Putting it out there once and for all: I’m studying for the University of Toronto Centre for Medieval Studies (CMS) Latin Level One exam. There are two reasons for this: first, I did not complete the requisite four years each of Latin and Ancient Greek to apply for doctoral studies in Canada and this is a way to certify that I, at the very least, know something of what I’m talking about; and second, I don’t feel that I’ve seriously challenged myself in the last few years, and this is a way to test not only my language skills but also my staying power.

I’m working with Floyd L. Moreland and Rita M. Fleischer’s Latin: An Intensive Course (9th printing, 1991) supplemented with Wheelock’s Latin (***citation to follow***) that I used during the Latin courses I took during my undergraduate degree, and Cambridge Latin Course, Unit One because the phrase “Caecilius est pater” will always generate giggles from classics students of a certain generation.

On the advice of a newly discovered colleague, I am also translating sections of original primary source texts to test my instinctive understand of grammar, syntax, and comprehension. So far these have included Suetonius, Horace, Vergil (although that one is rather tricky), the Vulgate, and the Historia Augusta (in conjunction with Edward Gibbon’s The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire).

One of the things I hope these posts will do is allow me to develop a comprehensive understanding of the work I’m doing as well as offer a chronological history of how my Latin language knowledge develops over time.

The exam is scheduled every April and September, and I’m aiming for the fall 2016 sitting. Here goes!


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