­Virtualsc syllabus advanced-Placement Latin: Vergil-Caesar 2016-2017

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­VirtualSC SYLLABUS Advanced-Placement Latin: Vergil-Caesar 2016-2017
Dr. Seiler


Skype: tlseiler

Email: tseiler@ed.sc.gov

Prerequisites for the Course:

1. Successful completion of Latin 3 Honors, B or higher recommended.

2. Permission of instructor.

3. Passage of a grammar test (if from another program).


Description of the Course:

This is a college-level course. It is designed to prepare students for the AP Latin examination, with emphasis on Caesar’s Gallic War and Vergil’s Aeneid. Students are expected to be familiar with the entire content of the Gallic War and the Aeneid in translation and the sections of the Gallic War and Aeneid in Latin as required by the College Board’s AP Latin Course and Exam Description, as well as applicable passages in other related authors such as Homer or Cicero. The course focuses upon the following:

1. Accurate, literal, and idiomatic translation, reading aloud, and weekly demonstrations of comprehension of the original Latin of the syllabus-based sections of Gallic War and Aeneid, additional works from both Vergil and Caesar, and other Latin authors at sight;
2. Analysis and interpretation of themes, context, and images in the Gallic War and the Aeneid as well as those found in related Latin texts;
3. Scansion of dactylic hexameter on a weekly basis;
4. Identification, analysis, appropriate use of terminology for elements of literary style and grammatical and syntactical constructions;
5. Development of analytical essay writing;
6. The political, economic, social and cultural background pertaining to the history of the Late Republic and the Age of Augustus (100 B.C. to A.D. 14).



The following are required reading:
College Caesar: Latin Text with Facing Vocabulary and Commentary. Geoffrey Steadman.
Vergil’s Aeneid.  B. Weiden Boyd, ed. Second edition. Wauconda, IL: Bolchazy- Carducci, 2002.
The Aeneid of Virgil.  R. Fitzgerald, trans.  New York: Random House, 1990.
Apollodorus. “Epitome of the Trojan War.” (on the web)
Homer.  Iliad and Odyssey, selected readings. (handout)
Davis, S. “Teaching Students to Write Critical Essays on Latin Poetry.” Classical Journal 85 (1990): 133-38.
Quinn, S., ed. Why Vergil?: A Collection of Interpretations. Wauconda, IL: Bolchazy-Carducci, 2000.
Tatum, W. Jeffrey. Always I am Caesar. Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing, 2008.
Taylor, Lily Ross. Party Politics in the Age of Caesar. Berkeley: University of

California Press, 1961.


Class and Home Work:

The majority of this course is spent translating Caesar’s Gallic War and Vergil’s Aeneid from the original Latin. To complete the AP syllabus, we must cover approximately 40-60 lines of the Latin text per week. Homework assignments therefore mostly consist of a nightly preparation of the next day’s translation. All homework translations should be rendered from Latin into English as literally as possible, i.e., with attention paid to tense, mood, voice, person and number of verbs; case with nouns, adjectives, and pronouns; syntactical constructions, etc. Students should expect to spend a minimum of one-half hour per day on homework. Students are graded on the completion and accuracy of homework assignments. Missing one day of homework can jeopardize the score on the AP exam. All homework is due before the beginning of the class meeting. Late homework is not accepted. Homework will be discussed either in Blackboard Collaborate (BBC) sessions, on the discussion forum threads, or on Skype.

Approximately once every two weeks students are required to write a practice essay on the types of prompts seen on the free-response portion of the AP exam, as well as prompts from past exams.
One day per week will be devoted to a Practicum, during which we will discuss historical background, on-going themes in both works, the makeup of the AP exam, strategies for the exam, scansion of poetry, sight-reading, articles and other readings, and the like. Topics for the weekly Practicum are listed in the schedule below and correspond to a podcast or synchronous live discussion. Discussions are required and take place via BBC, discussion forum, and Skype.

N.B. Students are expected to be prepared to translate the day’s Latin (without using a written translation) when called upon to do so in the weekly BBC session or on the daily Skype, in order to ensure that they have worked through the Latin text twice. Using a written translation during live meetings results in a loss of participation points. The student should also be prepared to explain any grammatical or syntactical structures in the day’s translation, as well as elements of literary style, grammatical and syntactical structures, metrics, and cultural context, and to discuss all reading assignments including articles and those sections of the Aeneid and Gallic War read in English as background for the syllabus-based sections. On occasion, students will be assigned to teach the entire day’s passage (10-15 lines) to the rest of the class, including grammar, syntax, elements of literary style, metrics, and context, via BBC.


