Study INTRO words as well. Part 1 of level one list for Classical Literacy Exam terms. Study from definition to term.

Adriatic Sea

the sea separating Italy from Greece


breastplate; currently it means a source of protection for a group, individual, or idea.


Vergil composed this epic in Latin about the difficulty the main character had in the fall of Troy and then his travels and battles to found Rome. He was the son of Venus and Anchises, son-in-law of King Priam, husband of Creusa then Lavinia in Italy. Father of Ascanius/Iulus. brought Trojan tradition to blend with central Italians

alma mater

nourishing mother; an institution of learning

alpha and omega

the first and last letters respectively of the Greek alphabet


tall mountain chain spanning France, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, and Italy.

alter ego

another I; someone who is your exact match in thought or expresssion.


nourished girl/girls; female graduates of an institution.


nourished boy/boys; male graduate/s of an institution.

amor omnia vincit

love conquers all; phrase from Vergil's poem Eclogue 10.


before the war; commonly used to describe art, culture, etc. in US before the civil war era.


the mountain range running north to south that forms a spine in the center of the Italian peninsula.

bona fide

in good faith. means something that is done in a sincere attempt.

Capitoline Hill

one of the 7 hills of Rome. It was the religious and governing center of the city.


a fire breathing monster which was a lioness with serpent for a tail and with a goat in the mid section.


the people who inhabited central Italy before and during the early history of Rome.

ex officio

by virtue of the office; used to show some aspect a person controls by virtue of their role in another office


ever upward! state motto of New York


the bundled twigs around an ax which was the symbol of military control held by a dictator. fascists derive their name from this item.


Greek writer of fables that explain the benefit or harm of certain character traits in a variety of situations.


a false name used to conceal identity. From the Latin that means another/other.


in legal terms, it is the attempt to show that a defendant was not present at a crime location because others can place him/her at that time in a different place. From the Latin that means somewhere else.


a tall, 2 handled vase/urn often used to carry wine.


a large, public open-air arena where entertainment events were held, such as gladiatorial combat.

April 21, 753 BC

legendary date for the founding of Rome


Greek scientist/philosopher who is credited with discovering water displacement to find the volume/density of objects as well as many other scientific and mathematic discoveries. Famously associated with the exclamation "Eureka" (I found it!)"


legendary "city in/under the sea" referenced by Plato, it is a metaphor for a city-state of great power, technological advancement.


Greco-Roman spring time festivals to honor the god of wine; often accompanied by theatrical performances and became synonymous with drunken debauchery.


Latin derivative meaning "warlike, hostile"

Campus Martius

a region in Rome along the Tiber river, home of the Pantheon and Theater of Pompey. North of the Capitoline Hill, this low-lying area was used as a training ground for soldiers.


a mythic creature with the torso and head of a man, but the body and legs of a horse. known for their battle with the lapiths in the attempted abduction of Hippodamia.


large island to the south of Greece. Home of the Minoan civilization (early wealthy kingdom in early Greek history), known in myth as the home of King Minos's labyrinth and the Minotaur.


50 women who killed their husbands on their wedding night; depicted as being tortured in Hades as having to carry water in leaky jugs thus never completing their task into eternity.


nymph who was caught in an argument between Cupid and Apollo. Cupid made Apollo fall in love with her (wtih a golden arrow), but caused her to flee (with a lead arrow). Just when Apollo is about to catch his fleeing lover, she prays for rescue and is turned into a laurel tree.

errare humanum est

Latin for "to err is human" the idea that humans are by nature fallible

et al. / et alii

Latin for "and the others" often used to shorten a list of many names.


the study of the origin of language, the words themselves, and the change in definition of words.

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