California State University,
Department of Foreign Languages
Name: Mark T. Riley
Title: Professor of Classics, Emeritus
Mark Riley has retired from teaching at CSU Sacramento
E-mail Address: email@example.com
P.O Box 728
Esparto, CA 95627
Latin Classes - Mark Riley has retired from teaching Latin at CSU Sacramento. For details of the Latin program at CSUS, contact the office of the Dept. of Foreign Languages in Mariposa Hall. If you want to take Latin on-line, see this website: http://carmentalatin.com
Papers and Publications
[Some of my papers are available in PDF format and thus can
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My review of Daniel Nodes' edition of Petrus Papeus, Samarites (1539), a comedy about the Prodigal Son and the Good Samaritan is here. This modern edition of a popular Latin comedy was recently published by Brill.
- I wrote a short description of my experiences publishing Emma the Porter on Amazon, with some thoughts about the value of such self-publishing. The article is on page 2 of this copy of the American Association of Neo-Latin Studies newsletter.
- My book for 2017 is an edition of a university Latin drama from 1625: Emma the Porter (Imma Portatrix), by Friedrich Hermann Flayder. This is the legend of Charlemagne's daughter Emma, who falls in love with Einhard, Charlemagne's secretary. The king is enraged, but since this is a comedy, he relents and condemns the lovers to a lifetime of happy marriage. Students at Tuebingen University performed this play in 1625. My edition has the Latin text, an English translation (the first translation into any modern language), and an introduction describing the play and the role of these Latin performances in 17th century university life. Hundreds, if not thousands of these Latin plays were written by teachers and (sometimes) students. The book is available on Amazon internationally. Simply go to Amazon.com, Amazon.de, Amazon.es, or whatever your national Amazon address happens to be, and search "Emma the Porter". F. H. Flayder wrote three other fairly similar dramas: Ludwig the Bigamist (Ludovicus Bigamus) portrays the return of Count Ludwig from the Crusades with his new Saracen wife; Argenis is a dramatization of Book 5 of John Barclay's best-selling 1621 novel of the same name, and Folly Reborn (Moria Rediviva) describes how the Greek philosophers Heraclitus and Democritus return to earth to recruit citizens for Folly's kingdom. These three plays are available on-line at the Philological Museum here.
- My Neo-Latin Reader is now available from Amazon. [Update Sept. 2017: a slightly revised edition is now available; we have corrected some typos and added a few helpful notes.] This Reader contains Latin texts from Petrarch in the 14th century to Rimbaud in the 19th, and includes some history and anthropology, several letters, scientific publications (astronomy, biology, physics), some poetry, and a long section on the Latin literature produced in and about the New World. As well as Petrarch and Rimbaud, authors include Erasmus, John Barclay, George Buchanan, Sir Thomas More, Ludvig Holberg, Christopher Columbus, and many others. Selections describe the Gunpowder Plot of 1605, Macbeth’s reign, and the first English expedition to the Americas, as well as other events. Each selection is preceded by an English introduction and extensive notes on grammar and vocabulary. This is a companion volume to my Greek Reader. It is available at a very attractive price. Check it out: on the Amazon website you can "see inside" this book.
- The prefaces of most Renaissance books include several liminary poems (limen=threshold) by the author or by his friends. These poems praise the author and the book, and they put the book in an intellectual or literary context. This paper, which was given in Berkeley at the January 2016 meeting of the Semiotic Circle of California, illustrates the character of these poems using two 16th century Latin textbooks. The paper refers by number to poems in the introduction to each book, but does not include the poems themselves. If you want to see the Latin poems, click here: Duncan’s poems; Carmichael’s poems.
- Hugo Grotius (1583–1645), famous for his work in political theory and in law, was also an enthusiastic Latin poet, composing much occasional verse, as well as original dramas and translations (into Latin) from Greek poetry. He was also active in Dutch political life. One of his poems is important in British history, his Inauguratio, written in 1603 to celebrate the coronation of King James VI of Scotland as King James I of England. This long poem was intended to serve two purposes: first to hail King James as the fulfillment of all British history; second to urge the new king to continue the decades-long English war with Spain. Grotius successfully accomplished his first task, but failed at the latter, when the king signed a treaty with the Spanish in 1604. For a complete translation of this poem into English blank verse, along with a comprehensive introduction, see The Philological Museum here. For a prose version of the poem, click here.
