Course Descriptions — Latin

Completion of Latin 231 (or any more advanced Latin course) satisfies the college’s foreign-language requirement.
Latin 111, 112 – Beginning Latin
In this two-course sequence students learn the basics of classical Latin. By studying the language’s vocabulary, grammar, and syntax, they not only gain appreciation for its intricacies and nuances but also learn more about their own language and about language in general. Completion of both semesters equips students to translate almost any classical Latin text with the aid of a dictionary. Latin 111 or its equivalent is a prerequisite to Latin 112.

Textbooks for Latin 111 & 112:
Wheelock’s Latin by Frederic M. Wheelock, revised by Richard A. LaFleur (HarperCollins Publishers, 7th edition, 2011)
Thirty-Eight Latin Stories by Anne H. Groton & James M. May (Bolchazy-Carducci Publishers, 5th corrected edition, 2004)
Latin 231 – Intermediate Latin (counts toward Linguistic Studies concentration)
Third-semester Latin students translate large portions of two orations (First Catilinarian, Pro Caelio) by Cicero and selections from Catullus’ poetry while reviewing vocabulary, grammar, and syntax.  Topics for class discussion include life in late Republican Rome and the stylistic features of the literature. Prerequisite: Latin 112.

Latin 235 – Medieval Latin – ALS-L (counts toward Linguistic Studies concentration)
Latin has been spoken in one form or another for more than two thousand years. This course focuses on authors and texts dating roughly from 300 to 1500 CE and emphasizes the role of Latin as the language of the Church and of the intelligentsia during the Middle Ages. Prerequisite: Latin 231.

Latin 252 – Vergil and Latin Epic
Lord Tennyson called Vergil the “wielder of the stateliest measure ever moulded by the lips of man.” Students encounter that stately measure when they translate selections from Vergil’s three major poems (Eclogues, Georgics, Aeneid). They also engage in spirited discussion of Homer’s influence on Vergil and of Vergil’s influence on the literature, art, and music of Western civilization. Prerequisite: Latin 231.

Latin 370 – Topics in Latin Literature
Students translate selections from one or more genres of ancient Latin literature while exploring a specific topic or theme chosen by the instructor. Close study of the text is combined with discussion of broader literary, historical, and cultural questions. Sample topics: “Ovid,” “Latin Epistolography,” “Augustan Elegy.” Prerequisite: Latin 231.

Latin 371 – Latin Lyric
Lyric poems – short, occasional pieces composed in various meters, often concerned with love and longing – are the focus of this Latin course. Students translate the vivacious verse of Catullus, Horace, Tibullus, and Ovid and learn to recognize the features that make lyric a distinctive genre of Latin poetry. Prerequisite: Latin 231.

Latin 372 – Latin Historians
The writings of Sallust, Livy, and Tacitus provide breathtaking views of ancient Rome and memorable vignettes from the city’s colorful history. Extended passages from the historians’ works, read in Latin, form the basis for a survey of Roman historiography and historical writing in general. Prerequisite: Latin 231.

Latin 373 – Lucretius and Latin Poetry
Lucretius might best be described as a philosophical poet. His De Rerum Natura (“On the Nature of the Universe”) presents the theories and teachings of Greek philosophers like Democritus and Epicurus, but with a Roman flavor. Students translate substantial sections of this fascinating poem. Prerequisite: Latin 231.

Latin 374 – Cicero and Latin Prose
Rome’s greatest orator, Cicero, was also its greatest prose stylist and the author most responsible for supplying Latin with philosophical vocabulary. Selections from his philosophical, rhetorical, and oratorical works show the range of his talents and help demonstrate the development of Latin prose style. Prerequisite: Latin 231.

Latin 375 – Latin Drama
Strange things happened on the ancient Roman stage; this course gives students firsthand proof of that. The comedies of Plautus and Terence and the tragedies of Seneca make entertaining reading. Students translate selected plays and discuss the evolution of the Roman theater, staging, and modern interpretations. Prerequisite: Latin 231.

Latin 377 – Latin Satire
The Romans claimed that satire was a literary genre of their own creation. Students are able to weigh the merits of that claim as they translate selections from the wry and witty texts of prominent Roman satirists such as Horace, Petronius, Martial, and Juvenal. Prerequisite: Latin 231.