In the first year of study, students read Unit 1 of the Cambridge Latin Course. The focus of this year is on building fundamental grammar and vocabulary skills. Students are introduced to the basic features of Latin morphology, syntax, and idiom.
In addition to acquisition of language skills, students expand their knowledge of Roman daily life and culture. Our textbook follows the life of a family living in Pompeii in the years leading up to the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in 79 AD. While the characters are fictional, the paterfamilias (male head of the household) is based on a real historical person who owned a villa in Pompeii and worked as a banker in the local forum. Through these characters, students learn about aspects of daily life and culture, including: structure of a Roman family, Roman houses, clothing, food, commerce, entertainment, religious beliefs, Roman Baths, education, government and politics, and the destruction and excavation of Pompeii and Herculaneum.
In addition to the material presented in our textbook, students learn about Roman and Greek mythology by reading adapted Latin passages from Ovid’s Metamorphoses, a literary work from the Augustan period.