• Total units 48 Units
  • Areas of interest Classics and Ancient History, European Languages, History, European Studies, Latin
  • Major code LATN-MAJ

If you want to understand a culture, you need to understand its language. Latin was spoken by Romans drinking in the tavern, watching games in the arena, or debating politics in the senate house. It is the language of graffiti scrawled on walls in Pompeii, ribald love poetry, heroic epics, blistering courtroom speeches, and the fables of former slaves. In the centuries after the demise of the Roman Empire, Latin retained a central place as the language of European history, law, oratory, and science. At ANU, you will laugh, cry, cheer, and debate your way through Latin!

You will begin your Latin study with an introduction to the principles of language before moving on to detailed study of a wide variety of genres and authors from the Roman Republic to Late Antiquity. These will include writers such as the poets Virgil and Ovid, the orator Cicero, the Stoic philosopher Seneca the Younger, the Christian martyr Perpetua and the pilgrim Egeria, and a variety of texts and genres, from plays and poetry to histories and biographies. You will engage in close textual analysis and explore the literary, historical and cultural contexts in which Roman authors wrote. You will also explore the many different contexts in which Latin was used, from graffiti to funerary inscriptions, their accompanying styles and registers, and the manifestations of regional and chronological variation.

Proficiency in Latin is highly recommended if you wish to specialise in the study of Greece and Rome, medieval and early modern history, law, rhetoric, philosophy, and archaeology. Studying Latin will enrich your understanding of the English language and other European languages which evolved from Latin, such as French, Italian, and Spanish.

No previous knowledge of Latin is required to take this major. You can commence with Introductory Latin and proceed all the way to Advanced Latin. If you have studied Latin at school or another institution, you can commence at the Intermediate or Advanced Level. Please contact the Convenor of the Major to discuss this.

Learning Outcomes

  1. acquire and extend a knowledge of Latin vocabulary and grammar with the aid of textbooks, dictionaries, grammars, and commentaries;
  2. develop skills in reading Latin at sight and with the aid of resources, beginning with the study of simplified texts and moving on to a detailed examination of original literature from the Graeco-Roman world;
  3. demonstrate an understanding of different Latin literary genres (e.g. poetry, histories, letters), the conventions of different media (e.g. graffiti, inscriptions) and the nuances of translation and interpretation;
  4. think critically about Latin texts and genres in their historical, cultural, and literary contexts;

Other Information

Students who have not previously studied Latin, or have only undertaken very limited study (e.g. one-week summer course) should begin with Introductory Latin. Students have completed Year 12 Latin or equivalent should go directly into LATN3125: Advanced Latin. If your Latin experience falls somewhere between these recommendations, please consult with the

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This major requires the completion of 48 units, which must include:

A maximum of 12 units of courses at 1000 level

A minimum of 18 units of courses at 3000 level

This requirement is met by:

A maximum of 6 units from the completion of courses from the following list:

LATN1001 - Introductory Latin (6 units)

A maximum of 6 units from the completion of courses from the following list:

LATN2119 - Continuing Latin (6 units)

A maximum of 6 units from the completion of courses from the following list:

LATN2121 - Intermediate Latin (6 units)

A minimum of 18 units from the completion of courses from the following list:

LATN3125 - Advanced Latin (6 units) [may be completed multiple times, with a different topic in each instance]

A minimum of 6 units and a maximum of 12 units from the completion of courses from the following list:

CLAS1003 - Classical Mythology (6 units)

CLAS1005 - Rome: The Story of an Empire (6 units)

CLAS2013 - The Muse and the Machine: The Arts, Technology, and Society in Graeco-Roman Antiquity (6 units)

CLAS2014 - Democrats, Tyrants, and Emperors: The Art of Government in the Ancient Mediterranean (6 units)

HIST2070 - Emperors, Pilgrims, and Crusaders: The World of Byzantium (6 units)

CLAS3001 - Rome: The Eternal City from Antiquity to the Early Middle Ages (6 units)

CLAS3002 - Life, Love and Loss in Ancient Greece and Rome (6 units)

CLAS3003 - Faith and Belief in Ancient Greece and Rome (6 units)

CLAS3100 - Remembering and Forgetting in the Roman Empire (6 units)

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