About Latin at UBC

Latin was the language of the Roman Empire, a swathe of territory that reached from the Middle East to North African and into Northern Europe. The language of the Caesars and slaves, of philosophers and demon hunters, it is also the root of modern Romance languages such as French, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish, and at the core of much English vocabulary.

Pompeii Archaeological Park, Pompei, Italy

In the UBC Latin program, you can dip a toe in and learn the basics, or follow a course of study that, by the third and fourth years has you reading some of the most famous and enduring ancient Roman authors, including Cicero, Caesar, Catullus, Virgil, Sulpicia, Ovid, Seneca, Tacitus, and more! From history, to poetry, to novels, and bizarre medical texts, Latin has a little something for everyone!

In the first and second year of instruction (LATN 101, 102, 201, and 202), we use Learn Learn Latin From the Romans by Eleanor Dicky, which can be found here.  We also use the stories found in this book here, a resource created by the Latin faculty at UBC to accompany and complement the textbook. In the first year of Latin you can expect to learn the basics of Latin vocabulary, grammar, and syntax, read connected passages of adapted Latin, read real Latin inscriptions, mottos, and phrases, and learn a bit about Roman culture. In the second year of instruction, we delve into more complicated grammatical concepts, build on reading fluency, and start to read connected, unadapted Latin texts.

In the third and fourth years of Latin instruction at UBC you can expect to read unadapted Latin texts, organized by authors or theme and to delve more deeply into Roman culture, society, and history. Latin language instruction can be a key part of the undergraduate major in Classical, Near Eastern, and Religious Studies. Many students also come to Latin from other departments and programs around the University. It is a great language for students who are pre-med or pre-law!

For advanced Latin learners, including those coming in with a background in Latin from high school or those who move through the Latin program quickly at UBC, there is the opportunity to take Latin courses at the graduate level.

Go here to learn more about specific Latin courses at UBC and here to learn about the Latin instructors. This page has some general resources for learning Latin.  Ave et vale! (That’s Latin for goodbye and be well!)