CL 110 : 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 Common to Latium, the area around Rome, it superseded other dialects as the Romans conquered the peninsula.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.


Students of CL 110 will

-- learn basic Latin grammar, syntax, and vocabulary;
-- understand the composition and style of Latin prose;  and
gain access to the historical and cultural contexts in which the language 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 11:30 - 12:30 p.m.
Telephone: 518.580.5463


-- Minkova, M. and T. Tunberg.  2008.  Latin for the New Millennium 1.  Bolchazy-Carducci.

Supplemental exercises from the Level 1 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 Minkova-Tunberg's textbook and workbook, will be due nearly every class.  Exercises should be turned in typed and double-spaced, on individual pieces of paper to facilitate sharing and corrections from to Prof. Curley

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, October 13
-- Midterm 2:  Tuesday, November 17
-- Final exam:  Wednesday, December 16, 6:00 - 9:00 p.m.

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



Each regular chapter of Minkova-Tunberg has two vocabulary sections, one for the Readings at the beginning (called, appropriately, "Reading Vocabulary"), and another called "Vocabulary to Learn."  You will be expected to memorize all of the Vocabulary to Learn 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.

© 2009 : Skidmore College Classics Department