Thursday, May 31, 2007

The Classical Education of Queen Elizabeth I

As a child, Queen Elizabeth I was clever and verbally precocious. She received a language-rich classical education (Latin, Greek, French Italian), and also studied the Bible, ancient philosophers and history, and poets and orators. Roger Ascham said his aims of teaching were three: 1. to instill moral principles, 2. to provide an intellectual guard against adversity, and 3. to set an example for others to follow.

Elizabeth's palace-schooling routine was split into a morning and an afternoon session:

"The mornings were usually devoted to readings of the Greek New Testament, after which Ascham chose readings from the orations of Isocrates , the tragedies of Sophocles, and the works of Demosthenes to complete the lessons of the day.

Non‐scriptural readings were carefully selected by Ascham to instruct Elizabeth in areas that “would be of value to her to meet every contingency of life” (I lxiii). Furthermore, as Ascham notes, the texts chosen were of those “best adapted to supply her tongue with the purest diction, her mind with the most excellent precepts, and her exalted station with a defense against the utmost power of fortune”. Other works that Elizabeth is known to have studied include those texts by St. Cyprian and the Commonplaces of Melanchthon, Luther’s disciple. These would have influence the development of her religious concepts.

Elizabeth’s afternoons were devoted almost entirely to the reading and studying the entire repertoire of Cicero and a significant part of Livy...Additional study time was divided between French and Italian, which she spoke as well as she spoke English."

Elizabeth didn't just sit with her books, though. She was also an avid horseback rider, danced, hunted. Elizabeth's training held her in good stead for the challenges she faced with the Protestant-Catholic tensions and attack by the Spanish Armada. She inspired her country with the following words in 1588:

"My loving people, we have been persuaded by some, that are careful of our safety, to take heed how we commit ourselves to armed multitudes, for fear of treachery; but I assure you, I do not desire to live to distrust my faithful and loving people. Let tyrants fear; I have always so behaved myself that, under God, I have placed my chiefest strength and safeguard in the loyal hearts and good will of my subjects. And therefore I am come amongst you at this time, not as for my recreation or sport, but being resolved, in the midst and heat of the battle, to live or die amongst you all; to lay down, for my God, and for my kingdom, and for my people, my honor and my blood, even the dust. I know I have but the body of a weak and feeble woman; but I have the heart of a king, and of a king of England, too; and think foul scorn that Parma or Spain, or any prince of Europe, should dare to invade the borders of my realms: to which, rather than any dishonor should grow by me, I myself will take up arms; I myself will be your general, judge, and rewarder of every one of your virtues in the field. I know already, by your forwardness, that you have deserved rewards and crowns; and we do assure you, on the word of a prince, they shall be duly paid you. In the mean my lieutenant general shall be in my stead, than whom never prince commanded a more noble and worthy subject; not doubting by your obedience to my general, by your concord in the camp, and by your valor in the field, we shall shortly have a famous victory over the enemies of my God, of my kingdom, and of my people."

Ascham's The Scholemaster.
The Early Education of Queen Elizabeth I
Elizabeth I portrait at PBS
Queen Elizabeth I's Speech Against the Spanish Armada

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Mid-Week Nonsense Poetry: The Diplomatic Platypus

I found this delightful poem in Gilbert Highet's The Art of Satire. Really wonderful!

The Diplomatic Platypus
by Patrick Barrington

I had a duck-billed platypus when I was up at Trinity,
With whom I soon discovered a remarkable affinity.
He used to live in lodgings with myself and Arthur Purvis,
And we all went up together for the Diplomatic Service.
I had a certain confidence, I own, in his ability,
He mastered all the subjects with remarkable facility;
And Purvis, though more dubious, agreed that he was clever,
But no one else imagined he had any chance whatever.

I failed to pass the interview, the board with wry grimaces
Took exception to my boots and then objected to my braces,
And Purvis too was failed by an intolerant examiner
Who said he had his doubts as to his sock-suspender's stamina.
Our summary rejection, though we took it with urbanity
Was naturally wounding in some measure to our vanity;
The bitterness of failure was considerably mollified,
However, by the ease with which our platypus had qualified.

The wisdom of the choice, it soon appeared, was undeniable;
There never was a diplomat more thoroughly reliable.
He never made rash statements his enemies might hold him to,
He never stated anything, for no one ever told him to,
And soon he was appointed, so correct was his behaviour,
Our Minister (without Portfolio) to Trans-Moravia.

