Latin 101


Elementary Latin I

Fall 2007



Robert W. Cape, Jr., Professor of Classics


AD 310      

PHONE: x2241 or x2200      

MAIL: 61653      

EMAIL: rcape@ac


9:00-10:00 TWTh, & by appointment or just dropping by.


·  Maurice Balm and James Morwood. Oxford Latin Course, Part I. 2nd ed. New York: Oxford University Press, 1996.

·  Maurice Balm and James Morwood. Oxford Latin Course, Part II. 2nd ed. New York: Oxford University Press, 1996.

·  Robert W. Cape, Jr., Internet Workbook for the Oxford Latin Course (1999-2003)   []


Latin 101 is first in the sequence of elementary and intermediate courses designed to introduce students to the Latin language and Roman culture. Our goals are to learn how to read Latin with precision and understanding, and to appreciate Latin as a transmitter of ideas and culture. These are ambitious goals and reflect the larger reasons for learning any language, ancient or modern.  As a result, students can expect that our approach to learning Latin inside and outside the classroom will differ from the traditional grammar/translation approach that once characterized the Latin classroom (e.g., in the movie "Goodbye, Mr. Chips," and satirized in "Monty Python's Life of Brian"). While we will focus on formal aspects of the language and recognize mastery of them as important steps in the learning process, we will place learning these formal elements in the service of understanding Latin as a living language of communication between people.  In order to realize the course goals in a manner appropriate to the first semester Latin course, by the end of the semester students should be able to:

  1. recognize the forms and understand the functions of noun cases, with and without prepositions;
  2. recognize all regular adjective forms and understand the uses of adjectives and the principle of agreement;
  3. recognize regular verb forms and sum, esse in the present tense, active, indicative;
  4. read consistently, and with good understanding, simple Latin sentences covering a variety of Roman cultural and intellectual concerns;
  5. understand simple spoken expressions and transcribe them;
  6. write simple fixed expressions and limited memorized material and some recombinations thereof;
  7. demonstrate an understanding of Roman culture at the time of Augustus.

It is expected that each student will achieve these objectives at his or her own level, depending on his or her dedication and commitment to learning the material.

Attendance and Participation:

Because this is a performance class, regular attendance is required of all students. Students are expected to be prepared for and to participate actively in every class. Lack of preparation is no excuse for not attending. Since learning a language is a sequential process and any class sessions or homework missed can seriously affect future performance, only three absences will be allowed. Each absence after the third will lower the total grade by three percentage points. With seven absences (equals two weeks) a student may be dropped from the course.

Assignments and Grading:

Homework assignments are given daily for the next day's class. These are to be completed prior to the class meeting and will be the basis for that day's participation. In addition, about once a week there will be a written homework assignment to be turned in at the beginning of class. Students are responsible for finding out what the homework assignment is if they have missed a class. Homework, quizzes and exams missed during an absence cannot be made up except under exceptional circumstances.

A short, 10 minute quiz will be given every week. These quizzes are meant to help students review material recently covered and serve as diagnostic instruments to indicate how well they are progressing in discrete areas of grammar, vocabulary, and comprehension. The midterm and final are comprehensive exams which measure the student's total progress at specific points in the course. The midterm will be given during the sixth or seventh week of class; the exact date will be announced at least two weeks in advance. The final will be given at the regularly scheduled time, 12:00 - 2:00 p.m. Friday, December 14.  Since the date and time of the final is announced on the first day of classes, the final will not be offered at another time for students who make early travel arrangements. The midterm and final may include "take-home" sections.

Grade percentages:

weekly quizzes


written homework


attendance and participation






Austin College's Standards of Academic Integrity are assumed to apply to your work for this course. The Academic Integrity Policy can be found in the "Student Conduct" section of The Austin College Environment. All work on homework, quizzes, the midterm and final must be your own. Infringements of the Academic Integrity Policy may result in failing grades on assignments, for the course, or withdrawal from the course.

Special accommodations are available for students with documented learning disabilities.  The students must notify the professor in advance of needing the accommodations and submit evidence from the Academic Skills Center to support their request.

[Bob Cape's Homepage] [Classical and Modern Languages] [Austin College Homepage]

Robert W. Cape, Jr., Director
Johnson Center for Liberal Arts Teaching and Scholarship
Professor of Classics
Austin College
900 N. Grand Ave., #61653
Sherman, TX 75090
phone: (903) 813-2241

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