AP Latin focuses on the history and literature of Rome during the late Republic and early Principate via the works of Vergil and Caesar. Students will read selections from Vergil’s Aeneid, one of the most famous literary works from this period which tells the story of the proto-Roman hero, Aeneas, and the founding myth of Rome. Students will read and analyze Vergil’s epic poem in its historical, cultural and literary context. In addition, students will read excerpts from Caesar’s Gallic Wars, a prose narrative in which Caesar recounts his military exploits in Gaul. Students will learn about and discuss the historical and political backdrop that is significant to understanding this work. In general, the course will focus on interpreting—and, at times, comparing—these two texts in relation to the themes of: war and empire, leadership, Roman values, Roman views of non-Romans, and literary genre and style.
This course will prepare students to pass the national AP™ Exam by giving them the following skills:
- Understand, translate, and analyze prepared passages of Latin prose and poetry
- Read and understand sight passages from authors of the classical period
- Identify and discuss grammatical and literary features in each work
- Situate these works in their significant historical and literary context
- Analyze themes in each work through specific and detailed references to the text
Students who enroll in Latin IV instead of AP Latin will read some of these literary selections, but will not be required to finish the entire reading list. Instead they will work with the instructor to complete a series of projects, which may include storybooks, comics and videos in Latin, cultural presentations, etc.
Both Latin IV and AP Latin will earn students the California Seal of Biliteracy upon graduation. AP Latin gives the student a weighted GPA score, and thus has more rigorous requirements. AP Latin will also prepare them for the national Advanced Placement™ exam. Passing this exam may count toward credit or course placement at some colleges.