- Latin Pastoral at the Court of King James I of England - a lecture given at the Semiotic Circle of California, Berkeley, January 2015. This is a talk based on John Barclay's Poemata (London 1615) referred to in the next bullet item.
- An edition of John Barclay’s Poemata with translation and notes is available on the Philological Museum website here. A prose translation of Poemata Book I can be found here. Links to Barclay’s Icon animorum and Argenis can be found below on this web page. Just scroll down.
- Want to review your Ancient Greek? Here is a Greek Reader which contains passages from Greek historians, scientists, ethnographers, and one poet (Aeschylus). This text is based on the prior works of Wilamowitz and Marchant and expanded with new additions, introductions, and annotations, and includes a disquisition on Greek characters. A complete glossary is at the end of the text. It is also very cheap. Check it out: on the Amazon website you can "see inside" this book.
- Leuven University Press has just published my edition of John Barclay's Icon animorum. It is available on Amazon. Here's a description:
In this essay from 1614, the Neo-Latin poet, translator, and commentator John Barclay describes the manners and mores of his European contemporaries. He derives the sources of an individual's peculiarities of behavior and temperament from the "genius"—the individual character created by each person's upbringing, time of life, and profession. Barclay likewise describes each nation's genius, its national character, and provides some of the geographical and historical background from which he claims this genius arose. The essay is a valuable study, not only for the illustration it offers of a pre-Romantic view of Europe, but for a glimpse into the continuities that mark European civilization.
The introduction describes the Classical and Renaissance background to Barclay's work, with a detailed biography of the author. The Latin text reproduces Barclay's first edition, with the necessary corrections. The English translation (1631) is that of Thomas May, a skillful translator of Vergil, Lucan, and other classical authors, as well as a playwright in the manner of Ben Jonson. The book features illustrations of selected pages from early editions of the text, and includes contemporary portraits of Barclay and May.
- My review of Forgotten Stars: Rediscovering Manilius Astronomica can be found at the website of Aestimatio: Critical Reviews in the History of Science.
- More on James Hume (see the item below on this page). Over the centuries many Scots emigrated and made their careers abroad. James Hume was one. In search of a wealthy and powerful patron, he began a heroic poem praising Cardinal Richelieu, the grey eminence behind King Louis XIII of France. Here is the text and translation (with introduction) of this uncompleted poem.
- Surprisingly few pieces of English literature were inspired by the Spanish Armada. One Latin example is a poem composed by Samuel Gott in the 1640’s and included in his Latin-language utopian novel Nova Solyma (“New Jerusalem”). The poem consists of three fragments of a heroic epic in Vergilian style, called the Philippica, supposedly written by a student studying literature in a school in this New Jerusalem. It is presented in the novel as an example of suitably uplifting poetry. Here is the text and translation (with an introduction which describes the novel).
- Raphael Thorius, Hymnus Tabaci ("Hymn to Tobacco" 1626) - In the 17th century tobacco was viewed as marijuana is today: some people thought it was evil; other thought it would cure anything. This long poem by a London physician, Raphael Thorius, tells a mythological story about the discovery of tobacco (Bacchus found it in India), the many virtues of tobacco and what illnesses it can treat, and how to grow and cure tobacco. Thorius was a real fan and an inspiration for our time, when smoke-Nazis sadly infest the nation. The web site at the link contains the Latin text with English translation, introduction, and notes.
- Practice your Latin! Click here to download a Latin exercise book from 1623. John Harmar’s Praxis Grammatica was written for 2nd, 3rd, and 4th year Latin students. It contains short sentences practicing all verb and noun forms, a collection of moral maxims and sayings, and a series of humorous anecdotes (Facetiae) about many people of antiquity, from Caesar Augustus to the philosopher Diogenes. This PDF file contains the Latin text and an introduction describing Latin language education in the 17th century. An English translation is NOT included, but if you need some help, look at this web site for the English. An inexpensive hard copy of this book is available here and here on Amazon. It is also available for the Nook.
