Homework 1

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As is fitting and customary every year, the first voice to teach us Latin is that of Rome's greatest orator-writer-politician the "father of Latinity", MARCVS TVLLIVS CICERO (106-43 ante Chr.), who here sends private, personal letters to his family: wife Terentia, daughter Tullia, son Marcus:

A) "De Quinto fratre nihil ego te accusavi; sed vos, cum praesertim tam pauci sitis, volui esse quam coniunctissimos. Quibus me voluisti agere gratias, egi et me a te certiorem factum esse scripsi" (Ad Familiares XIV,1,4-5).

  1. What fundamental difference do we want to stress between the functioning of the Latin language and most other languages we hear and use?
  2. When you see a Latin verb with the simple ending "i" like in "accusavI" and "egI", "voluI" and "scripsI", you immediately assign what subject to that verb?
    From your first Latin day what will be the reversed [reversed = singular goes to plural, plural to singular in our classes] of those four verb forms?
    Give complete Latin words!!!
    Also from your first Latin encounter, what will the "he-she-it" form of those verbs look like?
  3. If someone tells you that "sitis" as a noun in your dictionary means ________ but in the quote above it is a verb - what Latin principle stressed in class is your only help-salvation here?
  4. If "sitis" is a verb and its ending is "s", then its subject is ________, but if its ending is "TIS", then its subject is ________.
  5. Your class notes warn you that on one occasion in Latin, to be learned later, the verb ending: '--STI' has what subject? ________ "voluisti" reversed is: ________
  6. If the first seven words of Cicero here mean: "Concerning brother Quintus in-no-way have I accused you", what two Latin principles produced that meaning in the mind of Terentia and yours 2044 years later?
  7. What different meaning for those 7 words would this phrase have: "Te de quinto fratre accusavi ego nihil"??
  8. If the second phrase of Cicero: "sed vos..." means: "but you, since especially you are so few, I want to be as joined-together as possible", how will you keep his word order, add a few elements and say on your own: "but now-(cf. DICT.) you, since there-(cf. DICT.) especially you are always-(cf. DICT.) so few, we have wanted to be as joined-together as possible"
  9. The last sentence of Cicero means, as literally as possible: "To whom me you wanted to return thanks, I have returned, and I have written myself to have been informed by you". Where did you find the word: "I have written"?
    HOW could Cicero begin and end his sentence with the same subject: "i" verbs "egi...scripsi'? Why did he not write: "egi et scripsi..."? Explain
  10. Rewrite that last sentence to read like this: "To whom he wanted to return thanks, he returned and wrote myself to have been informed" ==
B) "Si tu et Tullia, lux nostra, valetis, ego et suavissimus Cicero valemus. Pr. Idus Oct. Athenas venimus ../.. velim cures, si auctio ante meum adventum fiet, ut Pomponius aut, si is minus poterit, Camillus nostrum negotium curet" (Ad Fam. XIV,5,1-2)
  1. Point out the verbs in Cicero's first part ../ here and their subjects:
    At this early point in your Latin career, you can certainly reverse: "valetis"=
    But you could have choices in the reverse of "valeMUS" which are they?
  2. If "AthenAS" and "curES" are verbs then their subject is: ________ reversed:
    If in your experience: "AthenaS" turns out to be a noun, and "cureS" a verb then what does the naked ending "S" really tell a stranger-observer?
  3. If "velim" is a verb, then its reversed must be: ________ and the form for "they" must be ________ and "he-she-it" must be ________, you ________, ye ________
  4. When you spot Latin verbs in a sentence like: "fiet...poterit...curet", what kind of possible subject will you naturally attach to them?
    What will the "we" forms be for those three verbs of Cicero?
    How will you decide on the definite subject in any sentence? Two ways:
  5. Here Cicero is writing to his wife Terentia, and mentions Tullia=26 years old, and Cicero Jr.=15 years old. The following is a literal translation, of which you can use the first sentence on your next postcard home!!
    "If you and Tullia, our light, are well, I and most sweet Cicero are well. On the day before the ides of October (Oct. 14) We came to Athens ../.. I would like you take care, if the auction before my arrival will be done, that Pomponius or, if he less will-be-able, Camillus our business may-care-for".
    Now take your pen and rewrite the sentence modifying only the verbs and a few words to read in your perfect Latin after one class (keep Cicero's word order!!!): "If Marcus and Tullia are well today-(cf. DICT.), Terentia, you are certainly-(cf. DICT.) well. When-(cf. DICT.) did you come (use **form) to Athens? Marcus would-like we take care that [ut] Camillus and Tullia our business may-care-for."
  6. As a general principle, what do the endings of Latin words indicate-do?
    When will this fact cease to exist-be valid in your Latin life?

First Experience Latin - Fr. Reginald Foster

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