Projects for Latin III


Proposal for research, writing and presentation projects in the course of Latin III academic year 2008-9.

Make several classifications of the groups of possible subjects, say, Greco-Roman mythological figures, the seven kings of Rome (753 BC to 509 BC), legendary and historical figures during the early Republic (509 BC to around 100 BC), historical personages during the chaotic first century BC, major emperors, major Roman literary figures, possibly others, as things develop in whatever directions your interests may lead.

After some sort of overview or brief investigation into each classification, each student selects (or is assigned) a subject or person, and does some research and reading for the purpose of becoming as much of an expert about that person or subject as is reasonably possible in a couple weeks. Then he or she prepares some sort of report or presentation sufficient to educate the rest of the class about everything it is important to know about that subject or person.

Procedural questions I would have for you are (1) whether any sort of media should be permissible for any given assignment, or whether we should create some limiting parameters, say, you have to write a paper on literary figures, prepare a powerpoint on mythological figures, do an oral report on a king, (2) would you prefer just to do papers and turn them in for evaluation by me (primarily in terms of how much you've learned about the particular subject and secondarily how well you've communicated that in writing), (3) could we create a blog and put your papers on there for other students to read and and react to, (4) should we work in stages such that rough drafts (whether of papers or ppts) are subjected to a process of peer-review and critique before anything final is submitted to me (or to the rest of the class) for formal evaluation, (5) would you like to try just teaching the rest of the class (without having written any formal paper or anything) about the subject you've worked on?

Think about this and let's talk.


The first project is "mythological couples" which are allocated to students like this:

  • Blake – Theseus and Ariadne
  • Ric - Jason and Medea
  • Paul – Phaedra and Hippolytus
  • Maggie – Odysseus and Penelope
  • Dietrich – Aeneas and Dido
  • Allison – Perseus and Andromeda
  • Katie – Paris and Helen
  • Kathleen – Achilles and Briseis

Our medium for this project is powerpoint.

The time table is by next Wednesday, 10/8/08, get a draft in electronic form to me via email. I think that I can then get them onto either an existing or new blog, disseminate its URL via another or the same site, so that you can indulge yourselfs in a frenzy of peer-review. Each would be expected to comment on the submission of everyone. Please finalize the things as the frequency and stridency of critiques wane in the course of the ensuing seven days, so that they can be "presented" on or within a day or so of 10/15/08.

To the extent they are magnificently splendid accomplishments we could then take measures to mount them indefinitely on line for the edification of unknown others.

What's the objective here?
  • To learn as much as you reasonably can about the characters of your couple and the events in which they were involved. This is in the nature of a bunch of facts.
  • To begin to see, grasp and start playing with the ideas, concepts, perspectives behind the stories about these characters and their circumstances.
  • To start noting how these stories and legends have played a part in the development of Western Civilization.
  • To begin considering what can be learned from them about the human condition.

Accordingly, what kind of evaluation standards will applied?
  • Your product should be factually accurate and reasonably comprehensive with due consideration given to constraints of time and individual circumstances.
  • Sources should be selected prudently and properly attributed.
  • Images should be effective communicators of whatever your points are.
  • Written material should conform to conventional grammatical standards.
  • The interest of the reader/viewer should be stimulated and held.

Here are two examples of powerpoints from the monarchy projects done a few years ago, one of which I would consider a pretty effective use of the medium, and the other I thought relatively ineffective.

Tarquinius Priscus
- Tarquinius Priscus

Tarquinius Sextus - Tarqvinivs Sextvs

Okay the first phase of projects is beginning. The submissions will be added here. Pop each open, take a look at it, and start doing peer-review stuff over at the
blog site

Dietrich -

Paul - Hippolytus and Phaedra

Maggie - penelope and odysseus

Katie - latin pp

Kathleen - Achillesetbriseis

Allie - Perseus