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Vol 18, No. 2 (January 2001)

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The Perseus Project: Eight Latin Lesson Plans

Steve Prince
St. Joseph High School

Abstract:
Eight lesson plans using materials developed for the Perseus Project suggest how this site may be used in the classroom. The plans also provide models for preparing students to make increasingly sophisticated use of the resources included in Perseus.

The Perseus Project: Eight Latin Lesson Plans

KEYWORDS

Internet, Search, Vase, Statue, Coin, Author, Perseus Project, Latin

INTRODUCTION

There are numerous internet sites that students and teachers may access while conducting academic research. Some sites are beneficial, some not so beneficial. The Perseus Project, an on-line database of classical art, archaeology and literature, is one site that can be extremely helpful to students and teachers of the Classics (see www.perseus.tufts.edu). This article presents eight lesson plans, from beginning Latin through Advanced Placement Latin, that help students and teachers navigate through the Perseus Web site. The idea behind these lesson plans is that once students and teachers feel comfortable using the site, they will come back to it on their own for other research or for intellectual inquiry. These lessons were originally begun as part of a National Endowment for the Humanities' Institute at Tufts University in summer 1998 and were then presented at the American Classical League's Institute in summer 1999. The lessons have been updated as recently as October, 2000. However, due to the rapid expansion and continual improvement of the Perseus site, modifications may have to be made by individual teachers. Of course, teachers may wish to modify these lesson plans to meet the needs of their individual students or classes.

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ASSIGNMENTS

First Year Latin: Assignment Number One

Introduction to Perseus

The objective of this assignment is to familiarize the students with on-line data bases in general and Perseus in particular. It is hoped that at the end of the lesson students will feel comfortable searching and finding specific information on the site including the encyclopedia, vase catalogue, sculpture catalogue, and the coin catalogue. In completing this assignment, students should learn about classical mythology, pottery, statuary, and numismatics. Students can also be given an individual character to research and then report back to the class on their findings.

Nomen

1. Open Netscape and go to the site www.perseus.tufts.edu

2. Go to the Search Perseus box and type in europa and hit return.

3. Click on the "English Index," which is at the top of the page in the middle.

4. Scroll to the bottom of the page. How many entries are listed for Europa?

5. Go back to the top and in the area labeled "search," narrow your search by selecting "Ovidius Naso, Metamorphoses." Then click on "search."

6. How many times is Europa mentioned in Ovid?

In which books of the Metamorphoses is she mentioned?

7. From the "Go" command on the Netscape menu bar return to "Perseus Lookup Tool."

8. Click on the bullet next to "Perseus Encyclopedia entries," scroll back down and then click on the first Europa. Read the entries and answer the following questions:

Who was her father?

Who were her sons?

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9. Click back and then click on the thumbnail next to "Vases."

10. Click on "Mississippi 1977.3.73."

What is the type or "ware" of this vase?

What is its shape?

What are the dates for this vase?

11. Click on the image to view a close up.

12. From the "Go" command, chose the topmost "Perseus Image Browser."

13. Click on "RISD 22.216."

What is the type or "ware" of this vase?

What is its shape?

What are the dates for this vase?

14. Click on the image for a close up.

15. From the "Go" command click on the topmost "Perseus Lookup Tool."

16. Click on the thumbnail next to "coins."

17. Click on any entry entitled "Dewing."

What is the material of this coin?

What is the mint of this coin?

18. Is Europa on the obverse or the reverse?

What is the difference?

19. Click on the image to view a close up.

Your character: (Eros)

20. In the "Search Perseus" box enter the name of your character and hit return.

21. Click on "English Index" at the top of the page.

22. Scroll to the bottom of the page. How many entries are listed?

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23. Who are two ancient authors who mention this character?

24. From the "Go" command click on "Perseus Lookup Tool."

25. Scroll down and click on the Encyclopedia entry. Write down two facts about this character.

26. Go back and click on the bullet next to "Vases." Are there any entries? View one and write down the archive number for the vase that shows your character. N.B. Due to copyright restrictions, over the internet you can view only vases from the following places: Berlin, Boston, Harvard, Indiana, Louvre, Malibu, Mississippi, Toledo, RISD, Smith, Tampa, Williams, Martin Von Wagner, and Philadelphia. Click on the images to view a close up.

27. From the "Go" command click on "Perseus Lookup Tool." Click on the thumbnail next to "Sculpture." Are there any entries? View one and write down the archive number for the statue that shows your character. N.B. Due to copyright restrictions, over the internet you can view only statues from Berlin, Boston and Louvre, Royal Ontario, and Martin Von Wagner. Click on the image to view a close up.

