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For questions about Lingua Latina Per Se Illustrata (LLPSI) by Hans Henning Ørberg.

Lingua Latina Per Se Illustrata ("The Latin Language Illustrated by Itself") is a two-volume Latin primer by Hans Ørberg written entirely in Latin. The student never uses his or her native language and thus never translates. Instead, the student infers Latin vocabulary and grammar entirely from context.

The first volume, Familia Romana, begins with the sentence "Rōma in Italiā est," accompanied by a map of Europe, which depicts what that sentence means. The first chapter uses only the verbs est and sunt and nouns only in the nominative and ablative cases. Most of the book consists of comical stories about a wealthy Roman family set in about 150 A.D. Each chapter introduces new vocabulary and a new element of grammar, the meaning of which is usually self-evident from the story or from a picture, often supplemented by a brief marginal note—written in Latin, of course.

You learn numbers from a chapter describing a day at school where the children are taught by a strict Greek magister. Along the way, you learn about beatings for disobedience, the Roman custom of hiring Greek teachers and how they were paid, the many jobs of slaves and what happens when one runs away, the clash between Christian and Pagan religion complete with easy passages from the Vetus Latina, and you read bedtime stories that are actually simplified versions of myths from Ovid's Metamorphoses.

At the end of each chapter are an explanation of the newly introduced grammar, written in Latin of course, and three pensa: sets of exercises, including one where the student answers questions about the chapter in Latin. The penultimate chapter is a dinner party with poetry readings, introducing scansion of hexameter and elegiac couplets with the most famous examples. The last chapter, Capitulum XXXV, is an excerpt from Donatus's Ars Grammatica, in which a teacher grills a student on all the elements of grammar covered in the book.

The second volume, Roma Aeterna, consists of excerpts from some of the most well known ancient Roman writings and authors: Virgil, Livy, Cicero, etc. Early chapters are simplified rewrites and present poetry solutis versibus—in prose form, which makes the grammar much easier for a beginner to follow. By the end of the book, the student is reading excerpts from classical authors in their original form.

The series thus leads the student gently, almost effortlessly, to a feel for Latin style, grammar, and vocabulary. Looking ahead a few chapters, the text seems to get much more difficult, but by the time you reach it, understanding it is fairly easy. The student enters the Latin tradition by learning from the same writings and material that everyone who learned Latin from the early mediæval period to modern times was expected to know. Both volumes include macrons in all text.

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