Latin

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 offers an intellectual foundation 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 1000 level, if you have no prior knowledge of Latin, or at 2000 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 Latin major opens pathways to careers in journalism, law, publishing, teaching, government and research, among others.

Requirements for completion

A major in Latin requires 48 credit points from the Unit of Study table including:
(i) 12 credit points of 1000-level core units
(ii) 12 credit points of 2000-level units
(iii) 18 credit points of 3000-level units
(iv) 6 credit points of 3000-level Interdisciplinary Project units

A minor in Latin requires 36 credit points from the Unit of Study table including:
(i) 12 credit points of 1000-level core units
(ii) 12 credit points of 2000-level units
(iii) 12 credit points of 3000-level units

There are two pathways through a major or minor in Latin: one if you have not studied Latin to HSC-level, or equivalent (the non-HSC stream); and one if you have studied Latin to HSC level (the ex-HSC stream). Non-HSC students begin at 1000-level in their first year; ex-HSC students at 2000-level.

First Year

Students completing the 1000-level units will gain an understanding of the fundamentals of Latin morphology, grammar and syntax, and a foundational knowledge of grammatical concepts and terminology commonly used to discuss the Latin language. You will gain expertise in a range of knowledge-based problem-solving tasks, and an ability to effectively communicate your growing understanding of the Latin language. Building a foundational Latin vocabulary, you will gain a basic proficiency in reading original passages from works of Latin independently and with confidence.

Second year

Students from the HSC and non-HSC streams come together at this level. Building on the foundations of your HSC or 1000-level studies, you will gain at this level a mastery of advanced grammatical and syntactical concepts, and skills in reading, translation and grammatical analysis of extended extracts for original Latin texts in a range of genres. Your Latin vocabulary will broaden and you will gain an understanding of the context in which words are used. You will learn scholarly approaches to Latin literature and understand the critical terminology and theory used in the academic study of Latin literature. You will develop an understanding of the ways in which the Latin language is used to create meaning in literary texts through the construction of coherent, evidence-based analyses. Examining complex passages of literary Latin, you will work independently to research and analyse them in innovative ways.

Third year

At this level you will gain an advanced understanding of Classical Latin literature and critical approaches to it. You will be able to demonstrate knowledge of important and influential works of Latin epic poetry, and of prose and poetic genres of Latin literature, form the third century BC to the second century AD, and beyond. You will learn to appreciate the different registers and styles of Latin used by individual authors or within specific cultural contexts, and gain competence in critical terminology and theory used in the academic study of Latin literature. You will understand the ways in which Latin literature reflects the cultural and political concerns of Roman society. You will be able to construct and defend coherent and valid evidence-based arguments about Latin literature and its interpretation; demonstrate high-level skills in inventive and ethical research, critical thinking and the analysis of complex works of Latin literature; gain the ability to work independently and creatively; and effectively apply knowledge of Latin language and literature, and the approaches to it, to issues encountered in an interdisciplinary context.

Honours

Qualifying for Honours in Latin
If you commenced your degree prior to 2018, admission to honours requires a major in Latin with an average of 70% or above.

If you commenced your degree in 2018, admission to Honours is via the Bachelor of Advanced Studies and requires the completion of a major in Latin with an average of 70% or above. You will need to ensure you have completed all other requirements of the Bachelor of Advanced Studies, including Open Learning Environment (OLE) units and a second major, prior to commencing 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.

The Honours Coordinator can advise you on acceptable equivalents to our standard requirements.

Undertaking Honours in Latin
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. Our program consists of 2 seminar units – Research Skills in Latin Poetry and Research Skills in Latin Prose Literature – and a thesis of 18-20,000 words.

Honours in Classics (joint Greek and Latin)

Qualifying for Honours in Classics
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.

