Move Beyond the 'Classic' Authors
Engage and retain a greater variety of students by exposing them to a variety of authors, genres, and time periods. Level 1 (first semester) Latin readings introduce students to ancient Rome, from Plautus and Terence to Augustine and Ammianus. The chronological approach to Latin literature provides students the context for the major Roman authors, including favorites like Caesar, Catullus, Cicero, Horace, Ovid, and Vergil. Level 2 (second semester) Latin readings demonstrate Latin's far-reaching influence as students read Latin authors of the Middle Ages and Renaissance—Einhard and Heloise to Valla and Holberg. These readings are adaptations based on the original Latin.
Level 2: Unadapted Latin
Each Level 2 chapter includes an unadapted classical Latin reading from Nepos’s Life of Atticus. Students will finish Level 2 having read 264 lines of unadapted Latin text.
Titus Pomponius Atticus is best known today as Cicero’s close friend, immortalized in the hundreds of surviving Letters to Atticus. Yet he was a very different man: avoiding political office and determined to protect his own interests in the dangerous age in which he lived, he devoted himself to Epicurean philosophy, antiquarian scholarship, and making money on a vast scale. He was a friend not only of Cicero, but Caesar and Brutus, Marc Antony and the future emperor Augustus, and the high-ranking women of Rome who, like him, wielded great informal power. Cornelius Nepos’s lively biography of Atticus is an ideal text for students beginning to read original Latin prose. The language is straightforward—more accessible than Cicero and Caesar, but employing all the same constructions. And the Life as a whole is short enough that it can be read in its entirety. One of the earliest Latin biographies to survive, it gives an excellent introduction to the development in Rome of a literary genre that still flourishes today. Students, I know from experience, greatly enjoy Nepos’s not entirely objective portrayal of Atticus and the light it sheds on the glittering last years of Rome’s Republic and the awful civil wars that followed.
– Josiah Osgood, Georgetown University