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Tutor profile: Mati D.

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Mati D.
Classical Languages, History, and Writing Tutor
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Questions

Subject: Latin

TutorMe
Question:

How do I memorize so many declensions and conjugations? It all seems so overwhelming.

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Mati D.
Answer:

First, remember not to panic. It is a well known fact that anxiety causes memory loss. Try to attempt each declension and conjugation one-at-a-time. Secondly, it has been proven that repeating information aloud helps in memorizing this information (https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/12/171201090940.htm). Unfortunately however, unless you live in the Vatican, there's probably not many around having conversations in Latin. Yet one of the great aspects of the learning the Classical languages is the amount of literature that has been passed down. One fun way to learn Latin word forms is to take an original Latin text, perform it, and change its forms. Take, for example, Catullus 5 which begins with the line, "Vivamus, mea Lesbia, atque amemus (Let us live, my Lesbia, and let us love)". Try saying it aloud to someone or, if you're shy, into the mirror. Now try changing the forms of the words to say something completely different. For example, let us say I want to change the line to "Live, my Lesbia, and I will love", I would change "Vivamus" to the second person singular imperative "Vive" and "amemus" to the first person singular future active indicative "amabo". Thus our sentence would read "Vive, mea Lesbia, atque amabo". Though you've butchered a line of Catullus, you have both created a sentence in Latin and practiced conjugations.

Subject: Writing

TutorMe
Question:

What is the difference between "which" and "that"? When should I use one instead of the other?

Inactive
Mati D.
Answer:

Both of these words are relative pronouns, but the difference is that "that" specifies the noun it modifies, while "which" describes it. "That" is used to identify a particular noun. For example, "The window that was dirty is open". In this case, "that" specifies that a particular window (one that is dirty) is open. On the other hand, the "which" in "The window, which was dirty, is open" only explains an inessential aspect of the window. You should use "which" when you want to convey information that isn't particularly essential and "that" otherwise.

Subject: European History

TutorMe
Question:

What was the cause of the Peloponnesian War which took place from 431 to 404 BCE?

Inactive
Mati D.
Answer:

There were both long-term escalations and trigger events which propelled the Greek city-states into the Peloponnesian War. Firstly, Athens' rise as a superpower threatened Spartan hegemony. After the Persian Wars 50 years earlier, many city-states concerned about the still-present threat of Persia formed an alliance called the Delian League. Eventually, Athens took charge of this league and folded its members into the Athenian Empire. Its members became subjects, and the Delian League's treasury became the Athenian treasury. Sparta, a city-state which until this point had been the most powerful city-state in ancient Greece, felt threatened by the Athenians' meteoric rise to power. Another lead-up to the war was the division of city-states into oligarchic and democratic factions. Athens, as the premier democracy at the time, obviously supported the democratic factions in other city-states and Sparta, whose government was mostly oligarchic, supported the oligarchies. One trigger event was the capture of Epidamnos, a city in the frontier of Greece, by its democratic faction. They expelled the oligarchic faction, which in turn called to other city-states for military support. This led the already formed blocs of city-states to line up against each other. Another spark that lit the fuse was the Megarian Decree. In establishing this decree, Athens levied sanctions against Megara, a city-state allied with Sparta. Eventually, after envoys had been sent between Sparta and Athens for many months, war was declared.

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