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History of the Jenney Latin Series (1953-1990): A Review of a Latin Program for Language Learners

Updated: Mar 30

Many students have learned Latin thanks to the Jenney Latin Series over the years. Some sing the praises of Latin for its influence on the Western intellectual tradition, its ability to instruct in how to write better in English, to understand the basic principles of government, and much more. Some cringe at learning the grammatical forms and syntax. But all acknowledge Latin’s expansive influence on Western culture throughout the centuries.


Most know that the Jenney Latin Series was a language learning program designed to educate high school students. Originally published by Allyn & Bacon in Boston, the four-volume Latin program series would see four major revisions, beginning in 1953 and ending in 1990 under Simon & Schuster’s publishing division Prentice-Hall. Some would not be surprised to learn that the Boston Latin School, the oldest existing school in the United States established in 1635, uses the Jenney Latin Series to this day. Nor would anyone be surprised to learn that Belmont Hill School, established in 1923 in Massachusetts, where Charles Jenney Jr. served as head of the Latin department from 1927-1981, also still teaches Latin from his textbooks. Undoubtedly, the Jenney Latin Series strictly adheres to the traditions of a classical education, which can trace its educational lineage back to British America and England. Few would be astonished to learn that the Jenney Latin Series had become a leader in the language learning industry and, for a couple decades, the most widely used Latin textbook series in the United States. But very few know how the Jenney Latin Series came to dominate American high schools during the 20th century.


Truth be told, the Jenney Latin Series was not Allyn & Bacon’s first choice for a Latin program series. Even more surprising is the fact that Charles Jenney Jr. was not even the original author of any of the four books under his name. Who was Allyn & Bacon’s first choice and how did the publisher change course in favor of Charles Jenney Jr.? Who were the original authors of the four books now under Jenney’s name? If the Jenney Latin Series was so popular, why is it now out-of-print? To answer these questions, we have to travel back in time to the year 1907 in Galesburg, Illinois. Let us explore the hidden faces and books behind the Jenney Latin series, provide a retrospective review of the famed series itself, and what led to Prentice-Hall’s fateful decision to abandon the series altogether.


The First Sourcebook: Smith’s Latin (1907-1920)


At the turn of the 20th century, the teaching of Latin had three basic methods – (1) the traditional and formal grammar-first approach, (2) the direct method, and (3) the new, emerging grammar-translation approach. Firstly, the grammar-first method is about learning Latin grammar in a systematic and logical fashion before attempting to translate Latin texts. This method involves learning the details of each part of speech, memorizing paradigms and their forms, and syntax. The rationale for this method is that learning a language requires gaining knowledge that is cumulative, that is to say, learning the basic building blocks of a language is essential to understand before advancing to more complex grammatical concepts and syntax. For this reason, simplicity and memorization of paradigms and their forms are paramount. The grammar-first approach was in decline by the end of the 19th century, criticized for its formalism and Latin purism. Secondly, the direct method, also called the natural method, refrains from using the learners’ native language (English) and uses only the target language (Latin). Thirdly, the grammar-translation approach advocated that students learn grammatical rules and then apply those rules by translating sentences between Latin and English. The 20th century was largely dominated by the teaching of the grammar-translation approach, and this is the method that the Jenney Latin Series would adopt.


However, before there was the Jenney Latin Series, the publisher Allyn & Bacon had humble beginnings with Ms. Smith’s Latin Lessons. At this time, Allyn & Bacon had no ambitions to launch an extensive Latin program. Minnie Louise Smith (1863-1927) was a high school teacher in Galesburg, Illinois. Ms. Smith teaching style reflected the transition of teaching a grammar-first method to a grammar-translation method. Her book had four chief aims: (1) to make Latin seem alive, (2) to make the book of value for general culture to those who go no further than the first year, as well as for those who continue to study of Latin, (3) to minimize the difficulties of the first year, and (4) to prepare thoroughly for the second year.


Her book comprised of 71 lessons, 63 illustrations, 569 vocabulary words, 12 readings, and an appendix. Review lessons are sprinkled throughout the entire course. Each lesson opened with a Latin quotation, presented paradigms on Latin forms, syntax, rules, vocabulary, a section on how English and Latin relate to one another through derivative words, and written and oral exercises including translation work. Some lessons included short phrases from Caesar. The origin of the 12 readings is uncertain, although there is evidence of influence from E. T. Tomlinson’s Selections from Latin Authors for Sight Reading (Boston: Ginn & Co., 1886) and Francis Ritchie’s Fabulae Faciles: A First Latin Reader, Containing Detached Sentences and Consecutive Stories with Notes and a Vocabulary (London: Longmans, Green, and Co., 1898). The book also tells stories of Roman culture and virtue.


The appendix contained an odd assortment of material. There is a partial letter from a father to his son about the importance of learning Latin. The letter gives an example on why his son ought to study Latin by relating everyday English words to Latin such as “bone fide,” “alma mater,” and “referendum.” There are sections on “Latin in Science,” “State Mottos,” “Latin Words in the U.S. Constitution,” “Latin Phrases,” “Abbreviations from Latin Words,” and “Latin Quotations.” There are Latin songs which are rarely if ever taught in schools today, so they are worth mentioning here. The songs are “Flevit Lepus Parvulus,” “Dies Festus Hodie!,” “Domine Salvam Fac,” “Gaudeamus Igitur,” and “Integer Vitae.” The appendix had a section on Latin word inflections which consists mostly of tables and rules of syntax. There was a brief section on English grammar and terminology. There is also a short selection of readings from Caesar’s Commentarii de Bello Gallico (Commentaries on the Gallic War). Lastly, there is a Latin-English Vocabulary, an English-Latin Vocabulary, and an index.


The Readings from Smith’s Latin Lessons

1. Lesson V: Via Appia

2. Lesson IX Review: Carolus et Poma

3. Lesson XIV Review: Equus Marci

4. Lesson XIX Review: Cincinnatus

5. Lesson XXIV Review: Magnus Imperator

6. Lesson XXIX Review: Corneliae Ornamenta

7. Lesson XXXV Review: Forum Romanum

8. Lesson XLI Review: Tarpeia

9. Lesson XLVII Review: Nasica et Ennius

10. Lesson LVI Review: Excerpts from Ritchie’s Fabulae Faciles

11. Lesson LXI Review: Domus Romana

12. Lesson LXVII: Virgines Vestales

Table 1: The reading lessons from Smith’s Latin Lessons.


