Latin 101, Elementary Latin, Fall 2007

INSTRUCTOR: Dr. Nick Dobson

TIME: MTWF 8:00-8:50

OFFICE: WH 115A, x2103



PLACE: Wallace 114

OFFICE HRS: MTWF 9-10, TH 1-2, & by appointment (or serendipidity)

Course Description:

The aim of Latin 101 & 102 are to learn basic reading and writing skills in Latin as quickly and as thoroughly as possible. At the end of 2 terms of Elementary Latin, a student should know the fundamentals of Latin grammar, have a basic Latin vocabulary, and be able to read a Latin text with the help of a dictionary. Speaking and listening skills in Latin will be encouraged in order to assist the development of reading and writing Latin.

This course is primarily directed towards students desiring to meet the 1st-year 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.

Classes that meet the language requirement are described in the Monmouth College catalogue in the following way:

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 2nd 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.


Wheelock, Frederic, and Richard LaFleur. Wheelock’s Latin. 6e, Harper Collins 2000. Paperback. 0060956410.

Groton, Anne, and James May. 38 Latin Stories Designed to Accompany Frederic M. Wheelock’s Latin. 3rd ed., Revised. Bolchazy-Carducci Publishers, 1989. 0865162336.

Bantam New College Latin and English Dictionary. Mass Market Paperback, 1995. 0553573012

Preparation for class:

The most important thing to remember about learning a language is that it is a cumulative process, one set of forms and concepts building upon another. It is quite normal for someone new to a language to make lots of mistakes and not to master new material in a single day. Be patient with yourself. The important thing is to use the language as much as possible. At the same time, since you will be learning nearly all of Latin morphology in two terms, it is important not to fall behind. Therefore, every day spend time reviewing vocabulary and grammar. Second, spend time reading connected prose, re-reading it, listening to the tapes. Third, practice by asking a partner questions in Latin, by composing sentences that use new vocabulary, new sentence patterns, new grammar, and by doing the homework. If you are an active learner, using all your senses and motor skills, you will learn Latin much more easily, and best of all you will retain it!

Steady, daily progress is the best way to assure retention and mastery of the Latin tongue, and consequently good grades. Cramming for quizzes and tests, though it may seem to work in the short term, will inevitably hurt you later on.


Class Participation






Tests (including final)



I. Participation (10%) and attendance policy

Learning another language is a lot easier in a group, but only if everyone in the group is working together. This kind of course requires daily attention. You cannot study only before tests and quizzes. You must attend class faithfully and be prepared every day. Attendance at all meetings of the class is required. Active participation by all students in the class is very important. You are expected to ask questions, volunteer answers, and actively participate in class.

Each student is permitted 3 unexcused absences during the semester. A student with more than THREE unexcused absences will drop one grade point on the final semester grade for each unexcused absence over three.

II. Quizzes (30%)

There will be frequent quizzes. At the end of the semester several low quiz grades will be dropped. Therefore, there are no make-ups on quizzes unless a compelling reason is given for missing them.

III. Homework (20%)

Written homework will be assigned daily.

IV. Tests (40%)

There will be at least 6 major tests. The dates for these tests will be announced in class at least one week in advance. These tests will demonstrate your understanding of the grammar and assignments. There are no make-ups on tests unless you present a written excuse from your doctor.

The Latin 101 Final Exam is on Saturday, Dec 15, 2007, at 8 am.

V. Extra Credit

There will be several opportunities to gain extra credit in this class, including writing response papers after attending Classics Department and archeological lectures during the semester.

Final Note: Do not get behind at any time. Ask for help before you feel you are slipping. Carpe diem!


Latin tutors will be available several hours a week to help students individually

with class assignments. Tutors are paid by the college, & their services ARE FREE TO YOU!!!

Grading scale: 

Letter grades will be assigned according to the following pattern:

A 93-100 A- 90-92

B+ 87-89 B 83-86 B- 80-82 

C+ 77-79 C 73-76 C- 70-72 

D+ 67-69 D 63-66 D- 60-62 F below 60

Honesty and Plagiarism:

Don’t cheat! Passing off someone else’s work as yours is plagiarism. Any student submitting plagiarized work will receive a 0 for that assignment.

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