Latin 101: Learning a Classical Language [TTC Video]
23 July 2015, 02:43
Course No 2201 | WMV, WMV9, 2000 kbps, 640x360 | WMA, 128 kbps, 2 Ch | 36x30 mins | + PDF Guidebook | 14.77GB
Latin lives! The language of Caesar, Cicero, Virgil, St. Jerome, and countless other great authors is alive and well in the modern world. It lives in the Romance languages, which are the lineal descendants of Latin. It flourishes in English, which draws a major part of its vocabulary from Latin. It thrives in the technical terms of science, law, and other fields. Latin is used in the traditional liturgy and proclamations of the Catholic Church. And it is the language of choice for inscriptions, mottoes, and any idea that needs to be stated with permanence and precision.
Above all, Latin lives in thousands of pages of writings that were preserved from the ancient world—poems, plays, speeches, historical and philosophical works that were handed down for centuries because of their beauty of expression and profundity of thought. These immortal works have influenced everyone from Shakespeare to the framers of the United States Constitution to author J. K. Rowling.
On the other hand, Latin has an undeserved reputation for difficulty. But when taught well, Latin is pleasingly straightforward, logical, and predictable. Each word is like a finely crafted part of a machine—a device that does an amazing amount of work with very few components. Learning to read Latin is immensely rewarding, and it is a discipline that trains, enhances, and strengthens critical thinking.
Embark on this unrivaled adventure with Latin 101: Learning a Classical Language, 36 innovative lectures that cover the material normally presented in a first-year college course in Latin. By watching these entertaining lectures, practicing the drills, and doing the exercises in the accompanying guidebook, you will gain access to some of the world’s greatest thought in its original language. You will also understand why no translation can reproduce the elegance and charm of Latin.
Your guide is Professor Hans-Friedrich Mueller of Union College in Schenectady, New York, an award-winning teacher and textbook author who brings warmth, humor, and enthusiasm to the age-old profession of Latin master. To his students, Professor Mueller is simply Molinarius, which is Latin for his surname, Mueller, which means “miller” in English. Fully equipped to live in ancient times, Professor Mueller speaks Latin using the restored classical pronunciation, which melodiously approximates the way Latin was spoken in antiquity. When he speaks, Latin is indeed alive!
A Course for All Ages
For centuries, Latin was the indispensible foundation for higher education—a course of study that sharpened the mind and paved the way for more advanced schooling in literature, languages, and even mathematics and the sciences. Other courses have since taken Latin’s place in the required curriculum, but Latin remains a cornerstone of Western culture and superb preparation for a deeper understanding of English vocabulary and grammar.
Those who will benefit from Latin 101 include
- self-learners and home-schoolers who wish to learn Latin on their own with these 18 hours of lessons and the accompanying guidebook;
- those studying Latin in high school or college who seek an outstanding private tutor who knows the most common pitfalls that students face;
- anyone who has already taken Latin, even if years ago, and desires a refresher course from an engaging, award-winning professor;
- lovers of language, classical civilization, and great literature who aspire to hear and understand the living voice of the ancient world.
- Let the Past Speak to You
In Latin 101 you plunge into authentic Latin from the start, becoming part of a time-honored tradition of students unlocking the delights of increasingly challenging extracts of real Latin authors, such as these:
- Caesar: Julius Caesar’s Commentaries on the Gallic War describe the great general’s exciting exploits in a clear style without exotic vocabulary. These dispatches helped propel Caesar to a remarkable political career.
- Catullus: When asked to speak Latin, Professor Mueller often recites a charming love poem by Catullus. All of the elements that make Catullus one of the greatest poets who ever lived—language, meter, and style—are accessible to you after only a few Latin lessons.
- Cicero: Arguably the most influential writer of all time, Cicero left behind works in many different genres. In this course, you study some of the grammatical lessons from his oratory. There is no better guide to the principles for making a persuasive speech.
- St. Jerome: For his translation of the Bible into Latin in the 4th century A.D., St. Jerome used the language of the vulgus, or crowd. The “Vulgate,” as it is known, is an ideal text for beginning Latin students. You analyze passages from Genesis and Proverbs.
- Your readings also include excerpts from Virgil, Livy, Sallust, Plautus, Martial, Cato the Elder, the Twelve Tables of Roman Law, the Magna Carta, and the Great Seal of the United States, among other passages. In every case, you focus on something specific about how Latin works. For example, Adeste, fideles, the Latin version of the Christmas carol “O Come All Ye Faithful!,” is a superb introduction to the imperative mood.