1.  Quizzes are given on a regular basis to insure that students are keeping up with the work. A quiz on vocabulary is given every week. Other quizzes are given on grammar, syntax, Roman history, and literal translations of sight passages, to prepare for the multiple-choice portion of the AP Exam.
2.  Tests for the course follow the format of the AP exam and occur approximately every 2 weeks. We focus primarily on free-response, translation and essay questions (50% of the AP exam), but we also spend time preparing for the multiple-choice portion of the exam (50%). Students are tested on their knowledge of each authors’ historical context, the entire content of the Gallic War and the Aeneid, elements of literary style, scansion, and other authors typically encountered in the multiple-choice portion of the AP exam, including Catullus, Cicero, Tibullus, Martial, Pliny the Younger, Livy, and Ovid. Unless otherwise noted, tests cover all lines read up to the date of the test.
3. Sight-Reading of Latin passages chosen by the teacher will take place once each week either as homework or via BBC or Skype, accompanied by questions regarding content, grammar, syntax, and metrics as applicable.


Class participation makes up a considerable portion of the course grade. Students are expected to actively participate in every class and online discussions on BBC, discussion forum, and Skype. Students are expected to come to class discussions prepared, having completed all homework assignments. They are expected to participate willingly and appropriately in discussions and in-class translations, whether syllabus-based or sight. We have a weekly discussion forum and an on-going Skype chat where students are expected to post their questions and comments about their homework or other aspects of the course. Students are asked to read their Latin aloud before translating, and to give short, written or oral summaries in Latin of requested portions of the syllabus-based sections of the Aeneid and Gallic War on a weekly basis to demonstrate comprehension of the Latin.


Grading Weights:


Tests 50%

Quizzes 15%

Homework 15%

Participation 20%


All weekly lines are translated for homework on a daily basis, read aloud in Latin, and translated again in class. All work is due on the Sunday (7th day) of the week in which it is listed.


Assignments Due



Practicum: Introduction to the course and the AP examination

Read: Aeneid 1 and 2 in translation

Translate: Aeneid Book 1.1-11; Caesar, de bello Gallico 6.13.1-4

Sept. 7-11, 2016


Practicum: Review of the history of the late Republic (100-27 B.C.) and Augustan Age (27 B.C.-A.D. 14);

Translate: Aeneid Book 1.12-41; Caesar BG 6.13.5-6.14.3

Read: Brooks Otis, “The Mystery of the Aeneid: The Subjective Style,” in Why Vergil?, pp. 243-254

September 12-18


Practicum: Vergil’s Historical Background and Works

Read: Taylor, “Personalities and Programs,” in Party Politics in the Age of Caesar, pp. 1-24.

Translate: Aeneid Book 1.42-70; Caesar BG 6.14.4-6.16.3 instituta sacrificia

Test: Translation

September 19-25


Practicum: Propaganda and Patronage: Augustus, Maecenas, and Vergil

Translate: Aeneid Book 1.71-101; Caesar BG 6.16.3-6.18.2

Read: Gregory Staley, “Aeneas’ First Act: 1.180-194,” in Why Vergil?, pp. 52-64

Test: translation

Sept. 26-October 2


Practicum: Vergil’s Place in the History of Epic (Homer, Callimachus, Catullus)

Read: Adam Perry, “The Two Voices of Vergil’s Aeneid,” in Why Vergil?, pp. 155-167

Translate: Aeneid Book 1.102-127; Caesar BG 6.18.3-6.20

October 3-9


Practicum: Scansion of Dactylic Hexameter and Metrics

Translate: Aeneid Book 1.128-156; Caesar BG 1.1.1-2.2 [book change]

October 10-16


Practicum: Sight-Reading and “Translate as Literally as Possible” (Cicero); Strategies for the Multiple-Choice Section of the AP Exam

Translate: Aeneid Book 1.157-183; Caesar BG 1.2.3-1.3.6

October 17-23


Practicum: Writing of Analytical Essays; Development of Thesis and Argument; Discussion of Tone, Style, Themes, elements of literary style, Imagery, Mood

Translate: Aeneid Book 1.184-209; Caesar BG 1.3.7-1.6.1

Read: Davis, “Teaching Students”

Test: short, passage-based essay

October 24-30


Practicum: Caesar’s Early Career and Rise to Power

Translate: Aeneid Book 1.418-440 [section change]; Caesar BG 1.6.2-1.7

Test: translation and short answer question

Oct. 31-Nov. 6


Practicum: Sight-Reading and “Translate as Literally as Possible” (Catullus)

Translate: Aeneid Book 1.494-534 [section change]; Caesar BG 4.24-4.25.2 [book change]

Test: long essay

November 7-13


Practicum: Multiple-Choice Released Exam for 1987

Translate: Aeneid Book 1.535-578; Caesar BG 4.25.3-4.26.3

Test: all-Aeneid objective questions

November 14-20


Practicum: Multiple-Choice Released Exam for 1987

Read: Bernard Knox, “The Serpent and the Flame”, in Why Vergil?, pp. 65-79; Apollodorus, “Epitome of the Trojan War”

