Latin classes

Foundations of Latin

LAT 1  - Introductory Latin I    A rapid introduction to the Latin language through reading passages of gradually increasing difficulty, with an introduction to the history and culture of Pompeii and Roman Egypt in the first century AD. - course flyer

LAT 2   Introductory Latin II  Continues the study of the Latin language, with a look at the history and culture of Roman Britain and the city of Rome in the first century AD. Includes an introduction to Roman funerary inscriptions, curse tablets, and coins.

LAT 3   Intermediate Latin  Completes the introduction to Latin grammar and syntax, then moves into unadapted selections from Pliny, Catullus, Ovid, and other Roman authors. Satisfies the College language requirement.

Middle-Level Classes

LAT 10.01 Topics in Latin: The Landscape of Latin Literature  Designed to introduce students to varied aspects of Latin literary culture. Beginning with some physical evidence of literacy and writing materials, we will proceed to study the physical history of ancient books and publication methods, then analyze a series of short works illustrating how the Romans themselves thought about literary production, the functions texts can serve, and the nature of meaning and authorship. Readings are a mixture of poetry and prose taken from a variety of authors including Catullus, Cicero, Tibullus, Ovid, Pliny, Martial, and Juvenal, as well as Tom Stoppard's play The Invention of Love, which gives a fresh perspective on the history of classical scholarship at the beginning of the 20th century.

LAT 10.02 Topics in Latin Texts: Clodia Metelli  An introduction to scholarly resources with a study of our original sources for the life of Clodia, wife of Metellus, one of the most interesting female figures of ancient Rome. In addition to reading selections referring to Clodia (or "Lesbia") from the letters and speeches of Cicero and the poems of Catullus, we will consider the ways that these generically different sources were consumed in the first century B.C.E. and how, later, they were (sometimes quite precariously) preserved through the medieval period in the manuscript tradition. This course is designed for students who have completed at least the Latin 1, 2, and 3 sequence at Dartmouth, or who have previously studied all the basics of Latin grammar but are looking for a systematic review of grammar and poetic meter and an introduction to the tools scholars use when reading texts closely. Not open to students who have received credit for LAT 010 without decimal suffix.

LAT 18 Intermediate Topics in Latin   Meets conjointly with an upper-division course and shares much of its content, but with different requirements and assessments. Typically students taking the course at the intermediate level have shorter reading assignments in the original language and a greater emphasis on language development. For instance, they may take a language test instead of writing the research paper at the end of the term.

Upper-level classes

LAT 20       Latin Epic   Latin readings in from Books 1, 3, and 14 of Ovid's Metamorphoses, and the entire poem in English. Topics for discussion will include myth, sex, gender, genre, metapoetics, intertextuality, politics, and propaganda. We will think about Ovid's place in Augustan culture and Latin literary history, and we will explore recent critical approaches as well as the impact of Ovid's poem on the history of Western (and potentially non-Western) art and literature, from the Middle Ages into the 21st century. LIT, W

LAT 21  Love Poetry   An exploration of the rich tradition of amatory verse at Rome. Readings may come from the love-elegists Tibullus, Propertius, and Ovid, and/or other poets, including Catullus and Horace. Topics to be considered include the art of persuasion in erotic literature; Roman attitudes towards gender, sexuality, and desire; and the emergence and development of Augustan culture.  LIT, W.

LAT 23 Roman Drama      Reading ancient drama allows us to consider the function of artistic production to engage with challenging political and social questions. The class will read from the comedies of Plautus and Terence and/or the tragedies of Seneca, and will explore features of the comic and/or tragic genre. Latin readings may be combined with one or more Greek plays read in translation. LIT, W

LAT 25 Roman Historical Writing      Readings drawn from the rich tradition of Roman historical writing. Selected readings from the works of Caesar, Sallust, Livy, and/or Tacitus will enable the class to think about the character of Latin prose writing in different periods and about the strategies of historians for offering critique and/or affirmation of those in power.  SOC, W

LAT 27     Mortality and Immortality in Roman Philosophy   Readings from Cicero and Lucretius explore opposite answers to a persistent question of Roman philosophy: does any part of a person live on after death? Relatedly, we assess both Greek and Roman positions on the permissibility of suicide. TMV

LAT 28     Medieval Latin Samples the immense riches of medieval Latin literature in a variety of genres: prose narrative (e.g. Augustine's Confessions or the autobiographical experiments of Hildegard or Héloïse and Abelard) epics and mock-epics, courtly romance, lyric poetry and song-lyrics. Considers both the reception of classical genres and innovations by medieval writers. Students will have opportunities to study manuscript materials in the Special Collections Library. LIT

LAT 29     Courtroom Speech   In 66 BCE, Cicero defended Aulus Cluentius on a charge of murdering his stepfather. His defense of his client provides a masterly example of courtroom defense strategies (the mustering of evidence, witness testimony, manipulation of legal procedures) and the courtroom story-telling that created presumptive realities of "wrong" and "truth," of "innocence" or "guilt." The speech Pro Cluentio thus affords insight into questions of Roman courtroom procedure and judicial integrity, of the assimilation of Italians within the Roman social and political community and access to Roman law, and of the social expectations of gender as a rhetorical strategy.  SOC 

LAT 30 Topics in Latin Literature   Representative texts and topics that highlight the complex relationship between Greek and Latin literature. Offerings vary from year to year to allow opportunities to study subject matter such as the ancient novels and Roman reinterpretations of Greek myth. Emphasis is placed on writing and research skills as well as the development of reading ability in Latin.

LAT 31 The Italian Countryside     The environmental concerns of our own time find a counterpart in the Roman fascination with the beauty and fragility of the rural landscape and natural world. Readings may come from pastoral poetry, represented especially by Vergil's Eclogues; the literature of farming and agriculture, including Vergil's Georgics; and related themes in works by Varro, Horace, Tibullus, and others.

LAT 32 The Poetry Book     Studies the development of the carefully crafted and deliberately arranged book of poetry at Rome, including one complete libellus in Latin with the possibility of additional examples in translation. Authors that may be read include Vergil, Horace, Propertius, Ovid, Statius, and Martial. As time allows, the class will also explore later examples of book design and artistry, drawing on Dartmouth's collection of rare books.

LAT 33 The Literature of Science     The ancient Greeks and Romans studied natural phenomena passionately and considered the pursuit of scientific knowledge a mind-transforming experience that was sublime and potentially even sacred. This class will study one or more key texts in the Roman scientific tradition. Readings will be drawn from poets, such as Lucretius and Manilius, and/or prose authors, like Seneca and the Elder Pliny. Potential topics include ancient physics, astronomy, meteorology, and natural history. TMV, W

LAT 34 Letter-writing in the Roman World     The Romans considered letter-writing an important skill and adapted the letter form to many purposes: maintaining friendship, promoting political ends, consolation, education, artistry, and sheer entertainment. Readings will come from the prose letters of Cicero, Seneca, or Pliny; personal notes and letters recovered from archaeological sites; and/or the verse epistles of Ovid or Horace.

LAT 35 Satire and Humor      Basically a humorous monologue on contemporary topics, verse satire is the one kind of writing the Romans claimed as entirely their own. The class will read some of the best-known examples by Horace and Juvenal and may also explore other examples of Roman humor: epigrams by Catullus or Martial, Seneca's Pumpkinification, Petronius's Satyricon. LIT, W