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Unit information: Introduction to Medieval Latin in 2021/22

Unit name Introduction to Medieval Latin
Unit code AFACM0013
Credit points 20
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Mr. Sharpley
Open unit status Not open




School/department School of Humanities
Faculty Faculty of Arts

Description including Unit Aims

In this unit, we will cover the basic skills required to read, comprehend, analyse and translate medieval primary sources written in Latin. This will include fundamental training in grammar, syntax, semantics and vocabulary, meaning that the unit is aimed, on the one hand, at students with little or no previous knowledge of Latin; on the other, it also offers a valuable opportunity for students with a grounding in Classical Latin to extend their knowledge and linguistic abilities into the realm of Medieval Latin. At the end of the unit, all students will be competent and confident in studying Latin texts independently with the aid of standard dictionaries and word lists. Whilst the basic rules of grammar and syntax taught will mirror those of Classical Latin, we will pay particular attention to exploring the important ways in which the Latin language developed and changed between Antiquity and the Middle Ages/the Early Modern Period, thereby cultivating an awareness of how and why (Post-)Medieval Latin differs from its classical counterpart. As the ‘universal language’ (or lingua Franca) of medieval Europe, and the primary language of the Latin Church, Medieval Latin was the main medium of expressing, communicating and codifying medieval thought, including theology, law and, along with various medieval vernacular languages, literature. Being able to read it in its original form will provide students with unique and important insights into the vibrant culture and society of the Latin Middle Ages.

Intended Learning Outcomes

By the end of this unit, students will be able to

  1. apply some of the fundamental rules of Latin grammar and syntax;
  2. demonstrate competence in reading passages of both Classical and Medieval Latin;
  3. translate Latin texts into English using the standard dictionaries and word lists;
  4. demonstrate their command of a basic Latin vocabulary (min. 250 words);
  5. understand the use of Medieval Latin as a language of literature, culture and communication in different areas of medieval society.

Teaching Information

One 2-hour seminar plus one 1-hour translation class per week

Assessment Information

Summative assessment:

In-class test (1-hour) (30%)

Unseen 2-hour exam (70%)

Linked to ILOs 1-4

Formative assessment:

In-class presentation

Linked to ILO 5


If this unit has a Resource List, you will normally find a link to it in the Blackboard area for the unit. Sometimes there will be a separate link for each weekly topic.

If you are unable to access a list through Blackboard, you can also find it via the Resource Lists homepage. Search for the list by the unit name or code (e.g. AFACM0013).

How much time the unit requires
Each credit equates to 10 hours of total student input. For example a 20 credit unit will take you 200 hours of study to complete. Your total learning time is made up of contact time, directed learning tasks, independent learning and assessment activity.

See the Faculty workload statement relating to this unit for more information.

The Board of Examiners will consider all cases where students have failed or not completed the assessments required for credit. The Board considers each student's outcomes across all the units which contribute to each year's programme of study. If you have self-certificated your absence from an assessment, you will normally be required to complete it the next time it runs (this is usually in the next assessment period).
The Board of Examiners will take into account any extenuating circumstances and operates within the Regulations and Code of Practice for Taught Programmes.