By Roman Hands: Inscriptions and Graffiti for Students of Latin / Edition 1

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This book contains more than one hundred examples of Roman inscriptions; a birthday invitation scratched on a wooden tablet, an epitaph for a beloved child, a curse scribbled on a Pompeiian wall, the monumental record of an Emperor's achievements. These provide a vivid and compelling glimpse of Roman life and culture.

This textbook is designed to supplement the primary textbook in elementary and intermediate Latin courses. It is organized by grammar point and provides a straight transcription as well as an expanded version of each inscription. Most selections are four lines or less, and can be used for reinforcement and review without any undue sacrifice to classroom time.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

The book is neatly printed and is likely to turn out to be pleasant and instructive to use in class if the teacher gives it careful preparation in advance. The indexes could be exploited in interesting ways, since (for example) not all the illuminating uses of the ablative occur in the section entitled "Ablative". And it is always worth reminding students at more advanced levels that the great literature in what we call "Classical" Latin was a marked genre and a minority sport of the erudite, and that Latin as a whole (what used to be called "Vulgar Latin" until it became obvious that everybody used it) was rather different. Those with a particular interest in inscriptions will find this book useful too.

- Roger Wright, Bryn Mawr Classical Review 2009.01.44

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781585102945
  • Publisher: Focus Publishing/R. Pullins Company, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 3/28/2008
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 110
  • Product dimensions: 6.80 (w) x 9.90 (h) x 0.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Matthew J. Hartnett teaches Latin and Greek at Phillips Exeter Academy. He has a B.A. in Classical Studies from the College of William and Mary and a Ph.D. in Classics from Columbia University. In 2006 he received the Matthew I. Wiencke Teaching Award from the Classical Association of New England.
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Read an Excerpt

The Study of Roman Inscriptions

The study of inscriptions (called “epigraphy,” from the Greek word for inscription) provides students of ancient Rome with an incomparable source of information about Roman life, both public and private. It has been estimated that over 300,000 Latin inscriptions have been found. Some of these can still be seen in the place (in situ) where the Romans put them; others have been removed from their original locations and can be seen in museums; still others were seen and recorded at some time between antiquity and the present, but have since been lost. Those inscriptions that remain, which must be a small percentage of the total number produced by the Romans, nevertheless convey an indelible impression of the duration and geographical extent of Roman civilization. Inscriptions have been found all across the Roman Empire, from the British Isles to the Persian Gulf, from North Africa to the Black Sea. And these inscriptions range in time from at least the fifth century BC to the fifth century AD and beyond.

In the middle of the nineteenth century, a group of German scholars conceived of the ambitious project of researching, recording and cataloguing all known Latin inscriptions and publishing them in one place. The title of this imposing multivolume collection is Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum—usually referred to by the abbreviation CIL. Work on this impressive collection, which currently boasts 17 volumes, many of which are themselves comprised of numerous volumes and additional supplements, continues to this day. In addition, many other smaller collections have appeared over the years which facilitate access to the most interesting and important of the hundreds of thousands of texts included in CIL. However, the standard means for citing a Latin inscription is still according to its location in CIL, thus the entry for each inscription in this book cites, whenever possible, its location in CIL by volume and inscription number (e.g., CIL 10.6942). In addition, references are provided to several useful collections of inscriptions published in English whenever an inscription included here appears also in that collection (e.g., Gordon 50). The full titles of all the works thus cited can be found in the Abbreviations of Collections of Inscriptions.

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Table of Contents

Grammatical Table of Contents vi Thematic Table of Contents vii Credits for Illustrations viii Preface ix Introduction xi Epigraphic Conventions xv Abbreviations of Collections of Inscriptions xvii Abbreviations of Grammatical Terms xviii Inscriptions 1 Part 1 Nouns: The Uses of Cases 1 Part 2 The Forms of the Verb 27 Part 3 Miscellaneous Forms and Constructions 41 Part 4 The Syntax of the Subjunctive Mood 71 Suggestions for Further Reading 99 Vocabulary 101 Index of Selected Grammar, Syntax, and Figures 109
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