17-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today:
Friday, September 6, 1912: We had a test in three of our studies today. Didn’t make a very good mark in Caesar, but because I omitted to look up some rules, so you see whence I got to today, I was at a loss what to write.
Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:
Latin sounds hard. Apparently the class was reading Caesar–probably Caesar’s Gallic War.
The introduction to a Latin text published in 1909 describes how the students first study grammar to prepare to read Caesar.
The lessons have been made fairly comprehensive, in order to afford an adequate preparation for reading Caesar.
The vocabulary of the seventy-eight lessons includes about six hundred words exclusive of proper names. Caesar uses about ninety-four percent of these words of these words and Cicero ninety-six percent.
An Elementary Latin Course by Franklin Hazen Potter