The revised edition, retitled as Elementary Latin, retains the general plan of the original, but increases the number of lessons to 83 in order to divide and shorten the material for a more graduated way of learning. The number of illustrations was increased to 107. The number of reading lessons was also expanded from 12 to 40 (see Table 2 below). Some of the new readings come from the Gradatim: An Easy Latin Translation Book for Beginners by H.R. Heatley and H.N. Kingdon (London: Rivingtons, 1882). A supplementary reading was added, entitled the “Story of Ulysses,” which contained a series of short stories in adapted Latin drawn from Francis Ritchie’s Fabulae Faciles. The supplementary reading also included selections from Caesar’s Commentarii de Bello Gallico. Two more songs were added, “Vexillum Stellatum” and “Rei Publicae Paean Militaris”. The appendix material was reorganized into three appendices. The first appendix was entitled “Frequency of Latin Words and Phrases.” The second appendix was a new section entitled “Helpful Hints” which divided the material to be learned in a single school year into two halves when it comes to vocabulary, inflections, principles of syntax, word formation, and creating a derivation notebook. The second appendix also included tips on oral sentence work and Latin readings. The third appendix covered Latin inflections.


Smith follows Gonzalez Lodge’s “word list” which would later be revised and published in his Vocabulary of High School Latin (New York: Teachers College Columbia University, 1922). Smith also follows Lee Byrne’s Syntax of High School Latin (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1909; revised 1918). She would revise her book twice before her passing.


The Readings from Elementary Latin

1. Lesson V: Arena Romana

2. Lesson VIII: Gallia

3. Lesson X: Oppugnatio Oppidi

4. Lesson XI: Via Appia

5. Lesson XIV: Servus Malus

6. Lesson XVIII: Carolus et Poma

7. Lesson XXI: Servus Fidus

8. Lesson XXIV: Helvetii

9. Lesson XXVII: Auxilium Amici

10. Lesson XXIX: Dux Militibus

11. Lesson XXXI: Populus Romanus

12. Lesson XXXIV: Puer et Poma

13. Lesson XXXVI: Rex Galliae

14. Lesson XXXIX: A Practical Joke

15. Lesson XL: Horatius Cocles

16. Lesson XLII: The Mouse-Tower I

17. Lesson XLIII: The Mouse-Tower II

18. Lesson XLV: Corneliae Ornamenta

19. Lesson XLVII: Forum Romanum

20. Lesson XLIX: The Weather-Wise Donkey

21. Lesson LI: A Breach of Discipline

22. Lesson LII: Orgetorix

23. Lesson LIII: Nasica et Ennius

24. Lesson LV: Tarpeia

25. Lesson LVI: Robert, King of Scots I

26. Lesson LVII: Robert, King of Scots II

27. Lesson LIX: Domus Romana

28. Lesson LXII: The Beginnings of Rome

29. Lesson LXIII: Romulus and Remus

30. Lesson LXV: The Death of Amulius

31. Lesson LXVI: The Naming of Rome

32. Lesson LXVIII: The Seizure of the Women

33. Lesson LXX: The Reign of Romulus

34. Lesson LXXL: Numa and Tullus

35. Lesson: LXXII: The Fourth and Fifth Kings

36. Lesson LXXVI: Tarquin the Proud

37. Lesson LXXVII: Virgines Vestales

38. Lesson LXXVIII: The First Punic War

39. Lesson LXXIX: The Capture of Regulus

40. Lesson LXXXIII: The Heroism of Regulus

Table 2: Elementary Latin Readings.

· Smith, Minnie Louise (1863-1927), Latin Lessons (Boston: Allyn & Bacon, 1907; revised 1913 with editor Gordon J. Laing).

· Smith, Minnie Louise, Elementary Latin (Boston: Allyn & Bacon, 1920).

o A revision of Latin Lessons (1913) by Minnie Louise Smith.



Figure 1: Latin Lessons (revised 1913) by Minnie Louise Smith depicts an unmanned Roman chariot with two horses (left) and Elementary Latin (revised 1920) has a plain brown cover (right). The image quality is poor due to these books' age.


* * *


The Early Predecessors (1929-1950)


Smith and Thompson’s Latin


After the death of Ms. Smith, Mr. Harold G. Thompson (1888-1950), a Latin teacher and New York state’s supervisor of the state’s school program, revises Ms. Smith’s Elementary Latin (1920), becoming Smith’s Latin Lessons (1929).


Smith’s Latin Lessons offered 88 lessons, apparently making a few adjustments in grading and rearranging the material. Thompson revises Smith’s Introduction, adding general information on the Romans and the Latin language, expanding upon the subject of phonology, and providing tips on how to read and translate Latin. Thompson includes the full letter of the business man to his son about the values of learning Latin. It is not clear where this letter originates. Thompson adds 26 new readings, while omitting the reading entitled “The Seizure of the Women,” for a total of 66 readings (see Table 3 below). It is not clear where some of these new readings originate. He also adds “The Story of Perseus” from Francis Ritchie’s Fabulae Faciles to the supplementary reading. Everything else remains much the same as found in Elementary Latin.


The Readings from Smith’s Latin Lessons

1. Lesson V: Arena Romana

2. Lesson VII: Legatus

3. Lesson VIII: Gallia

4. Lesson IX: Bella in Gallia

5. Lesson X: Oppugnatio Oppidi

6. Lesson XI: Via Appia

7. Lesson XIII: Regina Galliae

8. Lesson XIV: Servus Malus

9. Lesson XVI: Triumphus Romanus

10. Lesson XVII: Ludi Romani

11. Lesson XVIII: Carolus et Poma

12. Review XIX: Appius Claudius

13. Lesson XX: Pyrrhus

14. Lesson XXI: Servus Fidus

15. Lesson XXII: Coriolanus

16. Lesson XXIII: Carthago

17. Review XXIV: Spartacus et Gladiatores

18. Lesson XXV: Androclus et Leo

19. Lesson XXVI: Dux Militibus

20. Lesson XXVII: Cincinnatus

21. Lesson XXVIII: Mucius Scaevola

22. Lesson XXIX: Puer et Poma

23. Lesson XXXI: Rex Galliae

24. Lesson XXXII: Horatius Cocles

25. Lesson XXXIII: Brutus et Oraculum

26. Lesson XXXIV: Mettius Curtius

27. Lesson XXXVI: Helvetii

28. Lesson XXVII: Auxilium Amici

29. Lesson XL: Populus Romanus

30. Lesson XLI: L. Iunius Brutus

31. Lesson XLII: L. Iunius Brutus (continued)

32. Lesson XLIII: A Practical Joke

33. Lesson XLIV: T. Manlius Torquatus

34. Lesson XLVI: The Mouse-Tower I

35. Lesson XLVII: The Mouse-Tower II

36. Lesson XLVIII: C. Fabricius

37. Lesson XLIX: Corneliae Ornamenta

38. Lesson L: Forum Romanum

39. Lesson LI: Obsidio Troiae

40. Lesson LII: The Weather-Wise Donkey

41. Lesson LIII: Libri Sibyllini

42. Lesson LIV: A Breach of Discipline

43. Lesson LV: Orgetorix

44. Lesson LVI: Nasica et Ennius

45. Lesson LVII:The Beginnings of Rome

46. Lesson LVIII: Romulus and Remus

47. Lesson LIX: Anseres Sacri

48. Lesson LX: The Death of Amulius

49. Lesson LXI: Decius, Consul Romanus

50. Lesson LXII: The Naming of Rome

51. Lesson LXIII: Cloelia

52. Lesson LXIV: Atalanta

53. Lesson LXV: The Reign of Romulus

54. Lesson LXVII: Deucalion et Pyrrha

55. Lesson LXVIII: Numa and Tullus

56. Lesson LXX: The Fourth and Fifth Kings

57. Lesson LXXII: Servius Tullius

58. Lesson LXXIV: Tarquin the Proud

59. Lesson LXXVI: Tarpeia

60. Lesson LXXVII: Domus Romana

61. Lesson LXXIX: Robert, King of Scots I

62. Lesson LXXX: Robert, King of Scots II

63. Lesson LXXXII: Virgines Vestales

64. Lesson LXXXIII: The First Punic War

65. Lesson LXXXIV: The Capture of Regulus

66. Lesson LXXXVIII: The Heroism of Regulus

Table 3: The readings from Smith’s Latin Lessons.


