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Hancus ille Vaccanis (Hank the Cowdog in Latin)

"Ubi eram? Sub benzini cisternis, adsequens somno. Subito iuxta me ibi erat Drover, saliens sursum deorsum, et emittens istum stridorem,
quod in aurium tympanos perterebret. Cum id faciat tu ignorare eum non potes."

"Where was I? Under the gas tanks, catching up on my sleep. All at once Drover was right there beside me, jumping up and down and giving off that high-pitched squeal of his that kind of bores into your eardrums. You can't ignore him when he does that." -Hank the Cowdog

Look Inside the Book

Hank the Cowdog is the chief of security on the ranch. He keeps unwanted hombres such as porcupines, at bay, often with little praise from his cantankerous master and little help from his ally, the dim-witted Drover. However, when he ends up becoming the number 1 suspect for a murder and he ends up having to join a gang of coyotes. At first he is accepted as one of their own, but what Hank do when they coyotes attack his own ranch?

For readers familiar with the story of Hank the Cowdog, this Latin translation by Karen T. Moore will be entertaining and instructive. Latin is meant to be spoken and read, not just a bunch of words and charts to memorize. This fun story brings the classical language to life for students.

From the Introduction:

"The Classics are deeply rooted in Texas history. The last stand at the Alamo has long been called the Thermopylae of the West. The daring slogan “Come and Take It!,” raised at the Battle of Gonzales (A.D. 1835), is a direct translation from “μολων λαβε” the defiant response of King Leonidas of Sparta to the Persian King Xerxes and his demand for surrender at the same Battle of Thermopylae (480 B.C.). The great general Sam Houston led his troops in the War for Texas Independence while carrying a copy of Julius Caesar's Commentaries on the Gallic War in his saddle-bag. In his youth, Houston (like Alexander the Great) enjoyed a leisurely read of Homer’s Iliad. Among Texas youth today, Latin enjoys a prominent place in linguistic studies, second only to Spanish. Thus, it is only fitting that the epic adventures of Hank the Cowdog, the classic canine hero of Texas, should find their place in the canon of Latin literature." 

What People Are Saying

"Hancus Ille Vaccanis is as fun to read as John Erickson’s original English tale, and even after a brief lesson from it, my students clearly recognized this. From two of them, in their own words: 'I loved taking a moment to translate a simpler story with common knowledge words,' and 'I personally really liked the Hank story. Since most of the stories we usually translate are based upon Greek mythologies, it was interesting to see something that was based upon American or modern culture.'" ~Aaron Fudge, Dean of the Upper School, Trinity Classical Academy

"The high quality of the reader is found throughout but perhaps a few examples will provide ample evidence. First, the extensive notes are provided as footnotes, not the cheaper and easier to format endnotes. This is a huge benefit to readers, especially young readers of Latin. The notes include helpful guides to figures of speech, more obscure vocabulary and grammatical forms, Latin idioms, allusions to works of Latin literature such as the Aeneid and so forth. I am particularly impressed with the fact that the figures of speech are all defined in the notes, adding to their value for students. My absolute favorite part of the translation, however, is Karen T. Moore’s creation of appropriate Latin dialect and colloquialisms based on the language in the original Hank. It’s hilarious, charming, and adds immeasurably to the success of the Latin version. " ~Steve Tuck, Assistant Professor in Classics at Miami University

"Seek this book out. It's fun. It reads quickly. And, to top it off, the Latin is funny. Karen T. Moore has captured both the words and feelings of the original. A wonderful addition to your classroom." ~Nicholas Martin, Latin Teacher at McCallum High School

"Hancus ille Vaccanis is a terrific addition to the growing library of children’s and young adult books translated into Latin. Reaching young Latin students through works they already know and love is a sure way to pique and sustain their interest. Moore has not only rendered a charming and engaging book into Latin with students in mind, but she has also managed to convey much of the spirit and flavor of both the language and characters of the original." ~David White, Senior Lecturer in Classics at Baylor University

"Hancus ille Vaccanis, Karen T. Moore’s energetic and literary-minded translation of the classic children’s book by John R. Erickson is one of the most joyful neo-Latin reads I’ve encountered. Having risen fairly high in his own cursus honorum as Dux Securitatis pro Latifundio, Hank the Cowdog makes for a surprisingly apt purveyor of Roman values. While many translations of classic books (Winne ille Pu, Harrius Potter, et al.) give us a chance to see Latin in a modern setting, Hank brings to life a number of quintessentially Roman themes which make his story particularly conducive to the Latin idiom: Fate, Duty, Bravery. Throughout Hank’s adventures, he speaks of his destiny (fatum) as a cowdog, his duty (officium) to protect the ranch, and his bravery (virtus) in the face of all manner of enemies (coyotes, buzzards, Pete the barn cat, to name but a few)." ~Amy Leonard, Latin Teacher at Grady High School in Atlanta, Georgia

Karen T. Moore holds a BA in Classics with a concentration in Latin from the University of Texas at Austin. She is the author of multiple books on or in Latin for all levels of learning including the Libellus de Historia series, the Latin Alive textbook series, and the Latin Alive Reader: Latin Literature from Cicero to Newton. Mrs. Moore has taught Latin for more than twenty years in public schools, private schools, and home school settings. She currently teaches classical language and ancient humanities at Grace Academy of Georgetown, TX, where she built the 3-12th grade classical language program. She and her husband, Bryan, are the proud parents of three marvelous adults who remain devoted fans of Hank the Cowdog. When not engaged in classical literature, Karen can be found in her garden, hiking with her family, or exploring Italy with her students.

AUTHOR: John R. Erickson

ILLUSTRATOR: Gerald R. Holmes

TRANSLATOR: Karen T. Moore

EDITOR: Steven L. Jones

ISBN 10: 1-95-241071-1

ISBN-13: 978-1-952410-71-0

PUBLISHER: Logos Press

PUB. DATE: November 18, 2020