Upper School Latin students, equipped with novice communicative skills and intermediate reading comprehension skills, continue on their path to advanced reading proficiency. Moreover, they develop an in-depth understanding of the rules of Latin grammar. Writing, listening, and speaking 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. As ancient Greek and Latin represent the coding languages of western culture, 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 Advanced Placement 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.
Form III: Latin II
Students in Latin II continue to acquire vocabulary, grammar and syntax. Latin is the language of the classroom 90 percent of the time. We repeatedly practice all verb moods, voices and tenses, as well as elements of advanced grammar as they occur in our reading. The epoch of Roman Empire and its legacy is considered. Texts include Cambridge Latin Series Unit 2, a collection of Aesop’s fables, and a wide variety of graded readers. Emphasis is placed on comprehending the texts while staying in the target language.
Form IV: Latin III
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 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 first 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 Roman 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 H.C. Nutting’s Ad Alpes.
Form V: Latin IV
Students in Latin IV immerse themselves in authentic ancient Roman texts. Our readers for the year include Cornelius Nepos’ De Vita Illustrium Virorum, Plautus’ Mostellarium, Caesar’s De Bello Gallico, H.C. Nutting’s Ad Alpes, and Avellarius’ Lucerna Aladdini. Latin is the language of the classroom 90 percent of the time. Emphasis is placed on comprehending the texts while staying in the target language and developing interpretive skills. The genres and notable authors of antiquity are more generally explored.
Form VI: Advanced Latin
Students in Advanced Latin work toward completion of the Advanced Placement 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’ styles 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.
Form V and VI: Greek I
Students enrolled in Greek I are given an introduction to Greek grammar and vocabulary that builds on their understanding of Latin. They add to their knowledge the basis of many technical vocabularies of English (especially medicine). The crucial literary, political and philosophical legacies of the ancient Greek are learned in tandem with the language and history. The goal of the class is to engage in some Greek prose composition while reading unadulterated ancient Greek texts, including works of Plato, Xenophon and Homer.