Smith’s Latin Lessons (1929) would become retitled as First Year Latin in 1933 and see two more revisions (1936 and 1950). In all likelihood, the reason for the retitling of the Latin grammar was probably to bring it and the other Allyn & Bacon Latin titles in accord to the “Report of the Classical Investigation: Aims and Content of the Four Year Course” written by Gonzalez Lodge and published in The Classical Journal (1924). The “Report of the Classical Investigation” provided recommendations on instruction requirements for Latin language acquisition in schools, specifying a four-year course. Apparently, this report sent shockwaves throughout the Latin-teaching community (see “Book Two: Second Latin” below for details).


The Smith-Thompson First Year Latin (1936; revised 1950) aimed to reflect the recommended features of the “Report of the Classical Investigation” and present the grammar-translation method, teaching the grammatical rules in a graded and ordered number of steps. This revision contains 72 lessons, 9 new readings, the “Story of Ulysses” and “Story of Perseus” drawn from Francis Ritchie’s Fabulae Faciles, numerous illustrations of Roman life and civilization, a new appendix for tests for checking one’s progress, an appendix for crossword puzzles, a section for mythological references, a grammatical index, and a collateral index. Again, aside from slight adjustments to the lessons, everything else has remained the same as in the previous edition.


The Readings from First Year Latin (Smith-Thompson, 1936)

1. Lesson IV: Europa

2. Lesson V: Poeta

3. Lesson VI: Arena Romana

4. Lesson VIII: Legatus

5. Lesson IX: Gallia

6. Lesson X: Bella in Gallia

7. Lesson XI: Oppugnatio Oppidi

8. Lesson XII Summary – Review: Via Appia

9. Lesson XIII: Britannia

10. Lesson XIV: Historia Gallica

11. Lesson XV: Servus Malus

12. Lesson XVI: Poena Gallorum

13. Lesson XVII: Triumphus Romanus

14. Lesson XVIII: Ludi Romani

15. Lesson XIX: Pugna in Gallia

16. Lesson XX Summary – Review: Appius Claudius

17. Lesson XXI: Pyrrhus

18. Lesson XXII: Servus Fidus

19. Lesson XXIII: Coriolanus

20. Lesson XXIV: Carthago

21. Lesson XXV Summary – Review: Spartacus et Gladiatores

22. Lesson XXVI: The Lord’s Prayer

23. Lesson XXVII: Androclus et Leo

24. Lesson XXVIII: Dux Militibus

25. Lesson XXIX: Cincinnatus

26. Lesson XXX: Mucius Scaevola

27. Lesson XXXI: Puer et Poma

28. Lesson XXXII: De Caesare et Piratis

29. Lesson XXXIII Summary – Review: Rex Galliae

30. Lesson XXXIV: Horatius Cocles

31. Lesson XXXV: Brutus et Oraculum

32. Lesson XXXIV: Mettius Curtius

33. Lesson XXXVII: Decius, Consul Romanus

34. Lesson XXXIX: Helvetii

35. Lesson XL: Auxilium Amici

36. Lesson XLI: L. Iunius Brutus

37. Lesson XLII: L. Iunius Brutus (continued)

38. Lesson XLIII: A Practical Joke

39. Lesson XLIV: T. Manlius Torquatus

40. Lesson XLVI: The Mouse-Tower I

41. Lesson XLVII: The Mouse-Tower II

42. Lesson XLVIII: C. Fabricius

43. Lesson XLIX: Libri Sibyllini

44. Lesson L, Summary – Review: Populus Romanus et Forum Romanum

45. Lesson LI: Obsidio Troiae

46. Lesson LII: The Beginnings of Rome

47. Lesson LIII: Anseres Sacri

48. Lesson LIV Summary – Review: Orgetorix

49. Lesson LV: The Death of Amulius

50. Lesson LVI: Cloelia

51. Lesson LVII: Atalanta

52. Lesson LVIII Review – Word Formation: The Reign of Romulus

53. Lesson LIX: Deucalion et Pyrrha

54. Lesson L: Corneliae Ornamenta

55. Lesson LXI: The Weather-Wise Donkey. Nasica et Ennius.

56. Lesson LXII: The Next Four Kings after Romulus

57. Lesson LXIII Summary – Review: A Breach of Discipline

58. Lesson LXIV: Servius Tullius

59. Lesson LXV: Tarquin the Proud

60. Lesson LXVI: Virgines Vestales

61. Lesson LXVII: Domus Romana

62. Lesson LXVIII: Tarpeia

63. Lesson LXIX Summary – Review: The Story of Perseus, Part I

64. Lesson LXXI: The Story of Perseus, Part II

65. Lesson LXXII: The Story of Perseus, Part III

Table 4: The readings from First Year Latin (Smith-Thompson).


· Smith, Minnie Louise and Thompson, Harold G. (1888-1950), Smith’s Latin Lessons (Boston: Allyn & Bacon, 1929).

· Smith, Minnie Louise and Thompson, Harold G., First Year Latin (Boston: Allyn & Bacon, 1933; revised in 1936 and 1950).


Figure 2: Smith’s Latin Lessons (1929) seen on the left. The Smith-Thompson First Year Latin (1933) depicts a chariot driver and his horses racing ahead (right).


Book Two: Second Latin


Beginning in 1926, the Francois-Scudder Latin Course was launched by Allyn & Bacon following the recommendations of Lodge’s “Report of the Classical Investigation”. This is the first Allyn & Bacon Latin Program, and it had a promising start with Book One: First Latin with Collateral Reading (1926) by Victor Emmanuel Francois (1866-1944) and Book Two: Second Latin (1927) by Jared Waterbury Scudder (1863-1934).


Book One: First Latin with Collateral Reading contained 65 lessons and aimed to fulfill, as much as possible, the recommendations of the “Report”. Francois had previously published an Introductory French Prose Composition (New York: American Book Company, 1899) while teaching French at the University of Michigan. When he took a professorship at the College of New York, he published a Beginner’s French (New York: American Book Company, 1903).