By the end of the course, you will be translating a long inscription from a Roman funerary monument, which tells a touching story of young love and a married life cut too short. It is a heart-rending message that speaks directly across the centuries, highlighting one of the best reasons to learn an ancient language—so that you can listen to voices from the distant past with understanding and immediacy.
St. Jerome’s Latin version of God’s command in Genesis 1:3 is Fiat lux, “Let there be light.” Two Latin words where English needs four—or even five, since a more accurate English translation is “Let light come into existence.” This vividly demonstrates Latin’s grace, simplicity, and depth of meaning. How does Latin say so much with so little?
The secret is an array of word endings and other seemingly minor modifications that mold a basic word stem to fit a very precise role. For instance, the passive voice is awkward in English and therefore rejected by many writers concerned with style. An example is “I am being driven.” But in Latin you can say the same thing with only one word: agor. The ability of Latin to express the passive voice with elegance makes such forms much more common and useful than in English. The same goes for many other grammatical constructions, which is one of the ways that Latin improves your analytical skills—by allowing you to understand and make distinctions that are difficult to convey in English.
Latin 101 gives you extensive practice conjugating verbs and declining nouns and adjectives to create these meaning-packed words. It is the area in which Latin students have the most trouble, but Professor Mueller makes it accessible, interesting, and fun. Kinetic on-screen graphics emphasize the different forms as Professor Mueller recites them, so that you simultaneously see and hear each Latin word. Then the professor allows a moment for you to say it aloud. The combination of seeing, hearing, and speaking is the ideal way to reinforce language learning. Professor Mueller also reviews material already covered and looks ahead to what you still need to learn before your solid foundation in Latin is complete. Building such a foundation is quite an accomplishment, and the professor knows how to keep you motivated.
Along the way, you explore Roman history, laws, courtship practices, religious beliefs, and other aspects of ancient culture. And you encounter many examples of Roman thought, including this timeless piece of advice from Dionysius Cato, who lived in the 3rd or 4th century A.D. His words apply especially well to Latin 101 and to The Great Courses in general:
Ars remanet vitamque hominis non deserit umquam.
“Learn something. For whenever good fortune suddenly departs, skill remains, and skill does not desert the life of a person ever.”
- Pronouncing Classical Latin
- Introduction to Third-Conjugation Verbs
- Introduction to the Subjunctive Mood
- The Irregular Verbs Sum and Possum
- Introduction to Third-Declension Nouns
- Third-Declension Neuter Nouns
- First- and Second-Declension Adjectives
- First- and Second-Declension Nouns
- Introduction to the Passive Voice
- Third -io and Fourth-Conjugation Verbs
- First- and Second-Conjugation Verbs
- Reading a Famous Latin Love Poem
- The Present Passive of All Conjugations
- Third-Declension Adjectives
- Third-Declension I-Stem Nouns
- The Relative Pronoun
- The Imperfect and Future Tenses
- Building Translation Skills
- Using the Subjunctive Mood
- Demonstrative Adjectives and Pronouns
- The Perfect Tense Active System
- Forming and Using Participles
- Using the Infinitive
- Reading a Passage from Caesar
- The Perfect Tense Passive System
- Deponent Verbs
- Conditional Sentences
- Cum Clauses and Stipulations
- Reading Excerpts from Roman Law
- Interrogative Adjectives and Pronouns
- Fourth- and Fifth-Declension Nouns
- Gerunds and Gerundives
- Counting in Latin
- More on Irregular Verbs
- Comparison of Adjectives and Adverbs
- Next Steps in Reading Latin
Writing and Civilization: From Ancient Worlds to Modernity [TTC Video]
23 July 2015, 02:27
Course No 2241 | WMV, WMV9, 2000 kbps, 640x360 | English, WMA, 128 kbps, 2 Ch | 24x30 mins | + PDF Guidebook | 10.17GB
Can you imagine the world—or your life—without writing? From emails to street signs and newspapers to novels, the written word is so ever-present that we rarely stop to consider how it came to be.
Yet at just over 5,000 years old, writing is actually a relatively recent invention. It has become so central to the way we communicate and live, however, that it often seems as if writing has always existed.
Through writing, we gain knowledge about past cultures and languages we couldn’t possibly obtain any other way. Writing creates a continuous historical record—something an oral history could never achieve. And writing systems are integral to many cultural identities and serve as both a tool and a product of many important societal structures, from religion to politics.
