LINGUA LATINA PER SE ILLUSTRATA, by Hans H. Orberg,  is a Latin course written entirely in Latin. It consists of two parts, FAMILIA ROMANA, the fundamental course, and ROMA AETERNA, the advanced course, with a volume of INDICES. There are three supplements.



FAMILIA ROMANA - a Roman Family


Part I, Familia Romana, covers the essentials of Latin grammar and a basic vocabulary of some 1500 words. The 35 chapters (capitula) form a sequence of events in the life of  a Roman family in the 2nd century A.D. Each chapter is divided into 3 or 4 lessons (lectiones) and consists of several text pages followed by a grammar section and three exercises, pensa. At the end of the volume there is a survey of inflexions, a Roman calendar, and a word index, Index vocabulorum.  



ROMA AETERNA: the Eternal City

In Part II, Roma Aeterna, the subject is Roman history as told by the Romans themselves. It opens with a description of the city of Rome on a historical back­ground. This is followed by a prose version of Vergil's Aeneid I-IV, with crucial passages in the original, and Livy’s Book I supplemented with extracts from Ovid. At first Livy’s prose is gently adapted, but the main part of the book contains unadapted texts by Livy, Gellius, Nepos, Sallust, Cicero, and Horace.



An entertaining narrative

LINGUA LATINA provides a Latin text that students can read and understand immediately without any need for translation. In this text every sentence is intelligible per se because the meaning and function of all new words and forms is made plain by the context or by illustrations or marginal notes. This demands a carefully graded text, but to make learning efficient the content must stimulate interest and make it easy for the reader to visualize the scenes described. To meet these demands the chapters of Part I form an eventful and entertaining narrative which captivates the students so that they look forward to reading the continuation of  the story. The reading of this Latin ‘novel’ also serves as an introduction to the life and culture of ancient Rome.



Direct understanding

This direct method, based on understanding from context, has proved efficient both for self-tuition and class teaching. An important factor is the satisfaction experienced by students when they discover that they can actually read and understand Latin immediately without parsing. Such direct understanding gives students self-confidence and sharpens their faculties of observation and reasoning, faculties that will be greatly needed as the sentences grow more complex. Reading in this way, they move on step by step towards the ultimate object of Latin teaching: the reading of Latin literature in Latin with real understanding and appreciation.


This page was last updated November 01 2003