Caesar’s Gallic Snore

I received this question:

I might have contacted you last year about Latin, I cannot recall. At any rate, my goal is to have my children be able to read ancient Latin texts and translate them into English. They have had a bit of Henle I and I think it is safe to say none of us much cared for it. I looked at Visual Latin and Lingua Latina and am wondering if either of them will take us to being able to read the ancient texts. Or, in short, how would you recommend that we get to the reading of the ancient texts? Thank you.

Here is my reply:

There is a dirty secret that few Latin teachers tell.  Those ancient texts are so blasted difficult that many students never make it to them.

Visual Latin will get you to the New Testament.  Lingua Latina by Hans Ørberg will get you to the New Testament by chapter 28.   By chapter 35 you will be ready for the ancient texts, but it is still going to be tough.  

Without hesitation, I recommend anything by Hans Ørberg.  I teach Lingua Latina by Hans Ørberg every year on my site, and this year I am adding Roma Aeterna.  It’s a tough book, but it will take students to the classics.

Every year I take students through Caesar’s Gallic Wars, or as I prefer to call it, Caesar’s Gallic Snore.  The book is quite tedious, difficult, and dull.  And, it is considered the easiest of the classics.  

I am not opposed to reading the classics.  I am simply opposed to everyone pretending that reading the classics is no big deal.  The classics are tedious and time-consuming.  

I hope this answered your question.  Feel free to contact me again if I did not.