Book Two: Second Latin contained just 13 lessons, two of which were just reviews (for a list of the readings, see Table 5 below). Scudder laid out a plan for the second year into two parts. The first half of the year was spent on ten review lessons from first-year material, then 13 lessons for intensive study of the forms and syntax, and finally, the Latin readings. The Latin readings included “The Story of Rome” which was adapted Latin from Eutropius’ Breviarium ab Urbe Condita and Livy’s Ab Urbe Condita. “The Story of Rome” covers the period from the founding of Rome to the Civil War between Sulla and Marius. The “Life of Caesar” is an adaptation from Charles Francois L’Homond’s (1727-1794) De Viri Illustribus Urbis Romae (commonly shortened to “Viri Romae”). The second half of the year was spent on selected and adapted readings from Caesar’s Commentarii de Bello Gallico and Commentarii de Bello Civili and also “the Argonauts” from Francis Ritchie’s Fabulae Faciles. Book Two: Second Latin closes with Latin composition exercises, a brief Latin grammar, a second-year word list, vocabularies and index. The book presents an abundance of illustrations, maps, and battle plans to bring Roman life and Caesar’s campaigns into clear view. Jared Waterbury Scudder was a classicist from Rutgers University and Johns Hopkins University who taught at the Albany Academy at Albany, New York. Scudder had previously authored a First Latin Reader which contained the Principles of Syntax and Exercises for Translation (Boston: Allyn & Bacon, 1895, 1897).


Scudder’s Second Latin Readings

1. Roma, Forum Romanum

2. Domus Romana

3. Supellex Domus Romanae

4. Liberi Romani

5. Nuptiae Romanae

6. Vestis Romana

7. Servi

8. Triumphus Romanus

9. Cena Romana

10. Thermae

11. Religio Romana

12. Sacerdotes Romani, Virgines Vestales, Oracula

13. Ludi Circenses

Table 5: The readings from Scudder’s Second Latin.


After Book Two: Second Latin was published, Allyn & Bacon had set its sights on producing and publishing books three and four for the third and fourth years of the high school curriculum as recommended by Lodge’s “Report”, however, trouble was stirring at the publishing house, because nothing happened – not for six years! Allyn & Bacon had not delivered anything. They had to produce and publish two additional textbooks for the third and fourth years. Did a dispute between Francois and Scudder lead to the Latin series dissolution? During this time period, the Great Depression hit America, particularly between 1929-1932, when the gross domestic product dropped an estimated 15%. Did the Great Depression slow down Allyn & Bacon or its prospective Latin authors? The answers to these questions remain a mystery. Regardless, the Francois-Scudder Latin Course had come to an end. When Charles Jenney Jr. appeared on the scene, he did not use Francois’ Latin textbook. Later, Jenney would revive and edit Book Two: Second Latin as part of his own four-volume series, entitling it as Scudder’s Second Year Latin.


Figure 3: Book One: First Latin with Collateral Reading by Victor E. Francois (1926) depicts a manned chariot with two horses racing forward (left) and Book Two: Second Latin by Jared Waterbury Scudder (1927) depicts a Roman soldier riding a horse (right). The image quality is poor due to the books’ age.


Third Year Latin

Bruno Meinecke (1886-1965), a professor of Latin at the University of Michigan, stepped in to continue the Allyn & Bacon Latin Course. Entitled Third Year Latin and published in 1933, Meinecke made a new revision of Francis W. Kelsey’s (1858-1927) edited Orationes et Epistolae Selectae: Select Orations and Letters of Cicero: With an Introduction, Notes, and Vocabulary (1892, revised in 1905; revised in 1933 by Meinecke; Text Edition with Lessons in Composition, 1946). The third year Latin textbook has its foundation in reading Cicero, but then also includes Sallust, Pliny, Ovid, and an assortment of Later Latin excerpted readings. The book references Bennett’s Latin Grammar (Boston: Allyn & Bacon, 1913) and makes recommendations for Schreiber’s Atlas of Classical Antiquities (London: Macmillian Co., 1895) and Platner’s Topography and Monuments of Ancient Rome (Boston: Allyn & Bacon, 1911).


Figure 4a and 4b: On the left is Francis W. Kelsey and on the right is Bruno Meinecke.


Figure 4c: Third Year Latin edited by Kelsey and Meinecke (1933).


Fourth Year Latin


The Fourth Year Latin: Selections from Virgil, Ovid, Catullus, Martial, and Horace edited by Lois Carlisle and Davida Richardson was published in 1933 and reprinted in 1945. The fourth year Latin textbook has its foundation in reading Latin prosody, including Vergil’s Aeneid and the Eclogues. Additional readings include the Latin poets Ovid, Catullus, Horace, and Martial. At last, Allyn & Bacon completed their four-year Latin course in 1933!


Figure 5: The Fourth Year Latin student textbook (1945 edition).


Classical Myths


During this period, Max J. Herzberg authored Myths and Their Meaning (1928, 1931; reprinted in 1946, 1949, and 1964), which was revised and retitled as Classical Myths (1935). This volume may be considered as a supplement to the Allyn & Bacon Latin language learning program, however, it was never edited or carried forward by the Jenney Latin Series.




Figure 6: On the left, Myths and Their Meaning (reprint) and Classical Myths (1933) on the right.


* * *


The Jenney Latin Series: First Edition (1953-1966 era)


Twenty years later, Allyn & Bacon decides to revise their four-volume Latin program. In the years of 1953-54 and after the deaths of Mr. Harold G. Thompson and Jared W. Scudder, Charles Jenney Jr., a graduate from Harvard University who also studied at the University of Toulouse and the American Academy at Rome, was appointed the task of editing and revising Allyn & Bacon’s Latin program. Roger V. Scudder (1912-2006), presumably a relative of Jared W. Scudder, teamed up with Jenney, providing his own insights to the project. The Latin program consisted of the following: (1) the Smith-Thompson book, (2) Scudder’s Second Latin from the failed Francois-Scudder Latin Course, (3) the Kelsey-Meinecke Third Year Latin, and (4) the Carlisle-Richardson Fourth Year Latin.


The Smith-Thompson book was designed to meet the needs of first year students, teaching from “the principle that a thorough knowledge of forms and syntax is a necessary prerequisite to understanding Latin literature, and that there is no short cut to mastery of the fundamentals” (from the Preface, v., 1962 edition). The Smith and Thompson’s First Year Latin had 75 lessons, 10 new readings, and included a review lesson at every fifth lesson. Taking these review lesson into consideration, not every lesson or review lesson has a reading. This fact ought to be kept in mind for all future editions discussed below. The text retained much of the original form of the Smith-Thompson First Year Latin, making slight adjustments to the readings (see Table 6 below). The songs and crossword puzzles were omitted. The four-volume series presents a select few full-color illustrations.


