The Lower School Latin program is based on a reading approach to language learning and uses the Ecce Romani textbook series. In this immersion method, students learn grammar and vocabulary by reading passages in Latin and developing their ability to use deductive logic. Mastery of the Latin language is the top priority, and learning how Latin works as a language becomes the means to understanding language in general, especially English. Reading skills are reinforced orally with work in the multi-media lab and with various creative activities. Students study history, mythology, culture and geography. They design Roman villas, create grammar posters, sing Latin songs, and act out simple scenes in Latin. The curriculum includes a research project about the city of Rome, the preparation of electronic posters and models and the production of a Latin play.
This accelerated beginning Latin course in the Upper School teaches the fundamentals of Latin grammar and vocabulary through daily readings about Greco-Roman culture, history, and mythology. A regular emphasis on vocabulary building provides students with skills to recognize, use, and decipher word roots, suffixes, and prefixes not only in Latin but also in English and other modern languages.
The reading of provocative myths and stories from the ancient and medieval worlds enables students to become more fluent readers of Latin prose. They complete the study of Latin grammar and continue to build their English vocabularies. The fall semester will include the reading of the Perseus and Hercules myths as well as supplemental stories from Roman, Asian and Middle Eastern traditions. In the second semester, students will read poetry selections from Ovid’s Metamorphoses and complete a project in which they produce a Latin version of modern poetry or song lyrics.
During the first semester, students study the life and thought of Rome’s greatest orator and prose stylist, Cicero. They read selections from his orations, essays, and letters that focus on his beliefs about government and citizenship. They also explore the impact of his thinking on John Adams and other Founders as they designed a government for the United States. The course may include an independent project on the role of women in Roman society. During the second semester, students read Book 1 of Vergil’s epic poem, the Aeneid. Other topics range from the prehistory of Rome to the encounter between peoples of different cultures.
Latin 4 AP
Following the curriculum of the College Board’s Advanced Placement course in Vergil, students read major portions of Books II, IV, VI, X, and XII of the Aeneid in Latin and the entire epic in English. The reading and analysis of the Latin text leads to discussions of its literary significance and historical background. The course emphasizes making connections between the modern and ancient worlds to better understand the causes and effects of war, interplay between cultures, and moral questions with which humans struggle. Students also explore the mythical and legendary aspects of the Aeneid, acquiring knowledge that aids their reading of any literature that has classical foundations.
Latin 5 Honors - Lyric Poetry
Students read the lyric poems of Catullus whose topics center on the daily life, loves, and friendships of a twenty-something Roman in the Late Republic. Students also study the socio-political climate of the period in order to better understand the context of the writings. Students will make connections between Roman poets and their Greek predecessors, including Sappho and Callimachus. The skills of reading, translation, analysis, and essay writing are emphasized.
Latin Seminar: Advanced Latin Literature
Students engage in an in-depth study of a Latin author whose works address issues and experiences that are still relevant to readers today. Possibilities include Pliny’s Letters, Ovid’s Metamorphoses, Horace’s Odes and Satires, Livy’s History, De Urbe Condita, Lucretius’ philosophical poem, DeRerum Natura and the writings of a Medieval or Renaissance author.