Classics

Philosophy

Upper School Latin students, equipped with novice communicative skills and intermediate reading comprehension skills, develop an in-depth understanding of the rules of grammar. Reading, writing, oral and aural skills are further cultivated in order to provide for the student a means of connecting personally with the fundamental culture and literature of Western civilization. Ancient Greek and Latin represent the coding languages of western culture. As such, the ideas and aesthetics handed down in ancient texts are still alive in the art, philosophy, and rhetoric of modernity. Thus, major authors such as Caesar, Ovid, Plautus and Vergil are read and discussed in their contemporary context. Works from the genres of prose, poetry and drama are covered. Latin courses are available to the AP level, and students are prepared for the study of Classics at a college level. Upperclassmen who have demonstrated mastery in Latin have the option of taking an introductory course in Ancient Greek. 

LATIN

Form III: Latin II
Students in Latin II continue to acquire vocabulary, grammar and syntax. We repeatedly practice all verb moods, voices and tenses. The use of conditional sentences and complex participial phrases is mastered. Weekly discussions focus on the history of Latin literature from the earliest inscriptions into the Imperial period, as students become familiar with major authors in their historical contexts. In tandem with grammar and vocabulary exercises from Keller and Russell’s Learn to Read Latin, students practice speaking and reading with selections from Hans Ørberg’s Lingua Latina Pars I: Familia Romana.

Form IV: Latin III
In their fourth year of Latin, students make the transition from lessons oriented primarily toward the introduction and practice of new grammar to the reading of unadapted Latin texts. As much as possible, lessons are delivered in Latin. Prose and poetry composition exercises are assigned with a view to stimulating the students’ sensitivity to the patterns and idioms of classical Latin. The rst semester includes to study of English etymology from Greek and Latin roots. In the second semester, students read a number of the poems of Catullus and Ovid, as they learn lessons about daily life in the Ro- man Republic. The year ends with the students researching and writing papers on Greek and Roman architecture, then collaborating to build a model of a city using the tools of the online game Minecraft. Texts include Keller and Russell’s Learn to Read Latin and Hans Ørberg’s Lingua Latina Pars II: Roma Aeterna.

Form V: Latin IV
Students in Latin IV immerse themselves in the works of Roman writers at the same time as they ne-tune their ability to translate, understand and comment on classical literature. The main text for the rst part of the year is Ovid’s “Metamorphoses.” Students read several of Ovid’s tales. Emphasis is placed on exploring the timeless themes and literary devices of the poem as well as translation.The second semester focuses on reading Latin prose, as we encounter selections from Cicero and Sallust and learn about conspiracy, rhetoric, and political upheaval in the years before Rome’s transition from Republic to Empire. Texts include selections from Ovid and Hans Ørberg’s Sallustius et Cicero: Catilina.

Form VI: Advanced Latin
Students in Advanced Latin work toward completion of the AP exam syllabus in Vergil and Caesar. Selections from the appropriate books of the Aeneid and the Gallic Wars constitute the main texts, although the goal of the course is wider than preparation for a specific exam. Emphasis is placed on reading comprehension and literal translation. A secondary focus consists of examining the writers’ style and use of literary devices. Students write short text-based essays analyzing important themes of the poem and learn to back up their assertions by accurately citing the Latin. The social and cultural context of the literature is discussed on an ongoing basis. If time permits, students are expected to read as well as write critiques of a sampling of current scholarly work on relevant topics.

Independent Study
Qualifying Form VI students who wish to continue their study of Latin beyond the AP exam may arrange to read a particular author or genre with a view to writing translations and critical essays on a half-credit basis. This class may meet from one to three times per week.