28. Go back and click on the thumbnail next to "Coins." Are there any entries? View one and write down the archive number for the coin that shows your character. N.B. Due to copyright restrictions, over the internet you can view only coins from Dewing and Boston. Click on the image to view.

Second Year Latin: Assignment Number One

Introduction to Perseus

The objective of this assignment is to familiarize the students with on-line data bases in general and Perseus in particular. It is hoped that at the end of the lesson students will feel comfortable searching and finding specific information on the site including the encyclopedia, vase catalogue, sculpture catalogue, and the coin catalogue. In completing this assignment, students should learn about classical mythology, pottery, statuary, and numismatics. Students can also be given an individual character to research and then report back to the class on their findings.

Nomen

1. Open Netscape and go to the site www.perseus.tufts.edu

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2. Go to the Search Perseus box and type in athena and hit the return key.

3. Click on the "English Index," which is at the top of the page in the middle.

4. Scroll to the bottom of the page. How many entries are listed for Athena?

5. Go back to the top and in the area labeled "search," narrow you search by selecting "Homer, Odyssey." Then click on "search."

6. How many times is Athena mentioned in Homer's "Odyssey?

How many times in book one of the "Odyssey" is she mentioned?

7. From the "Go" command at the top menu bar, return to "Perseus Lookup Tool."

8. Click on the bullet next to the "Encyclopedia entries" and then click on Athena # 1. Read the entries and answer the following questions:

Who was said to have brought her up?

What giant did she flay?

Who saw her naked and what happened to him?

9. Click Back from the Netscape menu and then click on the thumbnails next to "Vases."

10. Click on "Berlin F 1704."

What is the type or "ware" of this vase?

What is its shape?

What are the dates for this vase?

In what region was it found?

11. Read the description at the bottom.

What other gods can be seen on this vase?

12. Click on browse all images.

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13. Click on the image that shows the birth of Athena.

14. From the "Go" command, chose the top "Perseus Lookup Tool."

15. Click on the bullet next to "vases."

16. Scroll down again and click on "Harvard 1925.30.124."

What is the type or "ware" of this vase?

What is its shape?

What are the dates for this vase?

17. Click on "browse all images."

18. Click on the image that shows the head of Athena.

19. From the "Go" command click on "Perseus Lookup Tool."

20. Click on the bullet next to "coins."

21. Scroll down again and click on the entry entitled "Dewing 1134."

What is the material of this coin?

What is the mint of this coin?

22. Is Athena on the obverse or the reverse?

What is the difference?

23. Who is on the other side?

24. Click on the image to view a close up.

25. From the "Go" command click on "Perseus Lookup Tool."

26. Click on the bullet next to "sculpture."

27. Scroll down again and click on "Boston 54.145."

28. What is the style of this statue?

29. What is the date of this statue?

30. What is the material of this statue?

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31. Click on the image to view a close up.

32. From the menu on the left side of the screen, click on "art and archaeology."

33. Click on "vase catalog."

34. Click on "keyword."

35. Click on "mythological scenes."

36. Find two scenes that you can show the class. Write down the "scene" and its catalog #. In order for us to view them, the vase must come from one of the following museums: Berlin, Boston, Harvard, Indiana, Louvre, Malibu, Mississippi, Toledo, RISD, Smith, Tampa, Williams, Martin Von Wagner, and Philadelphia.

Second Year Latin: Assignment Number Two

Introduction to Perseus

This assignment assumes that the students have a working knowledge of Perseus. The objective of this assignment is for students to do more in-depth research on a specific character from mythology. The steps are more open ended with the students being required not only to find information but also to determine what information is relevant and valid. Students are each given a different character and must report their findings to the class. In completing this assignment, students should learn about classical mythology, pottery, statuary, and numismatics.

Nomen

Open Netscape and go to the site www.perseus.tufts.edu

Your character: (Theseus)

1. From the "Search Perseus" command, enter the name of your character.

2. Click on the "English Index," which is at the top of the page in the middle. How many entries are listed?

3. What are two ancient authors who mention this character?

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4. Using the "Back" button, go back to the previous page and click on "Theseus" under the Encyclopedia entry. Write down two facts about this character.

5. Go back to the previous page and click on "thumbnails" next to "Vases." Are there any entries? View several and write down the archive numbers for the vases that show your character (e.g., Boston 95.48). N.B. Due to copyright restrictions, over the internet you can view only vases from the following places: Berlin, Boston, Harvard, Indiana, Louvre, Malibu, Mississippi, Toledo, RISD, Smith, Tampa, Williams, Martin Von Wagner, and Philadelphia. If the only images are from museums to which we don't have rights, write down the catalog Number (e.g., Austin 1980.32) and a brief description (e.g., Attic Black Figure with Athena and flute players).