In 1962, the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS), formerly the Independent Schools Education Board (est. 1924) was founded, being the result of the merger of the British Independent Schools Education Board (est. 1903) and the National Council of Independent Schools (est. 1940). Jenney saw to it that the Allyn & Bacon Latin program fulfilled the necessary Alpha, Beta, and Gamma requirements from this authoritative organization.


Smith and Thompson’s First Year Latin (1963)

1. Lesson I: Europa

2. Lesson II: Poeta

3. Lesson III: Arena Romana

4. Lesson IV: Gallia

5. Lesson VI: Legatus

6. Lesson VII: Pugna in Gallia

7. Lesson VIII: Bellum in Gallia

8. Lesson IX: Oppugnatio Oppidi

9. Lesson XI: Duo Amici

10. Lesson XII: Servus Malus

11. Lesson XIII: Helvetia

12. Lession XIV: Britannia

13. Lesson XVI: Triumphus Romanus

14. Lesson XVII: Ludi Romani

15. Lesson XVIII: Appius Claudius

16. Lesson XIX: Domus Romana

17. Lesson XXI: Pyrrhus

18. Lesson XXII: Carthago

19. Lesson XXIII: Coriolanus

20. Lesson XXIV Spartacus et Gladiatores

21. Lesson XXVI: The Lord’s Prayer

22. Lesson XXVII: Dux Militibus

23. Lesson XXVIII: Horatius Cocles

24. Lesson XXIX: Gallia

25. Lesson XXXI: Cincinnatus

26. Lesson XXXII: Puer et Poma

27. Lesson XXXIII: Decius, Consul Romanus

28. Lesson XXXIV: Androclus et Leo

29. Lesson XXXVI: De Caesare et Piratis

30. Lesson XXXVII: Brutus et Oraculum

31. Lesson XXXVIII: Rex Galliae

32. Lesson XXXIX: Mucius Scaevola

33. Lesson XLI: C. Fabricius

34. Lesson XLII: Libri Sibyllini

35. Lesson XLIII: Mettius Curtius

36. Lesson XLIV: A Trip to the City, The Soldier’s Story

37. Lesson XLV: The Story of Perseus, Perseus Leaves the Island, The Fight with the Gorgon, and Perseus Rescues Andromeda

38. Lesson XLVI: L. Iunius Brutus

39. Lesson XLVII: A Practical Joke

40. Lesson XLVIII: T. Manlius Torquatus

41. Lesson XLIX: Populus Romanus et Forum Romanum

42. Lesson LI: Obsidio Troiae

43. Lesson LII: The Mouse-Tower

44. Lesson LIII: Anseres Sacri

45. Lesson LIV: Atalanta

46. Lesson LVI: The Beginnings of Rome

47. Lesson LVII: Deucalion et Pyrrha

48. Lesson LVIII: The Reign of Romulus

49. Lesson LIX: The Weather-wise Donkey, Nasica et Ennius

50. Lesson LXI: A Disaster Reunites Brothers

51. Lesson LXII: Octavian Becomes Ruler of Rome

52. Lesson LXIII: A Roman Pledge

53. Lesson LXIV: A Famous Roman Family

54. Lesson LXVI: Cloelia

55. Lesson LXVII: A Breach of Discipline

56. Lesson LXVIII: Hercules and the Serpents

57. Lesson LXIX: Worth More than Money

58. Lesson LXXI: Virgines Vestales

59. Lesson LXXII: Brave Horse of a Famous General, The Strategy of Miltiades

60. Lesson LXXIII: The Destruction of Carthage

61. Lesson LXXIV: Enemy Town Burned, Surprise Attack Repulsed

Table 6: The readings from Smith and Thompson’s First Year Latin (1963).


Scudder’s book retains much of its original form as well, including the readings, although Jenney added more drills and exercises to the first-year review material which is placed in the first 12 review lessons. Jenney also added four new poetry selections from the Roman poet Ovid (“Daedalus and Icarus,” “Atalanta’s Race,” “Pyramus and Thisbe,” and “Orpheus and Eurydice”). Jenney also included illustrations that were more instructive to reading Caesar but had omitted the reading about Caesar from Lhomond’s Viri Romae.


The Smith-Thompson and Scudder books establish the fundamentals of Latin grammar and syntax; the rest of the program consists of graduated readings from basic to advanced, and finally, to unadapted Latin. This two-volume Latin grammar model is continued to the end of the program’s line. The third and fourth volumes are essentially Latin readers. Jenney added introductory material to provide the historical, cultural, and political background to these Latin readers, as well as the typical appendix material. The Latin reading texts themselves, having already being edited previously, remain largely unchanged. They are also continued to the end of the program’s line. Student workbooks acted as supplements to complete the Allyn & Bacon Latin Program. For about the next two decades, Jenney’s Latin program becomes the dominant Latin textbook in the United States.


Figure 7a: Charles Jenney Jr. in 1965.


· Jenney Jr., Charles and Scudder, Roger V., Smith and Thompson’s First Year Latin (Boston: Allyn & Bacon, 1953-1966).

· Jenney Jr., Charles and Scudder, Roger V., Scudder’s Second Year Latin (Boston: Allyn & Bacon, 1954, 1961, 1962, 1966).

· Jenney Jr., Charles and Scudder, Rogers V., Third Year Latin (Boston: Allyn & Bacon, 1954?-1966).

· Jenney Jr., Charles and Scudder, Rogers V., Fourth Year Latin (Boston: Allyn & Bacon, 1954?-1966).



Figure 7b: The Smith and Thompson’s First Year Latin student textbook from 1956 shows Roman soldiers (left); the same image also appears on the Second Year Latin student textbook but with a blue coloring. Now the First Year Latin student textbook from 1962 shows boys playing (center) and the teacher’s manual (right).




Figure 7d: The student textbooks of the 1966 edition of Second Year Latin (left) 1962 edition of Third Year Latin (center) and the 1964 edition of Fourth Year Latin (right).


* * *


The Jenney Latin Series: The Revised Second Edition (1970-1979 era)

The Jenney Latin Series becomes revised and additional supplements are published. Eric C. Baade (1929-1999) joins Charles Jenney Jr. and Roger V. Scudder in the editing and revising of the Allyn & Bacon Latin program. Eric C. Baade, a graduate from Yale University, chaired the Department of Classics at Brooks School, North Andover, Massachusetts. He had co-authored many texts on Latin authors and on the teaching of Latin. First Year Latin (1970) presents 75 lessons, including review lessons, and a fresh collection of readings (see Table 7 below). More illustrations are in full-color in this revised second edition. The illustrations are reorganized into special categories, which “present a comprehensive picture of the historical and cultural aspects of Roman civilization” (from the Preface, 1970). The special categories include “Houses and Furniture,” “Palaces,” “Family Life and Education,” “Food and Eating,” “Business and Industry,” “Medicine,” “Baths and Water Supplies,” “Entertainment” (“Theatre,” “Chariot Races,” “Gladiators”), “State Religion and Private Worship,” “Law and Government,” “Army,” “Transportation,” “Fashion and Clothing.”


