Review by: Aveline John, Bryn Mawr Classical Review - September 1, 2007
Subject: BMCR 2007.09.10: Murphy/Ancona, A Horace Workbook
Date: Wed, 5 Sep 2007 18:20:17 -0400 (EDT)
From: Bryn Mawr Reviews
To: email@example.com (Bryn Mawr Classical Review)
David J. Murphy, Ronnie Ancona, A Horace Workbook. With a separate
Teacher's Manual. Wauconda, IL: Bolchazy-Carducci, 2006. Pp. 203;
271. ISBN 978-0-86516-574-8. ISBN 978-0-86516-649-3. $22.00 (each).
Reviewed by John Aveline (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Word count: 1025 words
To read a print-formatted version of this review, see
Bolchazy-Carducci has produced a series of Latin workbooks which have
the primary purpose of helping students prepare for the Advanced
Placement Latin Exams.[] The workbook and accompanying teacher's
manual for Horace have been quite ably put together by David J. Murphy
and Ronnie Ancona. This workbook is based upon Ancona's Horace:
Selected Odes and Satire 1.9.[] Ancona's original workbook also
focussed on the Latin AP, especially in its selection from Horace's
Odes which comprises the Latin AP Horatian syllabus.[]
The student workbook consists of Satire 1.9 and the 20 Odes in the
Latin. Each passage is followed by the same menu of exercises: short
answer, multiple choice, a short translation, short analysis, an essay
and a scansion exercise.
The short answer questions are something of a warm-up and help the
student focus on the grammatical points in the passage that will help
with understanding. There are also questions on figures of speech and
the occasional item of vocabulary. Apart from the scansion exercise,
this is the only exercise which has no suggested time limit. The number
of questions varies with the length of the poem, generally between 20
and 40. Example: What is the case and use of manu? (Sat. 1.9.4).
The multiple choice questions mirror the Latin AP in their format (four
choices) and their subject (vocabulary, grammar, content, and figures
of speech). There is a suggested time limit of 15 minutes to answer the
12-14 questions for each passage. Example: Horace's mood in lines 8-11
is best described as; a. desperate, b. frightened, c. sad, d. angry
There is a timed (10-15 minutes) translation exercise of a six to eight
line passage drawn from the poem under study. Example: lines 22-26 of
This is followed by a section of four to seven timed short analysis
questions. The answers are expected to be only about two lines, as this
is the space given. The questions are on figures of speech and content.
Example: Where are the family members of the person talking to the
speaker? (Sat. 1.9.4).
There is also a short essay question on the ode under study with a
suggested 20 minute time limit. Example: an essay on the character of
Aristius Fuscus and how it contributes to the satire's humour (Sat.
1.9). All of the essays expect specific references from throughout the
text with Latin translated or closely paraphrased.
Finally there is a scansion exercise. The lines to be scanned are
written bold and double-spaced (except for gobbet from Ode 2.7) for the
The workbook also contains an appendix of four passages (one each of
Cicero, Catullus, Vergil and Ovid) accompanied by 12-13 multiple choice
questions with a suggested 15 minute time limit.
Finally there is a 21-page vocabulary with approximately 1,200 entries.
This lexicon displays some eccentric choices. The verb sum is given,
but the noun inuleus (Ode 1.23) is omitted. My imagination is
insufficient to picture a student who would be expected to know
inuleus, but not sum, especially as the form hinnuleus is the one found
in the standard dictionaries. The teacher's manual is the same with an
additional preface as well as the answers to the exercise questions and
some sample essays. The teacher's manual is printed in a smaller format
(6" x 9" as opposed to 8.5" x 11" for the student's workbook), since
students need the space to write out their answers.
The workbook and teacher's manual are very well laid out and the
production values are quite high. This is something of a surprise in
the workbook, considering that the it is produced as a one-time use
text, with space provided for the students to write in their answers.
Although the editor suggests that this book can be used at the college
level, this is really exclusively an AP Latin Exam prep book and for
this purpose, it is an excellent resource. However this does result in
a very narrowly constructed resource, since the AP Exam is always
uppermost in the minds of the author and editor. Some of the ways that
the workbook demonstrates its AP focus:
- Although macrons are given in the vocabulary at the back, there are
none in the exercises themselves.