Translate: Aeneid Book 2.40-56, 201-219 [book change]; Caesar BG 4.26.4-4.28.1

November 21-27


Practicum: Scansion and Metrics

Translate: Aeneid Book 2.220-249; Caesar BG 4.28.2-4.30.3

Read: Excerpts from Homer’s Iliad, Odyssey;

Gallic War, Books 1-3 in translation

Nov. 28-Dec. 4


Translate: Aeneid Book 2.268-297 [section change]; Caesar BG 4.31

Read: Aeneid Books 9-12 in translation

December 5-11


Practicum: Sight-Reading and “Translate as Literally as Possible” (Martial)

Translate: Aeneid Book 2.559-588 [section change]; Caesar BG 4.32.1-33.3

Test: translation and short answer question

December 12-18


Catch up and Review

December 19-25


Catch up and Review

Dec. 26-Jan. 1, 2017


Practicum: Elements of literary style, with practice using sight passages

Translate: Aeneid Book 2.589-620; Caesar BG 4.34.1-4.36.1

Midterm examination

January 2-8


Practicum: Parallel Themes in Aeneid and De bello Gallico

Read: Charles Segal, “Dido’s Hesitation in Aeneid 4,” in Why Vergil?, pp. 90-100; Aeneid, Books 3, 4 and 5 in translation

Translate: Aeneid Book 4.160-188 [book change]; Caesar BG 5.24-5.25 [book change]

January 9-15


Practicum: The War in Gaul and Roman Imperialism

Read: Tatum, “Conquests and Glories, Triumphs and Spoils: Caesar and the Ideology of Roman Imperialism,” in Always I Am Caesar, pp. 42-60

Translate: Aeneid Book 4.189-218; Caesar BG 5.26-5.27.5

Test: Translate as literally as possible

January 16-22


Practicum: Multiple-Choice Released Exam for 1994

Read: Taylor, “Caesar’s Propaganda and the Gallic Succession,” in Party Politics in the Age of Caesar, handout; Gallic War, Books 4-5 in translation

Translate: Aeneid Book 4.259-296 [section change]; Caesar BG 5.27.6-5.28

Test: long essay

January 23-29


Practicum: Caesar and Augustus: Parallels and Divergences

Read: Tatum, “The Evil That Men Do,” in Always I Am Caesar, pp. 167-188

Translate: Aeneid Book 4.296-330; Caesar BG 5.29-5.30

Test: long essay

Jan. 30-Feb. 5


Practicum: Multiple-Choice Released Exam for 1994

Translate: Aeneid Book 4.331-361; Caesar BG 5.31-5.33.2

February 6-12


Practicum: Sight-Reading and “Translate as Literally as Possible” (Pliny)

Translate: Aeneid Book 4.659-705 [section change]; Caesar BG 5.33.3-5.34.1

Test: short answer questions

February 13-19


Practicum: Review of Past AP Free-Response Questions and Prediction of Possible Questions for This Year’s Exam (Prepared beforehand as homework)

Read: D.C. Feeney, “History and Revelation in Vergil’s Underworld,” in Why Vergil?, pp. 108-122; Books 6, 7, 8 in translation

Translate: Aeneid Book 6.295-332 [book change]; Caesar BG 5.34.2-5.35

Feburary 20-26


Practicum: Caesar: Military Strategy and Propaganda

Translate: Aeneid Book 6.384-425 [section change]; Caesar BG 5.36-5.37.4

Test: focus on Caesar

Feb. 27-March 5


Practicum: Sight-Reading and “Translate as Literally as Possible” (Ovid)

Read: Student tests and score them according to AP rubrics

Translate: Aeneid Book 6.450-476 [section change]; Caesar BG 5.37.5-5.40.2

March 6-12


Practicum: Multiple-Choice Released Exam for 1999

Translate: Aeneid Book 6.847-866 [section change]; Caesar BG 5.40.3-5.43.2

March 13-19


Practicum: Multiple-Choice Released Exam for 1999

Read: Student tests and score them according to AP rubrics

Translate: Aeneid Book 6.867-899; Caesar BG 5.43.3-5.44.6

March 20-26


Practicum: Caesar, Augustus, virtus, and the Invention of Roman Tradition

Read: Gallic Wars, Books 6, 7, and 8 in translation

Translate: Caesar BG 5.44.7-5.47

March 27-April 2


Practicum: Warfare Imagery in Homer, Vergil, and Caesar

Read: student essays and score them according to AP rubrics

Translate: Caesar BG 5.48

April 3-9


Practicum: Romans and Aliens: the View of the Other; Multiple-Choice Released Exam for 2006


Test: (almost) entire free-response test

April 10-16


Practicum: Multiple-Choice Released Exam for 2006

Read: Tatum, “Great Caesar Fell: Philosophy, Politics, and Assassination,” in Always I Am Caesar, pp. 145-166


April 17-23


April 21: Last (official) day of class

Course final exam: April 26-28

April 24-30

 AP LATIN EXAM: 12 p.m. FRIDAY MAY 12, 2017
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