Latin was the language of the Romans and, at the height of the Roman Empire during the first three centuries of the common era, was spoken throughout the whole of Western Europe and a large part of North Africa. After the fall of the Roman Empire in the west in the fifth century, Latin continued to be spoken in a variety of local dialects that developed through time into the modern Romance languages, e.g., French, Italian, and Spanish. Latin itself survived as the common language of educated people in Europe through the church and universities until the eighteenth century.
A knowledge of Latin is essential to the study of the history, literature and archaeology of the Romans and for a serious understanding of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance in Europe. It is also extremely useful in the study of the Romance languages as well as the English language, which derives much of its vocabulary from Latin.
A knowledge of Latin is also rewarding in its own right; it is a language of great strength and dignity, with a literature that includes the writings of Cicero, Vergil, Ovid and other authors of enormous influence in the shaping of later European literature and thought.
Latin 101 introduces the basics of Latin grammar, which it illustrates by a series of readings adapted from the major authors of classical Latin literature. Students will be reading passages from such famous authors and works as Livy’s account of the founding of Rome, Ovid’s telling of the flood and the repopulation of the earth, and the statesman Cicero’s thoughts on the necessity of laws in the Roman state.
Text (required): Susan C. Shelmerdine, Introduction to Latin, 2nd ed., Focus Publishing, 2013. ISBN: 978-1-58510-390-4