Latin (LATN)

LATN 0000 Independent Study

This course is taken by students doing independent work with a faculty advisor, equivalent to work in regular 3000-level courses.

Fall or Spring

Also Offered As: ANCH 3999

1 Course Unit

LATN 0100 Elementary Latin I

An introduction to the Latin language for beginners. Students begin learning grammar and vocabulary, with practical exercises in reading in writing. By the end of the course students will be able to read and analyze simple Latin texts, including selected Roman inscriptions in the Penn Museum.

Fall

1 Course Unit

LATN 0110 Intensive Elementary Latin

An introduction to the Latin language for beginners, with explanation of basic grammatical concepts and intensive exercises in reading and writing. Ideal for undergraduates or graduate students from Penn or elsewhere with some background in learning other languages, or who need to learn Latin rapidly. The course covers the first year of college-level Latin, equivalent to LATN 0100 + 0200 at more than twice the normal pace. This is an online course. 2 c.u. Students are not required to be in Philadelphia. Course activities will involve a series of intensive online exercises completed each day according the students own schedule, plus one daily video-linked session 5.30-7.00pm EST (Monday thru Thursday). The textbook is Learn to Read Latin (Keller & Russell; textbook only, not workbook). For further information about the course, please contact Prof. James Ker (jker@sas.upenn.edu).

Summer Term

2 Course Units

LATN 0200 Elementary Latin II

Prerequisite(s): LATN 101 or equivalent. Completes the introduction to the Latin language begun in 101. By the end of the course students will have a complete working knowledge of Latin grammar, a growing vocabulary, and experience in reading simple continuous texts.

Spring

Prerequisite: LATN 0100

1 Course Unit

LATN 0300 Intermediate Latin: Prose

Prerequisite(s): LATN 0200 or equivalent (such as placement score of 550). Introduction to continuous reading of unadapted works by Latin authors in prose(e.g., Cornelius Nepos, Cicero, Pliny), in combination with a thorough review of Latin grammar. By the end of the course students will have thorough familiarity with the grammar, vocabulary, and style of the selected authors, will be able to tackle previously unseen passages by them, and will be able to discuss questions of language and interpretation.

Fall

Prerequisite: LATN 0200

1 Course Unit

LATN 0310 Intensive Intermediate Latin

An introduction to the basic history and conventions of Latin prose and poetry, with continuous readings from classical authors accompanied by grammar review and exercises. Ideal for undergraduates or graduate students from Penn or elsewhere who have completed the equivalent of one year Latin (e.g., LATN 0110). The course covers the second year of college-level Latin, equivalent to LATN 0300 + 0400 at more than twice the normal pace. This is an online course. 2 c.u. Students are not required to be in Philadelphia. Course activities will involve a series of intensive online exercises completed each day according the students own schedule, plus one daily video-linked session 5.30-7.00pm EST (Monday thru Thursday). The focus of the course will be Romans and Carthaginians, combining readings on Hannibal and the second Punic war (mostly in prose, focusing on Cornelius Nepos Life of Hannibal) with readings from the story of Dido (mostly in poetry, focusing on Ovids Heroides). For further information about the course, please contact Prof. James Ker (jker@sas.upenn.edu).

Summer Term

2 Course Units

LATN 0400 Intermediate Latin: Poetry

Prerequisite(s): LATN 0300 or equivalent (such as placement score of 600). Continuous reading of several Latin authors in poetry (e.g., Ovid, Virgil, Horace) as well as some more complex prose, in combination with ongoing review of Latin grammar. By the end of the course students will have thorough familiarity with the grammar, vocabulary, and style and style of the selected authors, will be able to tackle previously unseen passages by them, and will be able to discuss language and interpretation. Note: Completion of Latin 0400 with C- or higher fulfills Penn's Foreign Language Requirement.

Spring

Prerequisite: LATN 0300

1 Course Unit

LATN 3202 Latin Love Letters

In this course we look at an intersection between emotion and rhetoric, reading ancient theorists and practitioners in the art of love-letter writing. Readings will include Cicero, Ovid, Propertius, Horace, Seneca, and Petronius. "Love" will include the full breadth of affections from intellectual friendship to erotic desire, and "letters" will include the whole spectrum of written communication, both formal and informal. A special goal of this course will be to gently develop our speaking and writing skills in Latin. Final projects will be flexible, ranging from a traditional term-paper to creative experiments in speaking and writing Latin.