- James Hume, Pantaleonis Vaticinia Satyra ("Pantaleon's Prophetic Satire" - 1633) -This short satire on contemporary French life was published in Rouen in 1633. It is edited at the link with an English translation and an introduction which includes the most complete biography of James Hume available to date. You may access a Swedish translation of this satire written by Weronika Pawlak at this link.
- John Barclay in the history of the novel - a paper given at
University of California Davis, May 2010.
- John Barclay as a Writer of Characters - a paper given at
the APA convention, January 2010.
- Poets of Two Hearts: John Milton and Thomas May - a paper given at
UCLA in March 2007. The version downloadable here was published in
the "Interdisciplinary Journal for Germanic Linguistics and
Semiotic Analysis" Berkeley Fall 2007.
- Review of M. Minkova and T. Tunberg, Reading and Exercises in
Latin Prose Composition (Focus Press 2004), in Forum, Classical
Journal 100.1 (Fall 2004).
- John Barclay: Argenis, Edited and translated by Mark Riley
& Dorothy Pritchard Huber
John Barclay's Argenis, the greatest and most popular of all
Renaissance Latin novels, is an ingenious, deftly plotted tour de
force, combining tragedy, romance, intrigue, and exotic adventure
with lively, veiled descriptions of the social and political world
of 17th century Europe. Prefaced by an extensive introduction and
supplemented by numerous magnificent illustrations, this
definitive modern edition presents Barclay's final Latin version,
plus a modernised version of Kingsmill Long's widely read English
translation of 1625.
Co-published by MRTS and Van Gorcum & Comp. 2003 / 2
volumes, 424 & 552 pages / 86698-316-3 / MR273 / $60
List of errata for John Barclay Argenis, edd. Riley &
Huber, van Gorcum 2004.
Due to inadequate proofreading, an
unfortunate number of errors can be found in the Latin text of this
edition. A list of corrections can be found here, a .pdf file. Most of these corrections are due to the careful reading
of the text by Mr. H. W. Laven of Florence, Italy, who has worked on
the Argenis for many years. Contrary to our claim on page 44,
in this edition spelling has not been thoroughly modernized, i.e.
restored to classical standards according to L&S. Older forms
used by Barclay (for example retulit, scena, herus, mulctum, and
others) still occur. These should present no trouble for the reader.
The text's punctuation could doubtless be improved in many places,
but the errata contain only outright errors, not possible
improvements. We regret these errors and hope that this list may be
- "Quomodo Habitaverunt Romani" illustrated lecture in Latin,
August 2003, Conventiculum Lexintonianum, Lexington KY.
- The following papers were written for publication in Temporini
and Haase, eds., Aufstieg und Niedergang der Romischen Welt II
36.7 (DeGruyer, Berlin). This series seems defunct. Therefore I am
making these papers available in .pdf format:
Terminology for the Arithmetic Operations" - This paper lists
and gives examples (in Greek with English translation) of all the
terms for "add," "subtract," "multiply," and "divide," plus a few
other terms. As usual in Ancient Greek, specialized technical
terminology does not prevail; that is, no one word serves for each
of the operations. This paper could not have been completed
without the invaluable help of the Thesaurus Linguae Graecae
(TLG), whose database supplied most of the examples.
"A Survey of Vettius
Valens" - Vettius Valens' Anthologiae is the longest extant
astrological work from antiquity. It is unique in several
respects: the author was a practicing astrologer; the work
includes more than 100 authentic horoscopes of Valens' clients or
associates, including his own, which is used as an example many
times throughout the work; the work also includes tables and the
description of algorithms used by astrologers and mathematicians.
My paper was finished in 1996 and does not take account of
scholarship since that time.
