What did Greek speakers in the Roman empire do when they wanted to learn Latin? They used Latin-learning materials containing authentic, enjoyable vignettes about daily life in the ancient world - shopping, banking, going to the baths, having fights, being scolded, making excuses - very much like the dialogues in some of today's foreign-language textbooks. These stories provide priceless insight into daily life in the Roman empire, as well as into how Latin was learned at that period, and they were all written by Romans in Latin that was designed to be easy for beginners to understand. Learners also used special beginners' versions of great Latin authors including Virgil and Cicero, and dictionaries, grammars, texts in Greek transliteration, etc. All these materials are w available for the first time to today's students, in a book designed to complement modern textbooks and enrich the Latin-learning experience.
Eleanor Dickey has taught in Canada and the United States, and is currently Professor of Classics at the University of Reading. She is a Fellow of the British Academy and of the Academia Europaea and has published widely on the Latin and Greek languages and how they were studied in antiquity, including Greek Forms of Address (1996), Latin Forms of Address (2002), Ancient Greek Scholarship (2007) and The Colloquia of the Hermeneumata Pseudodositheana (2012-15). She has extensive experience of teaching both Latin and Greek at all levels, in French as well as in English, and has brought this experience to bear on her adaptations of the ancient Latin-learning materials for modern students.