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Latin: One Language, Many Cultures

Why should I take this Trinity Elective?

Latin was a living language, and the leading one in Western Europe, for over a millennium: it was a language of power, but also the language in which ordinary people expressed. Latin was also the main form of communication of ideas in the Humanities and Sciences until the early modern period. Acquiring the foundations of Latin empowers you to access a wider English vocabulary, which is significantly Latin based; to enhance your understanding of concepts you encounter in your subjects and in your cultures; to detect the connections between English and modern European languages and the differences between them; to make sense of monumental and private inscriptions everywhere to be seen in urban and rural landscapes across Europe; to encapsulate a personal sentiment in an effective motto. The module expands the intellectual scope of the study of the language to embrace issues of colonialism and cultural transfer, change and continuity, social diversification and artistic use of shared language, the problematic nature of etymology and its ideological implications, and, most importantly, how language shapes the thought and worldview of individuals and nations.

Please note this module is for those without any prior learning in Latin.

What will I learn?

  • You will learn the foundations of the Latin language in its original cultural context, acquiring a critical appreciation of the values and thought of ancient Rome.
  • Your will discover how knowledge of Latin enhances your understanding of English and of modern European languages and cultures.
  • You will gain a deeper understanding of the terminology and concepts specific to your discipline (Arts and Humanities, Law, STEM Sciences, Health Sciences).
  • You will learn to engage critically with questions of linguistic imperialism, ideological hegemony and resistance, regional and social diversification of Latin and how languages are used in context.

What will I do?

  • You will attend a series of lectures that will guide you through the structures and thought of the Latin language through direct approach to original texts.
  • You will have opportunities to practice individually and in small groups in a series of practical sessions.
  • Bespoke multimedia online resources will assist you in your independent study of the language in context.
  • You will develop a fully researched case study (team project) relevant to your disciplinary interests in dialogue with other disciplines.

How will this be delivered?

  • Face to face lectures and practical sessions – 22 contact hours.
  • Direct engagement on primary material including online lessons @ (Trinity Latin project platform) – approx. 40 hours.
  • Reflective small group tutorials– approx 6 hours.
  • Team project work (Latin word poster) – approx 25 hours.

How will this be assessed?

  • Participation and online discussion during term (10%).
  • Individual in-class language tests during term (20+30%).
  • Interdisciplinary team project on a key Latin word, concept or line, which will critically and creatively examine its continuing and changing relevance across space and time (end of term 40%, 15% on the process of individual reflection, 25% on the collective output).

Who can take this Trinity Elective?

The module is intended for complete beginners and is available to students in all subjects with the following exceptions:
Students enrolled in a Classics programme who take Latin as part of their degree
Students enrolled in any subject who have obtained previous qualification in Latin such as Junior/Leaving Certificate or equivalent, or diploma from an intensive Summer School

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