Contact me: (my name, just as it appears in the url) @gmail.com
To purchasers at bookstores: All distribution has been limited to Amazon stores. Teachers who wish to use these commentaries in class may purchase the books from Amazon or ask their students to purchase the paperbacks themselves and use the free pdf files until their books arrive.
I received my doctorate in the Joint Program in Classics, Philosophy, and Ancient Science at the University of Pittsburgh in 2002 and am currently the sole Latin teacher at a public high school in Cincinnati, Ohio, USA. I love my job and look forward to going to work every day. When not teaching or writing, I spend my time with my wife and three children, ages 11 to 17.
I have been writing these commentaries out of a heartfelt belief that we Classicists do an excellent job preparing Greek and Latin undergraduates to read for the first 4 years of their adult life and a very poor job encouraging them to develop reading habits for the next 56.
Don’t these books spoon-feed students Latin and Greek in the classroom?
I take this criticism very seriously. Since traditional methods and commentaries have played a large part in my own intellectual, aesthetic, and moral development, it is reasonable that I would want the next generation of readers to follow in my footsteps and cultivate strong work habits. We forget, however, how much time is wasted in page-flipping and unnecessary dictionary work and fail to imagine how that wasted time could otherwise be spent.
Latin and Greek teachers are able to uphold higher standards and demand more challenging assessments of students from these new commentaries than from traditional ones. These new books allow instructors to isolate high frequency vocabulary, morphology and grammar from the reading and ask that students use the time saved from dictionary work to review and learn the material for a quiz at the beginning of class, for example. Instead of having students flounder–often painfully–to decipher 2nd aorist or perfect stems, teachers can can give students a list of principal parts or a verb synopsis to memorize in the same period of time. Alternatively, they can ask that students use the accumulated time saved from dictionary work to write essays, read secondary literature, or (dare I say it?) read more Greek and Latin.
Educational psychology has shown–and Latin and Greek teachers know from experience–that direct instruction in vocabulary, principal parts, and morphology is more efficient and preferable to the indirect methods of learning vocabulary and forms that are currently employed in intermediate and advanced-level Latin and Greek classrooms. Asking students to use traditional methods and look up word after word which will occur only once or twice in the entire course is both inefficient and irresponsible.