Beyond vocabulary and grammar, Latin 2 students are learning about rhetoric and culture.

In Latin 2, the students are continuing their journey through Wheelock’s Latin course. We devoted the first few weeks to reviewing the grammar and vocabulary covered in the first 13 chapters of the course, which the students learned last year. This review was both very productive and quite a bit of fun.

We have gone on to study the new material of chapters 14 and 15. In addition to learning quite a bit of new vocabulary, the students have been learning about new usages of the ablative: the ablative of means or instrument, the ablative of accompaniment, the ablative of manner, and the ablative of time when or within which. The students have developed the tools to define, recognize, and understand each of these usages, which deepens and expands their knowledge of not only Latin but also language in general.

The class has also been exploring the origin of rhetoric in ancient Athens, learning about the Protagorean and Gorgianic approaches to persuasive speech and the legacy of those approaches both in the Roman Republic and in our own time, especially as it relates to the current presidential election.

Lastly we have been considering the Five Essential Questions in Life posed by Dean James Ryan of the Harvard School of Education. We have spent a few minutes each week discussing how we can apply these lessons to our own lives, and the students even wrote a short essay about their own experiences with the first three questions using Latin vocabulary learned in chapter 14.

-- Ilyse Gordis