Midway upon the journey of our life
I found myself within a forest dark,
For the straightforward pathway had been lost.
(Dante Inferno, trans Henry Wadsworth Longfellow)
Things are certainly not as bad as all that, but what has prompted my taking up Latin and this blog is a desire to find the straightforward path (I’ll not say ‘again’ as I am not entirely sure I have ever been on it). My two beautiful and intelligent nieces have also provided the further inspiration I need to take up the challenge now, the opportune time although not quite “mid-way upon the journey.” They are both well along in their Latin studies, and it is my intention to catch up to them. I am hoping that they and the discipline of a blog will help me onto that straightforward path.
Many years ago, arguably at the beginning of the journey, I learned enough Latin to get me by in my graduate studies (Medieval English Literature). A battered 1963 edition of Wheelock’s Latin: an introduction course based on ancient authors allowed me to maintain the charade of some knowledge of the language. With the recent purchase of the ‘6th edition revised’, I now have the opportunity to go back and learn properly.
I won’t actually be boring my nieces with exercises, but just thoughts and questions related to the study, the kinds of things one might ask a teacher or discuss in class.
Anything to keep me on the straight if not the narrow course.
P.S. Oh yes—and bees. Just started with them and need this blog to keep a record of their care. It will be a challenge relating them to Latin study!
One year on (Spring 2012): The blog has evolved into much more than a Latin learning tool and a bee log. As I sit working on starting my own e-publishing company in my own little biosphere in the Fens of England, I have the opportunity of observing all manner of living thing from my conservatory windows. So, I have become a bit of a nut about birds, but I hasten to add only my birds. Not quite ready to tramp around the countryside overburdened by binoculars and cameras. Having said that, I was gifted my first pair of binoculars this year, and I have taken more photographs, most assuredly crap ones, than I ever have in my life in the service of this blog.
This increased interest in the wilder creatures has also re-awakened a sensitivity to the use of language, and especially the subjective role that gender stereotypes play in the observations and reportings even among scientists. So, you will hear a bit about this subject from time to time.
Whatever keeps, the brain cells firing….
Nice to meet your blog-acquaintance! George Steiner does a lovely, incredibly erudite, comparative reading on Dante’s Commedia in Grammars of Creation. I envy your journey to learn a classical language and wish I could have that kind of insight on literature and language. Bon courage!
I will have to look into that as Dante is a favorite of mine. Steiner is a true polymath, an appellation that gets bandied about, at least in the UK, a bit too freely…..
Thanks for stopping in and liking my Factory Tours post.
You’re welcome! I look forward to others.
Thanks for visiting my blog! I had no idea when I started it that there was such an interest in bees. Even my next door neighbor says his orange tree is producing more oranges now that my bees have moved in. I certainly enjoy the light summer orange blossom honey. I enjoyed your blog.
Thanks! I enjoyed the thoughtful posts on your blog (especially sorry about the car). And, that is one of the first things we noticed about having bees–not cars (!) but fruitfulness. Our fruitbearing trees, plants sprang into abundance. At first, we thought we had finally got the hang of this gardening lark, but no, it was all the bees!
I am pleased to find your blog. I attempted to study Latin with my children when they were smaller. We learned a few prayers and the roots, and then they went to public school. Now I’m learning to keep bees! I think I’ll find some wonderful information here.
An interesting combination, Latin and bees. I think the bees are doing a bit better than the Latin….Thanks for your comments about the blog; you might also want to look at some of those who comment here who are excellent bee bloggers. Good luck!
Being a bee-lover and a Latin-fanatic, I made sure to follow your blog on the spot. It’s a pleasure to read your posts, thanks kindly for sharing. Also thank you so much for liking my Beond post!
Thanks so much. I also loved the wedding dresses. Wedding dresses seem much of a sameness now-the baring of shoulders and arms seems a popular but limiting style. These have such individuality.
I have nominated your blog for the Shine On Award.
More about this nomination is at
Thanks! Very thoughtful.
Well deserved 🙂 All the best for you and your blog!
Glad to make the acquaintance of a fellow beekeeper ( at heart any way!) Thank you for your interest in my old family stories about beeKeeping in Arkansas (USA). I hope you will find some of them informative if not entertaining. I cherish the memories of keeping bees with my Dad even though life took me down a different path in the long run. I like to think that no experience is ever wasted no matter how divergent it may be. We should also encourage all the knowledge we can about Honey Bees as there are signs that domestic honeybees are becoming endangered and without them agriculture as we know it could not exist. That would mean a lot of hungry people both here in the United States, and around the world. That is something the world does not need more of!
Thanks so much for stopping by. I love hearing stories about beekeeping with parents, grandparents. I especially like hearing about the different traditions.
What could be better than bees, a dead language and East Anglia? I don’t read Latin, but because of my work on early modern Ottoman (a not particularly useful dead language that combines Turkish, Arabic and Persian elements) manuscripts I hang around with a lot of medievalists who do (and constantly seem surprised that I don’t!). We are so new to keeping bees – and know so little – it is great to find a blog about bees in our area. I am looking forward to reading your posts and learning (about bees and Latin). Lovely blog by the way.
Ottoman! That sounds intriguing. I picked up a smattering of Persian because I was looking at the effect Persian poetry had on medieval European poetry. Fascinating. I am with your friends in wondering how you escaped Latin….
East Anglia, dead language, bees And birds, don’t forget the birds!
I love the look of St Margaret’s House!
Honey Bee – Apis mellifera, from the Latin Apis (bee), melle/mel/mella (honey) ferre (bear/bearing). There’s at least one relationship between bees and Latin for you, even if only to pick holes in my clumsy attempt at translation!
I suppose it can be argued that there is a connection between Latin and everything! For example, I was just give a book “Latin for Gardeners.” I also have been exploring Latin/Latin culture and cooking. So really what looks to be a narrow subject touches on everything. Thanks for stopping by!
Hi! Thanks for visiting my blog and for the like. Obviously my ‘bee’ tag brought you there! Hope you enjoyed the hives!
I have my reader set to certain tags so I can keep up with what other beekeepers are doing, along with those who are subscribers to my site. Yours was very interesting indeed, not just from the hive perspective, but also from the ELT and Andalucia perspective. Thanks for stopping by!
I have nominated your blog for the Real Neat Blog award.
More about this nomination is at
Thanks for this!