Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Latin for Postgraduate Study
Academic Year
Semester 1 (Taught over 2 semesters)
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Seminars / Tutorials 20 x 1 -hour seminars
Workload Breakdown 20 hours seminars 1 hour tutorial support including individual essay returns 179 hours independent study and exam preparation 200 hours total


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment One Latin grammar test at the end of semester one (basis for access to Texts that Made the Middle Ages) (1 hr) One take away translation exercise at the end of semester 2 (2 days)   100%
Supplementary Assessment New tests and exams different from those originally undertaken in any failed module, as required by university regulations governing resits for modules with marks under 50%.  100%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

Demonstrate a critical understanding of basic principles of Latin.

Apply abstract principles to specific textual examples.

Marshal and understand key principles of Latin composition and language as used in early and high medieval Europe.

Demonstrate and apply an advanced understanding of Latin syntax, grammar and vocabulary.
Demonstrate through written their ability to engage with, understand and analyse select materials in Latin.

Brief description

Academic rationale of the proposal:
This module is designed for students with little pre-existing knowledge of Latin. There is an expectation that students will have read Stuart'r Latin for local and family historians in preparation, but the main aim is to provide them with a basic grasp of grammar, syntax and word forms in medieval and/or early modern Latin.
The module falls into two parts. Semester one will focus on basic Latin grammar and syntax. The aim is to provide students with a framework that will then allow them to tackle more complex texts with the help of a dictionary and Latin grammar. Semester two will focus on applying these abstract rules to specific texts. These will be selected with an eye on students? option module choices and dissertation interests, and aims to ensure that they can tackle primary sources with sufficient confidence to use them in their dissertation.

Brief Description:

This module is designed for those with little knowledge of Latin. You are strongly advised to consult Denis Stuart, Latin for Local and Family Historians (Chichester, 1995) in preparation. Doing so will make the module more effective for you. At the same time, there will be things that remain unclear even after reading Stuart, and dealing with those is exactly what this module is meant to do.
The module will be taught over two semesters. In the first semester, the focus will be on basic Latin grammar, syntax, and vocabulary. The idea is to provide you with enough of a background so that, guided by a grammar and a dictionary, you will be able to tackle primary sources with a reasonable degree of confidence. The second semester will move from the basics to dealing with primary sources in the original. The selection of texts will reflect your level of competence in Latin, but also your choice of option modules, and your dissertation interests. There is thus considerable flexibility as to the texts studied, and the list of seminar topics below is indicative and by no means prescriptive. The aim is to show how you can apply in practice the basic structures and principles of Latin acquired during the first semester.
This module will teach you how to identify the elements from which a text is constructed, which, in turn, will make the job of translating and understanding Latin materials quite a bit easier. It will thus also allow you to gain the practice and self-confidence that you will need to pursue advanced research in medieval history, but also to tackle the kind of materials you are likely to encounter working in archives, museums, or the heritage industry.


A typical list of seminar topics would look like this (though details will reflect students? previous knowledge of Latin, module and dissertation choices, etc.)

Semester 1:
1. Introduction
2. Verbs
3. Nouns
4. Adjectives
5. Adverbs
6. Past tense, Perfect tense, Future I & II
7. Conjunctive and Optative
8. Ablativus absolutus
9. Gerundives
10. Conclusion

Semester 2: Latin reading practice (normally 10 x 1 hour)
1. Introduction
2. Gerald of Wales I
3. Matthew Paris I
4. Gerald of Wales II
5. Matthew Paris II
6. Dissertation Topic I: the language of charters and writs
7. Dissertation Topic II: the language of liturgy and exegesis
8. Matthew Paris and his sources
9. Giraldus Cambrensis and his sources
10. Conclusion

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number Through understanding of statistical and other numerical data as it relates to the topics under review
Communication Through seminar discussion and essay writing. Latter only is formally assessed.
Improving own Learning and Performance By guided reflection during seminars and feedback sessions following submission of written work.
Information Technology Through data retrieval exercises for research purposes and word-processing for essay writing purposes.
Personal Development and Career planning Through furthering understanding of single and interdisciplinary approaches to the social and cultural history of the period, and the opportunity this offers for research and history related careers.
Problem solving By understanding how historians seeking to explore the social and cultural significance of Latin employ a variety of different methodological approaches towards understanding problems within their field. Practise and understand the basic principles of Latin language, and apply them to texts.
Research skills By learning how to identify appropriate primary and secondary sources and utilising that material in their work.
Subject Specific Skills By enhancing methodological understanding of the intellectual foundations of high medieval culture, and an awareness of key texts and approaches.
Team work Through seminar work.


This module is at CQFW Level 7