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In the summer of 2017 William Turpin (Swarthmore College), Jen Faulkner (East Longmeadow High School) and Daniel Jamison (University of Toronto) will offer another free online Medieval Latin translation course, using the Zoom video conferencing program.  This summer we will read the Abelard’s “History of Calamities,” an autobiography by one of the most famous and controversial figures of the Middle Ages, including an account one of the most famous love affairs.  A Latin text offering help with grammar and vocabulary will be posted online by the end of May.

The course is aimed above all at those who have completed a year or so of classical Latin at the college level, or the equivalent in high school. It should also be suitable for those whose Latin may be a little rusty, or for more accomplished Latinists with an interest in medieval Latin. The intention is to replicate the experience of a student in (say) a college Latin class at the early intermediate level, minus the quizzes, tests, and continuing assessment; there is no mechanism for awarding credit or certificates of attendance. The most immediate model, in fact, may be an informal reading group: the basic premise is that a small community of interested participants can both encourage and enhance what is essentially a private encounter with a text. 

Zoom will allow eight active participants (i.e. people who may wish come online to translate a particular section of text) and an unlimited number of auditors, who will be able to submit questions and comments using the messaging function.  We will provide a webpage for interested participants to sign up for particular sections of the text; such participants will then be invited to translate and to raise questions or comment as seems appropriate. The instructors and other active participants will offer assistance and comments as necessary, just as in an ordinary class with participants sitting around a table. 

For information go to the Swarthmore Classics department website or join the Google Plus “Community” named “Medieval Latin (Summer 2017): Abelard”; community member will receive updates about meeting times, assignments, etc.

Active participants will need a webcam and to install Zoom (which is free and easy to install); observers will find the link posted on the Google Plus page shortly before the session begins.  The sessions will also be archived on YouTube. 

Questions may be addressed directly to wturpin1@swarthmore.edu.