LAT 1120H and 1121H:  Honors Latin I and II

Latin via Ovid


Course Description: 4 Credit Hours

Honors Latin I and II are designed to offer students a thorough introduction to the Latin language, with emphasis on reading and translation.  The sequence will contribute to the Honors College program in foreign languages, allowing students to meet their undergraduate language requirement in a classical language. It will also contribute to the College=s emphasis on intellectual history.   Students will learn Latin vocabulary, grammar and syntax in parallel with English language forms.  They will study word derivations and parallels between Latin and other Romance languages.  Through a weekly set of exercises, readings, problems in translation, quizzes, and tests, students will develop a reading knowledge of Latin that will prepare them to read classical authors. In the normal sequence of courses (LAT 1120 and LAT 1121, regular sessions) the first two courses would be followed by a 2000 level class, focusing on reading, translation and grammatical review, before moving to 3000 and 4000 level classes in Latin authors.  The present Honors sequence is designed to be cross-listed with the normal sequence, covering the same material in Latin but adding significant content in terms ancillary readings and writing assignments, as well as opportunities for extra study in language.   The Honors sequence of Latin I and II, however, is sufficiently intensive to allow highly motivated students to move directly into a 3000 level course. In addition to an intensive course in the Latin language, this sequence also provides readings in selected Greek and Roman authors in translation. This version of Latin 1120 will focus on readings from Ovid’s Meamorphoses. In LAT 1121 we will focus on Vergil’s Aeneid.  Students will also be asked to utilize online sources in classics, for example the Perseus Project, containing a compendium of Latin and Greek texts with translations, as well as a variety of sources in classical studies.


Assignments and Grades:

In keeping with the course design outlined above, students will take a series of tests and quizzes, as well as complete a sequence of homework and class work assignments, in the Latin language.  In addition, tests will include brief essays on the Roman authors studied. Furthermore, students  will write a final paper on key theme in their readings.  These assignments will contribute to the final grade as follows:

1) Quizzes: 15% of final grade;

2) Homework and Class work: 10% of final grade;

3) Tests: three, including the final exam: each worth 20% of the final grade;

4) Paper on Roman literature: 15% of final grade.  The paper will be 1,000 words in length and involve a) a literary analysis of a work of Greek or Roman literature (in translation), focusing on its mythic content; b) a story rendering your own version of a Greek or Roman myth, adapted for contemporary readers, in the spirit of Ovid’s Metamorphoses. 


Students enrolled in this course agree to abide by the Honors College Honor Code.  Please review the terms of this important document:


Honors Study Group: In an effort to enhance progress in reading and translating Latin, Honors students are invited to form a Latin study group.  As students develop their reading skills in the language, they will increasingly be introduced to challenging readings in the Latin authors and encouraged to discuss the intellectual issues raised by their readings.  In time this group will form the basis advanced Honors Seminars in classical languages and culture.


Latin Via Ovid: The text used for this class presents introductory Latin in terms of the Roman Imperial writer, Publius Ovidius Naso, popularly known as Ovid (43 BC to AD 18).  In his Metamorphoses, Ovid renders the stories of Greek and Roman myth in a series of poems focused on the theme of metamorphosis.  The series begins with stories of the Creation and the Four Ages of Man, threads through various Greco-Roman myths and legends, and ends with a tale of Julius Caesar being transformed into a star after death.  The Latin Via Ovid text begins with a discussion of the map of Europe, charta geographica, then goes on to the story of Europa and Taurus, and other stories.  The fun of learning from this book is enhanced by its addition of mythical dimensions to the study of language. The stories from Ovid are delightful in their own right and make the challenging study of Latin more enjoyable.  To further enrich the literary and mythic aspect of the course, we will also be reading Alan Mandelbaum’s translation of Ovid’s Metamorphoses.  Ovid’s work has been highly influential in the history of literature both for its thematic content and for its poetic style.  Overall, you should find your readings in the Latin and English versions of the Metamorphoses an enriching experience.


Tapes:  There is a set of tapes available for Latin Via Ovid.  They are on reserve in the library, where there are cassette players available for your use.  The tapes are labeled by chapter.  Please take the time to listen to each chapter, so that you may more readily learn pronunciation and improve your skills in comprehension.





