Latin Online


Our First Unit of what I like to call "Scripta" will be the myths of creation

ab initio: from the beginning. The teacher explained the origins of creation according to the ancient Greeks and Romans ab initio.

initiate: to begin, set in motion, originate

Chaos: a great yawning void that existed before everything else.


Gaia/Ge: Earth goddess, mother of all. She produced the primal elements of the earth via parthenogenesis, and then via sexual unions with other deities. She is both a Titan and the mother of the Titans. She is fertility personified.


ad hominem: to the man

An ad hominem attack is when you attack someone personally. e.g. The candidates made ad hominem remarks about one another instead of addressing the important issues of the campaign.

ad infinitum: to infinity ( endlessly) e.g. The current presidential campaigns seem to go on ad infinitum.

homicide ( homo + caedere/to kill): the killing of a man/human.
infinity: the quality or state of being without end.

Uranus is the sky god and first ruler. He is the son of Gaia, who created him without help(parthenogenesis!). He then became the husband of Gaia and together they had many offspring, including twelve of the Titans.


Titans: Sons and daughters of Gaia and Uranus, son and sky god.

"In the first generation of twelve , the males were Oceanus, Hyperion,Coeus, Cronus,Crius and Iapetus and the females were Mnemosyne, Tethys, Theia, Phoebe, Rhea and Themis. The second generation of Titans consisted of Hyperion's children Eos, Helios, and Selene;Coeus's daughters Leto and Asteria;Iapetus's sons Atlas;Prometheus, Epimetheus, Menoetius; Oceanus' daughter Metis;and Crius's sons Astraeus, Pallas, and Perses." (see...wikipedia isn't all bad!!!)

Tennessee Titans 1.jpg
Tennessee Titans 1.jpg
Not those guys!


alma mater:"nourishing mother", school or college one attended. The recent graduates returned to their alma mater

for homecoming.

alumnus/alumna: "foster child", a graduate of a college or school. The alumni of the college provide scholarships for promising youth.

matrilineal (mater+linea=line) inheriting or determining descent through the female line.

matricide ( mater + caedere) the killing of one's mother

Today's myth is about castration ( cue the wincing).

Uranus' son, Cronus castrates his father and throws his testicles into the sea. I'm not kidding. The results of this , in addition to literal and metaphorical impotence, are the birth of Venus and the Furies.
Bottecelli, Birth of Venus

After Cronus castrated his father, he tossed the testicles in the ocean. The seminal fluid mixed with the seawater which foamed up and out sprang Venus/Aphrodite, goddess of love and beauty. She is a sexual, procreative force, which the earth needs. She is also an Olympian.
She is really popular in art and popular culture to this very day, and her names are synonomous with love and beauty.
A fresco from Pompeii

halle berry channels venus
and we still use her image to sell products to womenvenus sells razors
Aphrodite's Rock, Paphos, Cyprus

And, much less pleasantly, the Furies: "The Roman goddess of vengeance. They are equivalent to the Greek Erinyes. The Furies, who are usually characterized as three sisters (Alecto, Tisiphone, and Magaera) are the children of Gaia and Uranus. They resulted from a drop of Uranus' blood falling onto the earth. They were placed in the Underworld and it is there that they reside, tormenting evildoers and sinners. However, Greek poets saw them as pursuing sinners on Earth. The Furies are cruel, but are also renowned for being very fair."
Orestes Pursued by the Furies

Why are they doing this to this poor person? He committed matricide ( note the woman with the knife in her chest. That is his mother, Clytemnestra).


carpe diem: seize the day; make the most of the present, because , for all anyone knows, that's all we have. I do love Phineus andFerb.

bona fide: in good faith


It is used to mean "genuine". I have a bona fide ancient coin.

diurnal (diem) 1.of or pertaining to a day or each day;daily.

2.of or belonging to the daytime ( opposed to nocturnal).

fidelity (fide) 1.strict observance of promises,duties ,etc .:a servant's fidelity.

2.loyalty; faithfulness: fidelity to one'scountry.

Eos aka Aurora; goddess of the dawn.

She flies from her home at the edge of the Ocean across the sky, east to west every morning.She dresses in a gown that are all the colors of the dawn, and it flies behind her She is the mother of the stars and the winds. She is eternally beautiful and eternally young.

apollo and aurora.jpg
apollo and aurora.jpg

Guido Reni (1575-1642) Apollo in his Chariot preceded by the Dawn

Che bella!!!


is very pretty, no?

Tithonus: lover of Eos/Aurora. He was a Trojan prince whom she kidnapped to be her lover.

According to the Homeric Hymn to Aphrodite, when Eos asked Zeus to make Tithonus immortal, she forgot to ask for eternal youth .Tithonus indeed lived forever but when loathsome old age pressed full upon him, and he could not move nor lift his limbs, this seemed to her in her heart the best counsel: she laid him in a room and put to the shining doors. There he babbles endlessly, and no more has strength at all, such as once he had in his supple limbs." (Homeric Hymn to Aphrodite)

In later tellings he eventually turned into a cicada or a cricket eternally living, but begging for death to overcome him.