My friend was loved and honoured from the Andes to Esthonia,
He soon achieved a pact between Peru and Patagonia,
He never vexed the Russians nor offended the Rumanians,
He pacified the Letts and yet appeased the Lithuanians,
Won approval from his masters down in Downing Street so wholly, O,
He was soon to be rewarded with the grant of a Portfolio.
When on the Anniversary of Greek Emancipation,
Alas! He laid an egg in the Bulgarian Legation.

This untoward occurrence caused unheard-of repercussions,
Giving rise to epidemics of sword-clanking in the Prussians.
The Poles began to threaten, and the Finns began to flap at him,
Directing all the blame for this unfortunate mishap at him;
While the Swedes withdrew entirely from the Anglo-Saxon dailies
The right of photographing the Aurora Borealis,
And, all efforts at rapprochement in the meantime proving barren,
The Japanese in self-defence annexed the Isle of Arran.

My platypus, once thought to be more cautious and more tentative
Than any other living diplomatic representative,
Was now a sort of warning to all diplomatic students
Of the risks attached to negligence, the perils of imprudence,
And, branded in the Honours List as 'Platypus, Dame Vera',
Retired, a lonely figure, to lay eggs in Bordighera.

The Diplomatic Platypus by Patrick Barrington

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Art History : Caravaggio and Three St. Matthews

Michelangelo Mrisi da Caravaggio was a rebellious and impetuous personality who burst onto the art scene in the late middle ages, ushering in the Baroque style of art. Compared to the flat, emotionally placid, and stationary look of Saint Matthew in the Lindesfarne Gospels (below), baroque painting was life-like, moving, and often conveying powerful emotional feeling.

Above is Caravaggio's The Inspiration of St. Matthew. The figures are boldly appear out of the darkness and the angel swirls above Matthew to guide his thoughts. Interestingly, this painting was not Caravaggio's first on this subject - his first, below, was rejected by the Chapel San Luigi dei Francesi in Rome - perhaps because it portrayed St. Matthew in too humble an image. In the painting below (unfortunately destroyed in World War II, only this black and white photograph remains), Matthew is dressed as a poor man (rather than aristocratic philosopher)and the angel is seen to guide even his hand as he reads the lines of a book.

The three St. Matthews demonstrate the different interpretative choices that an artist must make when translating an event or a story into visual form.

By the way, it's thought that the word Baroque originated from the Portuguese word barroco, meaning an unpredictable and elaborately shaped pearl.
At left is the famous Canning Sea Dragon made in the late medieval period from baroque pearls.

For more about Caravaggio or helpful art history sites, check out the links below. Interestingly, there have been some recent startling Caravaggio finds in Church backrooms and lofts. Paintings of Doubting Thomas and Emmaus were found and verified just last year (for more, click here), and The Taking of Christ was found in a Jesuit House dining room in 1993 after it had disappeared some 200 years earlier.

Boston College: Biography of Caravaggio
Art and the Bible
Art History Today Blog

Monday, May 28, 2007

Memorial Day

On this Memorial Day, we remember the brave men and women who gave their all. Our thanks, too, to all the brave servicemen and women currently serving overseas.

"The bravest are surely those who have the clearest vision of what is before them, glory and danger alike, and yet notwithstanding, go out to meet it."
- Thucydides

Remember Our Heroes on Memorial Day

Thursday, May 24, 2007

More Medieval Poetry Fun & Games

William the Conqueror (by Chesterman)

William the Conqueror, 1066,
Said to his captains, 'I mean to affix
England to Normandy. Go out and borrow
Some bows and some arrows, we're starting tomorrow.'
So William went conquering hither and thither
'Til Angles and Saxons were all of a dither
He conquered so quickly you couldn't keep count
Of the counties he conquered, I think they amount
To ten, or a doxen, or even a score,
And I haven't a doubt he'd have conquered some more,
But death put an end to the tactics, thank Heaven,
Of William the Conqueror, 1087.

Henry the VIII (by Farjeon)

Bluff King Hal was full of beans
He married half a dozen queens
For three called Kate they cried the banns
And one called Jane, and a couple of Annes.

The first he asked to share his reign
Was Kate of Aragon, straight from Spain
But when his love for her was spent
He got a divorce, and out she went.

Anne Boleyn was his second wife.
He swore to cherish her all his life,
But seeing a third, he wished instead
He chopped off poor Anne Boleyn?s head.