- A short dictionary of Greek terms used in the astronomy and astrology writers can be found here. (It is also on Academia.edu.) I made this wordlist for myself while translating Vettius Valens' Anthologiae, a translation that was never perfected but is available in a draft version here. Some abbreviations in the definitions are GH = Greek Horoscopes by Neugebauer and van Hoesen; HAMA = Neugebauer's History of Ancient Mathematical Astronomy; Pt = Ptolemy; Cumont = Cumont, L'Egypt des astrologues. The others should be obvious.
- Vettius Valens- Find a link here to a translation of Vettius Valens Anthologiae, the longest astrological text from Greco-Roman antiquity. Update - page numbers have been corrected. [Update August 2011: Mr. David R. Roell (firstname.lastname@example.org) is preparing a printed edition of my Survey of Vettius Valens and this translation of the Anthologiae. The book has not appeared yet. Its availability will be announced on this website. ] [update #2 February 2015: Unhappily, Mr. Roell died in July 2014, before he could complete his edition of Vettius Valens. The text is still here for download. It can also be found at Academia.edu; search under Mark Riley]
What you find here is a preliminary translation completed in the 1990’s, but not perfected in the years since. It is based on Wilhelm Kroll’s 1908 edition (page numbers of this edition are marked with bold-faced K in my pdf) and on David Pingree’s 1986 edition (page numbers marked with P), a great improvement on his predecessor’s. The angled brackets (< >) indicate words added in the translation for clarity or (sometimes) to correct errors in the text. My studies in ancient mathematical literature, and (more important) in the Syriac and Arabic copies of Valens did not proceed far enough to put the finishing touches on this translation. Moreover I have moved on to other work. (See here.) So there are no guarantees of accuracy. You might also find some typos. Use at your own risk. In addition I am not prepared to answer questions about the translation. You are on your own.
When studying Valens, also consult my Survey of Vettius Valens (on this webpage) and Neugebauer and Van Hoesen, Greek Horoscopes (Philadelphia 1987). Most of the horoscopes listed in Valens are translated by Neugebauer and Van Hoesen. Remember that some fractions in Valens (see p. 139) are in the sexagesimal system. The semi-colon corresponds to our decimal point. For example 2;20 = two and one-third, 2;40 = two and two-thirds.
- "Ptolemy's Use of His Predecessor's Data," Transactions of the American Philological Association 125 (1995) 221-250.
- "Manilius" in The Encyclopedia of Classical Philosophy, ed.
Donald Zeyl (Greenwood 1997).
- "Changing Enrollment Patterns" Association of Departments of
Foreign Languages (ADFL) Bulletin, Spring 1997.
- Articles on Hippocrates, Euclid, Archimedes, Ptolemy, Kepler,
Lavoisier, Malthus, Darwin, Mendel, Mendeleev, Schrödinger in
Great Thinkers of the Western World, ed. Ian McGreal
- "Science and Tradition in the
Tetrabiblos", Proceedings of the American Philosophical
Society 132.1 (1988) 67-84.
- "Theoretical and
Practical Astrology: Ptolemy and His Colleagues", Transactions
of the American Philological Association, 117 (1987) 235-256.
- "The Epicurean
Criticism of Socrates", Phoenix 34 (1980) 55-68.
- "The Purpose and
Unity of Plutarch's De Genio Socratis", Greek, Roman, and
Byzantine Studies 18 (1977) 257-73.
- "Critical Thinking and Cultural Relativism," Critical Thinking
News, 4 (1985), 3-7.
- Glossary for Homer's Odyssey: A New Translation, Albert Cook,
- For my doctoral dissertation on Tertullian's Adversus Valentinianos see here on the website tertullian.org, which has many other relevant documents.
- "Nisus: A Word Processor for Text Analysis" BMUG Newsletter
VII.1, 179-80 (Winter/Spring 1991; Berkeley Macintosh Users Group,
Berkeley CA 94709) . (Addendum 2017: Nisus is still available in two versions which differ only slightly and which are both useful, full-featured word processing programs.)