- No translation assistance is provided with the passages since this
would limit the value of the exercises for testing practice.
- There is no supplementary material on Horace, ancient Rome or lyric
poetry at all. The workbook is expected to be used in conjunction with
some other Horace textbook, presumably one that is AP oriented.
- The material examined is strictly that tested for on the AP Latin
Exam, which could have the effect of narrowing the student's
appreciation of Horace to what the AP test designers select. This could
be compounded in the case of students who are confronted with the
workbook during their preparation for the AP and then again in
Bolchazy-Carducci may have done themselves a bit of a disservice by
focussing this workbook series on the Latin AP to such an extent. The
AP Latin Literaure Exam was attempted by only 3,333 students in
2006.[] On the other hand, over 130,000 tried the various levels of
the National Latin Exam.[] Even given attrition, this suggests that
the Latin AP market is a relatively small part. Having said that, I
still feel this is a very good Latin teaching resource and offers some
excellent methods. LeAnn Osburn has edited a series of Latin Workbooks
for Bolchazy-Carducci which offer students and teachers alike a unique
opportunity to read a Latin author while at the same time developing
both their grammar and vocabulary. I could see this providing a
paedagogical template for other presses to produce textbooks which not
only offer a Latin author with the customary notes and vocabulary, but
also exercises which ask the questions which encourage the reader to
focus on the grammatical and vocabulary elements which are key to a
successful reading of the passage. I would certainly recommend a
judicious use of this workbook and I look forward to seeing resources
which utilize the general methodology of this series, but for a wider
1. The other authors on the AP Latin Exam are Catullus, Cicero,
Vergil and Ovid. The Cicero workbook has recently been reviewed for
this journal by David W. Madsen and Nora MacDonald (BMCR 2007.07.17).
2. The first edition of Ancona's book was reviewed for this journal
by Shannon N. Byrne (BMCR 1999.09.14
(http://ccat.sas.upenn.edu/bmcr/1999/1999-09-14.html) ). A second
edition was published in 2004.
3. The AP Latin syllabus for Horace is Satire 1.9 and Odes 1.1, 5, 9,
11, 13, 22, 23, 24, 25, 27, 38; 2.3, 7, 10, 14; 3.1, 9, 13, 30; 4.7.
4. The College Board
(consulted July 15, 2007).
5. National Latin Exam (http://www.nle.org/stats.html) (consulted
July 15, 2007).
The BMCR website (http://ccat.sas.upenn.edu/bmcr/) contains a complete
and searchable archive of BMCR reviews since our first issue in 1990.
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Review by: Geoffrey Barto, Multilingua.info - October 24, 2005
A Horace Workbook
David J. Murphy and Ronnie Ancona
After fading from the general consciousness and disappearing from the standard curriculum, Latin is starting to make a comeback. However, for Latin to catch up, it's not enough to brush off the old grammar-translation textbooks from the days of old. At the same time, T(otal) P(hysical) R(esponse) is probably not going to become the mainstay of Latin instruction either. What will?
For introductory prose, there is some fairly good stuff on the market, notably the Oxford and Cambridge series. And if you're just looking for fun with Latin, the adventures of Paulus and Lucia in Teach Yourself Beginner's Latin are a delight. But...
The place where Latin has always gotten difficult is the poetry. Horace, Ovid and Vergil thought with declensions and even they, we presume, sometimes must have wondered where the phrase they were working on was going to end and whether it would fit together. With its theoretically flexible word order, Latin allowed the Roman poet to do wondrous things to pair concepts and make it work with the meter. But for the non-Roman Latin student, this makes life very difficult. Until now.
A Horace Workbook is exactly the sort of book I wish I had had when I was first starting to decipher Latin poetry. And again, when I was reading Horace in graduate school seminars. In the middle? I found the whole thing rather difficult and stuck to Catullus and Ovid's Metamorphoses, which are at least a little more transparent to the modern American reader. A Horace Workbook, however, has just about the right touch: it uses grammar and other exercises to help you understand the poem, not to test your mastery of minutia.