He married the next afternoon
Jane Seymour, which was rather soon,
But after one year as his bride
She crept into her bed and died.

Anne of Cleves was number four.
Her portrait thrilled him to the core,
But when he met her face to face
Another royal divorce took place.

Catherine Howard, number five,
Billed and cooed to keep alive.
But one day Henry felt depressed,
The executioner did the rest.

Sixth and last was Catherine Parr
Sixth and last and luckiest far
For this time it was Henry who
Hopped the twig, and a good job too.

For education-lite breaks, check out these Games and Animations:

Tudor Britain
Elizabethan Spying Game
Re-enact the Battle of Hastings
Odd Man Out Game (What Doesn't Belong?)
Dress King Henry
Build a Medieval Arch Animation

Poetry Library Quotes

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Poetry: An Overworked Elocutionist

by Carolyn Wells (1869-1942)

There was once a little boy whose name was Robert Reese;
And every Friday afternoon he had to speak a piece.
So many poems thus he learned, that soon he had a store
Of recitations in his head… and still kept learning more.
And now this is what happened: He was called upon one week
And totally forgot the piece he was about to speak.
He brain he cudgeled. Not a word remained within his head!
And so he spoke at random, and this is what he said:
“My beautiful, my beautiful, who standest proudly by,
It was the schooner Hesperus–the breaking waves dashed high!
Why is this Forum crowded? What means this stir in Rome?
Under a spreading chestnut tree, there is no place like home!
When freedom from her mountain height cried, “Twinkle, little star,”
Shoot if you must this old gray head, King Henry of Navarre!
Roll on, thou deep and dark blue castled crag of Drachenfels,
My name is Norval, on the Grampain Hills, ring out, wild bells!
If you’re waking, call me early, to be or not to be,
The curfew must not ring tonight! Oh, woodman, spare that tree!
Charge, Chester, charge! Oh, Stanley, on! and let who will be clever!
The boy stood on the burning deck, but I go on forever!”
His elocution was superb, his voice and gestures fine;
His schoolmates all applauded as he finished the last line.
“I see it doesn’t matter,” Robert thought, “what words I say,
So long as I declaim with oratorical display.”

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Ancient Egypt: Puzzles, Pyramids, and Math Papyri

A French architect thinks he's solved the mystery of how the Great Pyramid of Giza was built. At an elaborate 3D visualization site (Pyramid of Khufu), Jean-Pierre Houdin shows how he thinks the pyramid was built with a combination of an external ramp and a spiraling internal ramp.

"The crucial piece of evidence in support of an internal network of spiral tunnels comes from a microgravity test carried out in 1986, he said. French scientists found a peculiar anomaly - a less-dense structure in the form of a spiral within the pyramid.
"They had it in the drawer for 15 years because it could not be explained. But when we put my drawings over it, there it was," M. Houdin said. "It is strong evidence, but not proof, that the tunnels still exist inside the pyramid and that they were not filled in," he said."

The Great Pyramid of Khufu at Giza is the only remaining Seven Wonders of the World as listed by the Greek historian Herodotus. Not all of its mysteries have been solved, though. At Who Built the Pyramids and Why?, read more about the mathematical wonders in the detailed design of this pyramid. Excerpt:

"It consists of a line drawn from North to South which is a mere three minutes and six seconds deviant from the celestial meridian which means that the Pyramid was built to face true North. The measurements are staggering. Its base length is 230m 36 cm 4mm. And the circumference is 921m 45cm 6mm. In other words, if we consider a circle with a radius of the Pyramid's height, they will be identical. This speaks to the geniusness of the ancient Afrikans in the B.C. era.

If we multiply the length of the side of the Pyramid by 2 and divide the result by the height, the answer will be 230. 364 multiplied by 2 and divided by 146.599 equals 3.14 which is the modern day Pi, that is, the ratio of the circle's circumference to its diameter contained in the Pyramid. This degree of accuracy proves that the ancient Afrikans- Kemites were well aware of the spherical nature of the earth. They possessed this advanced knowledge of mathematics. They had already calculated the radius and circumference of the earth."

When the Rhind papyrus' hieroglyphics were finally deciphered in 1842, archeologists were surprised discover many math puzzles written on the 18 by 1 foot long papyrus now known as the Rhind papyrus. One puzzle is very similar to the St. Ives puzzle:

"One of these is: Seven houses contain seven cats. Each cat kills seven mice. Each mouse had eaten seven ears of grain. Each ear of grain would have produced seven hekats of wheat. What is the total of all of these?"

