I received this question:

Hi Mr. Thomas!

I’m really struggling with Roma Aeterna because I haven’t done Lingua Latina in the past, so the vocabulary is really hard for me to get.  I’ve already taken Henle 1 and 2 as two years of studying Latin for High School.  I still need a 3rd year of Latin to complete my language requirements for college entry.  How would you suggest I proceed with Lingua Latina and Roma Aeterna to get that 3rd year?

Also, my mom is having me take the National Latin exam and last year I took Latin 2 for it.  This year I will be taking Latin 3.  Will you be teaching any prep classes for the exams?

Thanks so much!

Here is my reply:

Good morning!

I apologize for the delay. Finally catching up this morning…

Don’t feel bad.  I struggle with Roma Aeterna.  That book is ridiculously tough.

In my opinion, Henle Latin fails to prepare students for higher level Latin, which is sad.  It’s a number game.  Henle Latin 1 only teaches students 400 words, or so.  Lingua Latina teaches students almost 2,000 words in book one.  

Roma Aeterna assumes you know at least 2,000 words.  Henle Latin 1 and 2 may teach you 1,000 words and they are almost all war words.  Rather useless when you take on something like Roma Aeterna.  

So, you have a couple of options.  You could read Lingua Latina at high speed.  See how much you can get through before it becomes too difficult to progress.  At that point, you could jump into my live Lingua Latina class, or you could just use the recordings of previous classes.  You could move at any speed you like.  

Or, you could build your own Latin 3 course.  You could read through, on your own, Wheelock’s Latin.  Or, you could pick a gospel, which will be much easier than Roma Aeterna, and read it on your own.  I would suggest the gospel you are most familiar with. 

Naturally, you could simply continue to struggle through Roma Aeterna with myself and the rest of the class.  If you only understand half of what is happening, you will likely still pick up more than most other Latin 3 programs out there.

I am still considering a National Latin Exam class.  I just do not know where to place it in my schedule.

Let me know if you need more help!