In a typical A Horace Workbook presentation, you are given the poem, followed by leading questions that make it easier to see how it fits together, as well as prompting the occasional a-ha where you might have otherwise missed what was going on. The whole thing is very user-friendly, taking you by the hand and leading you through the things you ought to notice before you start getting quizzed on them.
After the first exercise for each poem, there are a few activities meant to dovetail with what students need to be able to do for the AP exam or, in real life, to more fully appreciate Latin poetry at a time when the knowledge is there but the feeling isn't.
Finally, there is a section on scansion (for each poem) where the student can work on developing a Latin ear to go with the Latin brain. This may seem tedious to some, but we could rearrange word order to the language of choice for reading these poems if we were indifferent to the sound, to the voice, that brought them alive for their first readers and hearers. Scanning the poems lays the groundwork for bringing them alive and for understanding just what it is that makes the intricate part come together in sound, however jumbled it may look when diagrammed or parsed.
There are, of course, great books for capturing all the subtleties, all the nuances, that went with the glory that was Roman poetry. But they're above most of our heads. Unless you spend a lot of time wondering if there weren't more exciting ways to employ the ablative absolute or deeper, darker unheard implications in the use of future passive participles. In A Horace Workbook, we have a Latin poetry reader for the rest of us, helping to bring the Latin alive in an understandable and meaningful form. Anyone struggling in AP Latin, and, indeed, anybody who has struggled through Latin verse and wished they'd gotten more out of it, should give this workbook a look.
Review by: Thomas Stewart, The Classical Outlook, 83.1 - October 1, 2005
A Horace Workbook. By DAVID J. MURPHY and RONNIE ANCONA. Wauconda IL: Bolchazy-Carducci Publishers, Inc., 2005. Pp. xii and 203. Paper. $20.
Horace is a difficult author for most Latin students to master. Therefore, any assistance that a teacher can get to help his/her students to understand better Horace's use of language is greatly appreciated. A Horace Workbook is a very nice resource which should be helpful to both students and teachers alike. The workbook, part of the Latin Literature Workbook Series produced by Bolchazy-Carducci Publishers, is intended for AP and college use. However, since it includes only the odes and satire that currently make up the Horace syllabus for the AP Latin Literature exam, it is probably best suited for secondary AP classes. Although it could very easily be used with any Horace text, it is a very nice complement to Ancona's Horace: Selected Odes and Satire 1.9 (Wauconda IL: Bolchazy-Carducci Publishers, 1999; second edition, 2005).
The workbook provides six different exercises for each ode and the satire: (1) short answer questions, (2) multiple-choice questions, (3) translations, (4) short analysis questions, (5) short essays, and (6) scansion.
The short answer questions are designed to direct the students through a parsing of one or two key words per line. Case and use of a word are the most frequent items called for, but occasional questions about figures of speech and agreement occur.
The multiple-choice questions are quite varied in content, hit on the key areas of the passages, and rarely overlap with the short answer questions on the same lines. These questions are an excellent asset for teachers who want to give their students extensive practice with this type of AP question. Even though there are no multiple-choice questions on Horace on the AP Latin Literature exam, students could easily benefit from additional practice with this type of question.
The workbook provides passages for students to translate and scan, but provides no more than the space and paper to do the work. The workbook contains no information about rules of scansion or the meters that Horace uses. There also is no information about figures of speech.
The short analysis questions are intended to help the student prepare for the "spot" question (LL9) on Horace on the AP exam. The questions are helpful and almost always include a question about the scansion of a line or a figure of speech. Since the workbook provides little or no guidance on how to answer these questions, teachers must familiarize themselves with the current AP standards for this question and be sure that their students are answering these questions fully and with enough properly cited Latin.
The essay questions are geared to give the students practice in writing the short 20-minute essay on Horace on the AP exam. Questions have been phrased in "AP style" directing the student to cite Latin references from throughout the passage and to avoid just summarizing the passage.
Since this workbook is specific and limited in scope, it is a very useful resource for the AP Horace teacher and student. It includes a Latin-English vocabulary section and a useful appendix with four practice sight passages with multiple-choice questions to give the student additional practice for first part of the AP exam.