Latin language

Biennium of Higher Education

The first year is dedicated to the in-depth specialised study of all the language phenomena in classical Latin. The second year focuses on learning the most complex mechanisms of the syntax and styles and rhetoric used in classical literature.

In addition, at the end of the course, the learners will have acquired the knowledge of roughly 5,000 Latin words that amount to circa 98% of the vocabulary used in classical literature.

Didactic offerings / Curriculum / Admission / Exams / Titles released / Syllabus / Academic fees / Bibliography / Dates and times



  1. The IISC guarantees that students will have their own desks in the classroom and they will be distanced from other students; classrooms and educational supplies will be sanitized, according to all the health measures on Covid-19;
  2. Before entering the classroom, students will have their body temperature taken and an hand sanitizer will be provided by the IISC.
  3. If the government and the public health authorities were to decide for a new stop of the teaching activities, the IISC will hold its classes online.



The lessons, taught through the inductive-contextual method (that is, through the active use of written and spoken Latin, initially by the lecturer, and then by the learners as well), provide the best opportunities to study the subject in depth and the apex of Latin studies at IISC. Initially, the lessons illustrate all the morphological rules with the most detailed meanings and exceptions, and then cover the comprehensive study of the most complex nuclei in syntax. Stemming from this solid background, the learners are asked to actively use the rules and morpho-syntactic exceptions they have learned in order to speed up the consolidation process. In this way, they will be able to access the modules in rhetoric and literary styles used by major authors. Finally, in addition to these forms, students learn thousands of words, chosen according to the frequency criterion in classical literature.

Through such ample and specialised knowledge, the learners will come into direct contact with the authors and read their material easily, quickly and without any aid.

As a result, the course requires serious commitment to studying as the objective is the highest level.

Cultural weekends:
Cultural weekends offer the possibility for total language immersion, allowing students to become absorbed in an environment in which each moment of the day is lived out using the language of classical culture.
The First Year offers two didactical excursions, which last two days (Saturday and Sunday, including an overnight stay). A two-day didactical excursion (Saturday and Sunday, including an overnight stay) is planned for the Second Year.
These activities alternate between moments of lessons, tours of archeological sites, the reading of classical texts, and recreational activities (which also take place in Latin).
The calendar of cultural weekends may be found on the Dates and Times section.



Linguistic Curriculum:
The complete course consists of two academic years (October through May). It is also possible to attend only one year.
The First Year consists of progressive studies structured around four progressive units (A1 – A2 – B1 – B2), which immediately involve the student in the active written and oral use of the language.
The Second year is intended to perfect these linguistic studies, and is divided into two progressive units (C1 – C2).

Literary Curriculum:

To complete studies, those who desire may also sign up for a course entirely dedicated to the study of Latin literature. This course was not conceived merely for the study of literary history, but rather seeks to ensure that students have the opportunity to come into direct contact with texts in their original language, highlighting their literary, historical, artistic and philosophical elements.



To participate in the First Year, students must take a placement test.
Although the course starts from the very basic notions of Latin language, going also through the study of the simplest grammatical structures, lessons progress fast. Even though pre-requisites are not necessarily requested, students are advised to have some previous knowledges of the Latin language.
Students and professors of Classics do not have to undertake the placement test: hence, they can enroll to the First Year simply by submitting a registration request.

Those who might be unable to take the placement test may submit to the corresponding extra-curricular course, Tirones.

To participate in the Second Year, it is necessary to have completed the First Year.
Those who have already studied Latin using the inductive-contextual method and already possess a solid level of competency in active Latin may participate in the Second Year without having attended the First Year, upon the condition that they pass the exam corresponding to the end of the First Year (equal to level B2) prior to the beginning of classes. Please note, however, that it is quite difficult to participate in the Second Year without having attended First Year classes, and we discourage students from choosing this option unless they have an extremely well-founded (active and passive) competency level in Latin.



In order to guarantee our students an excellent education, the IICS requires that students pass an exam at the end of each unit throughout the academic year.
Each exam consists of three parts: testing the grammatical competences, comprehension of a written text, production of a written text.

The First Year includes four exams (which correspond to the units A1, A2, B1 and B2); during the Second Year there are two exams (units C1 and C2).

From the A2 unit on, in order to take an exam it is necessary that students have already passed the preceding exam. Students who do not pass an exam must retake it prior to concluding the following unit, lest they become ineligible to continue the course.

The final exam is administered in the summer session (June); students who do not initially pass may retake the exam during the fall session (October).