The St Ives puzzle: "As I was going to St. Ives, I met a man with seven wives. Every wife had seven sacks, and every sack had seven cats, every cat had seven kittens. Kittens, cats, sacks, and wives, how many were going to St. Ives?"

The answer to the first is 19,607. The answer to second is 2800 going to St. Ives.

The Nile Valley may have been the birthplace of algebra and trigonometry, but unlike the mathematical abstract philosophers of ancient Greece, the ancient Egyptians had more practical uses for their math in business and building (of course!).

Does your head hurt from all these calculations? Maybe you should take a break by playing this Mummy Maker Game at BBC History.

Here you can Write Your Name in Egyptian Hieroglyphs.

Reference Links:
Fox News: Houdin and the Great Pyramid
Independent: Khufu Pyramid
Inside the Pyramid
PBS: Travel Into the Pyramid
Rhind Papyrus

Monday, May 21, 2007

Beautiful Books: Turning the Pages

Check out the British Library's fantastic Turning the Pages gallery of the world's most beautiful books. Highlights include Glimpses of Medieval Life from the Luttrell Psalter (above), Lewis Carroll's Original Alice (below), Jane Austen's childhood The History of England (including her sketches), and Leonardo Da Vinci's Notebooks, and lots more.

It's an extraordinary collection, and using Shockwave, you can turn the pages to read the book as it was written by hand. Tools allow you to magnify, translate text, and even listen to the text being read in audio.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Classical Education for Visual Learners

One question raised by parents about a classical education is whether it is too "verbal" for some of their children, and the verbal demands of reading classical history or texts can't be underestimated.

But like great thinkers in all historical times, they come in many different sizes, shapes and varieties. If your young visual thinker is having his mind wander we you talk about Plutarch and Charlemagne, then perhaps you need to spiff up what you're doing to make history, philosophy, and the decisions of great men and women of the past come alive.

Here are some Classical Schooling ideas for Visual and Spatial Learners:

1. The Beauty in Every Time
Visual learners are often aesthetes who may lose their sense of time when studying something that they think is beautiful or amazing. In even the best of intentions to "cover the curriculum", it's wise to remind yourself to find and opportunities for beauty in your visual learner, whether it's in the the archaeological treasures of the past, the powerful images of beautiful or heroic poems, or the hidden treasures in nature.

2. A Visual Picture or Scene for People and Events
If a classical lesson doesn't seem to take, then you might need to provide a visual picture or scene to peg or personalize the events. If some students don't have a peg to hang other information on, knowledge with drift away like the tide. We have used flashcards like these for history, science, and philosophy. They make review more effective and the learning really sticks better.

3. Spatial Talents in Re-enacting Historical Battles and Engineering
Great activities for spatially-talented children involving building and simulations of historical battles. By studying the strategies of famous battles, students can immerse themselves in complex scenarios that involve tactics, geographical terrain, weighing of risks and resources, and contemplation of personal as well as opponents' strengths and weaknesses. Budding architects and engineers can study and try to replicate the various feats of architecture and engineering throughout the centuries.

4. You Were There - Historical Storytelling
Daydreaming children often thrive on the excitement of a good adventure story, and once they get the idea, they may enjoy spinning tales of their own.

5. Computer and Media Studies within a Classical Education
Finally, computer and media studies can definitely be integrated into a classical curriculum. Because of the quantity of literary or historical information relayed in a classical education, it is often easier to find verbal than visual material for your classical learner, but it is important to persevere.

There has never been a greater need to imbue classical studies with the talents that visual learners have to give. When classical education seemed to be on its death's door, it has undergone a rejuvenation because of the world wide resources of the Internet (surge in online Latin and Greek), the many different ways that classical educators can now find kindred spirits, and the interest from non-academic disciplines (contemporary movies, game industries) to learn more about the past.

In our household, our computer literacy and media studies take on many different forms - from simple online work (courses, research), to the study of film representations of classics and history, and lessons in computer programs (Flash, Photoshop, Adobe Premiere / Digital Video) that can allow our kids to express their ideas in a wide range of media.