The fundamental role and impact of writing in our civilization simply cannot be overstated. But the question remains: Who invented writing, and why?
Like any event from our prehistoric past, the story of writing’s origins is burdened by myths, mysteries, and misinformation. For the past two centuries, however, dedicated scholars have used rigorous methods to uncover a tale of intrigue, fascinating connections, and elegant solutions to the complex problem of turning language into text.
In the 24 visually intensive lectures of Writing and Civilization: From Ancient Worlds to Modernity, you’ll trace the remarkable saga of the invention and evolution of “visible speech,” from its earliest origins to its future in the digital age. Professor Marc Zender—Visiting Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Tulane University and an accomplished epigrapher—whisks you around the globe on a thrilling journey to explore how an array of sophisticated writing systems developed, then were adopted and adapted by surrounding cultures.
This course answers many of the most common questions about the world’s writing systems and the civilizations that created them, plus a number of questions you may never have thought to ask.
- Do all writing systems descend from a single prototype, or was writing invented independently?
- What one feature do the world’s writing systems have in common?
- Which kinds of signs and symbols qualify as writing, and which do not?
- How is the digital age changing the way we write?
- Along the way, you’ll visit the great early civilizations of Egypt, Mesopotamia, China, Japan, and the Americas, and you’ll see how deciphering ancient scripts is a little like cracking secret codes—only far more difficult.
Witness the Triumphs of Decipherment
Through the process of decipherment, civilizations including Egypt, Mesopotamia, Crete, and Mexico have, as Professor Zender says, “all given up their secrets.” Lost histories, literatures, and religions can now be studied in translation, and the disciplines of ancient history, archaeology, and comparative literature have benefited enormously as a result.
You’ll be spellbound as you hear accounts of the breathtaking moments when the decipherment of ancient scripts broke centuries of silence. And you’ll marvel at fascinating objects once shrouded in mystery, including
- the iconic Rosetta stone, often credited with being the key to our understanding of Egyptian hieroglyphics;
- an Egyptian sphinx inscribed with the oldest-known form of our own alphabet;
- a doorway at Persepolis inscribed in cuneiform;
- a Maya vase featuring an ancient comic strip; and
- wooden, rune-inscribed runakéfli sticks featuring carved messages that reflect the social sphere of 12th-century Scandinavia, including one that reads, "I'd like to get to the pub more often."
- Crucial to your understanding of how epigraphers decipher scripts—and why they’re sometimes unsuccessful—are five preconditions known as the “pillars of decipherment,” which you’ll study in detail and return to throughout the course.
A Window into the Past
Among the fascinating takeaways from studying lost scripts is a newfound sense of shared humanity with ancient peoples. The cuneiform scripts of ancient Mesopotamia, Anatolia, and Persia, in particular, are eerily modern and reveal glimpses of the origins of practices and beliefs that continue to the present.
You’ll also see how writing was used for political purposes by our earliest civilizations, as in the practice known as damnatio memoriae, whereby ousted leaders were quite literally erased from history, either through the recarving of inscriptions or by omission from official records. Ironically, it is Tutankhamen’s own erasure that may have helped obscure his tomb from raiders.
Despite the obvious connection between language and writing, this course draws a clear distinction, explaining how single languages can be written using various writing systems. English, you’ll learn, was once written with runes. In antiquity, Greek was represented by at least three different scripts.
In exploring how writing systems rise and fall, you’ll encounter many scripts that are associated with languages that have surviving descendents, including those of the Akkadians, Babylonians, and Assyrians, which have relatives in Hebrew and Arabic. Others scripts you’ll study—such as those of the Elamites, Hurrians, and Sumerians—record languages that have died out or evolved to the point of being unrecognizable.
Myths Dispelled, Revelations Told
In Writing and Civilization, you’ll encounter a wealth of eye-opening information that sets the record straight on this enigmatic subject. Here are just a few of the misconceptions that you’ll encounter and investigate in greater detail.
- A civilization cannot exist without writing: While writing and civilization share a strong relationship, they are not inextricably entwined.
- Writing was invented to serve the administrative needs of early cities: Although writing did serve this purpose, it likely first emerged out of a need to record proper nouns.
- The Rosetta stone is a one-of-a-kind artifact: This first and most famous example of a bilingual—or “triscript,” as it contains Greek writing, Egyptian hieroglyphs, and demotic script—is not the only Egyptian bilingual in existence, nor was it unique for its era.
