Classical Languages

Georgetown Prep upholds a proud tradition in the Classics; the department has faculty members prepared to offer a variety of courses in Latin. All students at Prep are required to take at least two years of Latin. Courses are usually completed during the student’s first two years of study. Additional courses after Latin II are chosen as electives. Below lies a full description of all Classics courses available to Prep students.

Latin I

In this course, students learn the elementary stages of Latin grammar, vocabulary, and Roman culture, which include the acquisition of vocabulary, mastery of inflected forms, understanding of grammatical structure, and comprehension of Roman intellectual thought, philosophy, and ideology.

Latin I at Georgetown Preparatory helps encapsulate the freshman experience by providing an introduction to one of the keystone languages of the modern world and the Jesuit educational experience. Students are exposed to adapted ancient texts discussing overarching themes and applications across the disciplines while experiencing the rigor and analytical demands of an ancient language. In addition, Latin assists students in building their English vocabulary and compliments the grammatical English curriculum in the freshman year, while providing an excellent background for learning a Modern Foreign language. (1 credit)

Latin II (Intensive Summer Option)

Georgetown Prep’s Latin department offers an intensive, five-week Latin II summer course. This course covers all of the same material as the course during the school year, but at a faster and more dedicated pace. This class is perfect for sophomores in Latin 1 who find that they really enjoy the material, or freshman who want to speed up their progress through the departmental progression. It should be noted that Advanced Placement Latin is the fourth year course; for any student who starts Latin as a sophomore, the AP level can only be reached by taking a summer course.

Like Latin I, Latin II combines the study of grammar, vocabulary, and translation. The summer class allows the student to pull off the proverbial band-aid of grammar and vocabulary, and move more quickly into high level material. By focusing on five weeks of rigorous study, the student can move directly into Latin III – a translation, culture, and history based course. This course does not complete the Latin requirement; every student must enroll in Latin III the following school year. (1 credit)

Latin II

This course provides students with the grammar and inflection points that were not covered in Latin I, focusing on some of the more complex grammatical structures of the Latin language. Translation will be the main tool for synthesizing these new topics, and students will be routinely asked to translate both from Latin to English and from English to Latin. Students will be asked to translate individual sentences freed from a narrative context, and larger selections of Latin literature from a variety of authors. In addition, the cultural and social context of Ancient Rome will be investigated in order to enrich the students’ appreciation and understanding of its literature. (1 credit)

Latin III (Intensive Summer Option)

Georgetown Prep’s Latin department offers an intensive, five-week Latin III summer course. This course covers all of the same material as the course during the school year, but at a faster and more dedicated pace. This class is perfect for juniors who just completed Latin II, or for sophomores who would like to advance directly to the AP class as juniors. In addition, the Prep Latin department offers Latin V for those students who take AP as juniors and would like still another year of Latin. (1 credit)

Latin III

Latin III is the first elective offered in the Classical Languages department, coming after the required second year course. It is a full year survey of Latin literature, history, and culture in the first century B.C. This is one of the most finely preserved and closely studied periods of the Ancient Roman civilization, and produced many of the greatest literary heavyweights of the Latin language. In Latin 3, students will get the chance to read from the works of Cicero and Catullus, from Sallust and Caesar, from Livy and Lucan, and from other of their contemporaries. In addition, the political and social culture - and the characters operating within it - will be examined in an effort to better understand the dynamics of this hugely influential era. (1 credit)

AP Latin IV

Following the broader survey of Latin III, AP Latin IV is a more focused study of two authors in particular: Julius Caesar and his war commentaries, and Vergil’s eneid. Using the College Board syllabus, we will read selections from both, discussing their works on their own and in concert with each other, and discussing their relationships to the broader political and social structures of their times. Caesar, writing prior to the fall of the Roman Republic, and Vergil, writing in the burgeoning new Roman empire, can shed a great deal of light on one of the world’s greatest periods of political upheaval. In addition, both of these authors have had a huge influence on Western Literature, and in this class we get a chance to understand why. (1 credit)

Latin V

This course, coming on the heels of the Advanced Placement course, offers the opportunity for students to delve more deeply into Latin literature. At this point in their Latin career, the students have learned and discussed all major grammatical, poetic, and stylistic devices. Latin V is a culmination of all that they have learned, and hopefully inspires the students to pursue Latin at the collegiate level. Prerequisite: AP Latin IV (1 credit)

Ancient Greek I

Students will learn the rudimentary inflection, vocabulary, and syntax of Ancient Greek. The segregation of forms and usage mimics that of Prep’s introductory Latin courses, and thereby reinforces Latin skills. (1 credit) Prerequisite: Latin III

Georgetown Prep Classical Languages


Mr. Brian Danver

Mr. George Hendren

Mr. Erik Maginnis

Mrs. Mary Elise Gribbin, Chair

Ms. Laura Hatmaker

Dr. Robert Brewer