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CLAS 101 A: Latin And Greek In Current Use

A Pompeian couple
Meeting Time: 
TTh 8:30am - 9:20am
DEN 212
Mary McNulty

Syllabus Description:

CLAS 101 A — Latin and Greek in Current Use

Winter 2020, T/Th 8:30-9:20am, DEN 212

Instructor: Mary McNulty                             


Mailbox: Classics Dept. Office, Denny 262

Office: Denny Hall 400K

Office Hours: Tuesday and Thursday 10:30-11:30am & by appointment

Department Phone: 206­543­2266


Required Text:​

  • William J. Dominik, W​ords and Ideas ​(Bolchazy ­ Carducci). The physical copy (rather than the electronic) is recommended, as it coincides with the page numbers listed on the syllabus.

Recommended Reference Texts:​

  • Any reputable English dictionary with etymological entries, such as T​he American Heritage Dictionary (​3​rd e​d.), or W​ebster’s New World Dictionary.​
  • The O​xford English Dictionary (OED) is also available free online: go to a​nd log in → “Start Your Research” → “Articles & Research Databases” → click “Oxford Dictionaries.”


Course Aims:​

The aims of the class are twofold. First, we will seek to improve and increase English vocabulary through a study of the Latin and Greek elements in English, with emphasis on words in current literary and scientific use. The Latin and Greek word roots learned in this course will help you better understand how many English words have evolved and prepare you to continue expanding your English vocabulary well after the class is over. Second, we will examine the ever-changing relationship between language and ideas in order to better understand the continuing impact of classical Greece and Rome on modern culture. This course aims to give you a sense of the stories, words, and ideas that we have adopted from the ancient Greeks and Romans and to help you identify classical influence when you encounter it.


Class Conduct:​ (More about UW’s policies on conduct and accommodation at end of syllabus)

Out of courtesy to your classmates and to me, please come to class on time and prepared to contribute. Cellphones and other such electronics must be silent or off or will result in a lowered participation grade. Similarly, technology such as computers or tablets must be on task. University conduct and scholarly integrity codes should be followed at all times.


If absence is unavoidable due to illness or other legitimate circumstance (e.g. family emergency, religious or cultural obligation, court date, university-sponsored competition or field trip), please contact me via e-mail to let me know before class. If you are absent, it is your responsibility to find out what you missed in class, to catch up on any missed homework, to schedule make-ups for any quizzes or exams. I do not supply class notes to absent students except in special circumstances. All email correspondence should be polite and professional.


I cannot discuss grades during class or via e-mail due to university policy, but rather during office hours and by appointment only. If a student has questions regarding assignments, tests, homework or any other matter, I would be happy to discuss that in my office.





Homework/Participation: Active classroom participation is important. The first step in participating in class is regularly attending. Beyond simply showing up, I expect everyone both to be prepared (by having read the assigned material and completed any homework assignments) and to actively participate in class discussions and activities. Completion of homework assignments will count for 30 points, as will regular participation in class, for a total of 60 points. There will be three homework assignments, each worth ten points. Homework is due by the start of class via Canvas or hard copy. Only students who attend class that day are eligible to receive points for the assignment. I will not accept late homework except in the case of an excused absence. Homework and participation account for a large portion of your grade — if you were to get a zero in this category, the highest course grade you could receive is a 3.1.


Quizzes: There will be three quizzes worth 80 points each given over the course of the term (see schedule below for dates). You will be given the entire class period to complete them. Make-up opportunities will only be given due to a legitimate absence, as defined above, and then only if the absent student promptly e-mails me to reschedule. I strongly recommend keeping up on relevant vocabulary from each chapter as we cover it by completing your homework and attending class; this will make preparation easier and allow you to get higher scores. Bonus points will be offered in the quizzes and in the final. Even if a student has achieved the maximum score for a given quiz or final without the bonus points, any earned bonuses will be ‘banked’ for use towards the student’s overall points total for the course.

Final Exam: The final exam, worth 130 points, will be on Tuesday, March 17, from 10:30am-12:20pm. In accordance with university policy, the final exam will be administered only on this date and at this time. Final Examination Guidelines, including policy on ‘unavoidable absence’:

Grading Breakdown:

                                                                                                Participation + Homework: 60 Points

Quizzes: 3 x 80 = 240 Points
                                                                                                                       Final exam: 130 Points

Total: 430 points

Grading Scale:

4.0: 430-411

3.0: 365-361

2.0: 315-311

1.0: 265-261

3.9: 410-406

2.9: 360-356

1.9: 310-306

0.9: 260-256

3.8: 405-401

2.8: 355-351

1.8: 305-301

0.8: 255-251

3.7: 400-396

2.7: 350-346

1.7: 300-296

0.7: 250-246

3.6: 395-391

2.6: 345-341

1.6: 295-291

0.0: 245 or fewer*

3.5: 390-386

2.5: 340-336

1.5: 290-286


3.4: 385-381

2.4: 335-331

1.4: 285-281


3.3: 380-376

2.3: 330-326

1.3: 280-276


3.2: 375-371

2.2: 325-321

1.2: 275-271


3.1: 370-366

2.1: 320-316

1.1: 270-266



* Note: in order to pass this class, you must receive 246 points or greater.




Schedule: ​All readings and assignments a​re due​ on the day they are listed on the syllabus.


