In these seminars our teachers choose texts that they find particularly interesting. Each seminar will consist of reading and discussion, led by the teacher but to a considerable extent shaped by the students' response to the text. These highly participative sessions will appeal to those who are already fluent readers of the language in question and now wish to develop their skills in discussion.
An introduction to Cicero’s philosophy
Fundamenta philosophiae Ciceronis tractabimus, locos diversos de philosophia ethica (De Finibus), politica (De Re publica, De Legibus), metaphysica (De Divinatione, De Natura Deorum, De Fato), de cognoscendi modis (Academica) legendo. In prima parte scholae discipuli linguam ipsam loquendique facultatem exercebunt (quis fuerit Cicero, quomodo animum et corpus describere possimus, disputationes philosophicae, e.g. virtusne ad vitam bene beateque agendam sufficiat necne et alia eiusdem generis), in altera vero facultatem textus intellegendi et interpretandi exercebimus.
This course offers students who already have a sound grasp of Latin the opportunity to improve their ability to interpret Latin philosophical texts. We will read extracts from Cicero’s works on ethics (De Finibus), politics (De Re publica, De Legibus), epistemology (Academica), and metaphysics (De Divinatione, De Natura Deorum, De Fato). In the first part of each class, students will mostly practise speaking in Latin, learning to express complex sentences and to formulate philosophical hypothesis and critiques. During the second part, they will read and discuss extracts from the texts.
Literary and scholarly Latin
Qui sermones Latinos serere possunt, ii licet facile de rebus cotidianis, difficulter tamen de rebus litteraris ac scholasticis loqui valent. Cui tristi discipulorum condicioni ut medeamur has scholas proponimus ad adipiscendam loquendi de litteris rebusque scholasticis facultatem. Discipuli assiduā colloquiorum lectione quae de scholasticis argumentis sunt conscripta per totum trimestre exercitati, et amplam doctrinam et facultatem Latine loquendi egregiam sibi comparabunt.
However well we speak Latin, discussing literary and academic topics can be difficult compared to ordinary conversation. We’ve designed this class to address that troublesome discrepancy. Throughout the term students will be reading dialogues that deal with scholarly themes; thus they will learn a substantial amount at the same time as acquiring excellent Latin-speaking skills.
Women-only reading seminar
Seminarium feminis destinatum
Hoc seminarium feminis destinatum reservatumque est. Feminis enim puellisque hucusque pauciores fuerunt facultates Latine loquendi quam pueris virisque. Neque vero desunt quae Latine optime legant scribantque, tamen inter homines qui Latine loquuntur satis rarae sunt feminae. Qua de causa hoc seminarium praebere decrevimus, ut artem loquendi inter se exerceant feminae, femina ducente. Aptissimum autem erit eis quae Latine iam bene intellegant, nam scopus sessionum erit textus explanare disputareque potius quam vocabula syntaxinque docere.
Textus ex operibus diversis depromptos legemus, exempli gratia carminibus Tibulli, Catulli, Ovidii, rebus gestis, epistulis Ciceronis, Senecae, Plinii. Qui licet diversi sint, omnes tractant affectus animi: amorem, odium, timorem, luctum, aegritudinem, gaudium, cetera. Singulis septimanis textus ad participes in antecessum mittetur, ut maxima pars seminarii sermoni artemque loquendi colendo dedicetur.
Women-only reading seminar
There are comparatively few women in the Latin speaking field, a fact that has nothing to do with ability and everything to do with opportunity. This seminar, led by a woman, aims to help redress the balance by giving women the opportunity to practise speaking Latin with each other in a mutually supportive environment. Designed for women who already have a good command of the written language and specifically want to begin or develop their speaking ability, the seminar will encourage discussion of students’ response to the texts rather than primarily teaching grammar and vocabulary.
The texts have been chosen from a variety of authors and genres including Latin love elegy, Ovid’s exile poetry, and epistolary, historical and philosophical prose. All of them deal with human emotions: love, hatred, fear, grief, depression, elation, and more. In order to allow as much time as possible to be spent practising the art of speaking, the week’s text will be sent to participants in advance, so that those who have the time can read it before the Tuesday session.
Discipulis qui iam fere omnia linguae praecepta Familiā Romanā (vel sim.) usi didicerunt, sed ex limpido auctorum Latinorum fonte nondum biberunt, hunc cursum veluti pontem ac transitum ad auctores veros legendos proponimus, ubi salsam Plauti comoediam nomine Amphitryonem perscrutemur, grammatica et latinitatis propria ante oculos imprimis ponentes.
If you’ve largely covered the fundamentals of Latin grammar and syntax, perhaps by using Familia Romana, but have yet to sample the pure waters of original Latin authors, this course is for you. Designed to bridge the gap between the two, it will see you studying Plautus's comedy Amphitryo, enjoying the wit and humour while focusing first and foremost on grammar and Latinity.
Roman authors on science, art, and power
Fictane sit an vera illa pervulgata opinio quam quidam tradunt, Romanos usui, Graecos vero rationi esse deditos. Ad quodque capitulum binae vel trinae tribuentur lectiones.