6. Go back and click on the thumbnails next to "Sculpture." Are there any entries? View one and write down the archive number for the statue that shows your character. N.B. Due to copyright restrictions, over the internet you can view only statues from Berlin, Boston and Louvre, Royal Ontario, and Martin Von Wagner. If the only images are from museums to which we don't have rights, write down the catalog Number (e.g., Austin 1980.32) and a brief description (e.g., Attic Black Figure with Athena and flute players).

7. Go back and click on the thumbnail next to "Coins." Are there any entries? View one and write down the archive number for the coin that shows your character. N.B. Due to copyright restrictions, over the internet you can view only coins from Dewing and Boston (MFA). If the only images are from museums to which we don't have rights, write down the catalog Number (e.g., Austin 1980.32) and a brief description (e.g., Attic Black Figure with Athena and flute players).

Second Year Latin: Assignment Number Three

The Olympics

The objective of this assignment is for students to learn how the ancient Greeks and Romans portrayed their athletes and what type of athletic events were contested in ancient times (N.B. synchronized swimming was NOT an ancient Olympic event!). Students should continue to improve their internet navigation skills, and this kind of open-ended research should hone their abilities to determine what is relevant information and what is not.

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Nomen______________

1. Log on to the Perseus Web Page (www.perseus.tufts.edu).

2. Go to "Search Perseus" and type in boxing.

3. Click on the thumbnails next to "vases."

4. Go to page 2 and then scroll down and click on "Toledo 1956.58."

5. What type of ware is this?

6. What shape is it?

7. What is its date?

8. Scroll down and read the description of side B.

9. Scroll back up the page and view some of the images on side B by clicking on "Browse all 29 images." Describe what you see.

10. From the "Go" command at the top of the menu bar choose the top "Perseus Image Browser" that is not checked.

11. Scroll down and click on "Toledo 1961.26."

12. What type of ware is this?

13. What shape is it?

14. What is its date?

15. Scroll down and read the description of side B.

16. Click on "Browse all 36 images." Describe what you see.

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17. Following the class divisions below, select two vases and answer the questions as above and be prepared to share and show these results with the other members of the class.

Last Name Begins With

A-F G-H I-P Q-Z

use keyword: wrestling jumping throwing javelin

Be sure to copy down the reference number so we can go directly to that vase (e.g., Harvard 1925.30.12 or Toledo 1963.26).

Advanced Latin: Assignment Number One

Introduction to Perseus

The objective of this assignment is to familiarize the students with on-line databases in general and Perseus in particular. It is hoped that at the end of the lesson students will feel comfortable searching and finding specific information on the site including the encyclopedia, ancient texts, vase catalogue, sculpture catalogue, and the coin catalogue. In completing this assignment, students should learn about classical mythology, pottery, statuary, and numismatics.

Nomen

1. Go to the Perseus Home Page (www.perseus.tufts.edu/).

2. Click on Texts.

3. Click on Ancient Greek texts. Who are some of the Greek authors represented?

4. What texts are listed by Homer?

5. Click on Odyssey. Does the text look like the Greek alphabet that you have already seen? Why not?

6. From the "Version" menu, choose the English translation and click "Change now."

7. Click on "Poseidon" near the end of the second paragraph.

8. Scroll down and then click on the bullet next to "Vases."

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9. Scroll down again and then click on entry number 17 (Louvre F 19).

a) What type of ware is this?

b) What shape of vase is this?

c) What is the date of this vase?

10. To the right of the two images, click "Browse all 30 images." Search until you find a picture of Poseidon and then click on it. How can you tell that it is Poseidon?

11. Using "Go" from the menu bar at the top of the screen, go back to "Perseus Lookup Tool." Click on Poseidon under the Encyclopedia entries.

12. Write down three facts about Poseidon from this page.

a)

b)

c)

13. Using "Go" from the menu bar at the top of the screen, go back to "Perseus Lookup Tool." Click on coins.

14. Scroll down and click on Dewing #7 (413). View the coin.

15. Using "Go," go back to the topmost Odyssey.

16. Read down to the third paragraph and click on "Zeus."

17. Click on the bullet next to "Encyclopedia entries," scroll down again and then click on Zeus (#2).

18. What Greek author tells us he was the son of Cronos and Rhea?

19. What two authors tell us how Athena was born from his head?

a)

b)

20. Using "Go," go back to "Perseus Lookup Tool."

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21. Scroll down to "Sculpture" and click on the button labeled "thumbnails."

