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Wheelock's Latin (Wheelock's Latin) Paperback

ISBN-13: 978-0060783716 ISBN-10: 0060783710 Edition: 6 Blg Rev

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Wheelock's Latin (Wheelock's Latin) + Workbook for Wheelock's Latin + Thirty-Eight Latin Stories Designed to Accompany Wheelock's Latin  (Latin Edition)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 560 pages
  • Publisher: Collins Reference; 6 Blg Rev edition (May 31, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060783710
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060783716
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 7.4 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (78 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #53,158 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

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 C

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Customer Reviews

If you're serious about learning Latin, this is the book for you.
Wheelock is one of the better books available as a base text for the learning of Latin, in any edition.
FrKurt Messick
This book is a very good book for me, and I can follow it quite well.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

209 of 220 people found the following review helpful By FrKurt Messick HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE 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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367 of 391 people found the following review helpful By Alex Sheremet 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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65 of 68 people found the following review helpful By C. F Higgins on May 16, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The 6th edition hardcover is a handsome book, filled with huge amounts of information. The method employed in this book is different than other instructional texts; it presents you with a vast number of grammatical rules early on, and then forces you to translate. It is a baptism by fire, and can be pretty challenging.

However, the reading selections are delightful, many taken from Roman authors of the first century B.C. There is even some Horace to keep you on your toes.

One thing you will need to do, is get the answer key from Harpers, since not every exercise in the book has one. This wasn't a problem for me -I simply emailed the publisher and they sent me the answer key. I had it within 4 days. If the key was included in the text, it would be 100 pages longer at least.

If you are studying Latin, I also recommend the book "501 Latin Verbs" as another resource. If you are brand new to the language, you may want to start with the Cambridge Latin course, units 1 & 2, and then read the Wheelock's.
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46 of 48 people found the following review helpful By L. E Notkin on October 5, 2006
Format: Paperback
I just finished the book after 3 months of very disciplined self study. I lost many hours of sleep, doing latin until 3 am having to wake up just a few hours later. I used

1. This book

2. The workbook

3. Grote's notes.

I do not think that this book on its own is enough for self study. You definitely need all three books. Then, you just have to plow ahead until you are done. And, do I mean plow ahead. Forty identical in format chapters that inexorably and mercilessly introduce a point, then translation drills, then some text. Some "fun" material has been added, but you have better things to do: the next chapter.

You see, this book I find is for people who have an enormous left brain hemisphere. If you are into inductive learning, stay away! This is not the book for you!

So, yes, this book is the best as far I am concerned, but it is not for everyone. No, it is not difficult, but unless grammar is a favourite pasttime of yours or have some natural inclination for it, this book will be boring.

So, do I feel that I know latin now? Hmmm.... Tricky question. Latin grammar I know like the back of my hand, but I feel that my reading level is not at the same level (which makes sense, if you ask me). I think that this is quite a common remark when it comes to this book.

But, for this reason, he has the second book in the series where you hone your reading skills. One goal at a time.

Guess what I am doing next?
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