In nova fert animus mutatas dicere formas

corpora:  di, coeptisnam vos mutastis et illas

adspirate meis primaque ab origine mundi

ad mea perpetuum deducite tempora carmen. 

Ovid, Metamorphoses I, 1-4.







Required Texts:

Goldman, Norma and Jacob Nyenhuis.  Latin Via Ovid:  A First Course.  2nd Edition

Mandelbaum, Alan, trans.  The Metamorphoses of Ovid.



Online Sources:

Latin Home Page:‑

Latin Resources:

Latin Study Guide:

Latin Texts Online:

Perseus Project:


  Week                                                               Activities


1                     August 27-29

Latin via Ovid (LVO), Introduction, “The Indo-European family of Languages, the Latin alphabet, pronunciation, biography of Publius Ovidius Naso.

Chapter I, “Charta Geographica.” Reading, writing, dialogue and grammar. Tape 1.


      2                September 3-5 (September 3rd is a holiday)

LVO Chapter II, “Europa et Taurus.”  Reading, writing, dialogue, grammar. etymology.  Mandelbaum, Book I. The Creation, the Four Ages of Man, the Flood and other stories.


3                   September 10-12

 LVO Chapter III, “Minerva et Arachne” (Part 1). Reading, writing, dialogue, grammar, etymology. Quiz 1.  Tape 2.


4                  September 17-19

LVO Chapter IV, “Minerva et Arachne” (part 2).  Review quiz.  Reading, writing, dialogue, grammar, etymology.  Mandelbaum, Book II. Begin LVO Chapter V. 


       5               September 24-26

LVO Chapter V, “Minerva et Arachne,” (part 3).  Reading, writing, dialogue,grammar, etymology.  Review.   Test 1, Wednesday.   Tape 3.


        6              October 1-3

 LVO Chapter VI, “Latona et Niobe” (part 1).  Review Test 1.  Reading, writing, dialogue, grammar, etymology.  Mandelbaum, Book III. 


       7               October 8-10

LVO Ch. VII, “Latona et Niobe” (Part 2).  Reading, writing, dialogue, grammar, etymology. Mandelbaum, Book  IV. Tape 4.


       8              October 15-17

LVO Ch. VIII, “Pan et Syringa,  Ch. IX, “Callisto” (part 1).  Reading, writing, dialogue, grammar, etymology.

LVO. Ch. IX cont’d., Ch. X, “Callisto” (part 2). Reading, writing, dialogue, grammar, etymology.  Mandelbaum Book V.  Tape 5.



9                             October 22-24

LVO Ch. XI, “Philemon et Baucis” (pars prima), Ch. XII, Philemon et Baucis” (pars secunda).  Reading, writing, dialogue, grammar etymology. Review. Mandelbaum Book VI. 


10                        October 29-31

LVO, Ch. XIII, “Echo and Narcissus.”  Review test II, review grammar.  Mandelbaum Book VII.  Tape VII.

LVO, Ch. XIV, “Phoebus et Daphne,  Reading, writing, dialogue, grammar, etymology.

Review of conjugations, tenses.


11                        November 5-7 

Test II, Monday.   Ch. XV, “Pyramus et Thisbe” (pars prima). Mandelbaum Book VIII.  Begin Ch. XVI, “Pyramus et Thisbe” (pars secunda)—translation.


12            November 12-14

Monday, Veterans Day Holiday.

Complete Ch. XVI, “Pyramus et Thisbe” (pars secunda). Reading, writing, dialogue, grammar, etymology. Tape IX.  Mandelbaum, Book IX.  Begin, Ch. XVII, “Atlanta et Hippomenes” (pars prima)—translation.


13                    November 19-21

Complete  XVII, “”Atalanta et Hippomenes” (pars prima).  Reading, writing, dialogue, grammar, etymology.  Chapter XVIII, “Atlanta et Hippomenes” (pars secunda).


14                    November 26-28

Chapter XIX, “Midas et Vis Aurea.” Reading, writing, dialogue, grammar, etymology. 

Review.  Paper on Mythology Due.


15                    December 1-3

Chapter 20, “Midas et Pan.”  The passive voice.  Reading, writing, dialogue,  grammar, etymology. 



         16           Final Examination (Test III):  Monday, December 10, 1:15-3:45PM, MHC 114.