Photograph by Thomas J. Sienkewicz

Elementary Latin
Monmouth College

Course Description / Texts / Instructor / Class Goals and Format / Grading Summary / Grading Scale / Requirements / Useful Websites / Class Photo (Fall) / Class Photo (Spring)

Course Description:
This course is primarily directed towards students desiring to meet the freshman requirements for graduation under the foreign language component of the Language rubric. Elementary Latin can also fulfill partial requirements for a major in Latin or Classics.

The Monmouth College catalogue gives the following description of courses that meet the Language requirement:

          The creation and use of language is the most significant achievement of human beings, for our ability to organize our understanding in verbal symbols and to communicate sets us apart from all other life forms. The symbols of our language make communication possible at many different levels of meaning and allow us to translate our private experience into universal terms.... A sure understanding of language is the foundation of all knowledge, and the ability to use verbal symbols effectively is the most important of all skills.
          This component provides that every student have experience with a second language. The study of a foreign language allows students to see that their native language often reflects cultural needs and interests at the same time that it shares many basic patterns with other languages.

The aim of these courses is to learn basic reading and writing skills in Latin as quickly and as thoroughly as possible. At the end of two terms of Elementary Latin a student should know the fundamentals of Latin grammar, have a basic Latin vocabulary, and be able to read any Latin text with the help of a dictionary. Speaking and listening skills in Latin will be encouraged only in order to assist the development of reading and writing Latin. READING Latin is much more important than speaking or writing it.

Text for Latin 101/102


Kitchell and Sienkewicz. DISCE!
revised preliminary version with complete vocabulary and exercises
First edition to be published by Pearson / Prentice Hall in 2010

Electronic copies of this text as well as ancillay materials can be found at

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Class Goals and Format:
Class usually meets on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 8:00 A.M. until 8:50 A.M. in the Capron Classics Room of Wallace Hall. Classes will meet on some Thursdays in order to replace regular meetings the instructor cannot attend. Participants should not make commitments for other activities on Thursdays 8-9 while this class is in session. There will be daily homework assignments. In addition, there may be a number supplementary readings in Latin and map work.

Summary of Grading:
The goal is for all students to earn the best possible grade. The grading system is designed to give each student maximum control of the final grade earned. The focus of all assignments, quizzes and tests is not grading but learning.

There will be at least four full-period exams (probationes) during the semester. The dates for all exams will be announced at least one week in advance.
Students will be encouraged to correct their exams for half credit on points lost. 
Class participation and daily homework assignments (meditationes) will count as one exam grade. Sometimes homework assignments will be graded in class. Other time they will be graded outside of class by the instructor. But these assignment will ALWAYS be collected and a grade recorded. Grading of these assignments is simple. You will receive 75 points  for submitting the assignment and another 25 points for giving it a good try. There is no reason, then, why anyone cannot earn an average of 100 on homework assignments. You will automatically be excused from three homework assignments but will receive no points for any additional unsubmitted assignements.  No late homework will be accepted for grade.
There will be at least one quiz per week. These quizzes, which can be either  announced or unannounced, will last 5-10 minutes at the end of class. The average of these quizzes will count as one exam grade.
Oral Presentation:
During the final exam period, and in lieu of a traditional final exam, students (working individually or in groups) will prepare an oral presentation for the class. This presentation will be created in consultation with the instructor and will make significant use of textbook materials. This presentation will be graded based upon accuracy and quality of preparation. This grade will count as one exam grade.
The date of this final exam meeting is:

Saturday, Dec. 11, 2010, 8:00-11:00 AM

Academic Honesty:
Students in this course are encouraged to do their homework together. All other classwork, especially quizzes and exams, must be the student's own work. Plagiarism, i.e., copying someone else's work without giving credit, is to be avoided. Such copying--from a book, another classmate's paper, or any other source--is dishonest.

At Monmouth College we view academic dishonesty as a threat to the integrity and intellectual mission of our institution. Any breach of the academic honesty policy Ė either intentionally or unintentionally - will be taken seriously and may result not only in failure in the course, but in suspension or expulsion from the college. It is each studentís responsibility to read, understand and comply with the general academic honesty policy at Monmouth College, as defined in the Scots Guide ( and to the specific guidelines for each course, as elaborated on the professorís syllabus.
The following areas are examples of violations of the academic honesty policy:
1. Cheating on tests, labs, etc;
2. Plagiarism, i.e., using the words, ideas, writing, or work of another without giving appropriate credit;
3. Improper collaboration between students, i.e., not doing oneís own work on outside assignments unspecified as group projects by the instructor;
4. Submitting work previously submitted in another course, without previous authorization by the instructor.
(This list is not intended to be exhaustive.)


This syllabus is subject to revision by the instructor, provided that written or verbal notice is given in class.

This webpage was prepared by Professor Thomas J. Sienkewicz of Monmouth College. If you have any questions, you can contact him at

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