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Intermediate Latin

LATIN 221/222

Intermediate Latin

Description and Objectives

Students will continue their overview of all the grammar and morphology of the Latin language begun in Elementary Latin, and begin reading some unadapted ancient and medieval texts (e.g. Vergil, Catullus, Caesar, the Vulgate, medieval texts, etc.).

Two semesters. Offered every year. Prerequisite: Elementary Latin.



These are reference works to be used for a lifetime, and the student is strongly urged to make these purchases rather than relying on the free, digital versions available online (even though these are also to be used by beginning students as a last resort and by advanced students as needed).

The reason for this is that digital versions of reference works are not equal to codex versions (a “codex” is a book with a spine and quires, or bundles of pages).

Our digital tools are handy but they lack two essential characteristics: delay and permanence. The interval between the time when the question arises in the mind and the time when the question is answered carves out the space in the memory where new information will dwell. Added to that, the place in the dictionary or grammar that you found it will always be there, and our minds build a map of our reference works just as they do of our homes. Pixels constantly refreshing themselves in different combinations leads to convenience, but not long-lasting learning.

One way to think of “learning” is: the expansion of the capacity for memory and the actual exercise of memory. Using digital reference works causes us to skip this essential step of the learning process.

For example, ask yourself: how many phone numbers have I learned? The answer if usually however many phone numbers you felt you had to learn before you were exposed to a tool that remembered them for you.

Course Requirements

These course requirements may be slightly different from one year to the next, but the tasks are essentially the same.

Students will be expected to memorize paradigms for quizzes. On paradigm quizzes, the student will need to be able to reproduce the paradigm as it appears in the textbook.

Students will be expected to memorize vocabulary lists for quizzes.

Students will be expected to read from their text every night on most days when there is not a quiz or test. This means being able to look at the Latin sentence in class and give an English translation, without looking back at your notes or hand-written translation.

Students will take at least four tests, usually one per quarter. These tests will be comprehensive of the sentences, vocabulary, and paradigms of several chapters. If the student is consistently preparing for daily translations and quizzes, he should not need to study for these tests.

Goals for Student Learning

Why do we do this?

The goal for student learning is to ensure that you either 1.) have mastered the morphology and the base vocabulary of Latin, or at least 2.) know what exercises are necessary to accomplish this goal by doing these exercises.

These goals will prepare you for any Advanced Latin course.

• Master the 1,000 most common words in the Latin language. This vocabulary is based on word frequencies in the Latin literature of the first two centuries of either Era. The list, originally compiled by the University of Liège, was digitized by the Classics Department of Dickinson College, and may be found here:

• Master all the morphology of the Latin language:

Nouns: be able to decline all 1st–5th declension nouns.


1st: terra, -ae, f.

2nd masc.: animus, -i, m.

2nd neut.: bellum, -i, n.

3rd: rex, regis, m.

4th: manus, -us, f.

5th: res, rei, f.

Adjectives: be able to decline all adjectives, those of the 1st-2nd declension, and those of the 3rd declension. Be able also to form the comparative degree and superlative degree from the lexical form of an adjective. Be able also to form the positive, comparative, and superlative degrees of adverbs from the lexical form of an adjective.


1st-2nd declension: altus, -a, -um, high; altior, altius, higher, rather high, too high; altissimus, -a, -um, highest, very high (quam altissimus, as high as possible)

alte, highly; altius, more highly, rather highly, too highly; altissime, most highly, very highly (quam altissime, as highly as possible)

3rd declension adjectives: gravis, -e, heavy; gravior, gravius, heavier, rather heavy, too heavy; gravissimus, -a, -um, heaviest, very heavy (quam gravissimus, as heavy as possible)

Pronouns and Demonstratives (collectively considered “demonstratives” for the purposes of doing a DAN): be able to decline all the demonstrative pronouns and adjectives:

• hic, haec, hoc, this (in front of me); the latter

• iste, ista, istud, that (in front of you)

• ille, illa, illud, that (in front of him); the former

• is, ea, id, this/that (an adjective of weaker identity); he/she/it (the most common form of the 3rd person pronoun)

• qui, quae, quod, who/which; that (the relative pronoun)

Verbs: be able to conjugate verbs of all conjugations, 1st–4th as well as irregulars.


1st: puto, putare, putavi, putatus, think

2nd: doceo, docere, docui, doctus, teach

3rd: lego, legere, legi, lectus, read

3rd (-io): capio, capere, cepi, captus, take

4th: aperio, aperire, aperui, apertus, open

The five aspects of a verb are: Person, Number, Tense, Voice, and Mood.

• Person: 1st, 2nd, 3rd

• Number: Singular, Plural

• Tense: Present, Imperfect, Future (the Present System); Perfect, Pluperfect, Future Perfect (the Perfect System)

• Voice: Active, Passive

• Mood: Indicative, Subjunctive, Infinitive, Participle, Imperative

There are thus approximately 172 forms for any regular Latin verb.

Successful Students

  • Study Latin at least fifteen solid minutes every day of the week, (that means tunnel vision from 0–15, no distractions, no touching or looking at a phone).
  • Re-translate, as soon as possible, on the same day, what we have translated together in class, to consolidate and firmly establish new knowledge.
  • Seek extra help—don’t wait until you have a problem!—outside of class, not only from the instructor, who is available before/after school every day, but also from classmates. Students in advanced Latin classes will be happy to help!
  • Do synopses and DANS, at least one per week.

Additional Resources

2021-2022 Heights Intermediate Latin Syllabus

Latin DAN (worth one quiz grade of extra credit)

Mr. Babendreier’s Latin Verb Synopsis

Mr. Cox’s Verb Synopsis JV (worth one quiz grade of extra credit)

Dickinson College Latin Vocabulary List

• Allen and Greenough’s New Latin Grammar

° a PDF of this and many other useful Latin and Greek language learning texts can be found at

° Digitized version hosted by Tufts University’s Perseus website here

Logeion online Latin and Greek dictionaries

Summer Assignment

Due Date: First day of school.

One cornerstone of language learning is building your vocabulary. The summer provides a unique opportunity to use one of the greatest ingredients in expanding your vocabulary: time. For all upper-level Latin classes ( i.e. Intermediate and all Advanced Latin classes), Mr. Babendreier, Mr. Cox, and Mr. Mehigan want their students to have mastered — or at least to have begun mastering — the 1000 most common words in Latin literature. [Click on the link in the previous sentence to obtain the list.]

To this end, your only summer assignment is to make notecards for yourself to practice. One side should have the Latin lexical (or dictionary) entry; and the flip side should have the English meaning(s).

Verbs must have all four principal parts (or fewer if the verb is deponent or “defective”).

Nouns must include the full lexical form, i.e. the Nominative Singular, Genitive Singular, and gender.

Adjectives should include their Masculine, Feminine, and Neuter forms in the Nominative Singular (or, for 3rd declension adjectives of one termination, the Nominative and Genitive Singular, and gender).

For the remaining parts of speech, simply write the Latin word on one side, and the English meaning(s) on the other.

Additional digital practice can be found in these Quizlet sets.

Upon returning, there will be a series of grammar quizzes in each Advanced Latin class to refresh your knowledge of verb, noun, adjective, and pronoun morphology.