Julien Simon(1735-ca 1800) Tithonus and Aurora Aurora Borealis: The Northern Dawn


caveat emptor :"let the buyer beware" is the buyer's responsibility to insure that

he is not behind sold a shoddy product. Don't be a sucker...if it is too good

to be true, it probably is.

circa(c./ ca.): "around"...

Catullus ( eum amo!) was born circa 84BC.

caveat: a caution or warning ; an admonition.

circumvent ( circa + venire: to come): to go around or bypass:

to circumvent the lake;to circumvent the real issues

Helios/Sol: God of the sun. This role is later assumed by Apollo.


Helios was imagined as a handsome god crowned with the shining aureole of the sun, who drove the chariot

across the sky each day to earth-circling Oceanus and through the world-ocean

returned to the East at night. Homer described Helios's chariot as drawn by

solar steeds (Iliad xvi.779); later Pindar described it as drawn by

"fire-darting steeds" (Olympian Ode7.71).


In the version of the myth told by Ovid in the Metamorphoses, Phaeton ascends into Olympus, the

home of his suspected father. His mother, Clymene, had boasted that his father

was the sun-god Helios. Phaeton went to his father who swore by the river Styx

to give Phaeton anything he should ask for in order to prove his divine

paternity. Phaeton wanted to drive his chariot(the sun) for a day. Helios tried

to talk him out of it by telling him that not even Zeus(the king of gods) would

dare to drive it, as the chariot was fiery hot and the horses breathed out

flames. Phaeton was adamant. When the day came, Helios anointed Phaeton's head

with magic oil to keep the chariot from burning him. Phaeton was unable to

control the fierce horses that drew the chariot as they sensed a weaker hand.

"...consider what impetuous force Turns stars and planets in a diff'rent course. I steer against

their motions; nor am I Born back by all the current of the skye. But how cou'd

you resist the orbs that roul In adverse whirls, and stem the rapid pole

First it veered too high, so that the earth grew chill. Then it dipped too close, and the vegetation

dried and burned. He accidentally turned most of Africa into desert; bringing

the blood of the Ethopians to the surface of their skin, turning it black.

"The running conflagration spreads below. But these are trivial ills: whole cities burn, And

peopled kingdoms into ashes turn."

Rivers and lakes began to dry up, Poseidon rose out of the sea and waved his trident in anger at the

sun, but soon the heat became even too great for him and he dove to the bottom

of the sea.

Eventually, Zeus was forced to intervene by striking the runaway chariot with a lightning bolt to stop it,

and Phaƫthon plunged into the river Eridanos. Helios, stricken with grief,

refused to drive his chariot for days. Finally the other Greek godspersuaded

him not to leave the world in darkness. Helios blamed Zeus for killing his son,

but Zeus told him there was no other way.

The epitaph on his tomb was quite to the point:

"Here Phaƫthon lies who drove the Sun-god's car. Greatly he failed, but greatly he dared."

Phaeton by Johann_Michael_Franz_thumb[3].jpg
Phaeton by Johann_Michael_Franz_thumb[3].jpg
Johann Michel Franz

There is a car named "Phaeton" which is an odd choice, in my opinion.
phaeton car.jpg
phaeton car.jpg

anno domini (AD): "in the year of the Lord"

libra (lb)= "weight."

equalibrium: "equal weight"; a state of rest or balance due to the equal action of opposing forces.

"Equilibrium.", n.d. Web. 16 Sept. 2012. is my friend and can be yours, too.

annual: yearly

I love this one! ( id amo!)

Endymion: lover of the moon goddess, Selene ( Selena, Luna). He was either a shepherd or an astronomer who fell in love with Selene...Zeus granted him eternal life, but he was also given eternal sleep.


credo: "I believe"; a set of firm beliefs My personal credo is "Treat others the way you would like to
be treated".

corpus delicti: "the body of a crime" This is the evidence that a crime has been committed. The broken
lock and empty safe was the corpus dilecti for the charge of burglary.

corporal: concerning the body
incredulous : not believing

Muses: Zeus mated with Mnemosyne, the Titan goddess of memory, and the inventress of
language and words. They had the nine Muses, the patronesses of the arts.

THE MOUSAI (Muses) were the goddesses of music, song and dance, and the source
of inspiration to poets. They were also goddesses of knowledge, who remembered
all things that had come to pass. Later the Mousai were assigned specific
artistic spheres: Kalliope( Calliope), epic poetry; Kleio(Clio), history; Ourania(Urania), astronomy;
Thalia, comedy; Melpomene, tragedy; Polyhymnia, religious hymns; Erato, erotic
poetry; Euterpe, lyric poetry; and Terpsikhore, choral song and dance.
This is the ruins of Roman temple to Apollo in Leptis Magna, in modern day Libya, which was part of the Roman Empire. It was a beautiful place, and probably still is, but no one in their right mind would visit there now, unless you enjoy things like burning people in effigy and storming embassies. It is kind of sad when you think about it.

Here are the muses with Apollo, who is a god of music as well.

