Course Expectations and Objectives
We will read the excerpts from a variety of Roman Historians, covering in broad outlines the history of Rome from its foundation in 753 B.C. through the early Middle Ages. As always, we will focus closely on the grammar, vocabulary, and style of the assigned texts, with regular comments on the historical and social background. The student is expected to have mastered a basic second year vocabulary and to be prepared to absorb a considerable quantity of new vocabulary. Complete familiarity with basic forms (declension patterns, pronouns, verb tenses, infinitives, and participles) is required.
The difficulty and style of our texts will vary considerably, from the simple prose of the Periochae to the stylized art of Sallust, Tacitus, Ammianus, and Falcandus. As with all authors, the style and vocabulary become easier as the work progresses. We will move slowly at first, more quickly as the semester progresses.
Students are expected to have prepared the assigned text well enough to read it with minimal difficulty and discuss grammatical constructions. Our goals are to read with reasonable ease the passages assigned and to articulate a basic understanding of the broad outline of Roman history. The work required is considerable, the rewards commensurate.
The texts are available on-line in pdf format, with grammatical and historical commentary.
Livy, Praefatio - Commentary - 44 lines
Periochae I-IV (The Kings and Early Wars in Italy) - Commentary - 98 lines
Livy, Book 9.10-11 (Postumius and the Caudine Forks) - Commentary - 60 lines
de Viris Illustribus (Pyrrhus) - Commentary - 17 lines
Eutropius, Book II (excerpts) (The First Punic War) - Commentary - 77 lines
Eutropius, Book III (excerpts) (The Second Punic War) - Commentary - 111 lines
Nepos, Vita Catonis - Commentary - 40 lines
de Viris Illustribus (Scipio Africanus) - Commentary - 22 lines
de Viris Illustribus (T. Quinctius Flamininus) - Commentary - 6 lines
de Viris Illustribus (Antiochus the Great) - Commentary - 12 lines
de Viris Illustribus (Ti. Gracchus) - Commentary - 12 lines
Epistula Corneliae - Commentary - 25 lines
Eutropius, Book V (excerpts) (The Social War, The First Civil War, The First Mithridatic War) - Commentary - 74 lines
Sallust, Epistula Mithridatis - Commentary - 45 lines
Caesar, The Civil War (Death of Pompey) - Commentary - 46 lines
Cicero, Letter to Trebonius - Commentary - 24 lines
Eutropius, The Civil Wars and the Rise of Augustus - Commentary - 57 lines
Augustus, Res Gestae - Commentary - 88 lines
Tacitus, Preface (Annales) - Commentary - 51 lines
Tacitus, Speech of Calgacus (Agricola) - Commentary - 61 lines
Eutropius Book IX (The Third Century) - Commentary - 114 lines
Ammianus Marcellinus, Death of the Emperor Valens - Commentary - 18 lines
Gregory of Tours - Commentary - 54 lines
Do not hesitate to make use of a modern English edition in order to help unravel the complexities of the Latin grammar.
A systematic grammar of Latin is recommended. Bennett's New Latin Grammar or, better, Allen and Greenough's New Latin Grammar. Both are available for on-line purchase. They are also available in on-line editions, but are not formatted for ease of use. Handouts on basic grammar and vocabulary are available at the Latin Handout Page.
rerum ratio ordinem temporum desiderat, regionum descriptionem - Cicero
William L. Carey, Esq.
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