- You may also be surprised to learn that the Aztecs possessed writing, and that unearthed Aegean writings in Linear B spoke only of mundane accounting matters rather than Theseus and the Minotaur and Icarus, as early scholars predicted.
Hear Messages of the Ancients Revealed
Writing and Civilization offers lifelong learners the chance to not only discover the history of ancient writing systems, but also the rare opportunity to actually hear those scripts read aloud and to learn the meaning of their messages hidden in plain sight.
As an expert on Mesoamerican languages and writing systems and an international lecturer on decipherment, Professor Zender has conducted linguistic, epigraphic, and archaeological fieldwork in much of the Maya area, including Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, and Mexico. His expertise, along with firsthand accounts of his experiences and discoveries, adds an invaluable perspective that truly brings this riveting material to life.
You will also be captivated by the extraordinary visuals accompanying each dynamic lecture, including photographs of ancient sites and artifacts, explanatory animations, and numerous illustrations artfully drawn by the professor—many exclusively for this course.
From papyrus to personal computer, the story of writing is 5,000 years in the making, and it’s still evolving. Investigate the fascinating relationships between language and writing, and the cultures that gave birth to them, in Writing and Civilization: From Ancient Worlds to Modernity.
- What Is Writing?
- The Origins and Development of Writing
- Where Did Our Alphabet Come From?
- The Fuþark—A Germanic Alphabet
- Chinese—A Logosyllabic Script
- Japanese—The World’s Most Complex Script
- What Is Decipherment?
- The Five Pillars of Decipherment
- Epigraphic Illustration
- The History of Language
- Proper Nouns and Cultural Context
- Bilinguals, Biscripts, and Other Constraints
- Egyptian—The First Great Decipherment
- What Do Egyptian Hieroglyphs Say?
- Old Persian—Cuneiform Deciphered
- What Does Cuneiform Say?
- Mycenaean Linear B—An Aegean Syllabary
- Mayan Glyphs—A New World Logosyllabary
- What Do the Mayan Glyphs Say?
- Aztec Hieroglyphs—A Recent Decipherment
- Etruscan and Meroïtic—Undeciphered Scripts
- Han'gul, Tengwar, and Other Featural Scripts
- Medium and Message
- The Future of Writing
Meaning of Life [TTC Video]
20 July 2015, 15:11
Course No 4320 | AVI, XviD, 904 kbps, 640x480 | MP3, 128 kbps, 2 Ch | 36x30 mins | + PDF Guidebook | 7.81GB
What is the meaning of life? It's a question every thoughtful person has pondered at one time or another. Indeed, it may be the biggest question of all. Most of us have asked ourselves this question at some time, or posed it to somebody we respect. It is at once a profound and abstract question, and a deeply personal one. We want to understand the world in which we live, but we also want to understand how to make our own lives as meaningful as possible; to know not only why we're living, but that we're doing it with intention, purpose, and ethical commitment.
But how, exactly, do we find that meaning, and develop that commitment? How can we grasp why we are here? Or how we should proceed? And to whom, exactly, are we supposed to listen as we shape the path we will walk?
The Meaning of Life: Perspectives from the World's Great Intellectual Traditions is an invigorating way to begin or to continue your pursuit of these questions, with no previous background in philosophical or religious thought required. Its 36 lectures offer a rigorous and wide-ranging exploration of what various spiritual, religious, and philosophical traditions from both the East and the West have contributed to this profound line of questioning.
Guided by Professor Jay L. Garfield of Smith College—as well as of the University of Massachusetts, Melbourne University in Australia, and the Central University of Tibetan Studies in India—you'll gain insights from a broad array of sources, including these:
- Ancient Indian texts, including the Bhagavad-Gita
- Foundational Chinese texts such as the Daodejing and the Chuang Tzu
- Classical Western texts such as Aristotle's Nichomachean Ethics and Marcus Aurelius's Meditations
- Modern philosophers such as David Hume, Immanuel Kant, Friedrich Nietzsche, and Leo Tolstoy
- The unique perspectives offered by Native Americans; in this case, the Lakota Sioux medicine man and writer, John Lame Deer
- More recent and contemporary philosophers, such as Mohandas Gandhi and the Dalai Lama
Enjoy a Journey Rich in Knowledge and Perspective
The ability to ponder your own relationship with the universe and with others is perhaps one of the greatest benefits of being human. Even if you do not find a final answer to the question this course poses, each answer you consider cannot help but add depth and nuance to your own contemplation of how to live.
