Other level D Intermediate Latin texts:
Charybdis: capellus valde esuriens by Laura Shaw – A playful story centered around a Roman house with introductions to themes from the Aeneid.
Iter Icari by William J Simpson – An introduction to the traditional story of Icarus, yet he falls into the future into Miami instead of to his death.
Tiberius et Gallisena Ultima by Lance Piantaggini – An introduction to Caesar’s description of Gaul within a personal story of a lost character who finds help from someone with a different world view than his own. Must read for students who want to prepare for the AP Latin reading syllabus earlier in their Latin learning progression.
Eurydice: fabula amoris tells the story of Orpheus and Eurydice. This level D title pairs well for a Latin reader who is emerging from Novice level readers to intermediate. Eurydice: fabula amoris fits well in a sequence after Pluto: fabula amoris also by Miriam Patrick and Rachel Ash. Similar to Pluto, Eurydice offers the reader exposure to 2 main characters’ perspectives which offers students to connect to the story with more depth.
As a student begins Eurydice: fabula amoris the short sentence structure and sheltered vocabulary will give even the Novice high level reader confidence to understand the story in Latin. But quickly in chapter 1, Eurydice changes time frames multiple times as she describes were she used to be and the things she enjoys now in the present. As the reader moves to Orpheus’s perspective in chapter 2, sentences are a little bit longer. Comparative and superlative adjectives are used in descriptions. The reader completes many repetitions with 3rd person singular and plural verb endings, singular and plural subjects and objects, ablatives and the dative case shows up with mihi placet constructions. The student will connect placet and amare as both characters reflect on their likes and loves early in the title.
The title continues to move between time frames as both characters reflect on past actions and consider events happening to them in the moment. As Orpheus recalls a terrible day for him, the reader experiences 1st person plural verbs and Orpheus recounts events and feelings with Eurydice. The title continues with introductions for the intermediate reader to mythology characters Charon and Cerberus as Orpheus makes his plan to be reunited with his love. Many students seem to connect to the text as Orpheus and Charon interact which leads them to ask questions or even look up more information about Charon on their own accord.
I find Eurydice: fabula amoris a fantastic title for students in the 2nd half of Latin 2 or 1st half of Latin 3 who start to emerge into the intermediate range. The title offers changes in time frames in a way that holds the student in a place of comprehension. The title also offers the reader numerous moments to compare actions in the imperfect and perfect past tenses. Although much of the title uses 1st and 3rd person verbs, there are moments when the story includes dialogue that offers some repetitions of 2nd person verbs.
Students seem to connect to how Eurydice: fabula amoris uses Eurydice’s perspective to guide the leader to connect to how personal the love story is, especially toward the end of the story. Students connect to the personal nature of the story and the multiple perspectives and time frames offers the reader to engage in more depth of meaning within this story. As I continue to consider how students view titles and progress through our library, I see Eurydice: fabula amoris paired with Pluto: fabula amoris as important titles for students who have the goal of taking AP Latin in our program. Pluto offers the student an introduction to the underworld at the end of Latin 1 or beginning of Latin 2 and Eurydice offers an introduction to Charon and Cerberus and how the underworld functions during the 2nd half of Latin 2 or 1st half of Latin 3. These offer students a connection to themes encountered in book 6 of the Aeneid during the AP Latin course. Both titles will make will become titles I encourage students with the goal of AP Latin to read earlier in their Latin studies.