Reading Latin as the Romans Did: Ovid's Apollo and Daphne

The Romans didn't hunt and peck through a Latin sentence, finding the verb, then identifying the subject, object, etc. And one of the difficulties students face when reading Latin is adapting to the ambiguity that reading introduces and developing a sense of expectation for what comes next and what will complete a sentence or thought.

This video accomplishes addresses both of those issues. Based on the idea of 'reading cards', basically index cards with a notch at the upper left cut out that are used to move along a text word-by-word, this video reveals the text word by word in a timed way (that you can control with playback speed or by playing or pausing) that prevents students from seeing what comes next and forces them to develop a sense of what the existing word could be and what the existing word suggests about what more is to come in the sentence.

It is assumed that the video will be used alongside an existing textbook; there are no vocabulary or grammar notes included. The video is the the text alone, with each word revealed individually.

Below I include the text from the introductory slides of the video:

• What follows is a blacked-out Latin text.

• Each word of the text is revealed individually, in order.

• This allows you to analyze each word as it appears; it eliminates 'hunting and pecking', e.g. find the verb, etc.

• The long term goal is to develop an affinity for expectation and ambiguity.

For each revealed word, consider the following questions:

1. What do I recognize about the word?
- Is there a definitive ending or form?
- Does it suggest something about the structure of the
sentence or clause?

2. What more do I need to know about the word?
- Is the ending ambiguous?
- Can the word be confused with another word?

3. What does the word suggest about what other words are coming?
- Is it a preposition (whose object will be in a specific case)?
- Is it an infinitive (that needs a main verb to depend on)?

• Each word is revealed about every 3 or 4 seconds.

• Play the video at whatever speed matches your pace.

• Or pause and play as necessary.
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