Description and Objectives
This course is the equivalent of a college-level reading course in Latin. The semester will be devoted to the study of one man, a weighty figure of the late Roman republic, Marcus Tullius Cicero. We will study Cicero’s life and read, in the original Latin, some of his political speeches, philosophical treatises, and personal letters.
Jenney’s Third Year Latin
Cicero’s De Republica translated by Niall Rudd
Each quarter grade of this course is determined by an overall point system. There will be different assignments (quizzes, tests, take-home essays, etc.) of varying point values depending on their size and importance throughout the quarter. Every day, specific selections of Cicero’s writings will be assigned to be prepared for the following day. Either individual students will be called upon to translate orally, or a pop quiz will be given covering some or all of the day’s assignment. We will examine the structure, grammar, and rhetorical devices that Cicero employs, the historical context in which he was writing, and the broader themes he was trying to address.
There will be frequent quizzes, the majority of which will be on the Latin reading. These will be unannounced, but will always cover the reading for that day only. Some quizzes will require sight reading. Others will cover a list of vocabulary words or a topic discussed in class. These will always be announced. As explained above, quizzes will have different point values depending on their size.
We will have two major tests per quarter. The tests will cover about 200 lines of Latin text and all topics discussed. They will contain multiple choice sections, literal translations from the text, grammar questions, and interpretive essays on the broader themes. Tests will always be announced three or four days ahead of time.
Take-home essays will also be assigned occasionally and with varying point values.
Over the course of the semester we will read selections from:
-The First Oration Against Catiline
-The Second Oration Against Catiline
-The Speech On Pompey’s Commission
-The First Philippic
-The De Re Publica
-Select Letters of Cicero
The successful student does the Latin reading every day. Cicero uses sophisticated language and complicated grammatical constructions in his speeches and philosophical works. The student who stays on top of the demanding syllabus, therefore, will gradually acquire a much larger working Latin vocabulary and gain a much deeper understanding of Latin grammar.