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Latin 101: Learning a Classical Language

Latin 101: Learning a Classical Language

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Latin 101: Learning a Classical Language

Course No. 2201
Professor Hans-Friedrich Mueller, Ph.D.
Union College
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4.8 out of 5
89 Reviews
96% of reviewers would recommend this series
Course No. 2201
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What Will You Learn?

  • Learn how nouns, adjectives, verbs, and more are treated in Latin.
  • Hear the distinct pronunciation of Latin words, phrases, and letters.
  • Learn all about the subjunctive mood - and how to use it.

Course Overview

Latin lives! The language of Caesar, Cicero, Virgil, St. Jerome, and countless other great authors is alive and well in the modern world. It lives in the Romance languages, which are the lineal descendants of Latin. It flourishes in English, which draws a major part of its vocabulary from Latin. It thrives in the technical terms of science, law, and other fields. Latin is used in the traditional liturgy and proclamations of the Catholic Church. And it is the language of choice for inscriptions, mottoes, and any idea that needs to be stated with permanence and precision.

Above all, Latin lives in thousands of pages of writings that were preserved from the ancient world—poems, plays, speeches, historical and philosophical works that were handed down for centuries because of their beauty of expression and profundity of thought. These immortal works have influenced everyone from Shakespeare to the framers of the United States Constitution to author J. K. Rowling.

On the other hand, Latin has an undeserved reputation for difficulty. But when taught well, Latin is pleasingly straightforward, logical, and predictable. Each word is like a finely crafted part of a machine—a device that does an amazing amount of work with very few components. Learning to read Latin is immensely rewarding, and it is a discipline that trains, enhances, and strengthens critical thinking.

Embark on this unrivaled adventure with Latin 101: Learning a Classical Language, 36 innovative lectures that cover the material normally presented in a first-year college course in Latin. By watching these entertaining lectures, practicing the drills, and doing the exercises in the accompanying guidebook, you will gain access to some of the world’s greatest thought in its original language. You will also understand why no translation can reproduce the elegance and charm of Latin.

Your guide is Professor Hans-Friedrich Mueller of Union College in Schenectady, New York, an award-winning teacher and textbook author who brings warmth, humor, and enthusiasm to the age-old profession of Latin master. To his students, Professor Mueller is simply Molinarius, which is Latin for his surname, Mueller, which means “miller” in English. Fully equipped to live in ancient times, Professor Mueller speaks Latin using the restored classical pronunciation, which melodiously approximates the way Latin was spoken in antiquity. When he speaks, Latin is indeed alive!

A Course for All Ages

For centuries, Latin was the indispensible foundation for higher education—a course of study that sharpened the mind and paved the way for more advanced schooling in literature, languages, and even mathematics and the sciences. Other courses have since taken Latin’s place in the required curriculum, but Latin remains a cornerstone of Western culture and superb preparation for a deeper understanding of English vocabulary and grammar.

Those who will benefit from Latin 101 include

  • self-learners and home-schoolers who wish to learn Latin on their own with these 18 hours of lessons and the accompanying guidebook;
  • those studying Latin in high school or college who seek an outstanding private tutor who knows the most common pitfalls that students face;
  • anyone who has already taken Latin, even if years ago, and desires a refresher course from an engaging, award-winning professor;
  • lovers of language, classical civilization, and great literature who aspire to hear and understand the living voice of the ancient world.

Let the Past Speak to You

In Latin 101 you plunge into authentic Latin from the start, becoming part of a time-honored tradition of students unlocking the delights of increasingly challenging extracts of real Latin authors, such as these:

  • Caesar: Julius Caesar’s Commentaries on the Gallic War describe the great general’s exciting exploits in a clear style without exotic vocabulary. These dispatches helped propel Caesar to a remarkable political career.
  • Catullus: When asked to speak Latin, Professor Mueller often recites a charming love poem by Catullus. All of the elements that make Catullus one of the greatest poets who ever lived—language, meter, and style—are accessible to you after only a few Latin lessons.
  • Cicero: Arguably the most influential writer of all time, Cicero left behind works in many different genres. In this course, you study some of the grammatical lessons from his oratory. There is no better guide to the principles for making a persuasive speech.
  • St. Jerome: For his translation of the Bible into Latin in the 4th century A.D., St. Jerome used the language of the vulgus, or crowd. The “Vulgate,” as it is known, is an ideal text for beginning Latin students. You analyze passages from Genesis and Proverbs.