In considering the range of approaches to this question developed over the course of human intellectual history, you'll increase your own storehouse of wisdom, enabling you to shape a life that is as meaningful and satisfying as possible, heightening your appreciation of every moment.
The Meaning of Life is a course rich in wisdom, including the realization that although a single answer to the question may forever elude you, that elusiveness is no great tragedy. More important is the search itself, and the insights you'll gain as you realize that just as different traditions provide a vast diversity of answers, so, too, do they consistently return to recurring themes:
- One's relationship to a larger context
- The boundaries created by temporality and impermanence
- The pursuit of a larger purpose, or even the goal of perfection
- The value of spontaneity, even though the ideal of that characteristic differs from one tradition to another
- The importance of freedom, whether from social norms and standards; religious, social, or political authority; external constraints; consumerism; or even philosophical ideas themselves
- The commitment to live authentically
- Find Common Ground with History's Most Profound Thinkers
For anyone who has spent time grappling with these ideas themselves, it is a comfort to see that even some of history's most profound thinkers have wrestled with these problems, engaging in a conversation thousands of years in length and rich in insight.
For example, while many of them agree on the importance of authenticity, their agreement marks not the end of the conversation, but its beginning.
- Should that authenticity, as Kant and Mill believed, be epistemic, found in the hard work of serious reasoning over political, moral, and scientific issues so that we can propagate the answers we discover?
- Should it be what we might call an aesthetic authenticity—a life lived truly in harmony with a beautifully visualized fundamental reality? Such a view attracted figures as varied as Nietzsche, the Zen writer Dogen, and Laozi, the possibly mythical figure credited with authorship of the Daodejing.
- Or should it be instead a natural authenticity, so that you live your life as Lame Deer advocated, striving for harmony with the natural world in the face of a modern civilization whose every construct seems designed to make that impossible?
One of The Meaning of Life's great virtues is the ease with which Professor Garfield organizes and makes cohesive the vast range of perspectives. At every stage of the course, the relationship of each writer or tradition to all of the others is clear and logical, no matter how intricate or demanding a line of argument might be.
Dr. Garfield—teaching his material with extraordinary passion and thoroughness—shows great skill in unpacking the substance of each source, presenting it clearly and positioning it in its proper place within a philosophical conversation that has been going on for millennia.
And when an idea might otherwise present vexing complexities, he unveils an additional—and superbly useful—teaching skill. For Professor Garfield has the gift of analogy, enabling him to relate even the most ancient or subtle texts to your own life in ways that show their relevance to how you live today.
With The Meaning of Life, Professor Garfield has put together an intellectually gripping course that is every bit the equal of the monumental subject it sets out to explore.
- The Meaning of the Meaning of Life
- The Bhagavad-Gita — Choice and Daily Life
- The Bhagavad-Gita — Discipline and Duty
- The Bhagavad-Gita — Union and Purpose
- Aristotle on Life — The Big Picture
- Aristotle — The Highest Good
- Aristotle — The Happy Life
- Job's Predicament — Life Is So Unfair
- Job's Challenge — Who Are We?
- Stoicism — Rationality and Acceptance
- Human Finitude — The Epicurean Synthesis
- Confucius — Order in the Cosmos and in Life
- Daodejing — The Dao of Life and Spontaneity
- Daodejing — The Best Life Is a Simple Life
- Daodejing — Subtlety and Paradox
- Zhuangzi on Daoism — Impermanence and Harmony
- The Teachings of the Buddha
- Santideva — Mahayana Buddhism
- Santideva — Transforming the Mind
- Zen — The Moon in a Dewdrop and Impermanence
- Zen — Being-Time and Primordial Awakening
- Taking Stock of the Classical World
- Hume's Skepticism and the Place of God
- Hume's Careless and Compassionate Vision
- Kant — Immaturity and the Challenge to Know
- Mill's Call to Individuality and to Liberty
- Tolstoy — Is Everyday Life the Real Thing?
- Nietzsche — Twilight of the Idols
- Nietzsche — Achieving Authenticity
- Gandhi — Satyagraha and Holding Fast to Truth
- Gandhi — The Call to a Supernormal Life
- Lame Deer — Life Enfolded in Symbols
- Lame Deer — Our Place in a Symbolic World
- HH Dalai Lama XIV — A Modern Buddhist View
- HH Dalai Lama XIV — Discernment and Happiness
- 36. So, What Is the Meaning of Life?