22. Scroll down and click on the entry from Boston #34 (63.2755). Click on the catalogue number and answer the following questions:

What period does this piece come from?

What material is it made from?

What are the dates of this piece?

23. Using "Go," click on image browser.

24. Go to page 2 and click on Munich GL 294.

25. What period does this piece come from? What material is it made from?

26. What are the dates of this piece?

Advanced Latin: Assignment Number Two

Vergil

This assignment is intended for students studying the Aeneid of Vergil, and a familiarity with Perseus is assumed. The goal of this assignment is for students to become familiar with the information contained on the Perseus site for reading ancient texts and the Aeneid in particular. The relevant Perseus resources include the on-line dictionary, word study tool, commentaries, and translations. At the end of the assignment, students should feel comfortable using the on-line tools that facilitate the reading of the ancient texts.

Nomen

1. Go to the Perseus Home Page (www.perseus.tufts.edu/).

2. Click on Texts.

3. Click on Latin Texts.

4. How many entries are there for P. Vergilius Maro? Click on Aeneid.

5. Click on Book 1. You should now see the Latin text of the first seven lines.

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6. Click on the first word "arma." This should open a new window, "Word Study Tool." At the top left of this window, you can find out the grammatical information about this word. What are the possible cases and numbers for this word.

7. Now click on the highlighted L&S (Lewis and Short Dictionary) in the upper right hand corner. This should open up yet another window, which provides the dictionary definitions as well as numerous references (i.e., places in Latin literature where this word appears). N. B. the author who is being searched (Vergil, in this instance) is in boldface type).

8. How many times does "arma" show up in Vergil? How many times does it show up all together in Perseus?

9. How many references to Vergil are contained in this entry?

10. What entry number (and letter) contains this particular use of "ar-ma?"

11. What other work of Vergil's is cited as an example of this word?

12 Go back to the Latin text. Sometimes you have to move the windows around to find other windows.

13. Click on "Troiae" in line 1. This should bring up the Word Study Tool. What are the possible cases and numbers for this word? How many times does this show up in Vergil?

14. Click on "Laviniaque" in Line 2. In the word study tool click on the bottom form of Lavinia. How many times does this appear in Vergil?

15. Click on Latin Word Search. This should open up yet another window. What information does this give you?

16. Where are 4 other places where this word appears? Does it appear more frequently in the first or second half of the poem? What might this tell you about the importance of the word?

17. Now go back to the text and click on the asterisk above "fato." This should take you to Connington's commentary. What does this commentator tell you about fato? What word does he suggest it goes with? What is the other possibility?

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18. Now go back to the text, scroll down, and click further comments from Servius book I.

19. Do you see any difficulty using Servius' commentary?

20. Go back to the Latin text and click on "Iunonis" (line 4). How many times does her name appear in the Vergil? Click Max. Inst. (58). This should take you to the word search window. How many times in Book 1 of the Aeneid?

21. Now go back to the Latin text. Go to "version" at the top of the page and select English (ed. Williams). Then click the "change now" button.

22. Read the first few lines of the translation. What do you think? Is it close to how we translated this in class?

23. Now go back to the "version" at the top of the page and change to English (ed. Dryden). Is this translation better or worse?

Advanced Latin: Assignment Number Three

Vergil—Word Searches

This assignment is a follow up exercise to the previous assignment. The objective is for students to learn how to do a word search using Perseus and to understand how a word can have different nuances of meaning depending upon its context. In addition, students are then given individual words to research and to report their findings to the class.

Nomen

1. Log onto the Perseus Web site (www.perseus.tufts.edu).

2. Click on "Texts."

3. Click on "Latin Texts."

4. Click on Vergil, Aeneid.

5. Go to line 4 and click on "saevae." The "Word Study Tool" screen should appear.

6. Click on "Max. Inst." (#67).

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7. The Latin "Word Search" screen should appear.

8. How many times in books I-VI is the word "saevus" (or any form of it) used?

9. In addition to Juno, who are some of the characters described by this word?

10. In what other works by Vergil does this word occur? Who or what is described by this word?

11. Go to the word study tool, click on frequency in other authors, scroll down and click on Ovid.

12. How many times does this word appear in Ovid? What are some of the characters/things described by saevus in Ovid?

13. To do a new search, click on "New Search" in the top left corner.

Do a word search on the following words:

I have randomly assigned words to each of you, but feel free to trade. Be prepared Monday to give a brief report to me and the class on what you discovered about your word.

