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Elementary Latin

LATIN 121/122

Elementary Latin

  • Course ID:LATIN 121/122
  • Semesters:2
  • Department:Classics
  • Course Rank:Required
  • Teachers:Joseph Lanzilotti

Description and Objectives

The four-semester Latin sequence that begins with Elementary Latin I (Fall) and II (Spring), and concludes with Intermediate Latin I (Fall) and II (Spring).

Objectives for Elementary Latin include:

  1. Quiz on every vocabulary list
  2. Quiz on every paradigm
  3. Translation of all “Readings”

Goals for student learning in Elementary Latin include:

  1. Mastery of a basic vocabulary of at least 500 words.
  2. Mastery of all noun and adjective declensions and all indicative verb forms.

Two semesters. Offered every year.


Jerome’s Introduction to Latin. Lionel Yaceczko.

The prototype version of this textbook is being used in the first stage of the peer review process by school faculty only before it will be revised and submitted for publication.

Students will be given a personal copy of the textbook, which must be brought to class every day.


These are reference works to be used for a lifetime, and the student is strongly urged to consider that digital versions of reference works lack the essential characteristic of delay, the interval between the time when the question arises in the mind and the time when the question is answered. This is the time period in which the space in the memory where new information will dwell is created. If one definition of learning is the expansion of the capacity for memory and the actual exercise of memory, then digital reference works skip this essential step  of the learning process.

Course Requirements

  • Practice paradigms and/or vocabulary every day.
  • Prepare sentences for in-class translation when assigned.
  • Read the sentences of the current chapter out loud every day.

Successful Students

  • study Latin at least fifteen minutes every day of the week,
  • seek extra help at the first signs of difficulty, not only from the instructor, who is available before/after school and during Mass Study Hall, but also from classmates.
  • Do DANs and Synopses early and often.

Additional Resources

Students of LAT 121–122 are expected to learn to use the following standard online resources:

  • for a standard list of vocabulary words to be learned, the list of the 1,000 most common words in the language made originally by the University of Liège and digitized by Dickinson College, available at:
  • students are advised always to use hard copies of reference books (the Grammar and the Dictionary), but for emergencies, students are advised to use Logeion, an online dictionary hosted by the University of Chicago, which searches the standard print reference dictionaries of both Latin and Greek.