Customer Reviews


4 Reviews
5 star:
 (2)
4 star:
 (1)
3 star:    (0)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:
 (1)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, up-to-date and easy to use
At last, a modern, handy and user-friendly guide to Latin prose comp. True, "Writing Latin" is not quite as exhaustive as trusty old Bradley's Arnold, but it is much easier to use. The grammar explanations are clear, concise and easy to understand (contrast with the recent book "Introduction to Latin Prose Composition" by Milena Minkova, where the English is difficult and...
Published on 14 Sep 2007 by Marcus Horatius

versus
30 of 35 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Better off with Colebourn
I approached this book with high hopes and used it to teach Latin prose composition with my AS beginners this year. Sad to say, that is the last time I shall use it; after almost finishing the book, both the students and I rushed with some relief back into the arms of Colebourn.

The subtitle promises to introduce 'writing in the language of Cicero and Caesar',...
Published on 22 Dec 2008 by Jeffrey Shaw


Most Helpful First | Newest First

23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, up-to-date and easy to use, 14 Sep 2007
This review is from: Writing Latin (Paperback)
At last, a modern, handy and user-friendly guide to Latin prose comp. True, "Writing Latin" is not quite as exhaustive as trusty old Bradley's Arnold, but it is much easier to use. The grammar explanations are clear, concise and easy to understand (contrast with the recent book "Introduction to Latin Prose Composition" by Milena Minkova, where the English is difficult and full of academic/grammatical jargon terms).

The exercises are interesting and apposite, too: short graded sentences at the end of each chapter divided into A, B and C sections -- the latter for revision only once you've covered all the topics. There are longer paragraphs for practice every few chapters as well, and passages from Cicero, Livy, Tacitus et al at the end with notes explaining how and why they write as they do.

Refreshing, too, that the authors have a sense of humour: you won't find sentences like "After we had left the philosopher, we went to the brothel", or "She was the kind of girl who liked older men" in Bradley's Arnold or North & Hillard!

Although I haven't looked at them yet, the authors have provided answers to all the exercises which are available online for download.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


30 of 35 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Better off with Colebourn, 22 Dec 2008
By 
Jeffrey Shaw - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Writing Latin (Paperback)
I approached this book with high hopes and used it to teach Latin prose composition with my AS beginners this year. Sad to say, that is the last time I shall use it; after almost finishing the book, both the students and I rushed with some relief back into the arms of Colebourn.

The subtitle promises to introduce 'writing in the language of Cicero and Caesar', but I must say that the Latin this book teaches you to write is like no Latin I have ever read. The authors populate the exercises with striking, modern-sounding sentences that sound as if they could have come from a tabloid newspaper - presumably to avoid the dusty air of more traditional books. This means however that we are constantly looking for ways of casting modern thoughts and expressions into the language of C1 BC Roman authors - and it just doesn't work. To take a small example, "'I would die if he left me', she thought," which is rendered (in the Key to Writing Latin, available separately), "'moriar', putavit, 'si me reliquat'" (let us pass over the fact that the last word should be 'relinquat'). No Roman author that I know of ever reports direct speech attributed to a person's thought-process; I have never seen 'putavit' or any other word for thought used in this way. Another sentence asks for "I love you because you are wonderful" and the Key suggests using 'mira'--but I cannot find a single example in Lewis and Short of this word being used as a term of praise for a person. At other times we seem to be bordering on dog Latin or plain errors. 'A lamp which she had also hidden' invites the use of quoque for 'also' even though quoque is a conjunction and 'also' here is an adverb (simul/una?) - the suggested translation 'quam quoque celaverat' strikes me as just plain wrong. I could go on; in my opinion a great many of the sentences here, including even the prose passages, if rendered as the authors, according to the Key, clearly intend, produce Latin which is as unCiceronian as it is unCaesarian.

At the other extreme from the dashing modernity of the English in some of the practice passages, at other times we are presented with sentences that read like rudimentary translations from the Latin: 'because she had been inflamed with anxious fear,' 'lay side her anger and no longer devise bad things against the girl.'

The organisation of the book too is problematical. It is necessary to flick backwards and forwards far too often. One early stumbling-block is that the C exercises are meant to be done after the rest of the book has been tackled as they include revision sentences on all grammatical topics. Awkward as that may be, one can learn to live with it; but individual topics are sometimes introduced in a strange order. We read about (but do not practise) all the niceties of the generic consecutive subjunctive on page 30 (under relative pronouns), but do not meet simple result clauses until page 96--and there find ourselves referred back to p. 30 in order to complete the exercises. Exercise A on p. 114 is supposed to practise gerunds--yet many of the sentences are better handled by the gerundive (and the Key agrees)--including one where the author most misleadingly adds 'use gerund' in square brackets. Is this supposed to be helpful?

I could go on. One thing is for sure: if you do choose to use this book, do not bother with the Key as it is full of errors!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Different approach, 28 May 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Writing Latin (Paperback)
This book is a good complement to my other text books. I recommend it although it should be noted; for most people, books are not enough and it is always a good idea to interact with other people in a subject - not easy with Latin unless you live in Oxford or the Vatican!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Lost Art, 20 Nov 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Writing Latin (Paperback)
I really do love this book and am delighted with the opportunity to rediscover my skills. There is no language as beautiful
as Latin.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Writing Latin
Writing Latin by James Morwood (Paperback - 13 July 2007)
14.99
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews