The Hellenica Oxyrhynchia: Its Authorship and Authority [review-book]

W. S. Ferguson
1915 The Classical Weekly  
Known as the Early Journal Content, this set of works include research articles, news, letters, and other writings published in more than 200 of the oldest leading academic journals. The works date from the mid--seventeenth to the early twentieth centuries. We encourage people to read and share the Early Journal Content openly and to tell others that this resource exists. People may post this content online or redistribute in any way for non--commercial purposes. Read more about Early Journal
more » ... out Early Journal Content at http://about.jstor.org/participate--jstor/individuals/early-journal--content. JSTOR is a digital library of academic journals, books, and primary source objects. JSTOR helps people discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content through a powerful research and teaching platform, and preserves this content for future generations. JSTOR is part of ITHAKA, a not--for--profit organization that also includes Ithaka S+R and Portico. For more information about JSTOR, please contact support@jstor.org. THE CLASSICAL WEEKLY Elementary Composition? Where is the mystic line beyond which lies Advanced Composition? There is not sufficient time here to go deeply into the possible lines of division, bult for mere illustration of the principle we may observe that it is obvious that for study previous to Cicero we could advantageously omit verbs governing the genitive case, complex passive constructions, idiomatic accusatives, expressions of value and price, independent subjunctives, commands and prohibitions (direct and quoted), all uses of the gerund and gerundive except those with ad and causa, conditional sentences (except the three normal types in direct discourse), and conditional clauses of comparison. There should be also a limit to the vast array of temporal, causal, and concessive conjunctions, and of substantive clauses. It is clear that great stress should be put upon purpose, result, indirect discourse (barring complex dependent clauses), questions direct and indirect, important case constructions, and particularly upon the principles of agreement. By laying stress upon just such selected points of syntax, and by drill in a selected vocabulary, tutors who make no effort to give a course in composition, but who attempt merely to cram the pupil for the immediate needs of the examination test succeed amazingly well in pushing boys into College. But no legitimate text-book on the market dares to suggest such a process. Certainly all who believe in the teaching of Latin as a language, and not as a piece of apparatus for gambling would welcome any move tending to make work in Latin composition a really progressive process, and one above all else thorough at every stage. A word should be added regarding the requirements in grammar alone. The Secondary School teacher has fully enough on his hands in the work of the first two years if he teaches the regular inflections and syrntax of frequent occurrence, without attempting to present satisfactorily much material which young pupils cannot comprehend, but which he dares not omit. Second year pupils do well if they absorb the fact that Latin is a highly inflected language, and that the word 'good', immutable in English, has in the Latin thirty forms, some spelled alike, to be sure. The mere assembling of the English meanings of a group of Latin words is all that some pupils can accomplish in translation for a long time after they begin the study of Latin; how much more true this must be of the reverse process, Latin composition! Much is being said about the unit system. In this connection it is sufficient to observe that the requirements in text work may be quite in proportion to the credits awarded, but the requirements in composition are wholly out of proportion. As a general principle, for a college to accept at all Latin through Caesar and then to expect pupils of that stage to have a working knowledge of the general principles of Latin grammar, is foolishness at best. If the Secondary Schools can have a strict definition of what constitutes Second Year Latin, and a definite goal in the various stages of
doi:10.2307/4387104 fatcat:3e2by7owj5aydjufsqe6qxfpve