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A. M. D. G.
The Classical Bulletin
Echoes of the Classical Convention
Two of the outstanding features of this year's Classical Convention were the inspiring enthusiasm of the delegates and the practical nature of the recommendations they drew up to be submitted to the Prefect General of Studies. The six long and animated sessions of the Convention, most of them lasting from two to three hours, are the best commentary on the members' keen interest in their work. And one needs but to read the text of their recommendations to be convinced that the keynote of the whole Convention was the raising of the standard of our work in the classics.
(1) That the course of studies be so arranged as to make the objective of first year Latin to finish the etymology to the end of the regular verb. (It is not intended hereby to exclude all irregular verbs, the necessary rules of agreement, or such other simple rules of syntax as may be introduced by the text-book in use. The matter for examination, however, should be the etymology.)
(2) That the officers of the Association appoint a representative in each high school and college of the province to facilitate the transaction of business. (In accordance with this resolution the following members were appointed and are hereby asked kindly to act as representatives:
St. Louis U....
St. Louis High.
. Mr. Cloran
(3) That Foster and Arms' "First Year Latin" be substituted for Bennett in first year high school.
(4) That Bradley-Arnold, "Latin Prose Composition," be restored to its old place in third and fourth years of high school.
province demand that Greek be begun, as it was formerly, in the second year of the classical course.
(6) That THE CLASSICAL BULLETIN be conducted during the coming year along the same lines as last year; viz., that it publish both practical pedagogical articles and contributions of a more scholarly character. Moreover, that the teachers of the province be encouraged to use the columns of the BULLETIN to make known and discuss the difficulties which they meet with in their class-work.
The editors of the BULLETIN request expressions of opinion on these recommendations from the teachers more directly concerned. Recommendations 1, 3, 4, and 5 especially were felt by the delegates to be of great importance.
Complaints about the Latin assignments for first and second years (high school) have become acute, and it was felt at the Convention that to insure the thorough grounding of our students in the fundamentals of etymology and syntax, a reduction of the present schedule for those classes is imperatively called for.
The publishers of Foster and Arms' "First Year Latin" (The Johnson Publishing Co., Richmond, Virginia) have kindly supplied copies of this new book to all the high school principals of the province. May we hope that all the teachers of first year Latin will give the book a thorough examination and report their findings to the BULLETIN? The publishers will bring out in the near future a second year book by the same authors. Some of the points stressed by the committee which, after a detailed inquiry into the matter, recommended Foster and Arms in preference to a dozen or more similar books examined, are the following: (1) Small yo cabularies and short lessons easily mastered in one day; (2) the late introduction of a stark array of case-forms and abstract rules of gender; (3) striking simplicity and clearness throughout; (4) the functional, not formal, teaching of the facts of grammar; (5) the emphasis placed on "aural" exercise; (6) the early introduction of connected reading matter; (7) frequent vocabulary reviews; (8) excellent handling of prepositions, the third declension, etc.
That the standard of the Latin proses written by our high school students has declined since the ejection of Bradley-Arnold from the course and the substitution for it of Bennett, is a known fact. Bradley-Arnold is not an easy book; but that is one of the reasons why it is a good book. It makes boys think, and think hard;
(5) That the best interests of the classics in the which Bennett assuredly does not.
We feel sure that the recommendation to put back Greek into second year high will meet with the hearty approval of all lovers of the classics in the province. Obligatory Greek for all high school boys is, of course, not recommended. That would surely be a mistake. But it is more than doubtful whether two years of Greek in high school is worth the trouble. It is certainly wholly inadequate as a preparation for a good Greek literature course in college. If Greek is to be done and it surely ought to be done by the more gifted students let it be done properly or not at all.
FRANCIS A. PREUSS, S. J.
Gildersleeve's Insight Into the Genius of Greek On January 9, 1924, Professor Basil Lanneau Gildersleeve was called away by death at the ripe age of 92. The "Transactions and Proceedings of the American Philological Association" for 1925 pays an appropriate tribute to the memory of America's foremost Greek scholar in the form of an Address by his illustrious pupil, Prof. John A. Scott, and a Note on Gildersleeve's literary career by C. W. E. Miller. The latter quotes Professor Shorey of the University of Chicago as saying (in his "Fifty Years of Classical Studies in America"), that "he ventured to predict that, of the large body of scholars whom he was addressing, the majority had learned more Greek from Gildersleeve than from Jebb and Wilamowitz combined, and that in any judicial scales the tomes of Wilamowitz would be outweighed by the collected and systematized work of Gildersleeve. He added that no English-speaking scholar could teach Greek without plagiarizing Gildersleeve's phrases and formulas; that, as a teacher of Greek far beyond the range of his own classroom, Gildersleeve was easily first; and that in sheer insight into the structure and genius of the Greek language he had no equal."