When we get a chance, we'll post the films that we've used to complement our historical readings, and we'll post links and lessons that we've used to study film analysis as well as share some of our experiences dabbling with video editing. Since our posting about the Medieval Siege links, we've been busy building an elaborate medieval city from the paper templates for our daughter's Medieval Faire at the end of this week. I'll post a picture of this when I think we're just about done!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Small Latin and Less Greek

Ben Jonson described Shakespeare's education as consisting of "small Latin, and less Greek", so that is no small goal for some of us classical educator newbies. I am really learning Latin with my kids, but I was also frustrated at not being able to read many short Greek phrases that I came across while reading classical commentaries or works.

What I really find myself enjoying is Christine Gatchell's Elementary Greek. It is easy to slip in reading here and there, and although I know that "real" Greek is quite complex, this little bit of Greek gives me a richer feeling of connection to the words and quotations as I come across them. Readings start with the John 1. If you can't wait for the book, check out this Little Greek 101 site which includes short audio files for pronunciation.

Another wonderful free resource I came across was Visual Greek (pdf file) which combines cartoons which act as reminders for Greek word meaning and pronunciation.

Other References

Shakespeare's Small Latin and Less Greek

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Introduction to Western Philosophy and Literature

Too many books, too little time?

Check out Glyn Hughes's Squashed Philosophers, a site that has brief synopses (with direct excerpts from the original texts) of all the major philosophers, from ancient (e.g. Plato, Aristotle, Augustine...) to modern (Satre, Turing, Popper).

Hughes also has a page for Squashed Writers (a.k.a. "All the books you think you ought to have read")...starting with Caesar's Commentaries on the Gallic Wars and so far through Kafka's Metamorphosis.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Ancient Warfare: Medieval Siege Weapons

Siege weapons were an essential feature of medieval warfare. At home, catapults can be made with popsicle sticks or a plastic spoon and rubber band. Here's a page of Lego trebuchets and what looks to be a simple Lego catapult. Here's instructions for a K'nex trebuchet. Nova's medieval siege site is here.

If you have Shockwave, you can play the game Destroy the Castle, but you must adjust the stone ball weight, sling length, counterweight, distance from the castle, and wheels in order to use the trebuchet effectively.

The trebuchet must have been a scary weapon. More detail about its operation can be studied at Trebuchet Physics or History of the Trebuchet.

To see a large one in action (tossing pianos or a car), check out this trebuchet video at ...

At home, it might be easier to toss marshmellows or ping pong balls. You can build a paper castle or medieval town by printing up these cool templates. Print up battle-specific paper medieval knights here.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Ancient Mathematics and Science: The Circle and Navigating by the Stars

"Oak and triple bronze must have girded the breast of him
who first committed his frail bark to the angry sea."
--Horace, Odes

In this ancient Babylonian map, the world is a circle with Babylon at its center. Ancient Babylonians were the first to divide the circle into 360 degrees (how we also got our 60 min / 60 sec clocks), and they may have been among the first to use the wheel.

As it turns out circular divisions were an important tool for sea explorations, and they were essential for the growth of many ancient civilizations. Read the student links at this Navigating by the North Star lesson plan. Because of its location, the North Star is a reliable landmark that can be used for determining one's location on the earth.

The bottom figure at left shows a photograph taken with the shutter left open. The "star swirl" occurs because the other constellations rotate around the fixed position of the North Star over the course of the evening.

Read about How a Sextant Works and build one here.

Would you know how to use it to determine your latitude? If you have an accurate clock set to Greenwich Mean Time, you can also calculate your longitude.

If you have Shockwave, you can play this game Escape from Antartica and see if you can find your way home like Ernest Shackleton.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Happy Mother's Day Flashes from the Past: His mother "...was the making of me...(because) she was always so true and sure of me..."

He recalled that his mother "...was the making of me... [because] she was always so true and so sure of me... And always made me feel I had someone to live for and must not disappoint."

He did not talk until he was almost 4 years of age, and his self-centered behavior, hyperactivity, and relentless questioning led his teacher to blurt out that he thought this man's brain's were addled. His mother was so angry, she pulled him out of school to tutor him at home. His father bribed him read some of the classics, offering him ten cents for each one he was able to complete. He would begin to voraciously read books and recite poetry, and then he discovered he enjoyed science and was clever at mechanical things.

Who was this? This was Thomas Edison, the Wizard of Menlo Park, and one of the most prolific inventors in history, inventing the cylinder phonography, the lightblub, and motion pictures.