Your readings also include excerpts from Virgil, Livy, Sallust, Plautus, Martial, Cato the Elder, the Twelve Tables of Roman Law, the Magna Carta, and the Great Seal of the United States, among other passages. In every case, you focus on something specific about how Latin works. For example, Adeste, fideles, the Latin version of the Christmas carol “O Come All Ye Faithful!,” is a superb introduction to the imperative mood.

By the end of the course, you will be translating a long inscription from a Roman funerary monument, which tells a touching story of young love and a married life cut too short. It is a heart-rending message that speaks directly across the centuries, highlighting one of the best reasons to learn an ancient language—so that you can listen to voices from the distant past with understanding and immediacy.

Fiat Lux!

St. Jerome’s Latin version of God’s command in Genesis 1:3 is Fiat lux, “Let there be light.” Two Latin words where English needs four—or even five, since a more accurate English translation is “Let light come into existence.” This vividly demonstrates Latin’s grace, simplicity, and depth of meaning. How does Latin say so much with so little?

The secret is an array of word endings and other seemingly minor modifications that mold a basic word stem to fit a very precise role. For instance, the passive voice is awkward in English and therefore rejected by many writers concerned with style. An example is “I am being driven.” But in Latin you can say the same thing with only one word: agor. The ability of Latin to express the passive voice with elegance makes such forms much more common and useful than in English. The same goes for many other grammatical constructions, which is one of the ways that Latin improves your analytical skills—by allowing you to understand and make distinctions that are difficult to convey in English.

Latin 101 gives you extensive practice conjugating verbs and declining nouns and adjectives to create these meaning-packed words. It is the area in which Latin students have the most trouble, but Professor Mueller makes it accessible, interesting, and fun. Kinetic on-screen graphics emphasize the different forms as Professor Mueller recites them, so that you simultaneously see and hear each Latin word. Then the professor allows a moment for you to say it aloud. The combination of seeing, hearing, and speaking is the ideal way to reinforce language learning. Professor Mueller also reviews material already covered and looks ahead to what you still need to learn before your solid foundation in Latin is complete. Building such a foundation is quite an accomplishment, and the professor knows how to keep you motivated.

Along the way, you explore Roman history, laws, courtship practices, religious beliefs, and other aspects of ancient culture. And you encounter many examples of Roman thought, including this timeless piece of advice from Dionysius Cato, who lived in the 3rd or 4th century A.D. His words apply especially well to Latin 101 and to The Great Courses in general:

      Disce aliquid; nam cum subito fortuna recedit
      Ars remanet vitamque hominis non deserit umquam.

“Learn something. For whenever good fortune suddenly departs, skill remains, and skill does not desert the life of a person ever.”