We will consider how much truth there is in the commonly held view that the Romans focused on the practical arts whereas the ancient Greeks dedicated themselves to theory and reason. Each topic will be explored through several readings from various authors, outlined below:
1. The Origins of the Arts Unde originem duxerint artes
2. Land economy De terra
3. Family Medicine Medicina paterfamilias
4. Architecture and engineering Vitruvius, architectus et machinator
5. Philosophy and natural science Philosophi et scientiarum gradus
6. The Natural World Historia naturalis
7. Art and Power Ars et potestas
An introduction to Seneca’s philosophy
Si Latinum sermonem intelligere potestis atque valetis breves sententias proferre, hoc seminarium vobis convenit. Legetis scripta Senecae ita ut non modo placita eius discatis, sed etiam de philosophia loquamini. Consilium seminarii est exercere facultatem legendi, scribendi, et loquendi Latine dum philosophiam tractamus.
Ad singulas scholas accipietis scripta Latine adnotata et locutiones. Post scholas vobis proponetur exercitium de arte scribendi ut extra scholas in scribendo vos exerceatis et vobis mittetur compendium grammaticae et vocabulorum textus lecti. Ad proximas scholas proponetur argumentum disputandum.
Scribite, loquimini, et philosophamini Latine!
If you can understand Latin when you hear it spoken, and are able to speak short sentences yourself, this seminar is right for you. Reading
It is a daunting thing to start speaking any new language, let alone Classical Greek - but the sessions quickly became one of the highlights of my week. It felt more like a catch-up with friends than anything else – and, in addition to being more enjoyable than grinding through a grammar book, improved my Greek miraculously!
Sam TroyAncient Greek Spring School (online), April 2023
After learning Latin on my own for about a year I was starting to struggle but Ayelet's own enthusiasm for the subject seems to be infectious. This course boosted my motivation and turned out to be just what I needed. I felt stretched at times, as we covered a lot of material that was new to me, but getting to the end of the book now seems much more achievable! I am very pleased with the course.
Rob ColesLatin Summer School (online), August 2021
I loved the course and felt that my speaking confidence had really improved by the end of the two weeks! … Thank you once again for all your efforts teaching us!
Ross MoncrieffLatin Summer School (online), August 2021
I really liked the way Ivan taught us. The effort he made every time someone had a question so that we could fully understand was very helpful to us. He seems to love his job. The classes were very useful for me because I studied Latin for 2 years, but I didn't have the basics of the language, because I had missed it in the beginning and now I can say that I love Latin, because of the Summer Schools.
Dessislava TsvetkovaLatin Summer School (online), August 2021
Jason was a patient and very helpful teacher. The course was perfect for me. I found every day's class challenging yet not overwhelming. The reading material provided was interesting and very useful.
Very engaging sessions, pitched at a challenging but accessible level; well-paced, very interesting selection of material; I learnt a great deal from Renatus' correction of errors and comments on the text, as well as the invaluable time spent on composition at the beginning of many of the lessons. Well organised and friendly; an excellent programme.
Aurelius was a great teacher, and thanks to him and his methods, I understood that ancient Greek grammar wasn't so difficult to learn. He explained with great clarity. … He's also very patient and he varied the sources so that we keep our motivation intact. lt was another great experience. I'm always amazed by OL teachers' proficiency. They're also very patient and encouraging.
Maeva ChardonAncient Greek Summer School (online), August 2021
The classes were excellent: rigorous, informative, and challenging. I very much enjoyed the classes, and learnt a great deal, but I found them very challenging. … But the difficulties were outweighed by the benefits of the lessons – I cannot believe how much Cicero I read in a fortnight!
Renatus showed extremely amiable as well as significantly demanding approach I surely enjoyed, engaging us in multiple philosophical and general conversations fully in Latin that were crucial for activating our grammar and vocabulary in speech to a higher extent. Moreover, I am eager to thank him specifically for his willingness to check, correct and improve our essays in order to clarify and amplify our writing skills.
Constantine RiabstevAdvanced Latin Summer School (online), August 2021
Ayeleta is a great teacher and created a perfect productive atmosphere for the lessons. She was very supportive, she explained and repeated stuff as many times as it was necessary. This summer school was a wonderful time for learning. I enjoyed the programme and the style of the lessons. Of course, studying Latin in Latin is not that easy but it that was a great challenge. After that, you feel way more certain in your knowledge and start to understand the structure of a language way better.
Tetiana AkchurinaLatin Summer School (online), August 2021
I really enjoyed the class. Ayeleta challenged me to speak and go deeper into spoken Latin. I really appreciated her ability to gently challenge.
Grant GombertLatin Summer School (online), August 2021
After every lesson with Oxford Latinitas, I not only feel much more confident about speaking Latin, but I also become more interested in the language and its history. Pierre explains the grammar very well and encourages the students to discuss what we have read in Latin, something which has helped me to improve my speaking skills a lot.
Grace GreavesLatin Spring School (online), April 2023