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Latin Language (Beginners')


(depending on year of study)

Year 2020/21


This module offers the opportunity to learn the basics of the Latin language and is designed for students who have little or no previous experience of the language. The department believes that language is at the heart of the discipline and all students should, at the minimum, have a basic knowledge of one of the classical languages: Latin is a core module and first years from the Department taking the module must pass it in order to proceed to their second year.

The Department welcomes enquiries from students outside the Classics Department, although in some years numbers may dictate that the module be limited to members of the Classics department. Postgraduates from other Departments who are interested in taking the module should email the module co-ordinator to signify their interest.

We will use the coursebook de Romanis Book 1: dei et deae: Katharine Radice: Bloomsbury Academic

This coursebook offers an accessible introduction to Latin in the context of Roman cultural history (providing a link with the core first-year module Roman Culture and Society. It will be supported by the lecturer's own material and by Morwood's Oxford grammar:

A Latin Grammar - James Morwood - Oxford University Press (

Students are required to undertake a significant amount of independent study outside the classroom. There are three hours of teaching each week. We anticipate that these will all be face-to-face on campus in 2021/22. Each session should be followed up with at least two hours of personal study afterwards and there needs to be significant consolidation and revision in the Christmas and Easter vacations. This 30 CAT course represents around 300 hours of study over the year.

Main points

For 2021/22, there will be three hours of classes per week. We will use the course book De Romanis (Book 1, dei et deae) by Katharine Radice. This will be supported by other teaching material and by James Morwood's A Latin Grammar. We ask that students purchase these books before the start of term 1.

You should expect to:

  • spend 2-3 hours between each class on independent study
  • revise for exams over the Christmas and Easter vacations,

set aside time for 300 hours of study over the year in total.


Attendance is required at all classes, unless there is a very good reason you cannot attend. If you have appointment you cannot miss, please discuss this in advance. If you are ill, you should email as soon as possible (on the day) giving a brief explanation of why you could not attend. In the absence of any such email, attendance will be noted as unauthorised in the register.

Our experience is that regular attendance is the single most important factor for success on this module.

In the event that you have to miss classes for more than one week due to illness, university regulations usually require you to submit a medical certificate from your GP or similar healthcare professional to the departmental office. You will be informed if there are different arrangements for 2021/22

More importantly, you should be in email contact with the module tutor and your personal tutor since it is easy to fall behind in such a situation and catching up becomes progressively harder.

Drop-in sessions

Drop-in sessions are an important part of the module, offering students the opportunity to sort out areas of uncertainty as the module progresses. Often a quick, well-directed question can sort things out quickly and put your mind at rest. Drop-in sessions are particularly important where you have missed a class. You are expected to do the work which is always set out on-line, but you should use a drop-in session to check on anything you have not understood.

Drop-in sessions for Term 1, October-December 2021: times tbc.

Module convenor: Chiara Graf