Not Offered Every Year

1 Course Unit

LATN 3203 Triangulating Augustanism: Livy, Horace, and Ovid

What is a Roman? How does the rise of Augustus Caesar change the meaning of Romanness? In this course, we will read selections from the historian Livy and the poets Horace and Ovid as they try (and sometimes fail) to navigate and accommodate the new regime. Livy's prose history of Rome, Ab Urbe Condita, looks to the past for moral guidance and attempts to draw lessons for the imperial future. Horace's Odes veer from ironic to patriotic (and back again) as he works out the new reality and his place in it. Ovid's Fasti, written during the poet's exile from Rome, report the origins of Rome's sacred festival calendar. Through close readings of these three texts, this course will consider Augustanism from several angles and distances, and attempt to construct a richer picture of a complicated and vibrant period.

Fall or Spring

1 Course Unit

LATN 3204 Plague and Pestilence in Latin Literature

Plagues and pestilences were a common feature of life in the ancient world. As such, they fueled the literary imagination. Historians, doctors, poets, and others have left many accounts of diseases, both endemic and epidemic. This literature can be considered a kind of literary genre with its own conventions, literal and metaphorical frames of reference, and intertextual relations. We will focus on a few representative examples in Latin literature to read in the original, and will read others Greek and Roman accounts in translation to gain familiarity with the broader context. Students will gain experience in reading upper-level Latin while broadening their knowledge of Latin literature and literary history.

Not Offered Every Year

1 Course Unit

LATN 3205 Medieval Latin

This course will be an introduction to the literature of the Latin Middle Ages. Our readings will range from the early Christian era (beginning with the Latin Vulgate translation of Scripture) and early medieval poetic philosophy (Boethius) to medieval receptions of classical myth, funny and poignant Latin poetry of the later Middle Ages, literary love letters, autobiography (Abelard), and other selections from the rich fields of medieval Latin literature. The purpose of this course is to offer a big picture of the Latin literature of the Middle Ages and to engage with some key themes that medieval Latinity offers up to us: how to engage with antiquity, how to imitate and innovate, how to be persuasive, how to value poetic effect for its own sake, how to negotiate the sacred and secular domains of Latinity. We'll be particularly interested in how medieval teachers taught Latin to non-Latin speakers (students whose native languages were French, English, German, etc.), a parallel to our modern situation. 200-level Latin or equivalent is a prerequisite for enrollment.

Not Offered Every Year

1 Course Unit

LATN 3206 The Underworld in Latin Poetry

The mythical land of the dead was a source of endless fascination and inspiration for Latin poets of all periods. The importance of the underworld as a place of revelation, a storehouse of poetic treasure, and a demonic source of narrative and dramatic energy is especially great in epic and tragic poetry. In this course we will survey conceptions of the underworld as presented from the 2nd century BCE to the 4th century CE in the works of Ennius, Lucretius, Vergil, Ovid, Seneca, Lucan, Statius, and Claudian and the influence of these poets on medieval, renaissance, and modern literature. An intermediate (200-level) Latin or equivalent course is prerequisite.

Not Offered Every Year

1 Course Unit

LATN 3207 Writing Women at Rome

In this course, students will read texts in Latin from a variety of classical Roman genres - letters, love poems, epic, history, graffiti - that represent women’s communications. While working on their own translations, students will become familiar with the contemporary lively discussion surrounding the interpretation and translation of the poet Ovid through contemporary opinion pieces. At the same time, we will also get to know some of the historical evidence for women’s educational, philosophical, literary, and sexual activities. We will read the mysterious poems attributed to Sulpicia, one of the few bodies of pre-Christian writings in Latin attributed to a woman - and understand the debates surrounding her work. Principal readings will be drawn from Ovid (Metamorphoses, Heroides), Sulpicia (Elegies), and Roman satire.

Not Offered Every Year

1 Course Unit

LATN 3208 Pagan and Christian Martyrs

Under the Roman Empire, martyrdom — dying for one's beliefs — took many different forms among different groups. Some martyrs were members of the imperial power structure, while others were individually unimportant subjects. Nevertheless, all of their deaths had political, philosophical, religious, and personal meanings. Many of them came to be celebrated in some of the world's most compelling literature. In this course we will read and discuss a number of shorter and a few longer examples of martyr literature in Latin and in English translation from the 1st century BCE to the 6th century CE and compare them to one or more modern examples of martyr literature. Evaluation will be based primarily on daily, in-class contribution to translation and discussion. There will also be a mid-term examination and a choice between a final examination or a ten-to-fifteen page paper.

