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Latin Language Courses and Classes Overview

Latin language courses provide students with all the tools they need to read, write and teach Latin. Read more to figure out how these courses may fit into your studies.

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Essential Information

These Latin courses are often part of a Classics or related liberal arts degree program at the undergraduate or graduate level in subjects like Latin, Classics or Religious Studies. Many programs are designed for aspiring teachers, while others are suitable for those who want to learn to interpret literature or need to prepare for admission to a doctoral program.

Students studying Latin often complete elementary and intermediate language courses to introduce them to grammar, syntax and vocabulary. Latin and Classical Studies programs usually include additional coursework on Greek and Roman culture and history. Students in a program designed for aspiring Latin teachers complete several teacher education courses. Field experience at a school and a semester of student teaching are common requirements.

Courses may focus on the following topics:

  • Ecclesiastical and Medieval Latin
  • Golden Age of Latin Literature
  • Greek and Roman Mythology and Religion
  • History of the Roman Republic
  • Latin Reading and Writing
  • Lives of Roman Women
  • Marcus Aurelius and the Stoic Philosophers

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Overview of Courses

Elementary Latin Course

Introductory Latin language courses prepare students to begin reading basic Latin texts. Emphasis is placed on the basic architecture of the language and Latin grammar and syntax. Though reading comprehension is the primary goal, students also practice developing writing skills. Lessons may also cover the culture of the classical world.

Intermediate Latin Course

In intermediate Latin language courses, students work with ancient texts to develop facility in Latin grammar and vocabulary. This introduction to Latin literature course exposes intermediate students to a wide range of Latin authors of poetry and prose. Among the authors typically taught in Latin language courses are the poets Catullus and Horace and the prose writers Virgil, Caesar and Cicero. Successful completion of the elementary Latin class is essential for the reading level required in intermediate Latin.

Studies in Latin Literature Course

Intermediate Latin language courses cover a wide range of readings in Latin literature, which students may translate or respond to in written Latin. Advanced studies typically focus on the Latin poetic tradition or on prose writers from antiquity. Students may also explore early Medieval and Ecclesiastical Latin literature. Readings in Medieval Latin may include the Vulgate Bible of Jerome and progress through Latin authors of the twelfth century.

Grammar and Composition in Latin Course

This Latin language course provides students with the opportunity to improve their Latin writing skills. This course focuses on increasing vocabulary, reinforcing the Latin rules of grammar and includes an introduction to idiomatic Latin expressions. These advanced studies allow students to discuss ideas and converse in Latin.

Special Topics in Latin Literature Course

Latin literature courses typically focus on a specific genre of literature. For example, a class could focus on letters written by citizens and officials of the Roman Empire. Other Latin language courses in advanced literature focus on Virgil. This class is aimed at students who can already read Latin and who would like to learn more about the culture of people living during Roman times.

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