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Elementary Latin

This program offers beginning and intermediate courses in Latin. It normally takes four terms to complete, and your placement will determine how many courses you will need to fulfill your language requirement. These classes are taught by department faculty members and graduate student instructors who have been trained in the teaching of Latin. We place a high priority on knowing our students well, being available to them, and working with them to ensure their success in Latin. Our courses are learner-oriented in many ways, including a highly-structured introductory textbook, supplementary drills and exercises available on-line, the use of pre-tests to facilitate more effective preparation for tests, and a walk-in tutoring center available to all elementary Latin students.

In addition to introducing the grammar and syntax of the Latin language, our classes encourage students to become more aware of the phenomenon of human language and of themselves as language users and learners. Our goal is to enable students to become proficient and confident readers of Latin, and to introduce them to the language, art, literature, and culture of ancient Rome.


Latin 101 - Elementary Latin I

This is the beginning course of the elementary Latin sequence. It assumes no previous knowledge of or recent experience with Latin. The course covers the first half of the textbook used for Latin 101 and 102, at approximately two lessons each week. Students will cover all cases of nouns, the use of adjectives and adverbs, the Latin infinitive, the present and perfect participles, and present and perfect tense indicative verbs. They will learn to recognize sentence patterns and to handle dependent clauses. In addition, they will begin to develop strategies and techniques for reading Latin which will allow them to handle individual sentences and narrative passages with confidence and ease. Some practice with adapted, authentic readings are included in this course. Upon completion of Latin 101, students move on to Latin 102, which covers the remainder of Latin forms and grammar.

All of the assigned tasks/exercises in Latin 101 are directed toward the reading and translation of Classical Latin and not toward writing or conversation. The course has as its primary objective the acquisition of a fundamental understanding of basic Latin grammar and the development of basic reading skills.

Required Text

Shelmerdine, Introduction to Latin (2nd edition). 

Grading is based on quizzes, class participation, hour examinations, and a final.

Latin 102 - Elementary Latin II

To complete the introduction of basic Latin grammar, this course continue with the introduction of dependent clauses and subjunctive construction. Students gain more practice translating adapted authentic prose texts in class, in order to prepare them for Latin 231.

Latin 103 - Review Latin (Fall Term only)

This review course is only for students who have had some previous Latin. It begins at the very beginning, but goes more quickly through the textbook, covering the material of Latin 101 and 102 in a single semester. Students will have a chance to work on mastering the forms of nouns, adjectives, pronouns, and verbs, and to get a thorough review of all case uses and the various dependent clauses. Students will also work on strengthening and expanding their Latin vocabulary via the study of stems and prefixes. Alongside the grammatical material in this class, they will learn basic principles for reading Latin texts and practice strategies which will allow the reading of individual sentences and narrative passages with confidence and ease. Upon completion of Latin 103, students move on to Latin 231, the third semester in the language requirement sequence and the one that covers the reading of Latin prose.

Required Text

Shelmerdine, Introduction to Latin (2nd edition). 

Grading is based on quizzes, class participation, hour examinations, and a final.

Latin 231 - Roman Kings and Emperors

This course reviews grammar as it introduces students to the masters of classical Latin prose through  Caesar's De Bello Gallico and Augustus' Res Gestae (first centuries B.C. and A.D.). The goal is to acquire efficient reading, translation and study skills, while exploring texts, concepts and historical traditions that shed light on Rome's growth into an Empire. Students learn a series of practices to complete when beginning to work on a passage of Latin, how to read through a Latin sentence from left to right without losing comprehension, what secrets Latin word order can disclose, how to select the appropriate meaning for a word from a number of possibilities, and how to handle a sight passage of Latin with confidence and accuracy. Free tutoring and computer support for self-practice are available to help students succeed in the course.

A thorough review of the forms and grammar of Latin are built into the syllabus. A variety of prose texts are used in this course. We continue to build vocabulary in this course, and we also teach more about Roman culture and history. Class sessions are often devoted to practicing these skills that will help students succeed. This course has computer support for self-practice and reference, such as vocabulary and morphology drills, translations for assigned texts, notes on content and grammar, and historical background. Following Latin 231, students move on to the final course in the language requirement sequence, Latin 232. 

Latin 231 Honors - Great Romans in Prose and Poetry (Fall Term only)

This course is an intensive honors section which covers the 231 material in half a semester and includes an introduction to Virgil's Aeneid in its second half. The course reviews grammar as it introduces students to the masters of classical Latin prose through extensive passages from authors of the first centuries B.C. and A.D such as Livy and Caesar. Efficient reading and translation skills are the goal. In addition, students will acquire knowledge of meter and poetic style through the reading of selections from Virgil's Aeneid.

The readings in the course focus on the most notable figures in Roman history and literature and invite students to contemplate the character traits and circumstances that forge “greatness." After successful completion of this course, students can start accumulating credit towards a major/minor in a Classics-related field by enrolling into a 300-level Latin course or higher for the last term of the language requirement. After this course, one more course (232 or 301) IS REQUIRED to fulfill the language requirement.

The purpose of this section is to provide an opportunity to students who want to minor or major in any Classics concentration program to move to higher level courses faster and thus to start accumulating credits needed for the fulfillment of their minor or major requirements earlier in their undergraduate career. Please contact Donka Markus if you have questions about this class or need an override for enrollment.

Latin 232 - Vergil, Aeneid

The subject of this course is Vergil's epic poem the Aeneid. You will have the opportunity to read a major literary work of the western world in the original Latin, and will learn the necessary skills for reading Latin poetry. The entire Aeneid is read in English, and about 1000-1200 lines of it in Latin (about 1 1/2 books). The specific sections of the poem read in Latin will vary from section to section. You will also work on specific sight-reading strategies, improving your vocabulary, and increasing your speed in reading texts. This course also addresses the wide range of topics which come together in the Aeneid: myth, Roman history, Roman religion, poetry, Roman culture, and modern literary interpretation. Should you wish to continue in Latin after Latin 232, you would elect Latin 301. 

Latin 233 - Late Latin

This class is as an alternative to LAT 232 and fulfills the final semester of the language requirement in Latin. Pre-requisite: placement into LAT 232 or successful completion of LATIN 231/ equivalent.

The purpose of the course is to learn how to read Late Latin texts with enjoyment and appreciation. Augustine’s Confessions are at the core of the course, but excerpts from Jerome’s translation of the Bible into Latin (Vulgata) and from Ambrose’s Hymns and Letters are also included. Selections from the 12th and the 14th century Renaissance as well as additional texts of interest to students conclude the course. Grading is based on 3 exams, bi-weekly quizzes and a final project. Class participation is an essential component for success in the course.

Latin 301 - Intermediate Latin I

The goal of this course is to read original texts (Cicero, Livy, Catullus or Ovid) with both speed and depth of comprehension. The course offers grammar review depending on student need and targets advanced grammatical structures and complex word-order. Special attention will be given to translation skills and questions of meter, style, and literary interpretation. This class is only required for students who elected to take Latin 231 Honors and still need another course to finish their language requirement.

Latin 504 - Intensive Latin (Summer Term only)

This course is designed to provide the student having little or no prior Latin with the skills necessary for reading Classical Latin. It covers the material presented in LATIN 101 and 102, using Shelmerdine, Introduction to Latin. It is primarily intended for graduate students and upperclass undergraduates in fields requiring reading knowledge of Latin. For students seeking to satisfy a language requirement, successful completion of this course will permit entry into LATIN 231. Grading is based on class participation, quizzes, hour examinations, and a final.