Thursday, May 19, 2016

Latin Dictionary Scheduled for the Year 2050

Check out the following article about the Thesaurus Linguae Latinae, a comprehensive Latin dictionary being published by the German government.

Here is the link: NPR Thesaurus Linguae Latinae Article

Thank you David 'Scribonius' Samaniego for sharing this article!

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Build a Catapult

Launch a large marshmallow across the room using this simple catapult built using only standard school supplies (10 pencils, medium binder clip, sport's drink cap, and rubber band).

Monday, March 28, 2016

Roman Recipes

These two recipes are from a new book in which Katie Parla shares the tastes of ancient and modern Rome. If you try these, let me know how they turn out.

Recipes adapted from “Tasting Rome: Fresh Flavors and Forgotten Recipes from an Ancient City,” Katie Parla and Kristina Gill, Clarkson Potter (2016).

   Cacio e Pepe di Leonardo Vignoli

    Serves 4-6.  Cacio is Roman dialect for Pecorino Romano cheese. This dish (taken from a popular restaurant) is, like carbonara, a relative newcomer to Rome. “Tonnarelli” is the Roman name for Abruzzese “chitarra,” the squared off pasta made by pressing the dough through wire strings. — F.B.

   Sea salt

   1 pound spaghetti or tonnarelli

   2 cups finely grated Pecorino Romano

   2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste

       Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil over high heat. Salt the water. When the salt is dissolved, add the pasta and cook just until al dente. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine 1½ cups of the cheese, the pepper, and a small ladle of the pasta cooking water. Using the back of a large wooden spoon, mix vigorously to form a paste.

   When pasta is cooked, use a large strainer to remove it from the cooking water and immediately add it to the sauce in the bowl, letting the water on the stove continue to boil. Working quickly, toss the pasta vigorously, adding additional hot water a tablespoon or two at a time as necessary to melt the cheese and to obtain a juicy sauce that completely coats the pasta. Plate and sprinkle each portion with some of the remaining cheese and pepper to taste.

   Porchetta di Vito Bernabei

   Serves 10. Porchetta is popular right now, and this recipe from a pork butcher is simple compared to ones that ask you to roll a slab of pork belly around the core meat (often pork loin). I figure it’s just a matter of time until I spy a pre-seasoned, rolled, and tied porchetta in a butcher case (it’s already offered at, but I’d find it hard to resist seasoning my own. — F.B.

   1 (6- to 7- pound) deboned, skin-on pork shoulder

   3 tablespoons kosher salt

   1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper

   4 garlic cloves, mashed to a paste

   1 tablespoon chopped rosemary

   1 tablespoon peperoncino or red pepper flakes

   2 teaspoons fennel pollen or ground fennel seeds

   On a clean, dry, work surface, score the pork skin in a diamond pattern (or ask your butcher to). Turn pork over and massage salt into meat, then dust it with the pepper, garlic, rosemary, pepperoncino, and fennel pollen.

   Roll pork tightly, skin side out, and tie it securely with kitchen twine. Marinate in the refrigerator, uncovered, for at least 6 hours or overnight, allowing the skin to dry out.

   Remove from refrigerator 1½ to 2 hours before cooking. Preheat oven to 195 degrees. Bake porchetta until fork-tender, about 5 to 6 hours, then increase oven temperature to 500 degrees and let skin crisp for 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from oven, rest for at least 45 minutes, slice and serve.

Faith Bahadurian blogs at (also Twitter @njspice).

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Arch of Titus (free course)

From The Jewish Link of New Jersey
As Jews around the world celebrate the holiday of Chanukah, a new massive open online course (MOOC) being offered through YU Global, Yeshiva University’s online initiative, and Coursera, an educational technology company, will provide interested members of the public with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to explore the cultural impact of the Arch of Titus, a central artifact in both Jewish and Western history that depicts the golden menorah used in the Jerusalem Temple, among other Temple relics.

Read the rest of the article and find a link to the free course by clicking here:

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Carmen Themāticum Iohannis Cēnae (John Cena's Theme Song)

Tempus tuum fuit, tempus meum nunc est!
Mē vidēre nōn potes; tempus meum nunc est!
Negōtium est, puer, fulgeō!
Mē vidēre nōn potes; tempus meum nunc est!

Your time is up, my time is now!
You can't see me; my time is now!
It's the franchise, boy, I'm shinin' now!
You can't see me; my time is now!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Latin and Italian

We know that the Romance languages (French, Romanian, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish) are direct descendants of Latin.  How many times have I told my students:  "If you learn Latin first, you'll be able to acquire any modern language you need quickly and efficiently, particularly if you want to learn a Romance language."

Well, I found the following poem (and link) which illustrates the point better than my words can:

From the New Englander and Yale Review, January 1843: “The great etymological affinity between Italian and Latin, is illustrated by the following lines addressed to Venice, by a citizen of that republic before its fall, which read equally in both languages”:

Te saluto, alma Dea, Dea generosa,
O gloria nostra, O Veneta Regina!
In procelloso turbine funesto
Tu regnasti secura; mille membra
Intrepida prostrasti in pugna acerba.
Per te miser non fui, per te non gemo;
Vivo in pace per te. Regna, O beata,
Regna in prospera sorte, in alta pompa,
In augusto splendore, in aurea sede.
Tu serena, tu placida, tu pia,
Tu benigna; tu salva, ama, conserva.

Here is poem which can be read equally well by those who know Latin, Italian, and Portuguese:

A reader of Notes and Queries, August 1868, presents these lines as “being at the same time Latin, Italian, and Portuguese”:

In mare irato, in subita procella,
Invoco te, nostra benigna Stella.
Vivo in acerba poena, in maesto horrore,
Quando te non imploro, in te non spero,
Purissima Maria, et in sincero
Te non adoro, et in divino ardore.
Et, O vita beata, et anni et horae
Quando, contra me armato odio severo
Te, Maria, amo, et in gaudio vero
Vivere spero ardendo in vivo amore.
Non amo te, regina augusta, quando
Non vivo in pace et in silentio fido;
Non amo te, quando non vivo amando.
In te sola, Maria, in te confido,
In tua materna cura respirando,
Quasi columba in suo beato nido.

These two poems were posted at