- Paperback: 480 pages
- Publisher: University of California Press (October 19, 1977)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0520031830
- ISBN-13: 978-0520031838
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.2 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 44 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #96,443 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Latin: An Intensive Course
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Time and time again while working in Moreland and Fleisher's textbook I would come accross explanations of grammatical concepts that stun me in respect to their brilliance and cause me to reflect in disappointment on other textbooks whose authors simply weren't able to offer such great explanations. Examples are cum clauses (Unit 15) and the simply stunning coverage of participles (Unit 5).
The student is asked to learn how grammatical phenomena in translate from the Latin first literally and only then idiomatically. This develops an attention for Latin idiom and avoids the tendency pervasive in so many other Latin texts to encourage a lazy assimilation of Latin grammar and vocabulary into English idiom.
Students of Greek will be elated to see that Moreland and Fleischer explain the Latin tense system in a way that tacitly takes verbal aspect into account (i.e. the Latin perfect tense can have EITHER completed aspect in the present tense "I have done" OR simple aspect in the past "I did"). This latter distinction in particular, although elided in so many other treatments of the Latin verbal system, is in fact critical to understanding sequence of tenses in indirect questions, purpose clauses, and so many other complex grammatical structures in the language. (I.e. if the perfect verb has completed aspect in the present tense it is treated as a primary sequence verb and will be followed by present or perfect subjunctive verbs in subordinate clauses, whereas if it has simple aspect in the past it is a secondary sequence verb.)
All of these fascinating and critical details are not only treated with rigor in Moreland/Fleischer but are also explained with a level of clarity that attests to the profound knowledge wielded by the book's authors. Advanced students as well as motivated beginners will find in Latin: An Intensive Course a thoroughgoing and brilliant treatment of the ancient language which far outruns its peers in quality.
The one negative I can mention is the quality of the binding which is TERRIBLE but it nowhere near important enough to warrant a reduction in stars.
As a language tutor, I regularly use this book for students at the high school level, including those preparing for the SAT and AP tests. My students are fans of how it concisely and thoroughly explains all of the topics they've covered in class, and they especially appreciate the sense that if they've mastered all of the grammar in the main text (leaving aside some of the more obscure grammar in the appendix), they're ready for their tests. My only criticism would be that the book's vocabulary is somewhat limited and doesn't overlap much with many of the more popular Latin textbooks, so I'd look for an additional resource in this particular area, regardless of what you're using it for.
Addendum: the further I progress through this book (I'm nearing the end), the more impressed I am with it. My favorite Latin textbook used to be Wheelock. This one has clearly eclipsed Wheelock in my estimation by explaining many advanced grammar points better than any other book I've seen.