Vergil's Aeneid
Preview of First Midterm (15%)
21 October 1998 
As you are doubtless all aware, the first midterm (as described in the syllabus) is around the corner.  Here is a preview. 
Translation.  Translation is the backbone of the exam.  I shall ask you to translate one long passage (10-15 lines) or two shorter ones (5-8 lines each).  You will not have the luxury, at least not for this exam, of choosing passages:  you must translate what is provided.

Click here to see the breakdown of the actual passages used on the exam.

I shall select passages that are typical of Vergil's poetry as well as appropriate to the experience of the class as a whole.  In other words, since we have spent about 4 weeks introducing ourselves to Vergil's style and substance, the Latin on the exam will reflect this introductory phase.

I will provide a mini-lexicon of exceptionally difficult or technical vocabulary.

When translating, you should be as literal as possible.  Scholars often rail against "translationese," with all of its "having beens" and "by means ofs," but an examination is an appropriate venue for this kind of language.  At a minimum you must make it clear that you know how the sentences work syntactically and grammatically. 

Grammar.  No matter how literal the translation, every passage has finer points that need elucidating.  Accordingly, I will ask you to look back on the translation passage(s) and identify or explain certain things.  Sample questions:  "What construction is volvendis mensibus in line 269?"  "What mood is conderet (line 5), and why?"  "What case is costis (line 211), and why?"

I hope you understand that the questions will be very basic, founded on the sorts of things we have been discussing in class during translation.  I strongly advise that you review the following grammar (Moreland and Fleischer page numbers in parentheses):

This is not an all-inclusive list, but it is fair sample of the grammar we have examined thus far.  I reserve the right to ask about additional points of grammar where appropriate. 
Scansion.  Third, there will be a short passage (4-5 lines) for you to scan, reflecting the basic work we have done thus far on scansion.  It will feature some elision, but on the whole it will be a straightforward specimen of the dactylic hexameter,as outlined by the meter page.

I will ask you to do nothing different from what you have done in your scansion assignments.  In other words, you should understand how to:

If you have questions about these skills, you should see me as soon as possible.

"Unfair" passages.  Finally, let me list here the passages that I have publicly sworn not to include on the exam: If I have omitted anything, I'm sure you'll let me know. 
If you have any questions or comments, feel free to contact me.