For centuries the study of Latin (Classics) has been central to any well-rounded humanistic education. The Romans, along with the Greeks, provide the foundation for many of the values and intellectual ideas that we take for granted in Western civilization. Incredibly sophisticated notions of justice, equality, mutual respect, and freedom were hammered out amid the stone and struggle for survival and have become our inheritance. In Classics, we study that inheritance through the literary and material remains. The concentration in Latin focuses mainly on the Roman contributions, with an emphasis on the advanced reading of Latin literature from 200 BC through the Medieval period.

Students who choose the Latin major should expect to learn to read the language at a very advanced level by the time s/he completes the requirements. We are not learning the language for its own sake, but in order to access directly in the original the centuries-long discussion about what makes us human beings. Students should have a propensity for language study and an interest in humanities in general. Not only does the study of Latin increase the sophistication of one’s thinking and provide a clearer scope of the sweep of intellectual history, it improves one’s understanding of language in general. Latin is a precise language that demands a thorough comprehension of how sentences are built and structured, while its vocabulary constitutes the basis of a considerable number of English words. Thus the knowledge of Latin sharpens one’s understanding of English.

Degree Options

The study of Latin requires that the student take a minimum of 33 hours in Classics with a heavy emphasis on Latin. Students will reach the highest level of Latin (LA 490) and even repeat that course with a different reading selection or author. We encourage students who major in Latin to learn a modern language as well, whether Italian, French, or German, or to choose a second major that relates directly to their future career choice.

What follows is a typical curriculum for students majoring in Latin. Please refer to the UA Undergraduate Catalog for a more precise and detailed outline.

Course(s) Notes Hours
LA 201 and 202 Intermediate Latin; students will have completed or placed out of beginning Latin 6
LA 301 and 302 Advanced reading in Roman authors and genres; the selections change year to year according to the needs of the students as determined by the professor 6
LA 480 Writing and research in the field of Classics, primarily for those going into the profession 3
LA 490 Often taught in conjunction with LA 301 or 302; can be retaken as selections change for additional credit 3 or more
CL 222 Greek & Roman Mythology 3
CL 386 Roman History 3
CL 350 Roman Religion 3
GR 101 and 102 Beginning Greek; students planning to enter the field of Classics by going to graduate school are encouraged to take Greek into the intermediate or higher levels 6
CL 380 A “special topics” course whose content changes from semester to semester and can be taken more than once for credit. Past topics include Roman Art, The Ancient World in Film, Women’s Lives in Antiquity 3 or more

NB: Students are encouraged to participate in the Summer Abroad in Greece program, where they can earn 6 hrs. credit toward their major (CL 380: Greek Civilization and CL 385: Greek History). Students in the Honors Program will also find courses that can count towards the Classics major, such as Alexander the Great. Other courses related to Classics can be found in the departments of philosophy and art history.