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?


Orpheus et Eurydice

Orpheus, the bard of Apollo, was able to tame the spirits of wild beasts and to move large stones with his songs. As an Argonaut on the quest for the Golden Fleece, he was a hero who bore no arms. His weapon was the lyre and the sound of his voice. He was even able to overcome the Sirens’ song with his music.


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The omens for his wedding day, however, proved unlucky– for his bride, Eurydice, was bitten by a serpent and died. Descending to the Underworld in order to retrieve his wife, Orpheus begs Pluto and Proserpina for her return. He reminds Pluto that he too had been conquered by Love.


Orpheus Taming Wild Animals, mosaic, 194 AD

27. Ducis, Louis - Orpheus And Eurydice

Orpheus and Eurydice, Louis Ducis

Translate the Latin story based on Ovid’s tale:

Multae fabulae narrantur de Orpheō, quī a Musīs doctus erat cithara ludere. In picturā in tricliniō Corneliī sitā Orpheus ad infernos descendit. Cur? Descendit quod uxor eius Eurydicē morte abrepta iam sub terra ā Plutone tenebatur. Dolore oppressus Orpheus constituit Plutonī appropinquare et uxorem ab eō petere.

cithara -ae (f): lyre

cithara ludere: to play (on) the lyre

dolor, doloris (m): grief

abripio, abripere, abripui, abreptus: to snatch away

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Ianua regnī Plutonis ā Cerbero, cane ferocī, quī tria habebat capita, custodiebatur. Orpheus, quod semper esuriebat Cerberus frustra cibī ad eum coniecit et, dum cibus arripitur a Cerberō, in regnum intravit. Per umbras ībat Orpheus; uxorem diu et diligenter quaerebat. Umbras et Plutonem cantibus et citharā oblectavit et fascinavit. Tandem Pluto dolore eius commotus, “Licet tibi” inquit, “uxorem tuam reducere, sed hac condiciōne: Eurydicē exibit ad lucem tē sequens; tu vetaris eam respicere. Si tu respicies, ea retrahētur neque umquam iterum ad vivos remittētur.”

ferox, ferocis: fierce

cantus, cantus (m): song

oblecto, -are, -avi, -atus: to delight

fascino, -are, -avi, -atus: to bewitch, charm

condicio, condicionis (f): condition, stipulation

respico, respicere, respexi, respectus: to look back at


Orpheus, Athanasius Kircher, 1601-1680

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Orpheus, Latin Manuscript

Mox Eurydicē ex umbrīs ducēbatur. Tum Orpheum sequens ad lucem lentē ascendebat. Orpheus, quamquam uxorem vidēre valdē desiderabat, ascendebat neque respexit. Iam ad lucem paene adveniebant cum Orpheus amore oppressus est. Respexit. Eurydice revocata ad Plutonem retracta est neque ad lucem umquam reddita est.


Orpheus and Eurydice, Michel-Martin Drölling, painting,1851

Disheartened and depressed by this double loss of Eurydice, Orpheus shuns the company of women. The Maenads, the maddened women who worship Bacchus, are angered at being so scorned. They attack Orpheus and their clamor and ululations tear him apart, limb from limb. Orpheus descends again to the Underworld, this time as a shade, where he is finally reunited with Eurydice.


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Orpheus and the Maenads,  Early English Manuscript

Credit: Latin story from Ecce Romani Unit 2

State Motto Activity

Latin Sayings and Snippets From States!

Try your best to translate the following state mottoes, all of which are written in Latin.  For words that you don’t know, I provide the vocabulary.  Other words we have had before and you can look up in Ecce if you don’t remember.


Arkansas:  regnat populus –  _____________________


regnare – to rule (reign, regent, regal, etc)

what is the subject?


Virginia:  sic semper tyrannis – _______________________


sic – thus

tyrannus, tyranni – tyrant

HINT: Tyrannis is dative plural. How is the dative case translated? Look in the Ecce glossary if you cannot remember!


South Carolina:  Dum spiro spero –  _________________


dum – while

spirare – to breath (perspiration, inspire, spirit)

sperare – to hope (does anyone know the spanish word for hope?)  🙂


Alabama:  audemus iura nostra defendere – __________________________


audere – to dare (the english adjective audacious means daring)

iura, iurorum – neuter, only in the plural, “rights”

nostrus, a, um: our  (compare spanish nosotros and italian nostro, nostra)

defendere – what do you think?  to defend!

(note, iura is neuter plural ACCUSATIVE!)


Arizona:  Ditat Deus – ____________________


deus, dei – god

ditare – to nourish

what is the subject?


Oklahoma:  Labor omnia vincit – ____________________


omnia – all things  (neuter)

vincere– to conquer

Adjectives are often used as Nouns (substantively), the masculine usually to denote men or people in general of that kind, the feminine women, and the neuter things

Thus, boni sunt rari = good men are rare.  (notice – we don’t need the word for men!)  Or:  Bonae sunt rarae = good women are rare.       SO: if you see an adjective and you don’t see a noun that it modifies….it’s probably substantive.

The state that holds a special place in my heart…


Maine:  Dirigo – ____________________


dirigere– to direct

Credit to Gabe, because I basically just took his activity and made it look pretty, with a few additions like my favorite state of Maine.   🙂

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.