The 9/11 Memorial and Virgil

Click here to read about the 9/11 memorial and Virgil passage.

Do you think this quote should be incorporated into the memorial?


Some Things Never Change….A Dog Mosaic

Below is a well-preserved mosaic from the ancient city of Pompeii.  As you know, this city was preserved by layers of volcanic ash…thank goodness (I guess?).   The volcano was Mount Vesuvius in Italy, the date was 79 AD.  Some guy named Pliny wrote about it all, we can read it some other time.  Meanwhile, check out the mosaic and let’s figure out how the Latin works.   Take a look, and then look below.

There are two words here:  cave canem.  The dog’s paw is breaking up the second word….fail.

The first word is a verb, cavere.  Caveo, cavere (second conjugation).  The form on the mosaic, cave, is called an imperative.  Imperatives give commands.   When you tell someone to do something, you are using the imperative.  To form the imperative, just take the infinitive form and chop off the re.  Now, cavere means to beware or to fear.  So, this mosaic is ordering the guest of the house BEWARE!  But, beware what?  You might have guessed.  That dog is off the chain.  The word canem you might recognize from the English word canine.  It means dog.  Canis, canis is a third declension noun, so what case is the form canem?  It’s an accusative (canis, canis, cani, canem, cane…).  The accusative case is used for direct objects.  Beware what?  Beware the dog.

Pretty cool, yeah?  

Academia Aestiva Latina!

The Getty Villa is offering a week-long summer Latin academy for teens–“This year’s Summer Latin Academy theme, “Tempus Fugit (Time Flies),” will concentrate on the passage of time and how it was marked in antiquity. The five-day week will be treated like the Roman calendar, and important dates and holidays will receive close attention as we study the customs and traditions of the ancient Romans”


The summer academy is FREE!! Applications are due June. 1st. Click here to learn about the program.

Momento Mori

This image was found in the triclinium of a house in Pompeii. What do you see in the image? What do you think is hanging next to the skull? What message do you think the mosaic sends?


Read pages 115-118 and answer the questions below.

1 . Who attends a funeral ceremony?

2. When is the ceremony held?

3. What practices are used at the ceremony?

4. How are the dead commemorated by the living.

5. What beliefs are held about life after death?