I am reading the adaptation of De Sermone Cotidiano in Lingua Latina: Sermones Romani.

In the Discipulus (II) section, there is the sentence:

Inter haec iussū magistrī surgunt pusillī ad elementa, et syllabās dīnumerāvit eīs ūnus dē māiōribus.

with notes:

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So, what does surgunt ad elementa (rise to letters?) mean?

Among these the young boys rise to letters by the teacher's order, and one of the older ones enumerated syllables to them.

Is it right?

1 Answer 1


It could be elliptic for two things:

  • singulī pusillī ad singula elementa, i.e. "one by one in response to", or
  • ad elementa recitanda "for reciting the letters", meaning everyone had to stand up and be prepared to repeat/recite them.

The latter seems more probable as a school practice to me as well as to the author of this commentary (E. Dickey). If the former was intended, one would expect at least the first singulī.

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