As Mother's Day draws near, we salute all the remarkable mothers out there like Nancy Edison who believe in their children and inspire them to succeed in their own ways. Happy Mother's Day to all of you! Tomorrow we'll be traveling to Texas, but we'll be back to our regularly blogging schedule next Monday (May 14th).

Edison's Biography
Inventions of Thomas Edison
Eide Neurolearning Blog: 2006 Mother's Day Flashes from the Past: "Years later, we realized her marks were a ruse..."
Eide Neurolearning Blog: 2005 Mother's Day Flashes from the Past: One Remarkable Mother
Eide Neurolearning Blog: Flashes from the Past: A Lover of Words...(Another Who Had a Great Mom)

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Monday, May 7, 2007

Grammar Jingles: Schoolhouse Rock

Here's a fun way to remember your grammar: Grammar Schoolhouse Rock Videos at Youtube.

Here's where you can print up all the Schoolhouse Rock Lyrics.

If you know your grammar, it makes writing and learning foreign languages easier. Here's our favorite, Rufus Xavier Sarsaparilla (Pronouns). To make it easier for pages to load, click on the links to see the other Grammar Rock videos.

For More Grammar Schoolhouse Rock Videos:
A Noun is a Person, Place, or Thing
Conjunction Junction
Unpack Your Adjectives
Verb: That's What's Happening
Lolly, Lolly, Get Your Adverbs Here

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Friday, May 4, 2007

Classical Science Alive: Archimedes Vindicated!

In 212 B.C. ancient Greek and Roman historians wrote that Archimedes used a burning glass to set Roman ships aflame in the Battle of Syracuse. Over the centuries, many groups have attempted to repeat Archimedes' achievement, but failed. Many believed he couldn't have done it (one of the most recent naysayers being the TV hosts of Mythbusters), but persistent against-the-odds students and teachers at MIT finally proved Archimedes could have torched the ships.

Using this sketch model, the course instructor concluded it would be possible. 95% of the class thought it unfeasible, 5% thought, well maybe....

The rest (as they say) is history: "Open, sustaining flame occurred less than 10 minutes after the sun was in a clear patch of sky!" For more on this, including answers to ponderables such why the boats and not the sails might have been set on fire, check out these Archimedes Death Ray FAQs

Archimedes Death Ray

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Thursday, May 3, 2007

The Science of Hearing Treatments- From Ancient to Modern, to Cutting Edge

In the first century B.C., Greek physician Archigenes('Αρχιγενης) tried to cure certain hearing disorders by blasting loud noises through a tube. It was thought that fluids from the brain would build up in the ears (almost true).

The Greek physician Galen of Pargamon applied liquids that would dissolve thick fluids while administering medications that would cause patients to lose water from their bodies. Today when know that fluids can collect in the ear for many reasons, but most commonly due to infections, allergies, or impaired drainage.

Ear trumpets were first used by sailors to communicate over long distances, then in the 17th century, they became common assistive devices for the hearing impaired.

Inventor of the telephone, Alexander Graham Bell became interested in sound and sound amplification at an early age because of his speech instructor father (invented 'Visible Speech') and hearing-impaired mother (a talented painter and apparently pianist!). Alexander himself went on to become a teacher of the deaf and married a deaf woman.

He attributes his breakthrough in the design of the telephone as being due to a mistake he had made when trying to decode research article written in German - he mistakenly believed the researchers had been able to transmit vowel sounds over a wire. He would later recall : "If I had been able to read German, I might never have begun my experiments in electricity!"

Bells' tips to young would-be inventors: "Leave the beaten track occasionally and dive into the woods. Every time you do so you will be certain to find something that you have never seen before. Follow it up, explore all around it, and before you know it, you will have something worth thinking about to occupy your mind."

Do you need to review your anatomy of the middle and inner ear? If so, check out this Interactive Ear site. Ear bones are small!

Could you be a surgeon who operates on the ear? If so, take a look at this Ear Movie that shows how a tendon from a muscle behind the ear can be used to make a new tympanic membrane or "ear drum." It's a little amazing that it works as well as it does...Would you like to have been the first person who had this surgery?

Today research scientists are able to study the cellular and molecular basis of hearing. Using the scanning electron microscope, researchers can look and delicate structures that make up the hair cells (convert sound waves into electrical signals).

The ear hears when sound comes into the ear canal, vibrates the tympanic membrane, moves the three ear bones, which in turn pass the vibrating signal to the cochlea where a fluid waves activates hair cells.

Bioengineers have made cochlear implants that can allow some deaf people to hear by stimulating the auditory nerves.