Readings from First Year Latin (1970)

1. Lesson 2: Poet and Farmer

2. Lesson 7: A Faithful Servant

3. Lesson 9: Defense of a Town

4. Lesson 11: The Unhappy Farmer

5. Lesson 12: A Town in Asia Resists

6. Lesson 13: The Romans Withstand a Gallic Attack

7. Lesson 14: Aeneas Encourages His Followers

8. Lesson 16: Aeneas and Turnus Vie for Lavinia

9. Lesson 17: Turnus Assembles the Rutulians

10. Lesson 18: Caesar Routs the Germans

11. Lesson 19: Aeneas Rallies the Defeated Trojans

12. Lesson 21: A Brave Water Boy

13. Lesson 22: Aeneas in Lavinium

14. Lesson 23: Alexander’s Horse

15. Lesson 24: Alexander and Porus

16. Lesson 26: The Kings of Rome

17. Lesson 27: The Kings of Rome (cont.)

18. Lesson 28: Cincinnatus

19. Lesson 29: Pyrrhus and Fabricius

20. Lesson 31: Baucis and Philemon

21. Lesson 32: Crassus in Aquitania

22. Lesson 33: The Boy Hannibal’s Oath

23. Lesson 36: The Belgians Attack

24. Lesson 37: Crassus Fights the Sotiates

25. Lesson 38: Caesar Confers with the Helvetians

26. Lesson 39: Alexander and the Greek Captives of Persia

27. Lesson 40: The Story of Perseus, Perseus Leaves the Island, The Fight with the Gorgon, and Perseus Rescues Andromeda

28. Lesson 41: Arion and the Dolphin

29. Lesson 42: The Character of the Belgians

30. Lesson 43: Androcles and the Lion

31. Lesson 44: Hannibal Crosses the Rhone

32. Lesson 46: Hannibal Crosses the Alps and Encamps at the Ticinus

33. Lesson 47: The Battle of Trasimene and Its Aftermath

34. Lesson 48: Fabius Appointed Dictator

35. Lesson 49: Minucius Left in Charge

36. Lesson 51: Fabius Rescues Minucius

37. Lesson 53: Reconciliation of Minucius and Fabius

38. Lesson 54: Caesar Goes to the Aid of Vesontio

39. Lesson 56: The Activities of Orgetorix

40. Lesson 57: Caesar Hastens to Geneva

41. Lesson 58: The Battle of Cannae

42. Lesson 59: Roman Successes in Sicily and Spain

43. Lesson 61: The Battle of Zama

44. Lesson 62: The Story of Dido

45. Lesson 63: Caesar Sails to Britain

46. Lesson 64: Medea Kills the Daughter of Creon

47. Lesson 65: The Early Career of Pompey the Great

48. Lesson 66: Croesus and Solon

49. Lesson 67: Horace, a Roman Poet

50. Lesson 68: Diviciacus Reports to Caesar

51. Lesson 69: Solon Gives Athens a New Constitution

52. Lesson 71: Pyrrhus

53. Lesson 72: Themistocles and Aristides

54. Lesson 73: Caesar meets an Emergency

55. Lesson 74: (a) Caesar Conquers Gaul, (b) The Civil War with Pompey Begins

Table 7: Readings from First Year Latin (1970).


The Second Year Latin (1979) textbook has a new and significant revision of its 12 review lessons for first-year material. In fact, this second edition appears to have carried over some first-year material into it. As a result, the editorial team omits Scudder’s original readings and replaces them with “The Story of Hercules”, which are new retellings of the Greek myth. Two readings from Ovid are added, including “The Creation,” and “The Flood.” Two readings from the Roman playwright Plautus are newly added, which are “The Pot of Gold” and “Amphitryon.”


The program is expanded to include a student workbook supplement, teacher’s manual, a booklet of tests, and the Alpha Master Tape Recordings. These audio recordings included a stand-alone program of 60 lessons; they do not duplicate the material found in the student textbooks.


· Jenney Jr., Charles, Scudder, Roger V., Baade, Eric C., First Year Latin (Boston: Allyn & Bacon, 1970; revised 1975; revised 1979).

· Jenney Jr., Charles, Scudder, Roger V., Baade, Eric C., Second Year Latin (1979). Green and yellow book cover with sculpture of two eagles.

· Jenney Jr., Charles, Scudder, Roger V., Baade, Eric C., Third Year Latin (1970-1979). Red and yellow book cover of two sculptures of a man and a woman.

· Jenney Jr., Charles, Scudder, Roger V., Baade, Eric C., Fourth Year Latin (1970-1979). Unknown binding.


Figure 8a: From left to right: The 1970 First Year Latin student textbook, which is a plain red book cover (1970), the 1975 First Year Latin Workbook, which depicts a decorated cylex which illustrates the transformation of Ulysses’ companions into swine by Circe as told in the Odyssey, the 1975 First Year Latin student textbook, which depicts a mosaic of Bacchus riding on his tiger, and the 1979 First Year Latin student textbook, which is a red and yellow book cover with sculpture of adult female and young boy.




Figure 8b: Another 1970’s edition of First Year Latin student textbook (left) and the teacher’s manual (right).



Figure 8c: The 1979 Second Year Latin student textbook (left), the 1979 Third Year Latin student textbook (center), and the 1979 Fourth Year Latin student textbook (right).


* * *


Jenney’s Latin: The Third Revision (1983-1989 era)




Allyn & Bacon was acquired by Gulf+Western in 1983, becoming a part of Simon & Schuster. Prentice-Hall, founded in 1913, had been acquired by Gulf+Western in 1984. Jenney’s Latin book series would transition and be placed under the flagship of Prentice-Hall. During this transitory period, Jenney’s books would be revised in 1984 and 1987, but the publisher’s name, Allyn & Bacon, was still printed in the book as the publisher.


The revised third edition series was the first time in which it was branded as “Jenney’s.” The first-year Latin textbook presents 60 lessons, 15 reviews, a “Summary of Case Uses,” “Summary of Constructions with Verbs,” the same supplementary readings of “The Story of Perseus” and “The Story of Ulysses,” a section on learning about Roman civilization through art, Latin expressions, an appendix on inflections and word formation, the Latin-English and English-Latin vocabularies, and grammatical index. The overall layout of the book is much clearer and well-defined, making for easy reading compared to past editions. Each lesson opens with a Latin quotation, then begins the lesson with “Forms,” “Vocabulary,” “Word Study,” “Exercises,” and “Reading.” The second-year Latin textbook is much the same as the 1979 edition.


The Jenney Latin Series placed emphasis on representing readings from a variety of literary genres – myth, history, prose, poetry, comedy, and biography (see Table 8 below). Enrichment features included background material on key authors and their work, exercises to assist review of reading selections, and detailed maps and battle plans. Jenney’s Latin program included a workbook supplement and teacher’s resource guide. It is uncertain whether any audio tapes were a part of the Latin learning program.


