Latin & Greek for young and old.


Courses Offered

Courses will be offered in both languages at five levels:

  • Beginners (no previous knowledge required; good preparation for OU A275 and A297)
  • Intermediate Level 1 (pre-GCSE standard or similar)
  • Intermediate Level 2 (post-GCSE standard or similar)
  • Advanced 1 (up to A Level, Undergraduate or similar)
  • Advanced 2 (up to A Level, Undergraduate or similar)

Students will follow a course appropriate to their experience in one language, but in the advanced groups (and possibly the Intermediate Level 2) students can spend half of the week on each language. Other arrangements can be made on request, but it is not practical for beginners to embark on both languages simultaneously.


Beginners Latin and Greek
The Beginners courses will be for those who have no previous knowledge of the language. Those with very little knowledge might join either beginners or intermediate groups according to their needs.  For Greek, the JACT course Reading Greek (C.U.P. 2nd ed.) and, for Latin, Reading Latin (C.U.P.) will be used.  The first edition of Reading Greek may also be used, especially by those who already have a copy. It is recommended that students purchase their own copies but a supply will be available.  It is important for students to consolidate the work of this intensive course soon afterwards.  An Independent Study Guide for Reading Greek and an Independent Study Guide for Reading Latin are published by CUP.


Intermediate Latin and Greek
The Intermediate groups will also use these books and may progress onto other texts depending on the experience of students in each group.  In Level 2 students will be consolidating language skills and reading some original Greek or Latin passages.  Level 1 will start from the stage reached by students after approximately 1 year’s study and will concentrate on basic language skills. The following details might help to clarify the content of intermediate levels:


Intermediate Level 1 Latin
We will aim to cover as much of Section 4 of Reading Latin as possible, according to the demands of students on the course. The following grammatical points will feature: imperfect and pluperfect tenses; actives, deponents and passives; pronouns, relative clauses; locatives, uses of the ablative and genitive; participles (including ablative absolutes); infinitives and indirect statements; subjunctives (cum + subjunctive). We will also look at and analyse some of Cicero’s rhetorical techniques. More generally, we will reinforce existing knowledge as and when the text, or the class, demands.


Intermediate Level 1 Greek
The aim is to cover Reading Greek sections 6-7 (and, if possible, some of section 8) after a quick revision of section 5 (according to the needs of the group). There will be a strong focus on the grammatical features in these sections which include: imperfect, future and aorist tenses (indicative, active and middle), present optatives, present and aorist participles, infinitives and imperatives (active and middle); the main irregular verbs; further work on cases and types of nouns, adjectives and pronouns; prepositions, comparison of adjectives and adverbs.


Intermediate Level 2 Latin (suitable for OU A397)
In Intermediate Level 2 we will use a selection of literature and grammar suitable for the students who apply.  The level of difficulty is likely to be comparable with the texts of chapter 6 in Reading Latin and students should have already met the most common features of Latin grammar, although there will be plenty of time devoted to revision and there will even be a gentle introduction to prose composition in Latin. The literature will include both prose and verse, possibly Aeneid 2 (required for OU A397) if there is demand.


Intermediate Level 2 Greek
At this level a combination of grammar and literature will be on offer, both tailored to the students’ needs. The grammar will also depend on students' experience and requests, but is likely to cover much of what is contained in sections 8-11 of Reading Greek: completion of the cases and types of nouns, adjectives and pronouns; uses of the genitive and dative, optatives, time phrases, principal parts, further work on infinitives and imperatives,   -mi verbs, relative clauses, passives, genitive absolute. A short prose text may also be translated and discussed. Possible authors are Plato, Xenophon, Herodotus or one of the Attic orators. Suggestions from students are very welcome (there is a space on the application form). 


Advanced Latin and Greek
The advanced groups will read two texts which will be chosen to avoid what students have already read or are currently studying. It is important for students to provide detailed information about their reading on the academic application form in order to achieve this. Decisions about the choice of texts are usually made about a month before the start of the course when most of the applications have been received. Groups will be allocated to a different tutor for each text and it will be possible to study one Latin text and one Greek text or both texts in one language. There is a space on the application form for suggesting authors or particular texts, but we cannot guarantee their selection. Advanced 1 will have a greater focus on grammar arising from the texts, Advanced 2 will be for more confident readers.



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