I have just uploaded a tool – a website – for memorizing passages of Latin literature, the Cedo Alteram ePrompter. The test module may be seen here, using Horace, Carmina 2.7 as a sample text. The site works in Firefox, but I haven’t tested it yet in other browsers.
It needs a front end for selecting passages of Latin (and other) literature, and a much larger database of passages, but the concept should be clear with a little practice. I am also working on a version (Prithee) that will allow readers to upload their own texts.
The site has three uses I know of, but I only thought of the third when it was mostly done, so there may be more:
- Lovers of Latin (and other languages) may use it to memorize favorite passages. I find that I understand Horace and Catullus in particular much better if I memorize them on long walks. Long boring drives are also good for practicing texts I already have down, and thinking further about them. I get lots of ideas for textual and exegetical papers on these walks and drives. The software will allow me and others to do the same at our desks or (eventually) on cellphones or tablets.
- Actors will be able to use the Prithee software to memorize their lines.
- When teaching a passage of Latin literature, I have found it useful to show the class a word or two at a time, forcing students to guess where each sentence is headed, and to say what we can tell so far, and what remains to be learned in the unseen parts. Cedo Alteram allows a teacher with an overhead projector and a web connection to do that without wasting time, or chalk, or dry-erase ink. Or rather it will allow that once I have the front end put together, and a large corpus of literature in the database
Comments on any aspect of this project will be very much appreciated.