Jenney’s First Year Latin (1984)

1. Lesson 3: A Sailor in Italy

2. Lesson 4: The Trojan War

3. Lesson 5: Aeneas Sails to Carthage

4. Lesson 6: The Gods Call Aeneas to Italy

5. Lesson 7: The Fall of Troy

6. Lesson 8: Aeneas at the Capture of Troy

7. Lesson 9: Aeneas after the Fall of Troy

8. Lesson 10: Aeneas Continues His Tale

9. Lesson 11: Aeneas Completes His Tale

10. Lesson 12: Aeneas Incurs Dido’s Anger

11. Lesson 13: Lavinia

12. Lesson 14: Turnus Assembles the Rutulians

13. Lesson 15: Roman Schools

14. Lesson 16: Appius Claudius

15. Lesson 17: A Brave Water Boy

16. Lesson 18: Coriolanus

17. Lesson 19: Alexander’s Horse

18. Lesson 20: Alexander and Porus

19. Lesson 21: The Kings of Rome

20. Lesson 22: The Kings of Rome (cont.)

21. Lesson 23: Cincinnatus

22. Lesson 24: Pyrrhus and Fabricius

23. Lesson 25: Baucis and Philemon

24. Lesson 26: The Boy and the Apples

25. Lesson 27: The King’s Storyteller

26. Lesson 28: Scipio Africanus Minor

27. Lesson 29: A Trip to the City

28. Lesson 30: A City is Taken by Horse

29. Lesson 31: A Grateful Ghost

30. Lesson 32: A Sister Saves Her Brothers

31. Lesson 33: Arion and the Dolphin

32. Lesson 34: A Soldier Tells about His Deeds

33. Lesson 35: Androcles and the Lion

34. Lesson 36: Hannibal Crosses the Rhone

35. Lesson 37: Hannibal Encamps at the Ticinus

36. Lesson 38: The Battle of Trasimene

37. Lesson 39: Fabius Appointed Dictator

38. Lesson 40: Minucius Left in Charge

39. Lesson 41: Fabius Rescues Minucius

40. Lesson 43: Atalanta

41. Lesson 44: Croesus and His Son

42. Lesson 45: The Story of Regulus

43. Lesson 46: The Sacred Geese

44. Lesson 47: Hannibal at Cannae

45. Lesson 48: Roman Successes

46. Lesson 49: The Battle of Zama

47. Lesson 50: A Disaster Reunites Brothers

48. Lesson 51: Caesar Sails to Britain

49. Lesson 52: The Daughter of Creon

50. Lesson 53: Croesus and Solon

51. Lesson 54: Horace, A Roman Poet

52. Lesson 55: Octavian

53. Lesson 56: A New Constitution

54. Lesson 57: Marcus Aurelius and the Christians

55. Lesson 58: Themistocles and Aristides

56. Lesson 59: Cimon the Wise

57. Lesson 60: The Fattest Lion

Table 8: Readings from Jenney’s First Year Latin (1984).


· Jenney Jr., Charles, Scudder, Roger V., Baade, Eric C., Jenney’s First Year Latin (Newton: Allyn & Bacon, 1983, 1987, 1989).

· Jenney Jr., Charles, Scudder, Roger V., Baade, Eric C., Jenney’s Second Year Latin (Newton: Allyn & Bacon, 1983, 1987, 1989)

· Jenney Jr., Charles, Scudder, Roger V., Baade, Eric C., Jenney’s Third Year Latin (Newton: Allyn & Bacon, 1983, 1987, 1989)

· Jenney Jr., Charles, Scudder, Roger V., Baade, Eric C., Jenney’s Fourth Year Latin (Newton: Allyn & Bacon, 1983, 1987, 1989)




Figure 9a: The 1980’s Teacher’s Resource Guide (left), the workbook (center), and the student’s textbook (left). Each book cover depicts a scene from the Ben-Hur (1959) movie.




Figure 9b: The 1980’s Jenney’s Second Year Latin student textbook (left), Jenney’s Third Year Latin textbook (center), and Jenney’s Fourth Year Latin student textbook (right).


* * *


Jenney’s Latin: The Fourth and Final Revision (1990)


Prentice-Hall, now a division of Simon & Schuster, publishes the fourth and final revision of Jenney’s Latin. Thomas K. Burgess, who served Brooks School between the years 1973-2004, and David D. Coffin (1922-2019) joins the editorial team.


The first-year textbook contained 40 lessons and 10 reviews. The second-year textbook contained 20 lessons and 5 reviews. Each lesson in the student textbooks began with the new cultural program entitled “If You Lived in Ancient Rome...” which is now incorporated into each lesson. Previously, this material and its illustrations was placed at the end of the textbook in the third edition, entitled "Roman Civilization through Art.” Additional cultural content is featured in the review sections called “Traces of Roman Civilization Today.” At last, the first-year and second-year textbooks are in full-color. Each lesson’s cultural program includes a Latin quotation (subheading “A Phrase to Use”) and a thought-provoking question about how Ancient Roman life has an impact on our modern way of life (subheading “Ancient Rome Lives On...”). Overall, the fourth edition is the most attractive and readable. There are excellent tables, bullet points, and clean white spaces for clarity and learning. Each lesson has the usual sections: Forms, Syntax, Vocabulary, Practice, and Reading. The Vocabulary section had a section entitled “Learning English through Latin” by studying Latin derivatives and the Practice section had a thought-provoking quotation or question from a Roman author entitled “From the Philosopher’s Handbook...” Each review includes a new reading entitled “Listening and Speaking”, which includes dialogue meant for students to practice their oral skills. Both the readings from the lessons and the reviews are listed in Table 9.


Jenney’s First Year Latin (1990)

