Interactive latin textbook
The relationship between man and natural environment is probably the most essential one to reflect on. Considering the European culture, we can see how this fundamental relationship was interpreted in different ways over the centuries, according to different points of view on man and nature. We suggest to consider particularly how man has often been considered the center of creation, establishing an asymmetrical relationship between man and nature which sometimes allowed him to overcome nature, coming to a destructive relationship with it. From a different point of view, maybe we could consider instead man as a part of creation, with a more balanced and responsible role towards nature, focusing as well on how he can explore and get to know many aspects of nature, and get amazed by what he discovered. Before we get to explore these interpretations, we will start simply remembering how human beings have always felt the need to imagine how the world was born, narrating and showing the creation through art. In our case, we will explore a particular visual text which is aimed to connect images to the Biblical account of creation.
As we live in different times and places, maybe we do not consider that, as young people and as students, we could have hopes, desires, challenges and ambitions similar to the ones of students from other countries or evenliving in differenttimes,for instance in theMiddleage. Reflecting on being young in a European context, we can take in consideration the position of young women, which in the past was often different from that of their male peers. It could be interesting to reflect why men choose to write about some of them (Cleopatra and Heloise, for instance) and if there is a “male” and a “female” way to deal with a protagonist of a story. For youngsters also becoming a student is an exciting experience, both today and in medieval times. Young people of the middle ages certainly had to consider the same things which all students think about, for instance in which place they can find the university and the teachers which and who suits their plans best. Bologna for juridical studies, Salerno for medicine, Oxford and Paris for science were some of the most eminent universities in the Middle Age, and so they are nowadays. Besides studying, an important part of being young is certainly taking part in groups of peers, discussing and sharing experiences and, above all, having fun together. Not surprisingly, this was the case also in the Middle Age, as the Carmina burana collection proves to us.
Music plays an important role in connection to Latin literature, in fact there are mythological texts which describe the origin of a musical instrument (e.g. the episode “Pan and Syrinx” in Ovid’s “Metamorphoses”), or narrative texts which uses the description of music for the characterization of a person (e.g. Achilles playing the lyra in the “Ilias Latina” - like in Homer’s “Iliad”). Latin texts are used as well as lyrics in many pieces of vocal music (e.g. in Vivaldi’s “Sileant Zephyri” or Mozart’s “Laudate dominum”) Furthermore, many Latin texts deal with the role and importance of music as a mean of education. Not only musicians or artists in general were interested in music, but also philosophers gave great importance to music and its many connections with other disciplines. Particularly, the connection between music and mathematics could sound quite strange to us, as well as the connection between music and philosophy, namely metaphysics and cosmology, seems a little hard to understand from a modern point of view. The three authors - Boetius, Isidorus and Johannes Tinctoris- we will take in consideration will help us to deepen and better understand these ideas.