Latin » The Latin Department

The Latin Department

As the foundation of all Romance languages, Latin has been used as a common international language for religious, mathematical, legal and scientific discourse.

Because Latin root words are also the basis of approximately 70% of English words, the study of Latin often leads to increased facility with the English language and strengthening of verbal skills tested in the SAT and ACT.

The three-year Latin program stresses grammar, vocabulary and culture, fostering skills which students can put to use in future studies of any language.

Latin I

  • Beginning in the student’s sophomore year, this course teaches basic Latin grammar and vocabulary while exploring early Roman history and culture. Students will read modified excerpts by such Roman authors as Plautus, Cicero, Caesar, Catullus, and Livy. By the end of the course, students will be able to translate a modified Latin text with confidence. Additionally, students will learn a great deal about derivatives and use their Latin vocabulary to increase their English vocabulary.

Latin II

  • The second year of Latin explores the tense system of the language, as well as the culture and literature of the Roman Empire. Readings for the course include works by Horace, Ovid, Apuleius, and Boethius. Successful students will be able to hold simple conversations in Latin, translate passages, and write elementary sentences.

Latin III

  • Complex sentence structures, advanced syntax, and the subjunctive mood are the principal topics of Latin III. Students review these topics while reading from the rich Latin literature of the Middle Ages. Authors as varied as the Venerable Bede, Heloise, William of Tyre, and the Goliardic poets showcase the culture of the medieval period. By the end of the course, students should be able to have longer conversations in Latin, recite poetry from memory, and write summaries of passages in Latin.