NB: NB means nota bene or "note well" (in other words, pay attention to it)
Review of verbs from Lesson 3:
6 principle parts (PP): e.g. amo, amare, amavi, amatus, -a, -um (to love)
Find the root of the word: Remove the -re from the second PP, resulting in ama-, note the final vowel.
Add personal endings to the root: e.g. He/she/it loves: amat; you (pl.) love: amatis
A good thing to get stuck in your head is: Amo, amas, amat, amamus, amatis, amant. Say it out loud a few times and you will never forget it.
If you remember this is the Present Active Indicative conjugation of the word amo, amare, meaning “to love”. It is pretty much the standard word for beginning Latin students to learn. (Watch the movie “Empire of the Sun” with Christian Bale, rated PG, as a youngster if you don't believe me!)
Throughout our talk about verbs, I will give examples using amo, amare.
There are 7 cases of nouns, which you need to know in order to fully "decline" a noun (complete the paradigm):
Nominative (nom)- The “subject” of the sentence; denotes what does the action (verb) or, in a passive sentence, receives the action.
Genitive (gen)- possesive case; for our current purposes, denotes possession or ownership of an object like “apostrophe s” in English (e.g. Harry's wand, Dobby's socks, man's treasure, her wisdom, my feelings)
Dative (dat)- indirect object, tells what receives the action of the verb but indirectly
Accusative (acc)- the direct object of the sentence; the object that receives the action directly in an active sentence; also used with some prepositions
Ablative (abl)- uses “by, with, from” and some prepositions to show a special connection with another part of the sentence
Locative (loc)- denotes place or location (loco= place), especially where towns, cities and small islands are concerned; this case Never uses prepositions (it's the way to not use words like “in” and “ad”).
Vocative (voc)- used when speaking to a person: e.g. in English “Ron, wipe your feet!” “You! Stop there!” In all cases except the masculine, 2nd declension, nominative, singular it is the exact same as the nominative case endings.
In this lesson we will focus on learning Nominative and Accusative with a smattering of Vocative in order to make more complicated sentences. Remember, though, that dictionary entries use Nominative and GENITIVE when referring to nouns in order to establish the root or stem of the word! I will give you the entire paradigm and let you try it if you desire.
I will start by giving you examples in English and then giving the Latin to introduce you to the way sentences are formed.
Grammar: nominative verb [Direct Object]
English: The girl (subject) loves [the dog].
Latin: puella amat [canem].
English: The cat is smart.
Latin: felis est callida.
Grammar: nominative verb (predicate) nominative
Genders: feminine, masculine, neuter ('without gender')
So, being that pretty much every culture in the world has some holiday or special day during December, we're going to take this opportunity and let you explore a few...and What they have to do with Rome, of course! (This is the time where your creative, think-outside-the-box juices can get flowing, too.) Just like cultures today, Romans celebrated many holidays, including a number during December and throughout the year.
For the Roman holidays and festivals went hand in hand and were common affairs. Unlike all first world countries today, Romans did not work on weekdays with weekends off-- There was no such thing as a “week end”! Instead, during festivals, everyone (except for the actors and priests of course!) had the day (or days) off. There would theatrical productions, sporting events, gladiatorial combats. Festivals would last anywhere from one day to two weeks, depending on the importance (and patronage) of the festival.
Festivals and holidays were heavily supported and funded by rich Romans and even foreigners. There were many reasons for this but mostly to raise public support. Support of the common man was important to wealthy Romans because it allowed them to win everything from political office to court cases. Political positions were also not paid, but they came with huge amounts of notoriety and the possibility to move up the ladder (“cursus honorem”- lesson one). At the top of that ladder was the proconsulship, otherwise known as a Governor of a colony. The more popular you were, the better and richer the colony you were given, and the more money you could make off of the taxes you took from the people. In other words, Romans rose up the ladder not for the journey, but for the lucrative destination.
Some Roman holidays and festivals:
Lupercalia- February 15- A fertility ritual to the god Lupercus that included a foot race done by young men, who would slap onlookers with strips of lambskin.
Parilia- April 21- A celebration of the founding of Rome.
LATIN SONGS AND CAROLS
We've gone over Classical Latin pronunciation in previous lessons, but Latin carols are pronounced somewhat differently, using what is called “Church or Ecclesiastical Latin”. Unfortunately there are many variations in these pronunciations, so what you read here (or at any one source) is not, as they say, sacrosanct. The differences include the following, primarily different in consonants. (Check out the more full explanation found in the links at the bottom.) There are many differences between English and Latin pronunciations but these are the main ones to remember.
c (only before e, ae, oe, I, y) = soft “chuh” (e.g as in the “ch” in “church”)
cc= “t-chuh” as in “focaccia” or “stitch” (Latin: ecce= “et-cheh” instead of “ek-keh”)
sc= “sh” as in “shed”
v= hard vee (unlike Classical “wuh”/soft)
g (only before e, ae, oe, I, y)= soft “juh” (e.g. as in the 'g' in 'generosity')
Here are a few songs, both original Latin (“wedding song” from Rome and neoclassical Latin) and songs that are originally English, translated into Latin.
The Greek and Roman god of weddings was Hymen and the wedding or bridal song sung at all weddings to ensure a happy marriage was called a Hymenaeus (or, from the Greek, Hymenaios). Catullus recorded the lyrics in his Carmen Nuptiale (“Wedding Song”).
Hymen, O Hymenaeus, Hymen ades, O Hymenae!
Plautus also describes a wedding procession in his Comedies, which includes the variation:
Io, Hymen! Io, Hymen! Hymenae! Io, Hymen!
You might also note the differences in form between Hymen and Hymenae, with “Hymen” being in the vocative case.
"De Brevitate Vitae" ("On the Shortness of Life") -18th century from a 13th c. manuscript, used as a graduation song for many European universities.
One of my favourite songs: Pax Deorum (“Peace of the Gods”) by Enya
This will help you in the lesson to follow.
A PDF with a full break down and explanation of both nouns and adjectives- http://www.slu.edu/colleges/AS/languages/classical/latin/tchmat/grammar/s-gram1.pdf
Includes concise, helpful introductions for all 7 cases, including locative and vocative- http://www.dl.ket.org/latinlit/grammar/cases/nominative.htm
List of Roman Holidays and Festivals with descriptions- http://histmyst.org/festivals.html
List of (modern) Holidays and Special days in December- http://familycrafts.about.com/library/spdays/bldecdayslong.htm
The St. Louis Metro Singers have this info page about Chuch Latin pronunciation-
Excellent, easy to read, full explanation with charts on the complexities and history of Latin pronunciation, demystified :) - http://www.ai.uga.edu/mc/latinpro.pdf
This page has links to many holiday songs in Latin, including Hannukah songs!- http://gaudium-mundo.blogspot.com/2005/11/complete-calendar.html