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36 lectures
 |  30 minutes each
  • 1
    Pronouncing Classical Latin
    Salvete! Greetings! Ease into your study of Latin by admiring its beauty and impressive history. Then focus on the letters and sounds of the restored classical pronunciation, which approximates the way Latin was spoken in the classical era. Finally, cover the rules of accents. x
  • 2
    Introduction to Third-Conjugation Verbs
    Begin your adventure in Latin verbs with the third conjugation, practicing the present tense indicative of ago (I do). Learn the four principal parts of ago-the key words that allow you to conjugate any form-as well as the imperative endings that permit you to issue commands. x
  • 3
    Introduction to the Subjunctive Mood
    See how the long vowel a" is the key to the present subjunctive mood in verbs such as pono (I place). The subjunctive expresses doubt or potential, and you explore its use by the poet Catullus in one of the most famous love poems to survive from the ancient world." x
  • 4
    The Irregular Verbs Sum and Possum
    Learn two important irregular verbs, sum (I am) and possum (I am able), mastering their present tense indicative, imperative, infinitive, and subjunctive forms. Notice how the tiniest linguistic details can be powerful markers, giving rise to Latin's great economy of expression. x
  • 5
    Introduction to Third-Declension Nouns
    Having conjugated verbs, now learn to decline nouns. In this lecture, investigate the largest class of nouns, called third declension. Discover the function of the five cases and how to identify the noun stem. Then practice with masculine and feminine nouns. x
  • 6
    Third-Declension Neuter Nouns
    After a review of verb and noun endings covered so far, focus on third- declension neuter nouns, specifically the word corpus (body). Note the distinctive features of the neuter declension, then practice these endings. Close by exploring several celebrated Latin expressions that feature corpus. x
  • 7
    First- and Second-Declension Adjectives
    Adjectives must agree in number, case, and gender with the nouns they modify. Review a chart of the endings for first- and second-declension adjectives. Then practice matching adjectives with nouns in examples such as nox perpetua (everlasting night) and basium fervidum (fiery kiss). x
  • 8
    First- and Second-Declension Nouns
    Study first- and second-declension nouns, discovering that they have the same endings as first- and second-declension adjectives-with some peculiarities. Close the lecture by translating your first complex sentence in Latin, which involves a shocking incident in Rome's Temple of Vesta. x
  • 9
    Introduction to the Passive Voice
    See how the magic of personal endings makes the passive voice in Latin elegantly simple-unlike awkward passive constructions in English. After practicing the present tense passive indicative of the third conjugation, translate passages from the Roman authors Cicero and Virgil. x
  • 10
    Third -io and Fourth-Conjugation Verbs
    Investigate two classes of verbs similar to pono: the third-io and fourth conjugations. Learn the forms in the present tense active indicative. Then discover that you can understand the commands in the original Latin of the famous Christmas carol "O Come All Ye Faithful!" x
  • 11
    First- and Second-Conjugation Verbs
    Your knowledge of the third, third-io, and fourth conjugations paves the way for mastery of the remaining two patterns, the first and second conjugations, which are more regular than those already covered. Practice all five conjugations, and continue your translation of O Come All Ye Faithful!"" x
  • 12
    Reading a Famous Latin Love Poem
    Reap the rewards of your labors by reading and appreciating one of the most beautiful poems in Latin, which declares the poet Catullus's love for Clodia, whom he calls Lesbia to hide her identity. In the poem, encounter many of the grammatical forms you have studied so far. x
  • 13
    The Present Passive of All Conjugations
    You have learned present passive forms in the third conjugation. Now cover the present passive endings in the first, second, third-io, and fourth conjugations. Close by deciphering a passage from the book of Genesis in St. Jerome's Latin translation, and analyze a pagan prayer to the emperor Tiberius. x
  • 14
    Third-Declension Adjectives
    Dictionary entries for third-declension adjectives can be disconcertingly terse. Learn that these adjectives are actually easier to decline than first- and second-declension adjectives that you have already learned. Apply your new knowledge by declining Catullus's phrase brevis lux (brief light) encountered in Lecture 12. x
  • 15
    Third-Declension I-Stem Nouns
    Explore a subset of third-declension nouns that has the letter i" in certain forms. Called i-stems, these endings closely resemble those for third-declension adjectives. Expand your grasp of Latin morphology and syntax by reading passages from Cato the Elder, an arch-traditionalist of Roman values." x
  • 16
    The Relative Pronoun
    Pronouns that introduce a relative clause are called relative pronouns. Investigate these valuable words, which unlock the doors to Latin prose and are unusually enjoyable to chant aloud. Experience relative pronouns in action by translating two excerpts from Sallust's The Conspiracy of Catiline. x
  • 17
    The Imperfect and Future Tenses
    Having mastered the most challenging tense of all in Latin, the present tense, learn the future and imperfect tenses, which are governed by simpler rules. Practice the active and passive forms in all four conjugations. Also encounter the imperfect subjunctive. x
  • 18
    Building Translation Skills
    Apply your skills with the future and imperfect tenses to Latin texts. First, behold a lover's quarrel in a poem by Catullus. Then, scrutinize a disingenuous claim by Julius Caesar. Next, read a brief passage from the Magna Carta, and close with two pithy sayings by Dionysius Cato. x