Not Offered Every Year

1 Course Unit

LATN 3401 Seneca, On the Brevity of Life and other essays

Seneca was the most important writer of Latin in the early imperial period. In addition to poetry, satire, and natural philosophy, he wrote ethical philosophy in the form of letters, dialogues, and essays. His works "On the Brevity of Life" and "On Leisure" speak both the ethical issues of his own time and those of many others, including our own. In this course we will read both these essays with the goals of becoming familiar with Seneca's thought and style of expression, both as an individual and as a writer representative of his age. Students will have the opportunity to respond to Seneca in the form of critical essays, essayistic or epistolary responses, or other forms of their choosing.

1 Course Unit

LATN 3801 Latin Prose Composition

For this introduction to Latin prose composition we will be using Bradley's Arnold, Latin Prose Composition, edited and revised by J. F. Mountford, which offers a thorough grammar review and challenging exercises. The exercises will give you an active command of Latin syntax: you'll be asking "how do I say X?" rather than "what does this author mean by X?" This is an important step towards awareness of the variety of possible expressions for any given X. And awareness of this variety is one of the things that will help you appreciate an author's style. What advantage does a participle have over a clause? or vice versa? Why use an abstract noun rather than an indirect question? or vice versa? Gerund vs. gerund-replacing gerundive? Repraesentatio? We will also read passages from a variety of Latin prose authors with an eye to their style. My aim in this course, which is open to undergraduate and graduate students alike, is that your ability to read and appreciate Latin prose improve substantially.

Not Offered Every Year

1 Course Unit

LATN 3982 Study Abroad

This course code is assigned to a course taken abroad that lacks an equivalent course on the Penn roster.

1 Course Unit

LATN 3999 Independent Study in Advanced Latin Literature

This course is taken by students doing independent work with a faculty advisor, equivalent to 3000-level advanced courses.

1 Course Unit

LATN 4998 Senior Research Paper (Honors Thesis)

This course is taken in the senior year by students approved to write a Senior Research Paper for the Ancient History major. For policies see the Classical Studies department website.

Fall or Spring

Also Offered As: ANCH 4998

1 Course Unit

LATN 5040 Medieval Latin

This course will be an introduction to the literature of the Latin Middle Ages. Our readings will range from the early Christian era (beginning with the Latin Vulgate translation of Scripture) and early medieval poetic philosophy (Boethius) to medieval receptions of classical myth, funny and poignant Latin poetry of the later Middle Ages, literary love letters, autobiography (Abelard), and other selections from the rich fields of medieval Latin literature. The purpose of this course is to offer a big picture of the Latin literature of the Middle Ages and to engage with some key themes that medieval Latinity offers up to us: how to engage with antiquity, how to imitate and innovate, how to be persuasive, how to value poetic effect for its own sake, how to negotiate the sacred and secular domains of Latinity. We'll be particularly interested in how medieval teachers taught Latin to non-Latin speakers (students whose native languages were French, English, German, etc.), a parallel to our modern situation. 200-level Latin or equivalent is a prerequisite for enrollment.

Not Offered Every Year

1 Course Unit

LATN 5801 Latin Prose Composition

For this introduction to Latin prose composition we will be using Bradley's Arnold, Latin Prose Composition, edited and revised by J. F. Mountford, which offers a thorough grammar review and challenging exercises. The exercises will give you an active command of Latin syntax: you'll be asking "how do I say X?" rather than "what does this author mean by X?" This is an important step towards awareness of the variety of possible expressions for any given X. And awareness of this variety is one of the things that will help you appreciate an author's style. What advantage does a participle have over a clause? or vice versa? Why use an abstract noun rather than an indirect question? or vice versa? Gerund vs. gerund-replacing gerundive? Repraesentatio? We will also read passages from a variety of Latin prose authors with an eye to their style. My aim in this course, which is open to undergraduate and graduate students alike, is that your ability to read and appreciate Latin prose improve substantially.

Not Offered Every Year

1 Course Unit

LATN 6600 The Latin Text: Language and Style

What do we need to read texts in Latin? In these courses we read just one prose text and one poetic text, or a very limited number of texts and passages, with a focus on language and formal analysis (such as diction, grammar, stylistics, metrics, rhetoric, textual criticism). A range of exercises will be used to develop this, including composition, lexical studies, recitation, memorization, exegesis, written close-readings, and sight-translation.

Not Offered Every Year

1 Course Unit

LATN 6601 Latin Literary History

In this course we survey an extensive range of readings in a variety of authors in both prose and poetry, and consider the problems and opportunities involved in literary history.

