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Wheelock's Latin, 6th Revised Edition Paperback – May 31, 2005

164 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0060783716 ISBN-10: 0060783710 Edition: 6th Revised

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About the Author

Frederic M. Wheelock (1902-1987) received the A.B., A.M., and Ph.D. degrees from Harvard University. His long and distinguished teaching career included appointments at Haverford College, Harvard University, the College of the City of New York, Brooklyn College, Cazenovia Junior College (where he served as Dean), the Darrow School for Boys (New Lebanon, NY), the University of Toledo (from which he retired as full Professor in 1968), and a visiting professorship at Florida Presbyterian (now Eckert) College. He published a number of articles and reviews in the fields of textual criticism, palaeography, and the study of Latin; in addition to Wheelock's Latin (previously titled Latin: An Introductory Course Based on Ancient Authors), his books include Latin Literature: A Book of Readings and Quintilian as Educator (trans. H. E. Butler; introd. and notes by Prof. Wheelock). Professor Wheelock was a member of the American Classical League, the American Philological Association, and the Classical Association of the Atlantic States.

Richard A. LaFleur is Franklin Professor of Classics Emeritus and former Head of Classics at the University of Georgia; he has served as Editor of the Classical Outlook and President of the American Classical League, and is a recipient of the American Philological Association's national award for excellence in the teaching of Classics. Among his numerous books are Scribblers, Scvlptors, and Scribes and the revised editions of Wheelock's Latin, Workbook for Wheelock's Latin, and Wheelock's Latin Reader.

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Product Details

  • Series: Wheelock's Latin
  • Paperback: 560 pages
  • Publisher: Collins Reference; 6th Revised edition (May 31, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060783710
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060783716
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 1.4 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (164 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #77,485 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

216 of 227 people found the following review helpful By FrKurt Messick HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on November 22, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I first learned Latin using Wheelock's text (as have many, many students over the years) nearing 30 years ago, with the 3rd edition. While going through the text, the teacher or professor would add many items of consideration not in the text, as the text to be as comprehensive as it should be would need to be twice the size.

When I picked up my copy of Wheelock years later to refresh my knowledge of Latin, I discovered just how valuable the instructors' input had been been, as I kept coming across questions of grammar, tense, declension, etc. that were not fully explained, or clearly explained, in Wheelock. For a good eighty to ninety percent, the Wheelock explanations were sufficient, but for those who need a mastery of the language, eighty to ninety percent is not enough.

The sixth edition, which I bought to see what improvements had been made, is essentially the same text with additions. It is still divided into forty chapters, with each dedicated to one major grammar section; it has sentences (often from original sources) that need to be translated (without a key in the back), and other sentences (often constructed sentences) with a key in the back. The sixth edition has additional readings from primary sources in Latin above and beyond what were included in the third edition; also, the page layout and size of the book is different (and I must confess, I preferred the smaller format book to the workbook-size of the sixth edition).

If using Wheelock as a self-study, I particularly recommend Grote for assistance when Wheelock is talking about the various voices and verb conjugation issues, and the spelling/vowel changes that occur in conjugation or declension, Grote's notes are very valuable.
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385 of 411 people found the following review helpful By Alex Sheremet Dot Com on June 16, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"Wheelock's Latin" is perhaps the best conservative book of its type -- that is, it's the best of grammar-before-understanding Latin textbooks, and it shows. It thoroughly explains the grammar in ways most college textbooks don't, and it has plenty of selections from the original authors, which, if quickly understood, helps build enthusiasm: "Look, Mom! After 1/2 an hour of sweating, I finally understand these three sentences!" Moreover, there are additional readings in the back, in case you'd like to test (or brush up on) your knowledge of mechanical decoding.

But, that's where the fun ends. I used this book in a summer intensive course, and loved it. We finished most of in 8 weeks, and I, too, was pretty confident like the hypothetical student above. Soon, though, I noticed that learning Latin felt unnatural. After a semester of prose, we moved on to Ovid, and something became clear: I wasn't "reading," but decoding.. Wheelock and subsequent instruction trained me to do exactly that.

Decoding -- it's when a student looks at a sentence, and hunts: there's a noun, there's the adjective, but, they're in different cases; oh, the adjective probably goes with this noun, then. Verb, adverb, subject.. and, ECCE! Puzzle solved.

Is this reading? Why are students of German, or Russian (a more difficult language, by the way) able to build the kind of proficiency in 2 years that many 5-year students of Latin only daydream about? The difference is in the approach: German and Russian are taught as languages, while Latin is usually taught as a synthetic, mechanical puzzle.
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113 of 117 people found the following review helpful By Jason R. Tibbetts on April 2, 2002
Format: Paperback
I've used Wheelock's Latin from both sides: as a disaffected student, eager to learn a language that I didn't have to -speak-, and as an instructor, in several of Indiana University's entry-level courses.
As a student, I fell maddeningly in love with this book. It's not an easy read, nor is it like most college textbooks. It can be pedagogical at times, old-fashioned at others (another reviewer pointed out the recent excisions of some non-PC examples), but above all, it's -thorough-. It was written in the 1950s, when most college students were expected to have a better grasp on English grammar and general history and mythology than perhaps students do today. If you don't know your reflexive pronouns from your prepositional phrases, you'll run into trouble even in the early chapters. But with a little effort, you'll find that Wheelock's really teaching you -two- languages: Latin and better English.
As a teacher, I evaluated a few different texts (such as Hillard and Botting), before settling on Wheelock. I'll admit that a large part of my decision was based on my own experience learning from it (and why not? If -I- didn't like learning from it myself, why would I want to subject my students to it?), but there were other factors, such as its -less- pedantic tone and better-organized way of introducing grammatical concepts. Based on feedback from the three courses in which I used it, most students had positive things to say about the book, appreciating the demands that it made on them. Of course, some students didn't like it at all, probably because of those same demands.
There are a couple of drawbacks that prevent me from awarding Wheelock that fifth star.
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