Catullus LEGAMUS Transitional Reader
Student Text By Sean Smith, Kenneth F. Kitchell, Jr.
Teacher's Guide By Sean Smith
This reader contains selections from Catullus, designed for students moving from elementary or intermediate Latin into reading the authentic Latin of Catullus. Passages are accompanied by pre-reading materials, grammatical exercises, complete vocabulary, notes designed for reading comprehension, and other reading aids. Introductory materials (including a section on Catullan meters) and illustrations are included.
- pre-reading materials for each passage of Latin, designed to help the student understand the underlying cultural and literary concepts in the Latin passage
- short explanations related to the grammatical and syntactical usages that will be found in the passage, accompanied by exercises
- the first version of the Latin text with gapped words in parentheses and difficult noun-adjective pairings highlighted by the use of a different font
- complete vocabulary and grammatical notes on the page facing the Latin passage. Any vocabulary word found in the passage but not in the notes is found in the pull-out vocabulary at the back of the book
- the second version of the Latin text in its unchanged form
- literary notes on the page facing the unchanged Latin text
- post-reading materials for each passage designed to help the student understand Catullus' style of writing and to allow the student to reflect upon what has been read
- the last four Latin passages do not contain any of the transitional aides such as gapped words or the use of fonts. Notes on grammar, vocabulary, and literary analysis continue to be on the page facing the passage
- Translations of each Latin passage
- Answers to grammar and vocabulary exercises
- Suggested responses for short analysis questions
NB: All directions, questions, and exercises are reprinted from the student text and then followed by the answers in the Teacher's Guide.
Kenneth F. Kitchell Jr. is professor of Classics and former Director of the MAT Program at University of Massachusetts. He has won several teaching awards, is the author or coauthor of 5 books, 47 articles, is co-editor of the Legamus series, and has presented over 100 scholarly talks. He has been active in promoting the study of Classics for such groups as the Classical Association of the Middle West and South, where he served as President, and the American Philological Association, as Vice-President for Education, and as the president of The American Classical League.
Sean Smith has been teaching Latin from novice to AP* at Amherst Regional Middle and High School in Massachusetts since 1984. He received the American Philological Association's 2007 national award for Excellence in Teaching at the Precollegiate Level. Smith has served on the College Board's Latin SAT Development Committee, and is a consultant for AP* Latin.
This series of transitional readers is the first to use proven reading techniques to aid students in making the transition from a basal textbook to an authentic Latin author. The Catullus Transitional Reader is the second book of the series to be published and is specifically designed to help students learn to read Catullus before they are enrolled in an AP Latin Poetry course.
Comments and Reviews
I'm a student, a self-learner, always on the lookout for material to help me move into 'real Latin.' Catullus: A Legamus Transitional Rearder fits the bill. It works — I can read Latin!
The text is visually inviting. The print is large, easy to read, no page is so filled with material that it's cramped.
Each of the 19 progressively difficult (another plus) selections includes:
- An introduction that briefly tells what the poem is about;
- One grammatical point, appearing in that poem, to focus on;
- A clear explanation of that grammatical point, examples in English, and exercises;
- A blank page for your own notes;
- Things to think about before reading the poem;
- Separate vocabulary and notes lists;
- Facing the above, the editors' version of the poem with omitted words in parentheses; if necessary, the poem's words are put into an order more natural to English speakers; related words that don't appear near each other in a different font so they stand out;
- The poem, or part of the poem, as written by Catullus (with macrons);
- Questions and things to think about after having read the poem.
- Simple and clear explanation of meter.
In keeping with a comprehensive approach, there's a drawn map of Catullus's world, articles about Catullus's life and works, about Lesbia, a list of suggested translations, a grammatical appendix (great for skimming through to catch things you may have forgotten), and a pull-out vocabulary sheet with basic words.
My complaints are few and minor. Every now and again, there's something that I feel could've used a more detailed explanation, or a vocabulary word for which I found a better definition in the dictionary. Minor stuff. Forget I said anything.
Best of all, CATULLUS gives me hope. Here's real Latin that, with the help of Prof. Kitchell and Mr. Smith, I can now READ!