  • If you commenced your degree prior to 2018, admission to Honours in Classics requires:
    (i) a major in Latin with an average of 70% or above plus 18 additional senior credit points of Greek (including GRKA2601); or
    (ii) a major in Ancient Greek with an average of 70% or above plus 18 additional senior credit points of Latin (including LATN2601).
  • If you commenced your degree in 2018, admission to Honours in Classics is via the Bachelor of Advanced Studies and requires:
    (i) a major in Latin with an average of 70% or above plus 18 additional senior credit points of Greek (including GRKA2601); or
    (ii) a major in Ancient Greek with an average of 70% or above plus 18 additional senior credit points of Latin (including LATN2601); and
    (iii) completion of all other requirements of the Bachelor of Advanced Studies, including Open Learning Environment (OLE) units and a second major, prior to commencing Honours.

The Honours Coordinator can advise you on acceptable equivalents to our standard requirements.

Undertaking Honours in Classics
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, and a thesis of 18-20,000 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 can be found on the Departmental website at sydney.edu.au/arts/classics_ancient_history

Advanced coursework

A fourth year of Advanced Coursework is not offered in Latin, but a major in Latin, and the completion of a second major, will permit students to undertake Advanced Coursework in Ancient History.

Contact

Enquiries should be directed in the first instance to the school office, phone +61 2 9351 2862.

Further information about units of study may be sought from coordinators. For their names, phone numbers and office numbers, see: http://sydney.edu.au/arts/classics_ancient_history

Example pathways

Sample Pathways - Latin major (non-HSC stream)
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, philosophy and other fields to gain the competence in Latin that they need to complete or complement their own studies.

Non HSC pathway
Year Semester Units of Study
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
3000 level unit
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


Sample pathway – Latin Major (ex-HSC stream)
If you have studied Latin to HSC-level, you enter straight into the 2000 level units of Latin study. The core units that you complete in your first year are LATN2600 (Intermediate Latin 1) and LATN2601 (Intermediate Latin 2).

HSC pathway
Year Semester Units of Study
1 1 Latin major
LATN2600
Intermediate Latin 1
Elective Elective minor / Table S major 2
  2 Latin major
LATN2601
Intermediate Latin 2
Elective Elective minor / Table S major 2
2 1 Latin major
3000 level unit

Open Learning
Environment units

Elective minor / Table S major 2
  2 Latin major
3000 level unit
Open Learning
Environment units
Elective minor / Table S major 2
3 1 Latin major
3000 level unit
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


Sample Pathway - Majors in Latin and Ancient Greek, Honours in Classics

Honours - Classics: 2nd major Latin
Year Semester Units of Study
1 1 Latin major Elective Elective Ancient Greek major
2 Latin major Elective Elective Ancient Greek major
2 1 Latin major Open Learning
Environment units
Elective Ancient Greek major
2 Latin major Open Learning
Environment units
Elective Ancient Greek major
3 1 Latin major Latin major Ancient Greek major Ancient Greek major
2 Latin major Latin major Ancient Greek major Ancient Greek major
4 1

Classics Honours

4000 level seminar unit

Classics Honours

4000 level seminar unit

2

Classics Honours

4000 level seminar unit

Classics Honours

4000 level seminar unit

 

Learning outcomes
  1. Demonstrate a confident and extensive knowledge of Classical Latin literature and critical approaches to it, and of the morphology, grammar and syntax of the Latin language.
  2. Demonstrate an intimate familiarity with grammatical concepts and terminology commonly used to discuss the Latin language and a broad knowledge of important and influential works of Latin literature in the original language.
  3. Demonstrate the ability write grammatically correct Latin and to read, translate and discuss the grammatical features of Latin prose and poetry of the Roman republic and empire, from the third century BC to the second century AD (and beyond).
  4. Demonstrate competency in the critical terminology and theory used in the academic study of Latin literature, and an understanding of the ways in which Latin literature reflects the cultural and political concerns of Roman society.
  5. Critically analyse complex works of Latin literature in a range of genres, with the confidence to work both independently and collaboratively.
  6. Construct and defend a valid argument about Latin literature and its interpretation in written and oral form.
  7. Demonstrate cultural competence and an ability to work effectively in collaborative contexts.
  8. Apply the theories and methods of other disciplines to their own work, and utilise the skills and knowledge of students of Latin language and literature to address issues encountered in an interdisciplinary context.