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Amo, Amas, Amat... and All That: How to Become a Latin Lover (2006)

de Harry Mount

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275471,967 (3.37)4
Uncover the hidden charms of Latin

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I'm teaching myself Latin at the moment and i find this book useful and humorous! ( )
  Dithreabhach | May 8, 2018 |
I undertook and passed (barely) 6 semesters of undergraduate Latin. the end result is that I can now read Latin with some difficulty. I will never be able to write it, or (God forbid!) speak it. Why this damn language should be so hard to learn is beyond me, after all illiterate peasants and slaves learnt it. In any case, the author does his level best to make Latin, and not without some success. the light-hearted friendly tone of the book is a pleasant contrast to the dour texts I remember, and the book is full of interesting tidbits of information. Unfortuantely it will take a lot more than this to expunge my nightmarish recollections of subjunctives, gerundives, passives and the whole blooming mess. ( )
  drmaf | Sep 19, 2013 |
While I love all things ancient and Roman, and can have a go at translating easy bits of Latin, I can’t claim to be able to write it at all. I can hear you exclaiming, “But you have a Latin motto on your blog! ("Noli domo egredi, nisi librum habes – Never leave home without a book".) What’s that all about then?” “Simples!” (as Alexandr Meerkat would say – sorry!) – Mottos just sound better in Latin. I did have a go at writing it myself with the aid of a quite scholarly grown-up teach yourself Latin book Learn Latin. In the end though I needed help, and my colleague Dr Ridd from Abingdon School sorted my schoolgirl Latin out.

Then my other half gave me this book for Christmas. It combines all the Latin grammar an amateur needs, with added bits about all things Latin and Roman. These include discussions on the famous Monty Python sketch in Life of Brian and Jeeves’ propensity to spout bits of Latin amongst other references. Also included is an etymological list of common Latin expressions in use in English today. All of this is written in a jocular fashion and is thoroughly entertaining. I’m sure a bit more of the language has sunk in. I’ve certainly got a new appreciation for many a Latin phrase, but also much English grammar along the way.

I also found out that the author despises the Cambridge Latin course – which was a rather touchy-feely way of teaching Latin introduced into schools in the 1970s (and still going). Of course that’s how I learned my Latin! About a third of the O-Level marks were for earned for spouting about ancient Roman life – which was fab. Unfortunately, you didn’t have to learn conjugations and declensions off by heart as in the trad approach, so while you could always translate the stems - you didn’t always get the sense of the syntax/grammar properly. I still managed to get an ‘A’, but possibly because we had previously translated the ‘unseen’ Pliny passage in the exam for prep the month before, and I really did know my set text Virgil off by heart …

If you want to brush up your grammar and learn how to use Latin in everyday English, this book will be really useful in a fun way; as a Latin primer though, it’s far too much fun (but good for revision)! ( )
  gaskella | Feb 6, 2010 |
Bringing Classics to the masses and endorsed by Boris - if it gets his approval, then it gets mine! ( )
  wrappedupinbooks | Jul 16, 2007 |
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The study of the Classics teaches us to believe that there is something really great and excellent in the world, surviving all the shocks of accident and flusctuations of opinions, and raises us above that low servile fear which bows only to present power and upstart authority.

William Hazlitt, The Round Table (1817)
Classics - from the Latin "classicus, -a, -um", meaning "of the highest class".

The New Oxford Dictionary of English (2001)
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For William and Mary
Mons Maximus et Mons Maxima
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David Beckham did not study Latin at Chingford School in Essex.
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Uncover the hidden charms of Latin

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