Who fixes my Latin?

In my Latin class, I’m having the students practice a triad of skills as their final project. First, each is looking up a set of vocabulary words related to one of the Roman Gods, like Vesta or Ceres or Neptune or Diana and so on.   Then, each is composing a set of sentences around four groups or themes — who is the god or goddess, what do they do or what do the humans do in their realm of concern, what are this god or goddess’s symbols, and then something else about the god or goddess that they found interesting in their research.  Their final sentences will be in Latin, of course, and this is what’s driving them crazy.

So, being me, I did a rough draft of what I wanted them to do.  And I gave it to them today in class.  But even as I was handing it out, I noted that there were problems with the Latin, and problems with the translation thereof, and problems with the accenting, and problems with the vocabulary list.  Who corrects my Latin, if I’m correcting theirs?  Unlike many of my colleagues, though, I have an audience online, who (over the long term) will likely correct my work and make it better in comments. They’ll be looking for exercises or writings that challenge their students, and maybe they’ll find this.  And they’ll look this over, and think, God that’s terrible Latin.

But consider: I wrote this for sixth graders. I tried to use the Latin that they have access to in Ecce Romani IA, and only partway through the book.  They don’t know the imperfect, and they’re pretty weak on the imperative, and sometimes they don’t conjugate too well.  The vocabulary list is supposed to serve as a guide to the grammar they already know.  Is my grammar perfect?  No.  Is it better than nothing? Probably.

Cērēs Dea Plebeiī est, et reīs rusticīs.  Messibus et Aratio curat.  Ubi agricola ararat agellum apud plantā, et surculus geminat, dea ibi est. In Romā, Cērēs habet templum super collem nomine Aventini, ubi communicat sacrificis apud Liber et Libera, qui dei sunt agrī culturī et libertātia.  Duodecem dei de aratiō et seretiō et granāriās iter facit apud Cērēis, qui amat agrōs.

Rusticis apud falcis qui ponit bōvēs in ornamentā bōvī arāre, et materfamilias apud forfectis qui labōrat in hortō, clamant Cērēam patronam.  In tempōs vernās, amant renōvare tellum apud hūmum nōvum, et cantat ad Cērēis ubi labōrant.  Pastorēs repellunt ovines ex pomeraniō et venetō.  Venātorēs petiunt pestēs in saepibus — et ōmnes parant serere triticum in agros. Armentariī coniunx coquuit tomaculum, et hillās ex porculō, et offerit sacrificium ad Cērēam, qui conjugit rusticī ad tellum.

Faccus fabaearum et avis pinguis, symbolum sunt, et mergēs granōrum, et cōrnucōpiam. Frutex et culeus granōrum petunt suām benevōlentiam.

Nemō ēsurit in villa ubi Cērēs habitat et amat.  Cērēs amat messor et pāstor et agrīcola; pistorem et rusticum ōmnibus donat Cērēs.

SO, if you use it, feel free to do so — but please let me know what it’s being used for, and where. And leave me a comment to say, hey, you should have used the ablative in line six, or whatever.  Help me learn to spot my own mistakes more effectively.

Oh, you want a translation too?

Ceres is the goddess of the plebes, and of country life.  She cares for the harvest and the ploughing.  Where a farmer ploughs a plot of ground with plants, and young shoots sprout from the ground, the goddess is there.  In Rome, Ceres has a temple on top of the hill named the Aventine, where she shares sacrifices with Liber and Libera, who are gods of agriculture and freedom.  Twelve gods of farming and planting and granaries journey with Ceres who loves the fields.

The peasant with his scythe who puts the oxen in the harness to plough, and the housewife with her scissors who labors in the garden, call her their patron.  In the spring times, they love to renew the ground with new humus (compost) and sing to Ceres when they work.  Shepherds drive the sheep from the orchards and the vineyards.

Hunters seek vermin in the hedges — and all prepare to sow wheat in the fields.  The wife of the ox-herd cooks sausage, and smoked sausage from piglets, and offers a sacrifice to Ceres, who joins peasants to the earth.  The sack of beans and the well-fed bird are her symbols, and the sheaf of grain, and the cornucopia.  The fruit-bearing shrub and the bag of grain seek her blessing.

No one hungers in the house where Ceres lives and loves.  Ceres loves the harvester and the shepherd and the farmer; Ceres gives the baker and peasant everything.

For those who want this pre-PDFized as a handout about Ceres, here you go.  And thank you in advance for your assistance in correcting the Latin.

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4 comments

  1. Qui emendet emendores? LOL – – reviewing Latin is on my to-do list. Looking at said list, I need to make sure to live another 120 years…

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