CL 210 : Syllabus
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Latin was originally an ancient Italian dialect. Common to Latium, the area around Rome, it superseded other dialects as the Romans conquered the peninsula.

Similarly, as the Romans established an empire throughout Europe, Asia, and Africa, their language and culture spread even farther.


Lying at the heart of Western tradition, Latin is the foundation of Italian, Spanish, French, and the other Romance languages, and has influenced greatly the development of English.  Though ancient Latin is technically a dead language, thanks to the efforts of modern students, it lives on and offers lessons for the 21st century.

In CL 210, students will refine their mastery of Latin grammar, syntax, and vocabulary.  Students will concentrate on different Latin texts, each with its own grammatical challenges and cultural outlook.  The concise and masterful prose of Julius Caesar, particularly from his accounts of his campaigns against the Gauls, will serve as a touchstone throughout the semester.  Students will devote some time to discussing the nature of Caesar's writings, as well as the peoples he conquered -- particularly the Druids, by whose mysterious ways he was both fascinated and appalled.


Students of CL 210 will

-- review intermediate Latin grammar, syntax, and vocabulary;
-- understand the composition and style of Latin prose;
-- understand the form, content, and scope of Caesar's writings; and
-- gain access to the historical and cultural contexts in which Latin flourished.

Furthermore, students will develop critical reading and thinking skills through class discussion, tests, and written exercises.

Professor:  Dan Curley
Office: 210 Ladd Hall
Hours: M 9:00 - 10:00 a.m., TuTh 1:00 - 2:00 p.m.
Telephone: 518.580.5463
Tutors:  Evan Hauger ('13) and Sarah Nelson ('14)
        -- Click here for the tutor request form --    


-- Wheelock, F. M. and R. A. LaFleur.  2011.  Wheelock's Latin.  7th edition.  Harper-Collins.
-- Groton, A. H. and J. M. May.  1998.  38 Latin Stories.  5th edition.  Bolchazy-Carducci.

Supplemental exercises from the Wheelock Workbook will be provided.


Class participation (20%)

Class participation involves more than just attendance.  Students must also keep up with the readings and assignments, and participate actively during all sessions.  Students are also expected to come to class on time and to maintain an environment that promotes the exchange of ideas.

Exercises (20%)

Written exercises, mainly from Wheelock's textbook and workbook, will be due throughout the semester.  Exercises, when turned in, should be turned in typed and double-spaced, on individual pieces of paper to facilitate corrections from to Prof. Curley (and occasional sharing in class).

Please note that unexcused late work will not be accepted.

Quizzes (20%)

Quizzes (about 20 minutes in length on average) will be administered every week, typically on Mondays.  The quizzes will emphasize syntax, morphology, vocabulary, and Roman history and culture.

Students will have the opportunity to correct their mistakes on quizzes, with each correction worth one-half its original value.  EXAMPLE:  Say a student earns 80 points out of a possible 100 on her first quiz.  She corrects all of her mistakes and earns back 10 out of the 20 points she originally lost.

This policy does not apply to examinations.

Examinations (40% total)

This term there will be two midterm examinations and a final examination (which is essentially a third midterm).  All exams will test students' ability to read extended prose passages, in addition to grammar, morphology, and vocabulary.

The dates of the exams are as follows:

-- Midterm 1:  Tuesday, February 28
-- Midterm 2:  Tuesday, April 3
-- Final exam:  Tuesday, May 8, 1:30 - 4:30 p.m.

Students may expect more details at least a week in advance of each exam.



Each regular chapter of Wheelock has a vocabulary section ("VOCABULA").  You will be expected to memorize the entire list in each chapter.

Translating: Reading versus writing

When translating Latin passages or sentences to English, whether in class or for homework, avoid at all costs writing down a translation somewhere -- neither in a notebook, nor on the page itself -- nowhere!

The reason for this request is simple:  Reading Latin (or any foreign language) well requires constant processing and reprocessing, and this necessary work gets short-cut if you refer to a written translation -- you end up memorizing your English instead of increasing your familiarity with the Latin.

Brief notes, however, are another matter: by all means underline unfamiliar words and make notations.  If you absolutely must write out a translation, use it outside of class.  Do not use it when we review the homework together.

© 2012 : Skidmore College Classics Department