Some deaf communities have asked whether cochlear implants should be given to all people, though, because of concern that this innovation could eliminate deaf culture.

Today, neuroscientists and audiologists are also using computer-based training programs to improve hearing by "training the brain" while other groups are trying silicon chips and micromachining to design more sensitive and accurate artificial ears.

Ancient Greek Physician Stamp
Biography of Alexander Graham Bell
History Hearing Disorders
Ear Trumpets
Visible Speech
Alexander Graham Bell at American Memory
How the Ear Works
Alexander Graham Bell

Previous Latin Sayings of the Week

"Soli deo gloria." - For the glory of God alone.

Christus resurrexit! Vere resurrexit! - Christ is Risen! He is risen, indeed!

"Lex malla, lex nulla." - St. Thomas Aquinas
(A bad law is no law.)

"Cantantes licet usque (minus via laedit) eamus. " - Let us go singing as far as we go: the road will be less tedious.

"Caelitus mihi vires." - My strength is from heaven.

"Magnificat anima mea Dominum, et exsultavit spiritus meus in Deo Salvatore meo" - My soul doth magnify the Lord, and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Savior (Luke 1:45)

In Omnibus Ipse Primatum Tenens “That in all things He (Christ) might have the preeminence.” (Colossians 1:16-18)

"Qui bene cantat bis orat." - He who sings well, prays twice - (St Augustine)

"Nos fecisti ad te et inquietum est cor nostrum donec requiescat in te." -
Thou hast made us for Thyself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in Thee. (St Augustine)

"Caelitus mihi vires
." - My strength is from heaven.

"Ubi caritas et amor Deus ibi est." - Where there is charity and love, God is there.

"Nisi credideritis, non intelligetis ."

Unless you will have believed, you will not understand. - St Augustine

"Deo vindice" - With God as Protector

"Credite amori vera dicenti." - Believe love speaking the truth. (St. Jerome)

De vitiis nostris scalam nobis facimus, si vitia ipsa calcamus." - If we tread our vices under feet, we make them a ladder to rise to higher things. (St. Augustine)

Dei gratia - By the grace of God

Verbum Domini Manet in Aeternum. - The Word of the Lord Endures Forever.

"Est autem fides credere quod nondum vides; cuius fidei merces est videre quod credis." - Faith is to believe what you do not see; the reward of this faith is to see what you believe. (St. Augustine)

"Deo iuvante" - with God's help

"Ut In Omnibus Glorificetur Deus." - That God may be glorified in all things

"Pax vobiscum." Peace be with you.

"Jubilate Deo." Be joyful in the Lord.

"Ille vir, haud magna cum re, sed plenus fidei." He is a man, not of ample means, but full of good faith.

"Facit enim mihi magna qui potens est." - For He that is mighty does to me great things.

"Oremus semper pro invicem." - Let us ever pray for each other.

"Distrahit animum librorum multitudo." - Seneca
A multitude of books distracts the mind.

"Nullam est nunc dictum, quod sit non dictum prius." - Terence
There is nothing said now, that has not been said before.

"Nosce te ipsum." - Plato
Know thyself.

"Non mihi, non tibi, sed nobis" - Not for you, not for me, but for us.

"Primum non nocere." - First, do no harm (Hippocrates)

"Est autem fides credere quod nondum vides; cuius fidei merces est videre quod credis." - Faith is to believe what you do not see; the reward of this faith is to see what you believe. (St. Augustine)

"Deo iuvante" - with God's help

"Ut In Omnibus Glorificetur Deus." - That God may be glorified in all things

"Pax vobiscum." Peace be with you.

"Jubilate Deo." Be joyful in the Lord.

"Ille vir, haud magna cum re, sed plenus fidei." He is a man, not of ample means, but full of good faith.

"Facit enim mihi magna qui potens est." - For He that is mighty does to me great things.

"Oremus semper pro invicem." - Let us ever pray for each other.

"Distrahit animum librorum multitudo." - Seneca
A multitude of books distracts the mind.

"Nullam est nunc dictum, quod sit non dictum prius." - Terence
There is nothing said now, that has not been said before.

"Nosce te ipsum." - Plato
Know thyself.

"Non mihi, non tibi, sed nobis" - Not for you, not for me, but for us.

"Primum non nocere." - First, do no harm (Hippocrates)

"Dei plena sunt omnia." - Cicero (All things are full of God.)