Latin/Household Lesson 1

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Salvēte omnēs! Welcome back to Latin for Wikiversity. Here you can peruse a new lesson in Latin, in a simple style. If you would like to catch up, you can find a directory of lessons, a classified vocabulary list, and Memrise courses in the links to the right.

Atrium interior

Here, as promised, we will begin to delve into the household skill, the domus and things that might be found in it. Some terms will be used in the same sense as they were in Ancient Rome, and for more modern items we’ll use our best judgment of terms used by contemporary Latinists. For a good article about a typical domus as the Ancient Romans would have known it, see this. It was a gracious and elegant floor plan, still commonly found in the Mediterranean area today. We’ll see some other terms for slightly different types of dwellings as well.

New Vocabulary

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Latin English Audio (Classical) Notes
bibliothēca, ae library
camera, ae room, chamber Traditionally, with an arched ceiling.
casa, ae cottage, small house
cella, ae room, storeroom
culīna, ae kitchen
fenestra, ae window
īnsula, ae apartment building
Also island
scālae, ārum (pl.) staircase, ladder Alternatively gradus, ūs
taberna, ae shop, storefront These were located at the front of a city house, frequently rented out for extra income.
tapeta, ae carpet, tapestry Or tapēs, tapētis
vīlla, ae farmhouse, country house
mūrus, ī wall
ātrium, ī reception hall, living room, gathering room, great room
balneum, ī bath, bathroom Alternatively lātrīna, ae or lāvātōrium, ī; thermae, ārum for the public baths.
cubiculum, ī bedroom, sleeping chamber
impluvium, ī rainwater pool
In ātrium of traditional domus
ōstium, ī (jānua, ae) door, entrance
solum, ī floor, foundation, soil, ground, bottom
tablīnum, ī office, study
tectum, ī roof, ceiling
triclīnium, ī dining room
Originally in reference to the three couches found there.
domus, ūs (f.) house

New Sentences

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Latin English Notes
Domus Rōmāna impluvium habet. The Roman house has an impluvium.
Vīlla est magna domus; casa est parva domus. A farmhouse is a big house; a cottage is a small house.
Multae familiae Rōmānae in īnsulīs habitant. Many Roman families live in apartment buildings.
Quot cubicula domus tua habet? How many bedrooms does your house have?
Quot cellās domus tua habet? How many rooms does your house have?
Cubiculum meum mūrōs albōs habet. My bedroom has white walls.
Est tapeta in solō. There is a carpet on the floor.
Tapetae sunt caeruleae. The carpets are blue.
Līberī in tapetā sedent. The children sit on the carpet.
Solum sine tapetā est frīgidum. The floor without a carpet is cold.
Sunt avēs in tectō. There are birds on the roof.
Est arānea in tectō. There is a spider on the ceiling.
In culīnā iēntāculum, sed in triclīniō cenam edimus. We eat breakfast in the kitchen, but dinner in the dining room.
Ōstium aperiō. I open the door.
Fenestrās aperis. You open the windows.
Sunt tabernae avunculī meī. They are my uncle’s shops.
Ātrium est magnum et pulchrum. The living room is large and beautiful.
Camera tectum altum habet. The room has a high ceiling.
Mārcus in tablīnō labōrat. Marcus works in the study.
Est corpus in bibliothēcā! There is a body in the library!
Bibliothēca multōs librōs habet. The library has many books.
Ubī est balneum? Where is the bathroom?
In balneō est. He/she is in the bathroom.
Lūcia vīnum in cellā tenet. Lucia keeps wine in the storeroom.
Habēsne scālās? Do you have stairs?
Ubī sunt scālae? Where are the stairs?


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We’ll continue with household terms next time. Grātiās vōbīs agō et habeātis bonam fortūnam!