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LATIN 101 A: Introductory Latin

Meeting Time: 
MTWThF 9:30am - 10:20am
SMI 309
Joint Sections: 
Konnor Clark at Santa Monica beach
Konnor Clark

Syllabus Description:


Latin 101 A-C: First Year Latin   5 credits Daily                Autumn 2017

Welcome to ancient Rome! First year Latin courses give you direct access to the thoughts and writings of the ancient Romans and allow you to explore the dynamic and often dangerous cultural, social and political world in which they wrote. Learning to interpret and use an ancient language requires you to explore unknown areas and think in new ways. Our focus is on Latin as a literary language. Course activities are designed to foster a collegial and collaborative atmosphere and to encourage you to make strong connections between the ancient language and literature we are exploring together and your other interests, passions and pursuits.  

This course counts for VLPA if you are not using it to meet the foreign language proficiency requirement.

Course Goals:

Through your work in the course this term you will demonstrate that you can: 

  • Read and translate short selections from ancient Roman authors and compose simple sentences in Latin
  • Understand and explain the literary, historical and cultural context of texts by ancient Roman authors
  • Analyze and explain Latin grammar and syntax
  • Analyze and describe the influence of the Latin language on subsequent languages and literatures

By completing the first year sequence (101-102-103) you equip yourself to read any Latin author. In our second year courses (304, 305, 306, 307) students read selections of Caesar, Horace, Catullus (305), Cicero and Ovid (306), and Virgil (307), and other authors (304). Our upper division courses offer a rotating selection of authors from the period of the Roman Republic (Latin 461), the Augustan period (Latin 462) and the Later Empire (Latin 463) (as the subject matter rotates, Latin 461-2-3 can be repeated for credit). 

Check out our Classics Department excellent study abroad program in Rome, open to students of any major and offered every Spring Quarter. You could finish your first year of Latin with Spring Quarter in Rome or continue your study of Latin in Rome in a subsequent year. 

At any point, please feel free to ask about adding a major or a minor in Latin or Classical studies. To see information about combining study of Classics with pre-health sciences requirements, click here.

If there are logistical obstacles that stand in the way of your wish to pursue Greek or Classics, please let us know at as often the Classics Department is able to take steps to reduce or eliminate such obstacles.

Required readings:

Textbook: Wheelock's Latin 7th edition. This book explains Latin grammar and syntax and contains many short readings from ancient Roman authors and many practice exercises. In Autumn  term we will complete chapters 1-15. You should bring Wheelock to class each day

Reader: Groton and May, 38 Latin Stories

 -We have also ordered a Latin dictionary as a recommended text for the course.

An Elementary Latin Dictionary, C.T. Lewis, Oxford University Press

There is also an excellent free online Latin dictionary available through  If you would enjoy an app with an excellent Latin dictionary and complete information about Latin grammar, SPQR Latin Dictionary and Reader from can be recommended.


Grades will be calculated on the basis of the following percentages:

completion of homework assignments and in-class exercises         40%

Homework includes daily preparation for class and exercises in which you write in Latin, and other assignments as noted on the syllabus and distributed in class.

quizzes         40%

final exam     20%

UW first year Latin students from 2016-2017 want you to know:

Latin is a breath of fresh air from the usual STEM courses I take. It is a totally different type of learning that exercises a different part of the mind. The course load was manageable and the stories you will read are very interesting. -Pre-med Biology major class of 2020

I'm taking Latin because it really connects to a lot of modern languages and it is easy to see the parallels. Plus, it is super interesting and fun to learn! -Physics major class of 2018

I'm taking Latin because I read lots of history books and many great works were written in Latin. I wish to understand English and other languages in a historical context by studying the root language they descend from.-Environmental Science major, class of 2017

I needed to fulfill my language requirement and Latin was the most interesting language that I was able to take.
-Physics major

Latin is a language I have wanted to learn for a while and need a language credit was just what I needed to push me here. And I have loved every second of it.-Biochemistry major class of 2018

Taking Latin ... has showed me many of [the origins] of words in other languages, especially English ... It's a beautiful language that takes you back in time to thousands of years ago.-Psychology major class of 2017

Latin is an amazing course that stimulates the mind and develops fascination for a world now 2000 years old.
-Electrical Engineering major

I am taking Latin because I want to be an attorney and Latin is giving me a good basis in the meaning of legal terms. Taking Latin is also a great way to expand your vocabulary and develop your grammar skills. -Business and Political Science

I am taking Latin because it is very useful for the study of History, but also because it enhances an in depth understanding of language as a whole.
-History major class of 2017

Latin is an interesting language that I found very useful in my STEM courses, more so than I expected. It provides insight and a deeper understanding of various subjects and it's quite universal!-Biochemistry and Chemistry major class of 2017

Latin can be seen everywhere once you start looking for it, even in the physical sciences.-Biochemistry and Chemistry major class of 2017

Latin is incredibly useful in learning the roots of lots of words in science, so it makes memorizing scientific terms a lot easier. It is also fun to be able to read literature written thousands of years ago. -Biochemistry major

Even though we learned a lot the professor made sure to keep us relaxed and focused on learning rather than stressing out.

Catalog Description: 
An intensive study of grammar, with reading and writing of simple Latin prose. First in a sequence of three. Offered: A.
GE Requirements: 
Visual, Literary, and Performing Arts (VLPA)
Last updated: 
January 10, 2018 - 9:23pm