1. Lesson 1: Troy

2. Lesson 2: Aeneas

3. Lesson 3: Helen of Troy

4. Lesson 4: The Trojan War Begins

5. Review 1: Town and Country

6. Lesson 5: The Adventures of Dido

7. Lesson 6: The Story of the Aeneid

8. Lesson 7: The Trojan Horse

9. Lesson 8: The Fall of Troy

10. Review 2: On the Farm

11. Lesson 9: The Departure from Troy

12. Lesson 10: The Bleeding Branches

13. Lesson 11: The Harpies

14. Lesson 12: Friends and Monsters

15. Review 3: A Business Call

16. Lesson 13: Juno and Venus Conspire

17. Lesson 14: A Jealous Rival Stirs Up Trouble

18. Lesson 15: The End of the Affair

19. Lesson 16: Italy at Last!

20. Review 4: Morning Comes Early

21. Lesson 17: The Temple at Cumae

22. Lesson 18: The Golden Bough

23. Lesson 19: The Lower World

24. Lesson 20: Encounters with the Dead

25. Review 5: Holidays in Town

26. Lesson 21: Eating Tables

27. Lesson 22: Hercules and Cacus

28. Lesson 23: New Allies, New Attacks

29. Lesson 24: The Belt of Pallas

30. Review 6: Make Haste Slowly

31. Lesson 25: The Adventures of Anna

32. Lesson 26: The Kings of Alba Longa

33. Lesson 27: Romulus and Remus

34. Lesson 28: The Founding of Rome and Marriage by Kidnapping

35. Review 7: A Country Thanksgiving

36. Lesson 29: Two Influential Women

37. Lesson 30: The End of the First Reign

38. Lesson 31: Peace and War

39. Lesson 32: The Horatii and the Curiatii

40. Review 8: The Roman Flu

41. Lesson 33: The King Is Dead, Long Live the King!

42. Lesson 34: A Stolen Kingship; A Head on Fire

43. Lesson 35: Evil Begets Evil

44. Lesson 36: A Palace Coup

45. Review 9: Bargaining for Bricks

46. Lesson 37: Wicked Street

47. Lesson 38: Villainy and Revolt

48. Lesson 39: A Solitary Enemy

49. Lesson 40: Three Brave Romans

50. Review 10: A Visit to the Roman Forum

Table 9: The readings from the lessons and reviews in Jenney’s FIrst Year Latin (1990).


The second-year textbook is expanded from 12 lessons to 20 and includes all-new readings. By this time, Scudder’s Second Latin is hardly recognizable. In 1990, Jenney’s Second Year Latin receives its biggest revision. “The Story of Rome,” and “The Story of Hercules” are omitted. Jenney adds Martial’s Epigrams, swaps Plautus’ two previous works for just his Aulularia, and adds selections from Livy. The new readings are listed in Table 10 below.


Jenney’s Second Year Latin (1990)

1. Lesson 1: A Fable and a Woman Save Rome

2. Lesson 2: Abdication and Abduction

3. Lesson 3: Saved or Destroyed?

4. Lesson 4: A Teacher Learns a Lesson

5. Review 1: The House of Romulus

6. Lesson 5: The Geese Foil the Gauls

7. Lesson 6: Woe to the Vanquished!

8. Lesson 7: Cruelty and Courage

9. Lesson 8: Like Father, Like Son

10. Review 2: Lacus Curtius

11. Lesson 9: A Profitable Punishment

12. Lesson 10: Postponing the Good Times

13. Lesson 11: A Stone’s Throw

14. Lesson 12: Army vs. Navy

15. Review 3: Let the Buyer Beware!

16. Lesson 13: Crows and Chickens

17. Lesson 14: A Promise and a Curse Fulfilled

18. Lesson 15: A Prisoner’s Last Wish

19. Lesson 16: An Unusual Wedding Gift

20. Review 4: Becoming Educated

21. Lesson 17: And There Were Wars...

22. Lesson 18: Julius Caesar: Complex and Compelling

23. Lesson 19: An Active Life

24. Lesson 20: The Die is Cast!

25. Review 5: Women in History

Table 10: The readings from the lessons and reviews in Jenney’s Second Year Latin (1990).


This four-volume set included two workbooks, one for each of the first- and second-year Latin textbooks. The set also included two teacher’s resource books which were ring-bound binders designed for the first- and second-year Latin textbooks. The Teacher’s Resource Book included an overview, lesson guides, testing program, cursus honorum, material for the younger student, writing Latin prose, unit review exercises, reference list of proper names, and the key to the student’s workbook. The Latin program also included two audio cassette tapes with its own material for learning Latin (Units 1-5 and 6-10).



Figure 10a: David D. Coffin.


· Jenney Jr., Charles, Baade, Eric C., and Burgess, Thomas K., Jenney’s First Year Latin (Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall, 1990).

· Jenney Jr., Charles, Baade, Eric C., Coffin, David D., Scudder, Rogers V., Jenney’s Second Year Latin (Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall, 1990).

· Jenney Jr., Charles, Coffin, David D., Scudder, Rogers V., Jenney’s Third Year Latin (Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall, 1990).

· Jenney Jr., Charles, Coffin, David D., Scudder, Rogers V., Jenney’s Fourth Year Latin (Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall, 1990).


Figure 10b: The 1990 Teacher’s Resource Book (left), the student’s textbook (center), and the workbook (right). Each book cover depicts the Villa of the Mysteries in Pompeii. Jenney’s Second Year Latin also included the Workbook and Teacher’s Resource Book.


Figure 10c: The 1990 Jenney’s Second Year Latin depicts the mosaic of Alexander the Great in Pompeii (left), Jenney’s Third Year Latin has the image of the equestrian statue of Marcus Aurelius at the Capitoline Museum (center), and Jenney's Fourth Year Latin has the Roman mosaic of the choregos and theatre actors as found at the tablinum of the Casa del Poeta Tragico in Pompeii (right). The third- and fourth-year student textbooks are each accompanied by their own Teacher’s Guide.


* * *


Jenney’s Latin: Out-of-Print but Still Studied in Schools



In 1998, Prentice-Hall was sold to Pearson PLC by Gulf+Western’s successor, Viacom. What would Pearson decide to do with the Jenney Latin Series? Before answering this question, it is important to step back and look at the three teaching methods of Latin. The grammar-first method, which advocated a systematic and logical sequence of learning grammar, was already in decline during Ms. Smith’s Latin Lessons in 1907. The trend was already shifting to the grammar-translation approach in which grammatical rules were learned by rote and then practiced the rules by doing exercises and translating sentences. The third teaching method was called the natural or inductive learning method, which advocated reading and speaking Latin as soon as possible, treating Latin like a living language. The natural and inductive learning method had taken root in the 1970s and 80s. At that time the Cambridge and Oxford Latin courses had been published in favor of the natural method. In 2003, Hans H. Orberg’s Lingua Latina Per Se Illustrata had been published with great success.


By 2005, Pearson Education, Inc. had abandoned the Jenney Latin Series in favor of publishing Ecce Romani, a newly acquired Latin program from the Scottish Classics Group. The Scottish Classics Group had been publishing Ecce Romani since 1971 (1982, 1988, and 1995). The Ecce Romani three-volume Latin textbook series had advocated the natural learning method, and Pearson had hoped that it would offer competition to Cambridge, Oxford, and Orberg. Unfortunately, the Ecce Romani series was a failure, only receiving a single revision in 2009 before it, too, was abandoned.


In 2019, the Pearson Education division was renamed Savvas Learning. The Jenney Latin Series now rests quietly on the bookshelves at the Savvas Learning Company. Despite the fact that the Jenney Latin Series is out-of-print, high schools and Latin teachers continue to teach from it, recognizing its time-honored ability to teach Latin to new generations via the grammar-translation method. Even self-learners post their book reviews of the series on second-hand market websites, praising Jenney’s work. If the Savvas Learning Company never reprints the series, then perhaps its only hope of revival is when it enters the public domain, and someone comes along to give it new life.


This digital edition by Matthias Castle, Copyright 2023. All rights reserved.

Please do not copy this text to your website, or for any purpose other than private use.


The images are not mine and belong to their respective owners. If you are the owner of any of these images and would like to me to take it down, please email me, and I will do so.




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