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 101 & 102 Elementary Latin 6
LA 201 & 202 Intermediate Latin 6
LA 301
 & 302
Survey of Literature: Roman Republic
Survey of Literature: Roman Empire
CL 386 Roman History 3
LA 490 Readings in Latin Literature 3
Credit Hour Subtotal: 24
Select 9 hours from the following:
CL 222 Greek & Roman Mythology
CL 323 Alexander the Great, Then & Now
CL 333 Greek Civilization
CL 350 Roman Religion
CL 365 Greece and Rome in Film
CL 380 Special Topics
CL 385 History of Greece
HY 235 Christ Church to 1500
PHL 211 Ancient Philosophy
UH 300 Honors Spec Topics Sem (Women from Antiquity through Today)
Greek language electives on the 100 level and above
Latin language electives on the 400 level or above
Credit Hour Subtotal: 9
Total Hours 33

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.