Orbis Pictus: The Natural World

(1 review)

Timothy Griffith

Learn Latin words for animals and everyday things the way you're supposed to learn a language with Orbis Pictus.

Look Inside the Book

Utilizing macaronic sentences, Latin idioms, illustrations that get at the essentials of words, and a glossary for pronunciation, synonyms, and other useful words, the Orbis Pictus series provides Latin educators with a tool specifically to introduce Latin vocabulary, regardless of their textbook or philosophy of teaching. The Orbis Pictus series helps students pick up vocabulary in the best ways possible:
It introduces words topically, which aids the memory.

Each new word is given in the context of a sentence specifically meant to help a student learn the word.

It uses illustrations, which clarify a word's meaning, help with memorizing, and make lessons more interesting.

The Orbis Pictus series is a great help for students learning to read Roman authors, especially when combined with a grammar-centric text. It can be used as a refreshing supplement for any Latin textbook or completely on its own. It has no prerequisites, and could be useful for even the most advanced students of Latin.

This volume covers almost five hundred words on the natural world. This includes not only vocabulary that appears frequently in Latin literature, but also words that have been adopted as technical terms in various scientific disciplines (especially biology). A student who has mastered the material in The Natural World will have also built up basic English and Latin vocabulary in anatomy, botany, and zoology, and will be much better prepared to read classical Roman literature.

From the Book:

"Although Latin has been remarkably stable for over two millennia, there have been significant changes in its vocabulary and word order. It is consequently impossible to choose a perfect general vocabulary or composition style, especially considering the broad goals of this textbook. I have attempted to do what is most useful for a general student of Latin and will doubtless
offend purists in every camp. In regard to word order, even a beginning student of Latin may notice that I do not follow the style of Cicero and other orators that has become accepted as “authentic.” The truth is that authentic Latin is extraordinarily flexible in this regard. I have deliberately taken advantage of this to make my parallel columns in English and Latin as like as possible. Although the style of both the English and Latin is consequently somewhat affected, there is a clear pedagogical advantage to using a similar word order: even the most elementary student may find the English equivalents of the Latin column by reading it as they would an interlinear text.

"Whenever practical I have selected words and spellings used in the classical period. Where synonyms exist, I have chosen what seems most popular in the surviving literature. Because his usage is more precise, I often preferred words found in Pliny the Elder’s Natural Histories to those used by the poets and orators. Additionally, since this book seeks to aid a student’s comprehension of modern technical terminology, I have preferred words later adopted in the scientific community. When absolutely necessary I have used neo-Latin words, which are clearly designated with an asterisk. For teachers who object to my vocabulary choice, I would encourage them to simply change it. I have included a list of possible alternatives in the glossary." -From the Introduction

Timothy Griffith is a fellow of Classical Languages at New Saint Andrews College, and he is the director of the Latin Phaedrus Composition Contest. He received his M.A. in Classical Languages from the University of Kentucky, and is currently pursuing his doctorate in classics with the University of Florida. He and his wife Casey live in Moscow, Idaho with their four children.

AUTHOR: Timothy Griffith

PAGE COUNT: 104 pages

SIZE: 8.50x11"

BINDING: Paperback

ISBN 10: 1591281164

ISBN-13: 9781591281160

PUB. DATE: July 31, 2012

Customer Reviews

Based on 1 review
Just what I didn't know I wanted

I am very pleased with Orbis Pictus. I don't know Latin and am slowly learning it with my younger children. (My older children get it at school.) I just want to start with simple concrete nouns (as opposed to a textbook) but it is tough to go through the large dictionary to pull things out. Orbis Pictus is just what I needed - I can easily look up words according to a theme (animals, birds, body parts, etc.) and go from there. I also foresee this being helpful at the higher levels as well. Very pleased with this impulse purchase!