John Harmar's Praxis Grammatica is the name of a book from 1653 that was designed to help Latin students practice their Latin translation skills. The book was put online by St. Louis University in their Paedagogica Latina section. The sentences include statements of 17th century fact as well as pithy quotations from Latin writers.
John Harmar says this about his selection of Latin sentences:
"The Praxis I have spoken about is especially fashioned for the use of children who are still stammering, ones who have crept from their grammatical cribs for the first time. Certainly I think that for them it is going to be not only useful and handy, but also well-suited. As you see, I have decided to add to it certain rather elegant and witty sayings carefully researched and culled. In this material you will find quite a refined kind of speech. But even more, I have added to these sayings quite a good number of apophthegms from Macrobius, Plutarch, and also from that hugely prolific Desiderius Erasmus, both funny and serious items fetched out from their store. These should from time to time make palatable and interesting those bothersome chores that tend to creep in on teachers."
I have been listing these sentences on the Ancient/Classical History blog with links to relevant pages I've written on grammatical or cultural points. The section of the blog that says anglice links to the translation into English. Do try to figure out the Latin before clicking on that particular link!
The Blog Praxis Entries
The following is a list of the blog entries. The English blog title provides a clue to or pun about the Latin you will see in the post. Once in a while the blog post will include a translation.
- How to Get a Good Night’s Sleep
- How to Invite Yourself for Lunch
- How to Compliment Your Ancient Roman Host
- How to Confess to Being Voracious
- How to Compliment Your Bard
- Was Defenestration Acceptable Roman Party Behavior?
- Don’t Worry! Here’s Why
- Latin for My Orchard Won’t Work as an Alibi
- How to Introduce the Blind Date You Picked for a Friend
- "Useful" Latin in Case the Winner Missed That Fact
- Playing Hooky
- Stating the Obvious Ambiguously
- I Didn’t Chop the Cherry Tree. Honest!
- The Futility of a Mudbath(?)
- A Lovely Latin Valediction
- Birds of a Feather
- Follow Me on Twitter(?)
- Moral People Don’t Need to Hide
- Why I Unfriended You
- Take the Bull
- A Basic Latin Statement of Fact
- Promises, Promises
- Chez Moi
- More on the Golden Mean
- Patience is a Virtue
- Pepper Your Life With Friends
- Why Are the Things We Most Want Tasteless?
- Value Quality Over Quantity
- Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose
- Part of the Serenity Prayer?
- Is This a Misanthropic World View in Latin?
- Practice Makes It Perfect
- Body and Mind
- A Great Way to Learn
- Qualifications for Teaching
- Preparation for Summer Camp
- Not All Instruction Is Academic
- Some Wishful Thinking
- The Distaff Side
- Seeking the Perfect Mentor
- Barter for Education
- Foreign Studies
- Are Your Brothers Very Young?
- Too Much Laughter
- You Can Catch More Flies With Honey
- Do Unto Others
- On Gifts
- On a King's Subjects
- Recipe for Civility
- The Best Ruler
- Healthy Mind, Healthy Body