The following paragraph from Professor Scott's address will be of interest to readers of the BULLETIN:
"However general and elusive his lectures on literature may have been, when he took up problems of language he was simple, clear, and kept right at the point. Notice these simple statements of the differences between the aorist and the imperfect: Σωκράτης ἔλεξε, “Socrates spoke," but Zoxoátηs ¤heye, "Socrates was the spokesman"; also oux EELTE (resistance to pressure), "he refused to leave," while the aorist would have been, "he did not leave." This same verb in the imperfect without the negative (imperfect of reluctance), "he had to leave." The imperfect, ô5 oử× ǹdúvavto, "when they saw they could not," while the aorist would have been, "when they could not." His designation of imperfects with aga as imperfects of awakening, that is, of the present ascertainment of a past fact, has been generally accepted. The difference in the feeling for the tenses as shown in such a sentence as οἱ στρατιῶται ἦσάν τε καὶ ἐγένοντο κακοί was shown by the brilliant translation, "The soldiers were cowards, and showed that they were. "The aorist daya has far less of reverence and of human kindness than dάлtɛiv." "In commands the
present imperative is the open hand, the aorist the closed fist." "Plato in the Laws uses to excess the perfect periphrastic optative with av, thus showing a senile desire for absolute accuracy." Regarding the order of the words, "The nominative regularly stands at the head of the sentence; when it is delayed the question is always asked, Who? Who? For example, aлoxτɛívɛi tòv ådeλ¶òv ò dovλos. He kills his brother. Who does? The slave." ó "The accusative after the verb has far more passion than the nominative with the passive, e. g., ὁ ἀνὴρ ὑπὸ τοῦ ἰατροῦ ἀποθνῄσκει is far milder than ὁ ἰατρὸς τὸν ἄνδρα ȧложτεívει. The following explanation of the varying cases used with verbs of action of the senses has always filled me with admiration: "All verbs of action of the senses, except sight, regularly take the genitive, since these other senses seem to put the person under the control of the thing perceived; one must hear, smell, and feel, but he can close his eyes and refuse to see." "The fact that Pindar sometimes uses verbs of touching with the dative shows the aristocrat, a touch-and-not-be-soiled attitude." "The chief difference between the active and middle voice of the same verb is that the middle strongly calls attention to the subject, hence the middle assumes and the active avoids responsibility; for that reason the Greek for 'I cause trouble' is лаоέɣш лоáɣμata.”
"Professor Gildersleeve looked upon high and accurate scholarship not as a lark, a thing of joy and recreation, but as a stern call of hard and unyielding duty. In all his writings he stressed the obligations but rarely the delights of learning." J. A. KLEIST, S. J.
If you have never read the Cyropaedia of Xenophon, read the following selections this term. You will enjoy them. Bk. I, ch. 3, 4; II, ch. 2 (1-18); III, ch. 3 (56-70); IV, ch. 2 (27-34), 6 (1-11); V, ch. 4 (29-32), 5 (5-41); VII, ch. 1 (19-46); VIII, ch. 3 (1-35), 4 (1-28), 7.
A knowledge of Greek civilization and culture is incomplete without at least an elementary acquaintance with the civilization and culture of the Aegean (Minoan). C. H. and H. Hawes' "Crete, the Forerunner of Greece," though not new, is an inspiring little volume to begin with. (Harper and Brothers.)
Just as we go to press the appointment of Father Matthew Germing as provincial of the Missouri Province is announced. The Classics have had no truer friend or patron in the province during the past twenty years than Father Germing. We now look confidently forward to a vigorous continuation of our "Classical Renaissance" under his inspiring leadership. Ad multos annos!
The New York-Maryland Province is officially introducing the Italian pronunciation of Latin this year. We shall be interested observers of the experiment.