Latin for Pleasure

Isabel Raphael 077

Isabel Raphael, Latin for Pleasure tutor

Latin for Pleasure   

Brush up your Latin and enjoy reading and discussing a wide variety of poetry and prose in a relaxed and informal way. Text and vocabulary provided.   

Time:     Tuesdays 2.30pm – 4.00pm
Dates:    Autumn term 2019: Monday Sept 16th – Friday Dec 13th (Half term Oct 21st – 25th)
                Spring term 2020: Jan 6th – April 3rd (Half term Feb 17th – 21st)
                Summer term 2020: April 27th – May 22nd
Venue:   Gosling Room.
Fees:      £105 for a 12-week term
                £35 for a 4-week summer term
Tutor:     Isabel Raphael

This course is for those who have a basic understanding of Latin (much of which may have been forgotten), who would enjoy reading classical authors in the original language. It is an opportunity to brush up your Latin and enjoy reading and discussing a wide variety of poetry and prose in a relaxed and informal way. Text and vocabulary provided.

It offers an opportunity to enjoy and appreciate Latin poetry and prose from a literary and historic point of view, without the linguistic grind that so many of us remember with dismay. Even if you have forgotten a great deal, the essential structure and vocabulary come back remarkably quickly, and I am there to guide the group through unfamiliar word order, and to identify forgotten endings of nouns, adjectives and verbs. This allows us to read at a comfortable speed, with time to recognise and appreciate the force and elegance of the language but without getting bogged down in ‘the obscurity of a learned language’. Our readings stimulate discussion of all kinds; every session brings something new and interesting to think about. We cover a wide range of classical authors, including Catullus, Ovid, Virgil, Martial, Livy, Tacitus, Pliny, Cicero and Caesar, but we also take in Latin epitaphs and eulogies, ancient and modern, and extracts from Medieval Latin, for example the murder of Thomas à Becket and Peter Abelard’s autobiography. Passages are selected but not altered; we read only the genuine texts. Appropriate vocabulary is provided for each piece.

There is no ‘level’ to be attained. Students go at their own pace, and there is always time for questions, for background and grammatical explanation from the tutor, and for contributions from everybody.