* Note: Page numbers are for the physical copy of the book and do not apply to the electronic version. If you are using the electronic version, please use the headings to navigate to the relevant pages.


Week 1

Tuesday, January 7: Introduction

  • Introduction & Syllabus
  • What is Classics?


Thursday, January 9: Word Building

  • Read Chapter 1 – Word Building Basics (pp.1-15)
  • Read Appendices I-III (pp. 251-256)


Week 2

Tuesday, January 14: Mythology of Greece and Rome (The Primordial Gods) 

  • Read Chapter 4 – Mythology (pp. 75-99)
  • Memorize: Greek Nouns/Adjectives (pp. 19-25): Memorize all bulleted bases/combining forms in these sections. For example, know that that ‘–archy’ means ‘rule by.’


Thursday, January 16: Mythology of Greece and Rome (Zeus and His Children)

  • Memorize Greek Adverbs/Verbs (pp. 25-29)
  • Homework: 4 ex. 2-3 (p.101) and Connection/Reflection on mythology


Week 3

Tuesday, January 21:  Mythology of Greece and Rome (The Underworld and Heroes)

  • Memorize Greek Prefixes/Suffixes (pp.29-36)


Thursday, January 23: Mythology of Greece and Rome (The Trojan War)

  • Review all previous material in preparation for Quiz #1


Week 4

Tuesday, January 28:  Quiz Day

  • Quiz #1 (Word Building and Mythology)


Thursday, January 30: Medicine


Week 5

Tuesday, February 4: Medicine

  • Memorize Latin Nouns/Verbs (pp. 45-48)
  • Homework: 5 ex. 4a-k, 5a-h, 6a-f (pp.142-143) and Connection/Reflection on medicine.




Thursday, February 6: Commerce and Economics

  • Read Chapter 7 – Commerce and Economics (pp. 169-186)
  • Review all previous material preparation for Quiz #2


Week 6

Tuesday, February 11: Quiz Day

  • QUIZ #2 (Medicine, Commerce and Economics)


Thursday, February 13: Politics and Law (Greek politics)

  • Read Chapter 6 – Politics and Law (pp. 145-164)
  • First Extra Credit Assignment Due (optional)


Week 7

Tuesday, February 18: Politics and Law (Roman politics)

  • Homework: 6 ex. 3 (p. 166) and Connection/Reflection on Politics/Law
  • Memorize Latin Prefixes (pp. 48-55)


Thursday, February 20: Philosophy

  • Read Chapter 8 – Philosophy and Psychology (pp. 191-213)
  • Memorize Latin Suffixes (pp. 55-63)
  • Review all previous material in preparation for Quiz #3


Week 8

Tuesday, February 25: Psychology and Latin Phrases

  • Review Chapter 8 – Psychology
  • Review all previous material for quiz 3


Thursday, February 27: Quiz 3

Quiz #3 (Politics, Philosophy and Psychology)

Week 9

Tuesday, March 3: History and Historiography (Greek History)

  • Read chapter 9 – History (pp. 227-249)


Thursday, March 5: History and Historiography (Roman History)

  • Review Latin word building (chapter 3)


Week 10


Tuesday, March 10: Vocabulary Review 

  • Review Vocab from chapters 2 and 3


Thursday, March 12: Course Review

  • Bring questions!
  • Second Extra Credit Assignment due (optional)


Tuesday, March 17: Final Exam (10:30am-12:20pm) in DEN 212


*I reserve the right to modify the syllabus at any time*


Important UW policy-related things to know:


UW’s Religious Accommodations Policy: “Washington state law requires that UW develop a policy for accommodation of student absences or significant hardship due to reasons of faith or conscience, or for organized religious activities. The UW’s policy, including more information about how to request an accommodation, is available at Religious Accommodations Policy ( Accommodations must be requested within the first two weeks of this course using , the Religious Accommodations Request form.”


UW’s Student Conduct Code: “The University of Washington Student Conduct Code (WAC 478-121) defines prohibited academic and behavioral conduct and describes how the University holds students accountable as they pursue their academic goals. Allegations of misconduct by students may be referred to the appropriate campus office for investigation and resolution. More information can be found online at


UW Disability Resources: Access and Accommodations: Your experience in this class is important to me. If you have already established accommodations with Disability Resources for Students (DRS), please communicate your approved accommodations to me at your earliest convenience so we can discuss your needs in this course.


If you have not yet established services through DRS, but have a temporary health condition or permanent disability that requires accommodations (conditions include but not limited to; mental health, attention-related, learning, vision, hearing, physical or health impacts), you are welcome to contact DRS at 206-543-8924 or or DRS offers resources and coordinates reasonable accommodations for students with disabilities and/or temporary health conditions.  Reasonable accommodations are established through an interactive process between you, your instructor(s) and DRS.  It is the policy and practice of the University of Washington to create inclusive and accessible learning environments consistent with federal and state law.


Academic Integrity: University of Washington students are expected to practice high standards of academic and professional honesty and integrity as outlined here:



Catalog Description: 
Designed to improve and increase English vocabulary through a study of the Latin and Greek elements in English, with emphasis on words in current literary and scientific use. No auditors. Knowledge of Latin or Greek is not required. Offered: AWSpS.
GE Requirements: 
Visual, Literary, and Performing Arts (VLPA)
Last updated: 
October 17, 2019 - 1:25pm