  • 19
    Using the Subjunctive Mood
    St. Jerome's Latin translation of the Bible is an excellent text for beginning Latin students. Grasp the wisdom of Solomon by analyzing four verses from chapter 1 of the book of Proverbs. Your knowledge of Latin forms will enrich your understanding of these ancient sayings. x
  • 20
    Demonstrative Adjectives and Pronouns
    Study the three most basic demonstrative adjectives in Latin, and see how they can be used as pronouns. Then look at similar words that decline the same way. Close with a passage from Cicero that showcases the dramatic use of demonstrative adjective to indict a corrupt politician. x
  • 21
    The Perfect Tense Active System
    Tackle three new tenses: the perfect, pluperfect, and future perfect in the active voice. The perfect tense denotes completed action, contrasting with the uncompleted action of the imperfect, which you studied in Lecture 17. Finish by conjugating duco (I lead) for all of the active tenses learned so far. x
  • 22
    Forming and Using Participles
    Participles usefully combine characteristics of both verbs and adjectives. Learn the rules for forming Latin participles, and investigate some of their many applications. Close by translating the Latin from the Great Seal of the United States, which includes the perfect passive participle coeptus (having been begun). x
  • 23
    Using the Infinitive
    Enhance your knowledge of infinitives by learning perfect active and passive infinitives, as well as future active and passive infinitives. Then see how these forms are used for indirect discourse, which involves a crucial exception to the rule that subjects are always in the nominative case. x
  • 24
    Reading a Passage from Caesar
    With judicious help, you are now ready to read significant excerpts from authentic Latin prose. Work through three sentences from Caesar's Commentaries on the Gallic War. This exciting narrative is written in a direct, eloquent style that has enthralled readers for 2,000 years. x
  • 25
    The Perfect Tense Passive System
    Complete all the tenses of the Latin verb by learning the perfect passive, which uses a form of the verb sum together with the past participle. Close with an example of this construction in an ancient historian's description of Caesar's notorious death. x
  • 26
    Deponent Verbs
    The phrase non sequitur (it does not follow) has a verb with a passive ending but an active meaning. Such verbs whose active forms are identical to the passive forms of regular verbs are called deponents. Learn to conjugate this intriguing class of verbs. x
  • 27
    Conditional Sentences
    Expand your appreciation for Latin syntax and the subjunctive by learning to express conditions using if-then clauses. Discover that Latin can convey more subtle shades of meaning in conditional sentences than English. See how Cicero put this grammatical tool to use in confronting the conspirator Catiline. x
  • 28
    Cum Clauses and Stipulations
    Study other uses of the subjunctive, particularly provisos and temporal clauses, exemplified by Emperor Caligula's famous reply when told that he was hated: Oderint, dum metuant (Let them hate, provided they fear). End by analyzing a passage that shows the extreme piety of the Roman people. x
  • 29
    Reading Excerpts from Roman Law
    Probe examples of Roman legislation in the original Latin, starting with a provision for the sale of sons by fathers from the Twelve Tables, the most ancient codification of Roman law. Examine marriage and divorce law, and a peculiar tradition forbidding the exchange of gifts between a husband and wife. x
  • 30
    Interrogative Adjectives and Pronouns
    How do you ask a question in Latin? After covering the three particles used to introduce a question, focus on interrogative adjectives and pronouns and their corresponding correlatives. Compare direct and indirect questions. Then explore relevant examples from Latin authors, including Catullus and Cicero. x
  • 31
    Fourth- and Fifth-Declension Nouns
    Complete your tour of the Latin noun by mastering the fourth and fifth declensions, which pose no major hurdles after the third declension, introduced in Lecture 5. Practice by translating a passage from a Latin requiem mass, which opens, dies irae (day of wrath). x
  • 32
    Gerunds and Gerundives
    Focus on the fourth principal part, which is the gateway to a verbal noun called the supine, used to denote purpose, as in mirabile dictu (marvelous to tell). Then investigate another verbal noun called the gerund, compare it to the gerundive, a verbal adjective, and learn the subtleties of translating them into English. x
  • 33
    Counting in Latin
    Now that you have been introduced to the supine, explore the irregular verb eo (I go). The passive infinitive, iri, combines with the supine to create the future passive infinitive-for example, amatum iri (to be going to be loved). Then learn to count in Latin with both ordinal and cardinal numbers. x
  • 34
    More on Irregular Verbs
    Look at other irregular verbs, discovering that most display the greatest irregularity in the present tense system, especially the present tense indicative. Discover strategies for streamlining your study of Latin forms, and close by translating passages from Plautus, Martial, and Livy. x
  • 35
    Comparison of Adjectives and Adverbs
    Investigate the patterns that govern comparisons of adjectives and adverbs. Then try an example of authentic Latin text that speaks directly across two millennia: a heartfelt inscription on a Roman tombstone. Although in colloquial Latin, it is just as dense with meaning as the literary passages you have already read. x
  • 36
    Next Steps in Reading Latin
    Finish analyzing the funerary inscription from the previous lecture, discovering that you have the tools to understand a complex message that even features a mystery! Then complete the course with recommendations for your further studies in this enduring and elegant language. Valete! Be well! x

