Latin

Latin is taught by the Department of Classics and Ancient History within the School of Philosophical and Historical Inquiry (SOPHI).

About the major

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.

Pathways through the major

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 36 senior-intermediate or senior-advanced credit points in Latin. This must include at least 6 credit points at senior-advanced level (LATN3000).

The units of study for the major can be found in the Table A unit of study table for Latin. The table shows units of study on offer in the current handbook year. You may find information regarding a full list of units of study available to the major 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 junior 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 the core units, LATN2600 (Intermediate Latin 1) and LATN2601 (Intermediate Latin 2). In the 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 complete a compulsory unit, LATN3600 (Advanced Latin), where you receive advanced training in the translation and analysis of Latin literature. 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 of this year, you can take a senior-advanced unit 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.

To achieve a Latin major, you need to have completed 36 credit points at intermediate (2000) and senior (3000) level. The units on offer are as follows (compulsory units are in bold):

Sample Pathway - Latin major (non-HSC stream)
First Year S1 LATN1600 Introduction to Latin 1 Junior unit Junior unit Junior unit
S2 LATN1601 Introduction to Latin 2 Junior unit Junior unit Junior unit
Second Year S1 LATN2600 Intermediate Latin 1 Senior unit Senior unit Senior unit
S2 LATN2601 Intermediate Latin 2

LATN3601 Ovid's Metamorphoses, or

LATN3602 Virgil's Aeneid

Senior unit Senior unit
Third 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

The ex-HSC stream:
If you have studied Latin to HSC-level, you enter straight into the Intermediate level of Latin study at the University of Sydney. 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 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 credit points at senior-intermediate (2000) and senior-advanced (3000) level. 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
Honours in Latin

Qualifying for Honours
If you are considering an Honours year in Latin, it is best to seek early advice on all the pathways open to you and the skills you will need to do your best. Our formal prerequisites are a credit or better average in 42 senior credit points of Latin including two of LATN3603, 3604, 3605, 3606 plus 6 additional senior credit points of Greek, Latin, or Ancient History. The Honours Coordinator can advise you on acceptable equivalents to our standard requirements.

Undertaking Honours
An extra year of Latin allows students to specialise in a particular field and to write a major piece of research. The honours year can be the culmination of your study of Latin or a pathway to further research in our postgraduate program (though in this case you should also consider doing at least two years of Ancient Greek). Our program consists of two seminars, an unseen translation exam and a thesis of 15,000 words on a topic decided by you in consultation with your supervisor.

Honours in Classics (joint Greek and Latin)

Qualifying for Honours
If you are considering an honours year in Classics it is best to seek early advice on all the pathways open to you and the skills you will need to do your best. Our formal prerequisites are EITHER credit average or above in 36 senior credit points of Latin including two of LATN3603, 3604, 3605, 3606 plus 18 additional senior credit points of Greek OR credit average or above in 36 senior credit points of Greek including two of GRKA3603, 3604, 3605, 3606 plus 18 additional senior credit points of Latin. The Honours Coordinator can advise you on acceptable equivalents to our standard requirements.

Undertaking Honours
An extra year of Classics allows students to specialise in a particular field and to write a major piece of research. The honours year can be the culmination of your study of Classics or a pathway to further research. Our program consists of two seminars, an unseen translation exam and a thesis of 15,000 words on a topic decided by you in consultation with your supervisor.

Full details of the program, its prerequisites and its relationship to other majors taught by the department may be found on the departmental website sydney.edu.au/arts/classics_ancient_history.

Please note: from 2015 the minimum requirement for entry into Honours will increase to an average of 70% or above across 48 senior credit points in the intended subject area/s.

Contact/further information

Students seeking further information about units of study, or about the books recommended for study, should call at the School office on level 3 of the Quadrangle, phone +61 2 9351 2862 or visit our website at sydney.edu.au/arts/classics_ancient_history