Student 1 - ecce

Student 2 - pietas

Student 3 - pius

Student 4 - impius

Student 5 - infelix

Student 6 - labor (#2)

Student - fama

Student 8 - patria

Student 9 - fatum (fata)

Student 10 - furor

When you do this word search, try to address the following questions:

1. How often does this word appear in the Aeneid?

2. Does it appear more often in a particular book or books? Why might this be so?

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3. Does it appear frequently in conjunction with another word or phrase (e.g., ecce with autem)?

4. Who or what does it describe or refer to (if an adjective)? Is there an adjective that frequently describes it (if a noun)? Are there specific verbs used with your word?

5. Does this word appear in other works by Vergil? If so, where and in what contexts?

6. Does this word appear in other Augustan authors? If so, which ones and where?

7. What different meanings does it have and in what contexts?

Advanced Latin: Assignment Number Four

Ovid—Pyramus et Thisbe

This assignment is intended for students studying the Metamorphoses of Ovid, and familiarity with Perseus is assumed. The goal of this assignment is for students to become familiar with the information contained in the Perseus site for reading ancient texts and the Metamorphoses in particular. The Perseus resources include the on-line dictionary, word study tool, commentaries, and translations. At the end of the assignment, students should feel comfortable using the on-line tools that facilitate the reading of the ancient texts.

Nomen

1. Go to the Perseus Home Page (www.perseus.tufts.edu/).

2. Click on Texts.

3. Click on Latin texts. What works other than the Metamorphoses are listed for P. Ovidius Naso?

4. Click on Metamorphoses.

5. Scroll down and click on book IV, Pyramus and Thisbe.

6. In the "go to" blank, type in 4.55 . Click on Pyramus in the text. This should bring up the "Word Study Tool." Then click on frequency in other authors. How many times does Ovid use the name Pyramus?

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7. How many times is it used in all of Perseus?

8. What other author uses the word "Pyramus"?

9. Is this the same "Pyramus" of our story?

10. Go back to the text screen and click on "iuvenum" (55).

11. What is the "morphological analysis" of this word (i.e., what is its case, number, and gender)? , , ,

12. Go back to the text screen and click on "tenuere" (57). What is the morphological analysis of this word? , , , ,

13. Go back to the text screen and click on "amor" (60). How many times does Ovid use the NOUN amor?

14. How many times does it appear in all the Perseus Latin Texts?

15. Click on the number of times it is used in Ovid.

16. Click on entry # 2. In what story is this used?

17. Go to the version box at the top of the page. Select one of the English translations and click "change now."

18. Go back to the text screen and click on "taedae" (60).

19. What is the base definition for this word? Is this how it is used in our story?

20. Click on the "L&S" in the top right hand corner (L&S = Lewis and Short Dictionary) to see alternate definitions.

21. Which definition fits our meaning? List the entry number. ,

(N.B. the author in question, Ovid, is in boldface type.)

22. Scroll back to the top of the page. What are some Latin synonyms for this word? , , ,

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23. Scroll back to the top of the page and type Pyramus in the search space.

24. Click on "images" to view a wall painting from Pompeii.

SUMMARY

Each of these plans seemed to be successful, and the students were most receptive to the idea of using computers and internet sites to facilitate their learning. The assignment on the Olympic Games may have been the most successful. The students enjoyed the open-ended nature of the assignment and had fun investigating the different vases that depicted athletes in action. After one day in the computer lab doing the research, we spent the following day in the classroom viewing the findings of each student. (The classroom is equipped with a large screen television and internet access.) However the students thought that this follow-up exercise was somewhat redundant. We will not spend the extra day in the future on viewing students' results.

AUTHOR'S BIODATA

Steven Prince received his B.A. in Latin from Wabash College in 1988 and his M.A.T. in Latin and Classical Humanities from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in 1990. He has also attended the Intercollegiate Center for Classical Studies in Rome and the American School for Classical Studies in Athens. He has taught Latin in Virginia and Indiana and is currently teaching five sections of Latin at St. Joseph High School in St. Joseph, MI, where he is the Latin Club sponsor and assistant wrestling coach. His wife, Deborah, is a doctoral candidate in theology at the University of Notre Dame. They have a son, Jacob, who just turned one year old.

AUTHOR'S ADDRESS

Steve Prince

St. Joseph High School

2521 Stadium Drive

St. Joseph, MI 49085

Phone: 616/982-4623

E-mail: sprince@remc11.k12.mi.us

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