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Your professor

Hans-Friedrich Mueller

About Your Professor

Hans-Friedrich Mueller, Ph.D.
Union College
Dr. Hans-Friedrich Mueller is the Thomas B. Lamont Professor of Ancient and Modern Literature at Union College in Schenectady, New York. He earned his M.A. in Latin from the University of Florida and his Ph.D. in Classical Philology from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Before coming to Union College, he taught at The Florida State University and the University of Florida. Professor Mueller won the American...
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Latin 101: Learning a Classical Language is rated 4.7 out of 5 by 89.
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fantastic Pedagogical Approach I have a degree in Linguistics and, in this context, I've had an opportunity to study several languages, including Latin back in high school. With this background, I can say that Professor Mueller is by far, hands down, the absolute best language teacher I've ever had. He has a bit of an out-of-the-box approach to presenting the inflections of the language in a way that makes them easier to memorize, focusing on repetitive inflected patterns rather than temporal verbal categories, for example. And, if you think studying Latin might be ... uh ... boring ... well, Professor Mueller makes it as fun as it probably can be. If you want to learn Latin, I heartily recommend this course. Of course, the hard part comes when translating native writing. There, it's not possible to translate Latin without mastering native syntactical constructions or semantic idioms. So I hope the Great Courses can put together an advanced course, along the lines of "How to Translate a Latin Sentence," employing pedagogical techniques that Professor Mueller adopts in his books. This would be a great addition to the work he has already achieved. I do have one technical issue to raise. I learned how to pronounce Latin, using the "ecclesiastical" pronunciation, where a "v" is pronounced as an English "v," as in "vase," not "wase." At least in the secular Anglo-Saxon world, it's received instruction that a "v" is pronounced as a "w." I've done some research on the matter, and I think this propensity to diverge from ecclesiastical pronunciation goes back to Henry VIII, his establishment of an English Church different and separate from Rome, and a dispute that emerged in the day between scholars at Oxford and Cambridge. Yet ... somehow ... I can't see Caesar standing on a hilltop and, as he was leaving Gaul, intoning: "Wee-nie, Wee-die, Win-kie." Somehow "Ve-ni, Vi-di, Vin-ci" sounds ... uh ... tougher, and Roman soldiers were know to be pretty tough. What say you, Professor Mueller?
Date published: 2017-04-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Head First into the Swimming Pool! Disclosure: I have owned a lot of Great Courses, but this one is from the library. I decided to try it because I needed help. I'd been working from a textbook and got stalled at the third conjugation. Then I met Molinarius (Mueller). His course starts with the third conjugation, and after one masters that, the others are a lot easier. He provides lots of drill (if you own the course, you can go over and over it), helpful tricks for remembering forms ("Amanda must be loved"), historical light on why some of the weirder forms are the way they are (huic, hunc, etc.), and insights into classical Latin style. Perhaps most useful is the practice in analyzing sentences, usually from classical texts or the Vulgate Bible .That has given me vital tools for translating. Having taken my whirlwind tour through the language (the library finally wanted its CDs back---) I'm returning to Wheelock's textbook, and I don't think I will be stumped again because I've already worked with all the forms you see in the syllabus. Molinarius ends with a really helpful list of online and published materials for further study.
Date published: 2017-04-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I recently bought Latin I along with another course. In the process of buying a Latin Dictionary along with historical and cultural reference materials.
