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Honoring Enduring Works

The study of classical authors, in the original language, helps students appreciate enduring literature that has had a profound impact on our cultures and civilizations. Through a linguistic-based study of Latin and classical Greek, students become independent scholars—increasingly comfortable with the language and developing strong habits of mind. Students learn to be precise and logical readers—skilled in close, textual analysis—and interpreters. Class discussions are far-ranging, drawing connections across various disciplines such as English, history, mythology and philosophy. Students who choose to study Latin and Greek can become more than just masters of vocabulary, language and syntax—they can gain a centuries-long perspective on modern civilization and languages, and develop a foundation for future study, in many fields.

From the Classroom

Advanced Latin: Roman Elegy and Lyric

One of several advanced courses in Latin, this class focuses on reading and understanding Latin poetry in its literary and historical contexts. Reading works by poets such as Catullus, Horace, Sulpicia and Ovid, students trace the development of meter, diction and poetic motifs. The class also explores how Roman poets adapted the conventions of love poetry, to present an image of the Roman state under Augustus that is more personal than Vergil’s vision. Topics and discussions include first person narrative, gender and poetic allusion.

As a freshman, I took Latin 2/3 with Ms. Wehle. It moved at a really good pace, so I jumped right into AP as a sophomore, which was awesome. Then I took Selected Readings, where the students get to choose what the class reads. We read Cicero and Lucretius. I would sit in that class and think, “This is why I took Latin. This is the point I wanted to get to—where we’re reading real authors, not readings that are chopped up and modified. This is what I want out of a Classics education.” Now I am also taking Greek.

Rachel Handler

Dover, Massachusetts