Here they are again, dancing around.


muse to sell perfume

muse in fashion


cui bono?: "good for whom?" to whose advantage or benefit. In seeking to
gather suspects for a crime or transgression or even something innocuous like an idea...
figure out who would have benefited from it, and you are likely to find who is responsible.

casus belli: " the occassion of war" incident which justifies a attacking Afghanistan post 9/11...or going after Japan after Pearl Harbor...or marauding through the Mideast, taking territory and killing anyone who stands in your ISIS marauding through the Mid East
and killing anyone who stands in their way, and blowing up humanity's treasures while they are at it: Ancient Ruins gone forever

belligerent: "war bearing" (bellum+gerere); fighting a war :

angry and aggressive : feeling or showing readiness to fight

engaged in a war

bellicose: eager to fight;aggressively hostile; belligerent;pugnacious.

Cronus( Saturn) was the Titan god of time and the ages, especially time where regarded as destructive and all-devouring. He ruled the cosmos during the so-called Golden Age, after castrating and deposing his father Uranus (the Sky). In fear of a prophecy that he would be in turn be overthrown by his own son, Cronus swallowed each of his children as soon as they were born. Rhea managed to save the youngest, Zeus, by hiding him away on the island of Crete, and fed Cronus a stone wrapped in the swaddling clothes of an infant.clash of the gods cronus and zeus

goya cronus.jpg
goya cronus.jpg
Cronus Devouring His Children/Goya

Is that not the worst thing you have ever seen?!!!!!!

Rhea: Earth goddess, mother of the Olympians, wife and sister of Cronus ( and not a very happy one!!!).
We can stop on that happy note.


cum laude: "with praise" Your mothers all hope to see you graduate cum laude.

curriculum vitae (c.v.): "course of life" ; a resume, a summary of one's career. The scholarship committee requested a curriculum vitae from each applicant.

laudatory (laus, laudis:praise)containing or expressing praise.

curriculum ( a running course):the aggregate of courses of study given in a school.

clash of the gods; rise of Zeus


THE ELDER KYKLOPES (or Cyclopes) were the three, orb-eyed, immortal giants who forged the lightning-bolts of Zeus. As soon as they were born, their father Uranus (the Sky) locked them away inside the belly of Earth, along with their stormy brothers, the Hekatonchires When the Titans overthrew him, they then drove the giants into the pit of Tartaros. Zeus and his brothers eventually released them and in return they provided the god with his thunderbolt,Poseidon with his storm-raising trident, and Hades with a helm of invisibility.Some say there were a total of seven forging Kyklopes. The additional four,sons of the first, were slain by Apollo to avenge the death of his son Ascelpius, who was struck down by lightning.


They are kind of stupid and brutal...and there are many versions of stories about them. Polyphemus, the one in the Odyssey is of a later generation.


HEKATONKHEIRES (or Hecatoncheires) were three giant gods of violent storms and

hurricanes (theullai) summoned forth from the stormy pit of Tartaros.

Each had a hundred hands and fifty heads, for the weilding of the destructive

power of storm. Their brothers were the Kyklopes, crafters of the thunder and

lightning of Zeus. The six were connected with the stormy season in Greece

which followed the rise of the Constellation Altar in November. They fought

with Zeus in the war against the Titans, overwhelming the Titans by throwing

weapons with their hundred hands.

ex officio= "from the office"; "from one's duty"
a.m. = ante meridiem=" before noon"

officious: a kind of sucking up; overly eager to the point of being annoying and bossy
antebellum: "before the war"; refers to the American Civil War; and "antebellum" house.


was the Titan of forethought and crafty counsel who was entrusted with the task of moulding mankind out of clay. His attempts to better

the lives of his creation brought him into direct conflict with Zeus.Firstly he tricked the gods out of the best

portion of the sacrificial feast, acquiring the meat for the feasting of man. Then, when Zeus withheld fire, he stole it from heaven and delivered it to

mortal kind hidden inside a fennel-stalk. Zeus was enraged by these acts of trickery and defiance, and punished Prometheus by chaining him to a rock

and having an eagle pluck out his nocturnally regenerating liver every day for eternity.
Prometheus NYC
Stealing fire

Paying for the theft
an ancient drinking cup


the first woman, was a means to deliver evil into the house of man(it's called sexism, people). Prometheus had a brother. Epimetheus, who was his partner in crime, so to speak. The gods decided to punish him as well, so, they offered him a gift: a wife.They made her really appealing in every way imaginabale. In fact her name, Pandora,means all gifts, because she was endowed with gifts form all of the gods. Despite the warnings of his brother,Prometheus, Epimetheus happily received her as his bride. She came with a box, which she was told to never open, so of course she wanted to open it really badly. but as soon as she arrived she lifted the lid of the jar entrusted her by the gods, releasing a plague of harmful daimones(spirits)
to trouble mankind, all of the evil in the world was unleashed. Only Hope (Elpis) remained behind to succor the unfortunate race. Nice going, Pandora.

Note the box

Don't do it!

John Waterhouse