised and annotated by W. W. How. Together with a Critical Introduction by A. C. Clark. Vol. I: Text, $2.00. Vol. II: Notes, $4.25. Clarendon.
Cicero's Letters have all the charms of the correspondence of an interesting personality. Whatever ultimate estimate the reader may form of the author's private or public character, he must admit that, homo novus though he was, he left his mark upon the times. Roman history towards the middle of the first century B. C. was distinctly influenced by the great Roman orator. His letters show their author in all his moodssome studied and assumed, though most of them sincere. They reveal a great man no doubt, but a man who paid the penalty for the flaws in his character. The student of history sees the fortunes of the Roman Republic in its last stages reflected in the sensitive mirror of an emotional nature. Not that we find in this correspondence the great world shaken to its foundations, but yet we see here an important, if little, world tingling with excitement over the rivalry of party, the struggle for supremacy, over high treason and political assassination. The student of Latin style eagerly reaches for this same correspondence in the hope of finding the consummate stylist as it were in undress and expressing his intimate thought without the formalities of stately mannerisms. Cicero's letters are not to be classed as "easy reading." There is a surface meaning obvious even to the cursory reader, but under the smooth surface the politician, the historian, the psychologist, will see deeper things. There are constant allusions in the letters to contemporary men and events and to the myriad ways in which their shadows, deep or light, have crossed the path of the Roman orator. A profitable study of Cicero's correspondence from whatever point of view is impossible without a more or less elaborate commentary.
Under these circumstances the present new and thoroughly revised edition of Watson's Select Letters, just brought out (in two very handy volumes) by the Clarendon Press, is a boon to student and teacher alike. Volume I contains the Text based upon the Bibliotheca Oxoniensis; Volume II is a delight to the scholar: there is first a Critical Introduction; then the whole mass of 101 Letters (the great bulk of which are from the Epp. ad Atticum and ad Familiares, all chosen for their intrinsic merit) is presented in five Parts, extending respectively to Cicero's Return from Exile, to the Civil War, to the Battle of Pharsalus, to Caesar's death, to the fatal December 7, 43 B. C. Each Part opens with its own minute Historical Introduction; then follow the