Languages and Cultures

Latin Course Descriptions

LATN 111 Introduction to Latin I (4)

The elements of classical Latin, its grammatical structure and forms, with a basic vocabulary. Development of reading skill through a varied selection of ancient texts in prose and verse.

LATN 112 Introduction to Latin II (4)

The elements of classical Latin, its grammatical structure and forms, with a basic vocabulary. Development of reading skill through a varied selection of ancient texts in prose and verse.

LATN 202 Reading Group in Latin (0-1)

Selected readings deal with world languages and cultures. Texts read may be classics in a national literature, works by writers who recently won a high literary prize, or texts dealing with current topics critical to the history or politics of a particular country. Texts may be tied to on-campus lectures on world literature by invited speakers. This course can be repeated once for credit with the permission of the chair. Offered for S/U grading only.

LATN 211 Intermediate Latin (4)

Review and completion of the fundamentals of Latin, including the reading of passages from classical texts. Satisfactory completion of LATN 211 fulfills the global language proficiency requirement.

LATN 271 Individual Learning Project (1-4)

Supervised reading or research at the lower-division level. Permission of department chair required. Consult department for applicability towards major requirements. Not available to first-year students.

LATN 302 Reading Group in Latin (0-1)

Selected readings deal with world languages and cultures. Texts read may be classics in a national literature, works by writers who recently won a high literary prize, or texts dealing with current topics critical to the history or politics of a particular country. Texts may be tied to on-campus lectures on world literature by invited speakers. This course can be repeated once for credit with the permission of the chair. Offered for S/U grading only.

LATN 327 Topics in Latin Literature (4)

A selected topic in Latin literature, such as classical rhetoric, Lucretius, the novel, philosophy, satire, Medieval Latin, or Christian literature. This course may be repeated for credit if the topics are different.

LATN 327A Topic: Cicero and Pliny (4)

A reading of Latin of selected works of prose by Cicero and Pliny.

LATN 327C The Catilinarian Conspiracy (4)

An investigation of an attempted revolution led by Catiline against the Roman state in 63 B.C.E. We will read Latin selections from (and English translations of) the following contemporary accounts of the events: Cicero’s political speeches and Sallust’s history of the conspiracy. In the process, we will learn a great deal about two of the most important Latin prose authors and the life and thought of the late Roman republic.

LATN 327D The Life and Death of Augustus (4)

Augustus was a monumental figure in Roman history—and western history in general. While he belonged to the last generation of the Roman Republic, he was also the first Roman emperor, and as such he ushered in the long and transformative period of the Roman Empire. As a result, the “Augustan period,” that is, the period defined by his unparalleled and unquestioned power in the Roman world (31/0 BCE-14 CE), merits serious study. In it we see the Roman political tradition and the Mediterranean world in transition. In this course, we will learn about the life and death of Augustus, the age that he defined, and the legacy that he left behind, through the study of relevant Latin epigraphic and literary documents. Indeed Latin inscriptions and literature are abundant for this subject—and we will take full advantage of the abundance by reading selections from The Accomplishments of the Divine Augustus (Augustus’s epigraphic autobiography), Suetonius’s Life of Augustus (an engaging work of biography), and Tacitus’s Annals (the greatest work of Roman history by its greatest historian). In the process, not only will students see their familiarity with and ability to read a range of Latin authors grow, but they also will come to better understand and appreciate a vital period of history, the mark of which can still be seen today.

LATN 327E Jews and Christians in the Roman World (4)

Jews and Christians produced some of the most creative and controversial ideas in the Roman world. Such ideas and their social, cultural, and political consequences have come down to us in a variety of languages, including Latin. In this course, we use Latin literature to investigate the diversity of these ideas, consider how they fit into Jewish, Christian, and Roman cultural contexts, and seek to explain why these groups experienced exclusion and inclusion. How is it that Christianity, a Near Eastern religion growing out of Judaism, started as a practice reviled by many and leading to martyrdom only to enjoy the patronage and power of Roman emperors and become the dominant religion in the Mediterranean? It was not an inevitable development. We will explore this unlikely and shocking story through reading and discussing selected Latin passages. Possible sources include the Vulgate, Tacitus, Pliny, the Passion of Perpetua, Lactantius, Ammianus Marcellinus, Augustine, and/or the Rule of Saint Benedict.

LATN 331 Virgil and Epic Poetry (4)

Virgil's Aeneid: Latin readings in the first six books; the entire work in translation. The influence of Homer and of Alexandrian poetry and the unique quality of Virgil's poetic art.

LATN 333 Elegiac and Lyric Poetry (4)

Readings in Catullus, Tibullus, Propertius, Ovid, and Horace, with emphasis on a close explication of the Latin text and on the characteristics of classical poetry. Development of Roman elegiac and lyric forms.

LATN 338 Roman Comedy (4)

The ancient Romans liked to laugh as much as we do today! In this class, we'll read at least one of Plautus' or Terence's comedies in full with attention to the distinctive features of their genre, their poetic style, and their archaic Latin language. We'll also learn about ancient theater production, imagine how these plays might have looked and sounded in performance, and discuss some of the current questions in scholarship on Roman comedy: How do these plays represent the world? Who were they for, and who were they about? And what can we learn about the playgoers of Republican Rome from the jokes that Plautus and Terence wrote to make them laugh?

LATN 342 Cicero (4)

Readings in the work of Cicero, a major orator, statesman, and philosopher of the Roman Republic.

LATN 343 Ovid’s Metamorphoses (4)

A reading of Ovid’s Metamorphoses, selected stories in Latin and the entire work in English.

LATN 349 Roman Historians (4)

Reading of one or more Roman historians, such as Sallust, Livy, Caesar, Tacitus, or Suetonius. Emphasis on methodology, style, function of speeches, views of causality, origins of war, and the weighing and presentation of evidence.

LATN 371 Individual Learning Project (1-4)

Supervised reading or research at the upper-division level. Permission of department chair and completion and/or concurrent registration of 12 credits within the department required. Consult department for applicability towards major requirements. Not available to first-year students.

College of Saint Benedict
Saint John’s University

Ana Conboy
Chair, Languages and Cultures Department
CSB Richarda P16
320-363-5754

Jennifer Schwichtenberg
Department Coordinator
CSB Richarda P38
320-363-5067
SJU Quad 253A
320-363-3093