fall 2017

Prof. Rosivach


LA 111A ("Basic Latin") is designed to provide in one college semester the Latin readingskills normally acquired in two or three years' study of Latin on a high school level, viz. an ability to translate independently with reasonable accuracytexts of moderate difficulty with the aid of a dictionary, and an ability to follow along and immediately understand a previously unseen text when it isorally translated in class.


There is no regular textbook for the course. R. J. Henle, Latin Grammar (Chicago 1965) is required as a reference tool, as is any standard English-Latin dictionary.Several Latin textbooks are also available for consultation in the library.


LA 111A is a four-credit course that meets for three periods per week, seventy-five minuteson Monday and Thursday, and fifty minutes on Wednesday. The first eight or nine weeks of class are devoted to grammar lectures that focus on the broaderpatterns of Latin inflection and grammatical usage. Each grammar point is supported by a written English-to-Latin exercise that the student does forhomework. There is no required memorization, and students are encouraged to use dictionary and grammar as reference tools when preparing the homework. Theassumption of the course is that the actual learning takes place in the doing of the homework, when the student is required to manipulate the material of thegrammar lectures. The homework is carefully corrected with explanations provided when students make mistakes. Emphasis through all this is on grammar.Exercises and classroom examples are based for the most part on a rather limited basic vocabulary, which the students master, as they master thegrammar, through repeated use rather than memorization. The homework is in effect cumulative, requiring students to review continually material previouslycovered. The metaphor used to describe the course is that of a roughly built scaffold continually reinforced by repeated use of the grammar, as opposed to aconventional structure carefully built up one stage at a time, brick by brick.


As the students' range of grammar develops readings are introduced to illustrate the topicscovered in the grammar lectures and homework. Within the initial eight- to nine-week period emphasis shifts gradually from grammar to reading. By the endof the initial period the grammar lectures are essentially complete. The remainder of the semester is then spent on readings that are used to reinforcethe grammatical points treated in the first part of the semester, and to develop the student's recognitional vocabulary.


Students who successfully complete the LA 111A course will continue in LA 211 in the Spring.





For the grammar portion of the course there will be three exams consisting of Latin to Englishtranslations of previously unseen texts; dictionaries and grammars may be used for these exams. The final exam, again Latin to English, will be based on thereadings at the end of the semester; dictionaries and grammars may not be used for the final. Each of the exams will be weighted equally; combined they willaccount for three fourths of the semester grade. Please also see below on absences.





There are separate written exercises for most topics on the topic list. Usually there will be twoor more exercises per class. The exercises for all topics completed in a given class are due by e-mail by 10 a.m. on the following day; corrected homeworkwill be returned by e-mail and should be reviewed before the next class. The written exercises are a standing assignment that will not be repeated fromclass to class.


Latin to English translations will be assigned from time to time. Due dates will be specifiedwhen the assignments are made.


One fourth of your grade for the semester will depend on these assignments (written, and Latin toEnglish). You can lose credit only by not doing them or by doing them in a rushed and careless manner. You will not be penalized if you miss class for alegitimate reason, but you will be expected to arrange with the instructor to make up missed assignments as soon as possible after your return. Absence froma class does not excuse you from the assignment due that day or from the any work assigned during your absence.





According to the Catalogue "All students are expected to attend every scheduled class session. Theimpact of attendance on grading is specified in the syllabus." Because of the importance of classroom presentations in this course no more than six absences for any reason whatsoever will be allowed. Students with more than six absences may apply for a "Withdrawal" from the course;students with more than six absences who are not permitted to withdraw from the course will receive a failing grade.




Please review the statements in the catalogue on academic honesty. You are encouraged to workcollaboratively when the occasion arises both in class and on the Latin-to-English translations, but any English-to-Latin homework done outsideof class must be your own work and your work alone. All cases of suspected dishonesty, including collusion on English-to-Latin homework done outside of class, will automatically be reported to the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.





The address for the class web site is: My schedule of office hours and other information relevant to the class will beposted there.





Use of a cellphone, texting device or similar personal communications gear during class in unacceptable. Please turn off all such devices beforeclass begins. Computers, netbooks, etc. can be useful in class but their use in any way unnconnected with the class (e-mailing, checking Facebook, etc.) isunacceptable since it prevents you from giving your full attention to the class, it distracts other students, and it is simply rude. If you violate thesenorms for the use of electronic devices you wil be penalized.





If you have any questions on any topic related to class, e-mail me and I will answer yourquestion as soon as I am able. My e-mail address is If you have to communicate with me for any reason, I would prefer that you usee-mail, not voice-mail. If you do use voice-mail, please do not expect me to return your call.