Coronis: A Novice High Version of Apollo and Tragic Love loosely based on Ovid’s Version.

Level C books are around the novice high range.  Other titles in level C are:

  • Lucia Puella Mala– Follow Lucia throughout her escapades around her Roman house and family.
  • Pluto:  Fabula Amoris – The famous story of Pluto and Proserpina.  The story cleverly changes perspectives from multiple characters.
  • Sacri Pulli – Sacred chickens, a chicken caretaker and Roman history all bundled into one clever story.

Although Coronis delivers sheltered vocabulary to create a novice high level reader of Ovid’s story of Apollo and Coronis, vocabulary important to the telling of a love story is repeated often enough to create depth that borders an intermediate reading. Embracing, kissing and beauty show up on the first page. This depth offers a student at the novice high level a readable story with manageable challenges for the reader at this level.

The story begins centered around language of love. The characters of Andromachus and Coronis are introduced. Many sentences are short with third person verbs familiar to the novice high level reader. But deponent verbs challenge the novice high reader. Indirect statements add understandable depth. Dative nouns with placet or as indirect objects in situations of giving offer an appropriate challenge.

One might argue this title is closer to a level D or low intermediate level early in chapter 1. As Andromachus and Coronis engage in dialogue a time shift occurs as the imperfect tense is used as the two characters meet and discuss what they were recently doing. Students around the novice high level seem to handle this time shift as it is embedded within dialogue. There are more moments like this throughout the story. The beginning of chapter 2 begins with a two gerundives in the second sentence. Many students seem to stumble at these points as they are not accustomed to these verb forms. These causes such constructions to become unfamiliar vocabulary forms. Even with these spots I find this title appropriate in level C for students who have emerged into the novice high level at the end of Latin 2 or beginning of Latin 3.

The reader continues mostly in the present tense. At times thoughts or dialogue require verbs in the past or future. A novice high level reader can handle these moments with sheltered vocabulary and consistent sentence structure. Chapter 2 repeats ideas of searching as Andromachus looks for pearls. Quaerere, petere and scire frequent the chapter in the 1st and 2nd person forms. Subjunctive forms of esse complete multiple indirect questions as Andromachus asks the Caecilianus to see Helen and her husband.

Chapter 3 of Coronis is from the perspective of Coronis herself. She searches for carrots as she guesses that Andromachus ate the last of the carrots in her house. Students will stumble with pastinacas so make sure and have this word readily available in translation for them. As she searches, she meets the god Apollo. She seems to forget about Andromachus. Although timeframe changes happen often as Coronis and Apollo converse, a novice high level reader can follow the story.

Meanwhile, Andromachus continues to look for pearls for Coronis. It is necessary to go to Sicily which offers a simple geography lesson for the student. The student follows Andromachus as he swims and walks through constructions of motion in Latin. Will he find the pearls?

Add Coronis to a library for Latin learners to find out. Some students enjoy the book toward the end of 2nd year study and many will be ready for it within the 3rd year of study in a high school Latin program. The title offers appropriate challenge while maintaining frequent repetition with an anticipated sentence structure to support the novice high reader.

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