- "Nisus" in Wordprocessing for Classicists ed. Robert Rowland,
The American Philological Association (Scholars Press 1991).
- "Software for Learning Foreign
Languages" BMUG Newsletter VII.1, 139-41 (Fall 1993; Berkeley
Macintosh Users Group, Berkeley CA 94709). (Addendum 2017: be aware that this review and the following one are of historical interest only. These obsolete consumer translation programs have been replaced by on-line services such as Google Translate, which use a "brute-force" indexing approach to language translating--and very effectively.)
- "Spanish Assistant for the Macintosh" BMUG Newsletter VII.1,
141-45 (Spring 1995; Berkeley Macintosh Users Group, Berkeley CA
- "Tips on Foreign Language Fonts," Macnexus, 2 (1986) 9
- If you want something translated by a human being, rather than by Google Translate, check out this site, "Applied Language Solutions". No guarantees!
- "Ieopardus: Certamen optimum Discipulis omnis Aetatis" Longman
Latin Newsletter, Fall 1994.
- "Study Guide for
Praxeis Apostolon [=Acts of the Apostles] 13:1-18:17"
revised April 2006; keyed to the second edition of Balme and
Lawall, Athenaze, 2004.
- "Notes to I John"
Athenaze Newsletter, Spring 1994.
- An excellent political joke
in Latin, with the characters George Bush, Hilary Clinton, Tony
Blair, and (most important) Saint Peter.
- More Latin jokes. Here is a .pdf file of Facetiae
(1689), a collection made by Johannes Ludovicus Praschius - Johann
Ludwig Prasch, an author in both Latin and German who was an
educator and a senator in his native Ratisbona/Regensburg. His
biography (in Latin) can be seen here.
A Latin novella by Prasch can be found below, on this web
- How to Get an A, from
James and Glavinovich, two guys who really know the score in
- Various book reviews.
- Summer Reading for Latin students: Ferdinandus Taurus, a Latin
translation of Munro Leaf's story about a bull who would rather
smell the flowers than fight in the arena. Part Two includes a
vacabulary list. Here is part
one. Here is part
two with the vocabulary.
- Latin names for animals, (ANIMALIVM
NOMINA.pdf), a list provided by Prof. Stephen Berard, an
enthusiastic proponent of spoken Latin and the author of several
original Latin essays. He teaches at Wenatchee College in
- History of Ancient Science (see publications list for specific
- Latin Pedagogy, including the use of spoken Latin in the
classroom and in daily life.
- Neo-Latin and Renaissance literature, including the works of John Barclay.
- An interesting letter
of the geographer, Gerard Mercator, from 1579.
- A short novel, Psyche
Cretica ("Psyche from Crete"), by Johann
Ludwig Prasch (1685). This novel is based on the well-known
story, Cupid and Psyche, part of the novel Metamorphoses or The
Golden Ass, by the 2nd century Latin author Apuleius. Prasch
rewrote the story as a Christian allegory.
- Claudius Morisotus/Claude Morisot, a 17th century physician
and Latin writer from Dijon, completed Ovid's Fasti, a catalog of
Roman festivals through the year. Ovid wrote "January" through
"June", before he was rudely interrrupted by his own exile.
Morisotus wrote "July" through "December", a tour de force.
Here is the
text of July, August, and September. Here
is October, November, and December.
- The Latin text of John Barclay's Icon Animorum (Paris and
London 1614) can be found here, as
well as Thomas May's English translation of this work entitled
Mirror of Minds (1633). Note that
both of these files are MS Word documents in .doc format. They are
not finished texts; you might find some typos. The published versions are listed above.
- For many years I was one of the trustees for the Capay Cemetery District in Western Yolo County, California. I wrote a short history of the Capay Cemetery (started in the 1870's) with a note on some of the older cemeteries in Western Yolo. It is available here.
- In 2002 I wrote a history of the CSUS Department of Foreign Languages (now named Department of World Languages and Literature) from 1947 to 2002. This document can be found on the Department's website under the "Special Interest" tab or directly here.
- California Classical Association
- American Association for Neo-Latin Studies
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