Patrick J. Burns

Postdoc at the Quantitative Criticism Lab | Formerly ISAW Library | Fordham PhD, Classics | CLTK contributor

Intermediate Latin

Taught at Fordham University (LATN 1501.1), Fall 2019. This course met 2 times a week in 70-minute blocks.


The aims of this course are to:

Your grade will be based on the following:

Required Texts


Class readings are available online at the links given above; in the event that a reading is unavailable, texts will be distributed as handouts in a timely manner. Reference materials that we use for assistance with vocabulary and grammar are similarly available online. If you have any trouble viewing or using online resources, please email me as soon as possible.

Class Preparation

You are expected to read the Latin for each assignment in full before class as well as memorize all vocabulary and review points of grammar and syntax. You should translate sentences that cause you difficulty, but I encourage you not to translate the assignments in full. You should concentrate on reading and understanding the Latin. You will not be able to refer to translations in class. I encourage you to ask questions in class about lines which cause you difficulty with vocabulary, grammar, comprehension, etc. We will spend time throughout the semester discussing strategies for developing good Latin reading skills. We will also round out your Latin reading skills with various speaking, listening, and writing assignments throughout the semester.

Attendance and Participation

You are expected to attend every class. Moreover, as noted above, you are expected to come to each class fully prepared to put new material to work. That is, students should learn the new grammar and vocabulary for assigned readings before the class on which the chapter is assigned. Our classroom time will be spent on active practice, addressing comprehension questions, and general review—a sort of Latin laboratory. Accordingly, there is no substitute for this precious opportunity to engage with the four essential components of language acquisition—reading, writing, speaking, and listening—with an emphasis this semester on reading, and specifically reading comprehension. The cumulative nature of an intermediate language course makes absences especially difficult to make up—each class builds upon the vocabulary and grammar of the previous classes, not to mention that we will be working this semester with continuous prose passages that will extend over several meetings.

Absences will only be excused and make-up assignments or quizzes will be only be offered with the required paperwork from the Dean’s Office, specifically the Excused Absence Request Form,; submit this paperwork before contacting me about any absences. (On this and related points, I encourage students to review Fordham’s student attendance policies in the Undergraduate Faculty Handbook [Section 2.3].) All work missed during periods of excused absence must be made up in full to earn participation credit. Note also that students are required to take the Final Exam on the scheduled date and time; please make travel plans accordingly.


Points are converted to letter grades using the following scale:
A: 1000-940; A-: 939-900; B+: 899-870; B: 869-840; B-: 839-800; C+: 799-770; C: 769-740; C-: 739-700; D+: 699-670; D: 669-640; D-: 639-600; F: 599-0

A detailed assignment with instructions, a rubric, and grading policy for the Collaborative Commentary project will be distributed on 10/24 after Exam 2.

Note that a provision for extra credit is included in total allowance for points.

Academic Integrity and Collaboration

In accordance with the university’s policies, you are expected to present your own work on the quizzes, exams, and other assignments. For collaborative assignments, it is fully expected that you contribute your fair share of the work as a whole. I will add that in a language-learning environment, where fundamental building blocks accumulate and increase gradually in difficulty, academic dishonesty tends to serve short-term needs and massively betray long-term ones. That is, there is no substitute for the continuous maintenance of acquired skills and the commitment to master new skills. Cheating, copying, failing to contribute your fair share, etc. all preclude this. For more information, please consult the Standards of Academic Integrity available on the Fordham website.

Note that I fully encourage you work together, form study groups, collaborate on creating study materials, etc. Latin, like any other language, relies on community and I hope that you will all find ways of supporting each other in our classroom language-learning community. We can learn more deeply and more efficiently if we work together in this sort of constructive environment.

Support Services

Students needing academic accommodation should speak with me and contact Fordham’s Office of Disability Services (ODS) as soon as possible. The Office of Disability Services is located in the lower level of O’Hare Hall and can be contacted at the number 718.817.0655 or by email at All discussions related to accommodation will remain confidential.

Counseling Services

Students who are experiencing personal difficulties or mental health distress are encouraged to seek free and confidential assistance at Fordham’s Counseling and Psychological Services (CPS). For more information about CPS, please visit their website at All discussions related to counseling will remain confidential.


Students are encouraged to email me with questions about the course and I will respond to most messages within 24 hours. I will respond during working hours (i.e. weekdays 9am to 5pm). Students are also encouraged to speak with me directly about the course in the Classics department offices (FMH 428D) before class between 10am and 11am. Please email me as soon as possible if you have a schedule conflict during this time block.

Students who would like to be known by a name that is different from their legal name or who would like to be identified by specific pronouns can contact me via email with their chosen name and pronouns.

Class Schedule

This schedule is provisional and may be updated with a week’s notice. Note also that for Meetings 17-22, student’s will be able to choose readings of interest from a wider collection; this will be done during Meeting 15.

Meeting 1: Th. 8/29. Syllabus/class overview
Meeting 2: W. 9/4. Assigned reading: Reader 25
Meeting 3: Th. 9/5. Assigned reading: Reader 26-27; Quiz 1
Meeting 4: M. 9/9. Assigned reading: Reader 28-29
Meeting 5: Th. 9/12. Assigned reading: Reader 31-34; Quiz 2
Meeting 6: M. 9/16. Assigned reading: Reader 34-38
Meeting 7: Th. 9/19. Assigned reading: Reader 39-43; Quiz 3
Meeting 8: M. 9/23. Assigned reading completion/review
Meeting 9: Th. 9/26. Exam 1
Meeting 10: M. 9/30. Assigned reading: Reader 44-48
Meeting 11: Th. 10/3. Assigned reading: Reader 49-53; Quiz 4
Meeting 12: M. 10/7. Assigned reading: Reader 69-73
Meeting 13: Th. 10/10. Assigned reading: Reader 74-78; Quiz 5
Meeting 14: Th. 10/17. Assigned reading: Reader 79-81; Quiz 6
Meeting 15: M. 10/21. Assigned reading completion/review
Meeting 16: Th. 10/24. Exam 2
Meeting 17: M. 10/28. Assigned reading: Boccaccio selections (student choice)
Meeting 18: Th. 10/31. Assigned reading: Boccaccio selections (student choice); Quiz 7
Meeting 19: M. 11/4. Assigned reading: Boccaccio selections (student choice)
Meeting 20: Th. 11/7. Assigned reading: Boccaccio selections (student choice); Quiz 8
Meeting 21: M. 11/11. Assigned reading: Boccaccio selections (student choice)
Meeting 22: Th. 11/14. Assigned reading: Boccaccio selections (student choice); Quiz 9
Meeting 23: M. 11/18. Assigned reading completion/review
Meeting 24: Th. 11/21. Exam 3
Meeting 25: M. 11/25. Assigned reading: Gesner, De monocerote
Meeting 26: M. 12/2. Assigned reading: Gesner, De monocerote
Meeting 27: Th. 12/5. Assigned reading: Gesner, De monocerote; Quiz 10

M. 12/9. Reading Day
T. 12/10. Exam 4

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