“Latin Will Kill You”
In his summer class, Vatican Latinist Reginald Foster not only teaches the language six hours a day, six days a week, to those able and willing to learn, he also assigns a weekly “Ludus Aestivus” — otherwise known as a homework sheet.
Once we had to translate this inscription from Raphael’s tomb in the Pantheon:
“ILLE HIC EST RAPHAEL TIMUIT QUO SOPISTE VINCI
RERUM MAGNA PARENS ET MORIENTE MORI”
The first time I saw this, I thought it was excruciatingly hard. Then, when I realized the structure, I thought it was completely obvious, and that I was stupid for taking so long.
I think this is part of what Reggie is getting at when he says repeatedly to his class, “Be careful, friends, or Latin will kill you.”
A gold star to the person who translates this correctly–and literally!