Students without any previous Latin and Greek can start both languages at Yale. You can commence either language in the Fall semester, Latin also in Yale’s Summer session, and Greek also in the Spring semester.
The normal three-semester sequence is Latin or Greek 110 (L1), 120 (L2), and 131 or 141 (whichever you take first counts as L3, the second as L4). The double-credit Spring course, GREK 125, combines the syllabi from both GREK 110 and GREK 120.
If you have some previous knowledge of Latin or Greek and wish to continue your studies at Yale, you will be placed into the appropriate level. Please contact the Language Program Director, James Patterson (firstname.lastname@example.org), for further information.
The Classics Department also offers a Certificate in Advanced Language Study in Latin or Greek. See here for details.
LATN 110: The Elements of Latin Grammar (Fall)
LATN 110 (L1) is the first half of a year-long introductory sequence on the fundamentals of Latin grammar. It is designed for those with no previous experience with Latin. We work through the first 18 chapters of Shelmerdine’s Introduction to Latin (2nd Edition), laying the lexical, morphological, and syntactical foundations necessary for reading authentic Classical Latin after completion of the textbook in LATN 120. Beyond grammar, we read selections of adapted Latin texts, learn to interpret inscriptions and graffiti, and explore linguistic, sociopolitical, ethnographical, religious, philosophical, mythological, literary, and art historical topics in Roman history as they arise in our readings. For centuries Latin was spoken widely across western Europe and North Africa. The study of Latin thus opens doors to ancient worlds beyond Rome proper, from Gaul in what is now France to Numidia in what is now Algeria.
LATN 120: Beginning Latin, Review of Grammar and Selected Readings (Spring)
LATN 120 (L2) fulfills your introductory sequence of Latin. We finish the remaining chapters of Shelmerdine’s Introduction to Latin (2nd Edition) and from there turn to unadapted Latin prose by a range of authors and texts from Caesar and Cicero to late antique martyr narratives partly depending on student interests. Readings are contextualized with linguistic and cultural activities that help us better understand the societies in which Latin was spoken, written, and read.
LATN 131: Latin Prose, An Introduction (Fall)
LATN 131 (L3 or L4) is designed for students who have completed one year of college-level Latin or the equivalent. Students read unadapted selections from Classical authors like Caesar, Cicero, and others. The primary aim of the course is for students to improve their reading skills in Latin while acquiring a basic understanding of the literary-historical context in which the assigned works were composed. Readings in Latin will be supplemented by a selection of secondary literature in English.
LATN 141: Virgil, An Introduction (Spring)
LATN 141 (L3 or L4) provides an introduction to reading epic poetry in Latin, using Virgil’s epic poem, the Aeneid as a laboratory. Attention is paid both to grammar and to interpretation of poetic style and content. Students perfect their language skills and begin the creative work of reading Latin poetry. Classes are designed around careful translation of the assigned readings, with time given to analysis of morphology, syntax, and poetic meter. There are occasional secondary readings, and we incorporate discussion of the secondary readings and literary analysis into our meetings.
GREK 110: The Elements of Greek Grammar (Fall)
GREK 110 is the first half of a year-long introductory sequence on the fundamentals of Ancient Greek grammar. It is designed for those with no previous experience learning Greek. We will work through the first 11 units of Hansen and Quinn’s Greek: An Intensive Course, laying the lexical, morphological, and syntactical foundations necessary for reading authentic Ancient Greek after completing the textbook in GREK 120. Beyond grammar, we will read selections of adapted Greek texts, learn to interpret inscriptions and graffiti, and explore linguistic, sociopolitical, ethnographical, religious, philosophical, mythological, literary, and art historical topics in Greek history as they arise in our readings. For centuries Greek was spoken widely across the eastern Mediterranean. The study of Greek thus opens doors to ancient worlds beyond Greece proper, from Egypt to Persia and beyond.
GREK 120: Beginning Greek, Review of Grammar and Selected Readings (Spring)
GREK 120 (L2) is the second half of a two semester introduction to Classical Attic Greek, the dialect of ancient Athens and foundation of later Koine and Biblical Greek. We pick up where GREK 110 left off with Unit 11 of Hansen & Quinn’s Greek: An Intensive Course. After some review of the first half of the book’s material, we proceed through the rest at a pace of roughly one Unit per week. As we go, we increasingly stress comprehension by reading short stories in adapted Greek. After completing the textbook, we spend the last weeks of the semester reading selections from authentic Greek texts with an emphasis on Plato. Along the way, we examine the Greek language in its original material context (e.g. papyri and inscriptions) and use our study of Greek as a window into the thought and lives of Greek speakers across the ancient Mediterranean world.
GREK 125: Intensive Beginning Greek (Spring)
GREK 125 (L1 and L2) offers the equivalent of two semesters of Greek (the Yale courses GREK 110 and 120) during the Spring semester. Students who successfully complete the course normally proceed to L3 Greek, but the particularly focused student may advance directly to L5. GREK 125 presupposes no prior knowledge of Greek and covers all areas of grammar, vocabulary, and idiom. By the end of the semester students will be well equipped to read the majority of Attic authors. Textbooks: Hansen and Quinn, Greek: An Intensive Course. Helm, Plato: Apology. Freeman and Lowe, A Greek Reader for Schools.
GREK 131: Greek Prose, An Introduction (Fall)
GREK 131 (L3 or L4) is designed for students who have completed one year of college-level preparation in Classical Greek or the equivalent. Students read texts in Attic prose by authors like Plato, Lysias, and Xenophon. Over the course of the semester students develop as readers of Greek through close analysis of grammar and syntax as well as rhetorical and literary features. Short additional readings and secondary articles will augment our discussion of the texts and increase students’ understanding of historical, cultural, intellectual, art historical, and ethnographic material relevant to the semester’s readings.
GREK 141: Homer, An Introduction (Spring)
GREK 141 (L3 or L4) introduces students to the poetry of Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey—not only its dialect, meter, vocabulary, and formulaic language, but also its imagery, characterization, structure, and functioning as ‘oral poetry’. Themes govern the selection of readings and change from year to year. Past themes have included gender, otherness, epic violence, virtue, and leadership.