Useful Information (for courses in 2020/21):

Recommended for:
University and PhD students of Classics and Humanities, Latin teachers and professors,
subject specialists
Titles released (info):
12 CFU / ECTS – Refresher Course for Teachers
First year: Fridays from 17:00 to 19:30 (+ 3 cultural weekends)
Second year: Thursdays from 17:00 to 19:30 ( + 1 cultural weekend)
First year: from October 23, 2020 to May 28, 2021
Second year: from October 22, 2020 to May 28, 2021
Course Structure:
First year: 80 hours annually (31 classes )
Second year: 70 hours annually (28 classes)
Limited Enrollment
discounted fees and forms of payment


(progressive, from A1 to B2)
View the Syllabus
(progressive, from C1 to C2)
View the Syllabus
80 hours annually
(31 lessons + 3 didactical excursions during the weekend)
70 hours annually
(28 lessons + one didactical excursion during the weekend)
Pre-Requisites The course starts from the very first notions of the Latin language. In order to ensure the excellency of the course, a placement test is required. Students of Classics and Latin teachers are exonerated from taking the placement test. Solid knowledge of all Latin grammar. Ability to produce a text (oral and written) in the Latin language.
Objectives Students will acquire the ability to understand, in depth, any text in the Latin language just by reading it.
Students will also attain a solid familiarity with different authors of Latin literature.
(Consequently, they will acquire the ability to speak and to write complex texts in Latin.)
Students will be presented with a wide selection of texts from Latin authors, which will be analyzed and commented during the lessons.
(Students will develop the ability to fluently write and speak Latin).

Academic fees

Fees for each academic year amount to 2400 euros.
However, the Italian Institute of Classical Studies provides a scholarship for each and every one of the students. The scholarship will cover 75% of the academic fees.

The academic fees for each student amount then to 299 € per semester.


Discounted fees and forms of payment


It is of the utmost importance that students are in possession of the textbook from the very beginning of the course.

First Year
1. H. H. Ørberg, Lingua Latina per se illustrata – Pars I: Familia Romana, any edition
2. H. H. Ørberg – L. Miraglia – T. F. Borri, Lingua Latina per se illustrata – Latine disco, any edition
3. Excerpts (provided by the instructor) from textbooks from the 1900s, based on the inductive-contextual method, by the following authors: W.H.D. Rouse, R.B. Appleton, W.H.S. Jones, G. Pasquetti, G.B. Gandino, C.W.E. Peckett, A.R. Munday, U. E. Paoli
4. Excerpts (provided by the instructor) of Latin classics, including passages from Seneca, Cicero, Catullus, Martial, and others

Recommended reading (the following texts are not required for the exam, but are recommended for those who wish to strengthen their knowledge):
1. A. Traina – G. Bernardi Perini, Propedeutica al latino universitario, Patron
2. G. B. Conte – E. Berti – M. Mariotti, La sintassi del latino, Mondadori Education
3. C. Pavanetto, Elementa linguae et grammaticae Latinae, LAS
4. W. H. S. Jones, Intermediate oral Latin reader, based on Cicero’s De senectute, with extracts from Martial and Horace, Blackie and Son (Download PDF)
5. G. Cauquil – J. Y. Guillaumin, Lessico essenziale di latino (a cura di F. Piazzi), Cappelli

Second Year
1. H. H. Ørberg, Lingua Latina per se illustrata – Pars II: Roma Aeterna, any edition
2. H. H. Ørberg, Lingua Latina per se illustrata – Enchiridion discipulorum (cap. XXXVI-LVI), any edition
3. H. H. Ørberg, Lingua Latina per se illustrata – Exercitia Latina (cap. XXXVI-LVI), any edition
4. Classical Latin excerpts provided by the instructor including passages from Seneca, Cicero, Livius, Vergilius, Ovidius, Horatius and others

Recommended reading (the following texts are not required for the exam, but are recommended for those who wish to strengthen their knowledge):
1. A. Traina – T. Bertotti, Sintassi normativa della lingua latina, Patron
2. U. E. Paoli, Scriver latino. Guida al comporre e tradurre in lingua latina, Principato
3. G. B. Gandino, La sintassi latina illustrata con luoghi di Cicerone tradotti ed annotati per uso di retroversione, Paravia
4. Erasmo da Rotterdam, Colloquia (view link)


First Year


Fridays from 17:00 to 19:30.

First class october 23, 2020
Last class may 28, 2021
Holidays (No class) november 01, 2020
december 25, 2020
january 03, 2021
april 2, 2021
april 9, 2021
Exams november 2020 (unit: A1)
january  2021 (unit: A2)
march 2021 (unit: B1)
june 11, 2021 (unit: B2 / Final exam)
1 Saturday 30 January 2021 (2 p.m.) – Sunday 31 January 2021 (7.30 p.m.)
Tarquinia (Viterbo) – overnight stay
2 Saturday 17 April 2021 (2 p.m.) – Sunday 18 April 2021 (7.30 p.m.)
Gaeta (Latina) – overnight stay
3 Saturday 29 May 2021 (2 p.m.) – Sunday 30 May 2021 (7.00 p.m.)
Ostia (RM) – overnight stay

Second Year


Thursdays from 17:00 to 19:30.

First class october 22, 2020
Last class may 27, 2021
Holidays (No class) december 24, 2020
december 31, 2020
april 1, 2021
april 8, 2021
Exams february, 2021 (unit: C1)
june 11, 2021 (unit: C2 / Final exam)
1 From Sat June 05, 2021 (12 p.m.)
to Sun June 06, 2021 (9 p.m.)
Pompei (NA) – Overnight in loco