“tēlum” or “dart”

From Exercise 176, page 152 (First Year Henle Latin), “We are in Caesar’s camp on account of fear of the enemy.”

for blog

While going over our vocabulary on page 151, the word “tēlum” or “dart” became the topic of conversation.  Christopher related the word “dart” or “tēlum” to the story of David and Absalom in Second Samuel 18:14 which states, “Then said Joab, I may not tarry thus with thee. And he took three darts in his hand, and thrust them through the heart of Absalom, while he was yet alive in the midst of the oak” (KJV).  We also talked about how fear can drive us to take refuge in “safe” places (like Caesar’s camp—see above) that aren’t really safe.

We closed up the conversation with the truth that Jesus is the only, true safe place and Proverbs 18:10, “The Name of the LORD is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe” (KJV).  Running to Jesus in any given circumstance that incites fear is the “dart” that debilitates the enemy.


Divine Noun, Human Adjectives

While homeschooling this past year, me and my students spent time defining and comparing Latin nouns and adjectives. We ended one of our discussions by testifying to how God is our Noun and as descriptions of Him (human adjectives of the One True God), in order to describe him in Spirit and in Truth, we must also agree with His Word, the Bible, in every way (just as Latin adjectives must agree in every way— Gender, Case, and Number— with their Latin noun).

“God is Spirit, and His worshippers must worship in Spirit and in Truth…[His] Word is Truth” (John 4:24; 17:17).



A 5CT Conversation about Declensions and Conjugations

Grammar Latin

The Five Common Topics from The Lost Tools of Writing:

 Comparison:  How does X compare with/to Y?

Definition:  Who or What is X?  What kind of thing is Y?

Circumstance:  What are the circumstances surrounding X?

Relation:  How is X related to Y?

Testimony:  Who says what about X?

(The Lost Tools of Writing, Circe Institute, page 7).

 Here is a 5CT discussion that I wrote a few weeks ago. Our time in Latin has been so packed full of parsing and translating (and many other conversations on the fly) that we have not gotten to this discussion. Perhaps, you would like to have this conversation with your student (you can add or take away as fits your homeschooling experience best).

Define: Declension: “consists in adding the proper endings to the stem to show different genders, numbers, and cases” (Henle Latin Grammar, Rule #23, page 3). Conjugation: “consists in adding the proper endings to the proper stem to show the different voices, moods, tenses, numbers, and persons” (Henle Latin Grammar, Rule #150, page 40).

Compare: Declension/Conjugation: How are they similar? Both involve adding proper endings to the stem of a Latin word. How are they different? Declension has to do with nouns and adjectives to show different genders, numbers, and cases. / Conjugation has to do with verbs to show different voices, moods, tenses, numbers, and persons.

Circumstances: What are some of the circumstances surrounding the word “decline”? Stem/gender/number/case—1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th declension. What are some of the circumstances surrounding the word “conjugate”? “Present tense, imperfect tense, future tense—rule numbers 162, 163, and 164).

Relationship: How are “declining” and “conjugating” Latin words related? They are both a process by which to add proper endings. Declined nouns and adjectives work together with conjugated verbs.

(Testimony is wrapped up in the rules). Also, how does this particular Five Common Topic Discussion speak to you about the character of God? How is God “present tense” in your Latin studies?

Taken from Spring Recap Week 7, Second Semester Challenge “A”-2/24/16




Why were the Romans Praising Caesar?

Grammar Latin

Why were the Romans Praising Caesar? 

“Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer.  I tell you, the Devil will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will suffer persecution for ten days.  Be faithful even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life” (Revelation 2:10 NIV).

“Cūr Caesarem Rōmānī laudābant?”[1] This was one of the Latin question we were asked to translate in our homework this week.  In addition, we were also asked to write our own responses in Latin to the questions given.  As I began to think about the English translation of this question, “Why were the Romans praising Caesar?”  I came back to my role as the lead learner of a group of students ages 12-13 and the good work of guiding the conversation “as to integrate the major themes and ideas around the central focus of coming to know God and learning how best to make Him known to others.”[2]

So, what response could a lead learner like myself come up with to discuss a “complex issue within a biblical worldview?”[3] Men praising men is a complex issue, I am sure most Christians would agree.  So, how could I best “cultivate a love for wisdom and virtue[4] in my students by making the most of this opportunity to discuss something complex? These are the kind of questions I want to ask myself.  And so, by God’s grace in not so many words, I did.  This is what came to mind: Luke 23:26!

“As the soldiers led [Jesus] away, they seized Simon from Cyrene, who was on His way in from the country, and put the cross on him and made him carry it behind Jesus” (NIV).

I was reminded of how the Roman soldiers, under Caesar’s command, praised Caesar by seizing the Christians.  To begin with, Simon from Cyrene, “One that was a bearer, that carried his cross, Simon by name, a Cyrenian, who probably was a friend of Christ, and was known to be so, and this was done to put a reproach upon him; they laid Christ’s cross upon him, that he might bear it after Jesus (v26), lest Jesus should fain under it and die away, and so prevent the further instances of malice they designed.  It was a pity, but a cruel pity, that gave him this ease.[5]  My response then, to the question, “Cūr Caesarem Rōmānī laudābant?” (or “Why were the Romans praising Caesar?”)  became, “Quod Caesar Christianō occupābat.” (or, “Because Caesar was seizing the Christians.”

Through this exercise, students discussed how important it is for us as believers in Christ to “put on the full armor of God” so we too can stand and “bear it after Jesus” when God calls us to suffer persecution for His Name’s sake (Ephesians 6:10-20).  In closing,one student tied it up boldly:

“Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul.  Fear only God, who can destroy both soul and body in hell” (Matthew 10:28 NIV; NLT). 

[1] Henle First Year Latin, Exercise 131, page 116, #3

[2] Classical Conversations, Cultivating the Love of Learning, 2015

[3] CC Connected, Challenge Tier

[4] CC Connected, Challenge Tier

[5] Matthew Henry’s Commentary of the Whole Bible, Luke 23: verses 26-31

Taken from Spring Recap Week 7, Second Semester Challenge “A”-2/24/16