Language courses

The Department of the Classics offers courses in Latin (classical and medieval), Ancient Greek, and Modern Greek at all levels.

Modern Greek

Students interested in taking Modern Greek should consult with the Preceptor, Calliopi Dourou (dourou@fas.harvard.edu).

Latin and Ancient Greek

If you have prior experience with Latin or Ancient Greek, please take the appropriate on-campus Placement Exam and consult with the Preceptor, Dr. Ivy Livingston (livings@g.harvard.edu). The schedule and registration link for on-campus placement exams is here. More information about placement in Latin and Ancient Greek may be found at https://classics.fas.harvard.edu/placement-test.

Beginner sequences

Those with no prior experience should begin with Latin 1 or Greek 1 and proceed along the following path.

Regular intro language sequence for Latin and Ancient Greek

  Fall Spring
1st year of study Latin or Greek 1 Latin or Greek 2
2nd year of study Latin or Greek 3 Latin or Greek 10 or 10m
Subsequent years 100-level (or 10, with permission) 100-level (or 10, with permission)

Latin or Greek 1, 2, and 3 meet four times/week (M-Th).

An accelerated sequence is also normally offered. This path is suitable for those who either

  • are particularly well prepared (e.g. beginning Greek students with successful Latin experience),

  • are particularly highly motivated (e.g. a history concentrator preparing for graduate work in ancient history), or

  • have some prior experience, but wish to begin again (although note that there are specific review courses, Latin Ax and Greek Ax, offered every fall).

Accelerated intro language sequence for Latin and Ancient Greek

  Fall Spring
1st year of study   Latin or Greek 1x
2nd year of study Latin or Greek 2x Latin or Greek 10 or 10m
Subsequent years 100-level (or 10, with permission) 100-level (or 10, with permission)

Latin or Greek 1x and 2x meet five times/week (M-F). Latin or Greek 1x and 2x are not open to auditors.

Non-beginner sequences

Students with prior experience should first consult the page regarding placement: https://classics.fas.harvard.edu/placement-test.

If your placement recommendation is for the 10-level, you should begin with either Latin or Greek 10 (classical) or 10m (medieval). After one semester at the 10-level, you can proceed to the 100-level. Additional courses at the 10-level may be taken with permission.

If your placement recommendation is for Latin or Greek Ax (Review and Reading), please proceed along the following path:

Sequence for students beginning with Latin or Greek Ax (Review and Reading)

  Fall Spring
1st year of study Latin or Greek Ax Latin or Greek 10 or 10m
Subsequent years 100-level (or 10, with permission) 100-level (or 10, with permission)

Latin or Greek Ax meets four times/week (M-Th).

Levels of language courses

1, 2, 3: Regular sequence for beginners. 

1x, 2x: Accelerated sequence for beginners, near-beginners, or those who have had a long hiatus in their studies. 

Ax (Review and Reading): Rapid review of all grammar and reading of passages from authentic texts, primarily prose.

10 and 10m: Intermediate literature courses. Includes both prose and poetry, either classical (10) or medieval (10m).

100-level: Advanced literature courses. NB: The course number does not indicate level of difficulty; the most advanced courses are 112a and 112b, which are surveys and hence require large amounts of reading.

200 and above: Graduate-level seminars. 

Not primarily reading courses

H and K: Introductory and advanced prose composition. H is an introduction to writing accurate, idiomatic classical prose. K progresses to analyzing and imitating the style of various prose authors. The courses are considered 100-level, but students should have taken at least one 100-level prose reading course before H.

134: Historical and comparative grammar. Students should have some knowledge of both Latin and Greek to take either Latin 134 or Greek 134. Normally taken by graduate students in Classics and students of linguistics.