Penn State Penn State: College of the Liberal Arts

Department ofClassics and Ancient
Mediterranean Studies

LATIN 203: Latin Reading and Comprehension

LATIN 203: Latin Reading and Comprehension

The course reviews Latin grammar, syntax, and vocabulary and introduces students to classical Latin poetry and prose. LATIN 203 Latin Reading and Composition (4)This four-credit course is at the intermediate-level and follows LATIN 003 or LATIN 102. It satisfies the 12th-credit foreign language requirement and prepares students to take 400-level Latin courses. The course is concerned with perfecting the knowledge of Latin grammar, which in the Middle Ages was considered to be the mother of the other Liberal Arts. This is accomplished by the review of grammatical rules and by the reading and explanation of Latin authors. The course reviews the forms, syntax, and vocabulary of Latin, and gives students practice exercises that improve translation skills. Equally important, students are introduced to the principles of Latin style by learning how to translate English into Latin. The review of Latin grammar and the introduction to Latin prose composition provide students with the competence to read representative Roman authors in poetry and prose. Rudimentary Latin readings, supported by school commentaries, are intended to familiarize students with famous examples of classical Roman literature while exemplifying the principles of classical Latin style. For the Republican period, students read selections of Caesar’s Gallic Wars or a speech by Cicero and selections of Catullus’s love poetry. For the Imperial period, one investigates different accounts of the rape of Lucretia by Livy and Ovid, in poetry and prose, respectively. These readings not only show how exemplary authors write in different styles, but how Latin language and literature lay the linguistic and cultural foundations of western civilization. Evaluation methods include assessment of students through in-class oral and written drills, in-class translation of Latin into English and English into Latin, weekly translation assignments, biweekly quizzes, two tests, and a final exam. These methods are intended to promote the learning of Latin vocabulary and grammar, to increase the comprehension of the assigned readings, and to foster an appreciation of the stylistic virtuosity of Rome ‘s greatest writers.


Assistant Teaching Professor of Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
Pronouns: She/Her