Not Offered Every Year

1 Course Unit

LATN 7002 The Mostly Latin Epigram

In this seminar we will explore the themes and aesthetics of the Latin epigram, a genre (or is it?) best known for its brevity and wit but one whose precise nature is tantalizingly elusive. After orienting ourselves in the epigrams of Hellenistic Greek epigrammatists and late Republican authors like the so-called Neoterics (Catullus, Cinna, Calvus, Caesar), we will turn our attention to the poetry of Martial, whose accounts of Rome, its inhabitants, and their foibles exerted a profound influence on subsequent epigrammatists. Among the themes we will engage are: epigram as a genre; persona in tessellated textual collections; the interaction of refined and obscene language; and the artistic and intellectual implications of replication, anthology, and remix.

1 Course Unit

LATN 7004 The Worlds of the Latin Novel

This seminar will explore the worlds of Petronius’ Satyrica, Apuleius’ Metamorphoses, and other works of Latin prose fiction, devoting equal time to literary, historical, and material dimensions. Participants will devise research topics to serve as the focus of presentations and a seminar paper. Latin is not required, but the regular reading assignments will include Latin options, both from ancient novels and from modern novellae (a recent innovation in Latin learning).

Not Offered Every Year

Also Offered As: CLST 7602

1 Course Unit

LATN 7201 Julio-Claudian Literature

The years between the principates of Augustus and Nero are commonly regarded as a "fallow" period in Latin literary history. In fact, this is objectively untrue in terms of both the amount of literature produced during this time and in terms of its influence. If one considers the relationship between contemporary Latin and Greek literature or the evidence for increased institutional support of literature during this period, the sense of its importance increases. In this course we will study the formative aspects of literature culture during the regimes of Tiberius, Gaius, and Claudius and their decisive influence on the Latin and Greek literature of the subsequent Imperial Period.

1 Course Unit

LATN 7203 Roman Humor and Invective

This seminar will explore Roman humor in epigram, iambic, oratory, and satire as a method of constructing and policing norms of sexuality, the body, and social identity. We will read from a wide range of authors including Catullus, Martial, Cicero, Quintilian, Petronius, and Juvenal, as well as texts that discuss or depict laughter and ridicule. Beyond focused analysis of the works at hand, we will evaluate modern theories of humor and laughter according to the ancient evidence and develop models for understanding Roman humor. In addition to weekly readings, students will be responsible for class presentations, contributing to works-in-progress workshops, and a final research paper.

Not Offered Every Year

Also Offered As: CLST 7200

1 Course Unit

LATN 7204 The Black Aeneid

This research seminar will bring the insights of critical race theory to bear on Vergil's Aeneid. Its general objective will be to assess how these insights reinforce and/or complicate existing ideas about the poem and its reception. We will frame our work in terms of three major questions: (1) To what extent are ancient conceptions of blackness thematized in the poem? (2) What insights can be gained by studying the poem with reference to modern conceptions of Blackness? (3) How has race figured in assessments of and responses to the Aeneid by scholars, writers, and artists? To answer these questions we will organize our work under three research rubrics, each of them based on a secondary character whom the poem figures explicitly or implicitly as black. These are: The Black Hero (Memnon); The Black Suitor (Iarbas); The Black Poet (Iopas). Students will work in groups to address these and other topics with a view to understanding the potential significance of such features in the poem as a whole and in its reception. The goal of the course will be to produce publishable research as well as materials to facilitate teaching the Aeneid with appropriate attention to issues of race in the poem, in classical studies, and in ancient and modern society. Each student will write a paper reporting on their own research, or a part of it, during the seminar and will contribute to one of several collaborative papers that will be assessed for eventual submission to an appropriate peer-reviewed journal. Graduate-level Latin is a pre-requisite for this course.

Not Offered Every Year

1 Course Unit

LATN 7601 Tacitus' Annals

In this seminar we will read Tacitus' Annals, a work replete with stirring history presented in a style that eschews complacency. Through careful study of this work and selected passages of its predecessor, the Histories, we will develop a richly detailed understanding of Tacitus' historiographical method, principles, and practice. Consideration of surviving epigraphic parallels will allow us to see a particularly important element of his historiographical practice, namely, his awareness of but deviation from the official record of events. Each class session will involve close reading of the text and student-led discussion of important features of Tacitus work. As a group project we will produce a variorum edition of the Annals for on-line publication. Final projects will take the form of papers suitable for presentation at the SCS Annual Meeting.

Fall or Spring

1 Course Unit

LATN 9999 Independent Study

This course is taken by graduate students doing independent work with a faculty advisor.

Fall or Spring

1-2 Course Units