Major in Latin

About the major and Minor

For detailed information on pathways through the major, and for information on the Bachelor of Arts / Bachelor of Advanced Studies, see the Department's undergraduate guide.

A Latin major allows you to read, in the original, works of immense cultural and literary significance by the great writers of ancient Rome. It opens up intellectual vistas vital for anyone interested in exploring the past or navigating the present: Latin is the direct ancestor of nearly fifty modern languages and a major contributor to the vocabulary of many others, including English; it was the language of European literature, history, science, medicine, diplomacy and law for nearly two thousand years.

A major in Latin gives you an advanced ability to read and critically analyse Latin literature. Latin majors study a wide variety of important works from key periods in the development of this hugely influential literature, gaining an understanding of its themes, preoccupations and Roman cultural significance. Linguistic ability is developed as you progress through a series of units that introduce, practise and then analyse in context Latin morphology and syntax. You may begin either at introductory level, if you have no prior knowledge of Latin, or at intermediate level if you have studied Latin previously to HSC-level (or equivalent). The culmination of the major for all students is in-depth study and nuanced appreciation of celebrated Roman authors.

The minor in Latin is also a valuable and important way of studying with us. It progresses from 1000 level foundation units in your first year to 2000 and 3000 level units in your second and third years. Our aim is that on attaining your minor you will enhance your proficiency in Latin.

Requirements for the major and the minor

There are two pathways through a Latin major: one if you have not studied Latin to HSC-level (or equivalent), and one if you have. These pathways merge at the intermediate level (LATN2600).

  • For a major in Latin, the minimum requirement is 48 credit points from the Latin unit of study table with at least 24 credit points at 3000-level, including a compulsory intedisciplinary project unit FASS3999.
  • The minor in Latin requires completion of 36 credit points with a minimum of 12 credit points at 3000-level.

The Latin unit of study table is in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences Handbook. The table shows units of study on offer in the current handbook year. You will find information regarding a full list of units of study available to the major and minor on the departmental website.

The non-HSC stream

Over the course of first year, you acquire most of the fundamental syntactic and morphological rules of Latin. You will study one unit per semester, and reach a comparable standard of linguistic knowledge at the end of the year to that of students who have studied Latin in secondary school to HSC-level. This means that you will be equipped with most of the basic knowledge and skills that enable you to comprehend texts written in Latin.

You can enter this stream either as a first year student (and complete the units coded LATN1600 and LATN1601) or as a second or third year student (and complete units coded LATN2620 and LATN2621). The latter option allows students who have decided to major in ancient history, classical archaeology, medieval studies and other fields to gain the competence in Latin they need to complete or complement their own studies.

During your second year, you will be in a class with students who have studied Latin to HSC-level. You complete LATN2600 (Intermediate Latin 1) and LATN2601 (Intermediate Latin 2). In second semester you also have the option of studying a 3000 level unit on Latin epic (LATN3601 Ovid’s Metamorphoses or LATN3602 Virgil’s Aeneid). You will meet some more complex syntactical and grammatical concepts, but the main focus of the year will be training you to read and analyse Latin literary texts. You will be introduced to critical terminology and theory, and will begin to explore in depth the literary output of classical Rome.

In third year you select from the 3000-level units on offer, which might include LATN3601 Ovid’s Metamorphoses, LATN3602 Virgil’s Aeneid, LATN3603 Latin Imperial Poetry, LATN3604 Latin Republican Poetry, LATN3605 Latin Republican Prose, or LATN3606 Latin Imperial Prose.

Year

Semester

Units of study

LATIN NON - HSC PATHWAY

1

1

Latin major LATN1600 Introduction to Latin 1

Elective

Elective

minor / Table S major 2

 

2

Latin major LATN1601 Introduction to Latin 2

Elective

Elective

minor / Table S major 2

2

1

Latin major LATN2600 Intermediate Latin 1

Open Learning Environment units

Elective

minor / Table S major 2

 

2

Latin major LATN2601 Intermediate Latin 2

Open Learning Environment units

Elective

minor / Table S major 2

3

1

Latin major LATN3600 Intermediate Latin 1

Latin major
3000-level unit

Table S major 2 / elective

minor / Table S major 2

 

2

Latin major
3000-level unit

Latin Major FASS3999 project unit

Table S major 2 / elective

minor / Table S major 2

The ex-HSC stream

If you have studied Latin to HSC-level, you enter straight into the Intermediate level of Latin study. You complete the core units, LATN2600 (Intermediate Latin 1) and LATN2601 (Intermediate Latin 2). You also have the option of studying a 3000-level unit on Latin epic in your second semester (LATN3601 Ovid’s Metamorphoses or LATN3602 Virgil’s Aeneid). You will spend some time studying complex syntactical and grammatical concepts, but the main focus of the year will be training you to read and analyse Latin literary texts. You will be introduced to critical terminology and theory, and will begin to explore in depth the literary output of classical Rome.

In second year you complete a final compulsory unit, LATN3600 (Advanced Latin), where you receive advanced training in the translation and analysis of Latin literature. In it, you will read a work of literature that allows you to display and develop your skills in critical analysis, and will also spend time every week honing your skills in translation and grammatical analysis. In the second semester, you will be able to take a senior-advanced unit (3000 level) on Latin epic, and there will also be two senior-advanced literary units (one in first and one in second semester) in which you will read and research key works of Latin literature.

In the third year of your Latin major you can take two more senior-advanced literary units (again, one in first and one in second semester), as well as a unit in Roman epic if you didn’t take it in first year. In all these advanced literature units, you will read important works of Latin literature and discuss them in detail in class with your fellow students and lecturer, as well as writing a substantial research essay.

To achieve a Latin major, you need to have completed 36 senior credit points. The units on offer are as follows (compulsory units are in bold):

Sample Pathway - Latin major (ex-HSC stream), only 36 senior credit points are required
for the major
First Year S1 LATN2600 Intermediate Latin 1 Junior unit Junior unit Junior unit
S2 LATN2601 intermediate Latin 2

LATN3601 Ovid's Metamorphoses, or

LATN3602 Virgil's Aeneid
Junior unit Junior unit
Second Year S1 LATN3600 Advanced Latin

LATN3603 Latin Imperial Poetry, or

LATN3604 Latin Republican Poetry
Senior unit Senior unit
S2

LATN3605 Latin Republican Prose, or

LATN3606 Latin Imperial Prose

LATN3601 Ovid's Metamorphoses, or

LATN3602 Virgil's Aeneid
Senior unit Senior unit
Third Year S1

LATN3603 Latin Imperial Poetry, or

LATN3604 Latin Republican Poetry
Senior unit Senior unit Senior unit
S2

LATN3605 Latin Republican Prose, or

LATN3606 Latin Imperial Prose

LATN3601 Ovid's Metamorphoses, or

LATN3602 Virgil's Aeneid
Senior unit Senior unit