I’m having my Latin IV students read Ovid in translation while we work through Livy in Latin to see a few different perspectives and the way that authors can draw from a range of sources to create markedly different works of literature. I was impressed with Ovid’s densely packed catalogue of mountains in book 2, as he recounted the destruction of Phaethon’s unfortunate ride, and had a go at plotting the mountains.
Ovid’s Catalogue of Mountains (Met. II. 217-26)
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You’ll definitely want to view the larger size on Google Maps.
Here’s the Latin for good measure:
- ardet Athos Taurusque Cilix et Tmolus et Oete
- et tum sicca, prius creberrima fontibus, Ide
- virgineusque Helicon et nondum Oeagrius Haemus:
- ardet in inmensum geminatis ignibus Aetne
- Parnasosque biceps et Eryx et Cynthus et Othrys
- et tandem nivibus Rhodope caritura Mimasque
- Dindymaque et Mycale natusque ad sacra Cithaeron.
- nec prosunt Scythiae sua frigora: Caucasus ardet
- Ossaque cum Pindo maiorque ambobus Olympus
- aeriaeque Alpes et nubifer Appenninus.
I then updated an old map I had played around with, plotting the locations of the Pre-Roman settlements according to Vergil: Laurentum, Lavinium, Alba Longa, and finally Rome:
From Aeneas to Romulus
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It takes some playing around with and getting used to, but I hope that more people take on projects like this. Perhaps we can organize ourselves and our students to attack certain tasks and post an easily accessible list. Any takers?
I’ve just plotted one of my favorite mnemonic devices (and not just because I came up with it) for the Hills of Rome, previously discussed in these very pages:
The 7 Hills of Rome (plus 1)
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The map gives you a serpentine visual to accompany the following phrase:
You begin with the Janiculan (the ‘plus 1′), and follow the line till you reach the Esquiline. Only three hills are named (arguably the three most significant for Roman history), while the others are abbreviated as Latin conjunctions. (AC = Aventine & Caelian, QVE = Quirinal, Viminal, & Esquiline.)