Date published: 2017-03-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from It really makes sense!!! I have wanted to learn Latin for years now, I have picked up a few books, but it never made sense to me. I took a shot with this course and had no idea what to expect...I'm so very glad that I got it, cause it is finally making sense to me. I have been taking my time watching these lectures, then reading, watching again and letting it sink in, its not as overwhelming as I thought it would be. The professor is fantastic! Get it!!
Date published: 2017-03-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Latin 101 This has been the most fun and valuable course I've taken with The Great Courses. It is work, but I've enjoyed Professor Mueller's wit so much that it doesn't feel like work. I would love to see him continue with a Latin 102. I would like him to teach us more! I highly recommend this.
Date published: 2017-03-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I flunked my 3rd year Latin in high school. (Yes, they actually did teach it then!) Now, 60 years later, I wanted to see if I could pick it up again, as it was the basis for my learning French and being able to maintain that language at least to the point that I can still read and write it. Professor Mueller does a great job explaining the rules of Latin and making it easier by drawing humor out of it. I loved Catullus' poem to himself. I have a way to go in the course yet, but I'm eager to proceed.
Date published: 2017-03-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from So far, so good. I just started this course after reading Climbing Parnassus and being convinced to learn Latin. So far, it is engaging and easy to understand. I don't feel lost... yet. We'll see. I'm looking forward to more lessons.
Date published: 2017-02-10
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Lots of fun learning Latin. I've been studying Lain for about 10 years and this course is a nice addition to my materials. I look forward to the DVD lectures and do a couple each week.
Date published: 2017-02-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Thoroughly enjoying Latin 101 This is my first experience with The Great Courses and what a treat for my mind and soul! I am loving every engaging moment learning this beautiful Classic Language. I only have time to do one segment of it per day, but each day I can't wait to enjoy the day's lesson, then anxiously await tomorrow's. Excellently presented by Professor Molinarius. Love it! Thank you!
Date published: 2017-01-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Very happy with my purchase I am taking this course as a review of the Latin I learned in high school, which was about fifty five years ago. I have only finished lecture six so far, and I find in order to master the language I have to go over each lecture two or three times plus do the guidebook exercises. Professor Molinarius presents the material in a very enjoyable manner and I like the way he introduces the material very gradually ( so that the student is not too overwhelmed with too many tenses and moods and active and passive voice all at once). Like other reviewers have said, I would definitely like to see a Latin 201 and Latin 301 added on. I think the great courses should also offer more modern languages like German, French, and Italian, with beginning and more advanced courses in each language.
Date published: 2017-01-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Best Latin Course I have seen The professor is engaging. The course level is challenging but fun. The homework is minimal if you wish although the more time you put in the more you accomplish. The instruction is not only form and tenses; it is also spoken. There is emphasis put in today's relevance in understanding English and foreign words. I failed Latin in middle school and thought it useless. I was wrong.
Date published: 2017-01-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great review After 46 years away from the language, I have returned to this subject as a mental exercise and I am glad that I have. The course and professor get you into the language instantly and the book is essential to the learning process. The last time I had a professor speak Latin to me was in 1968, so the nostalgia is a plus as well. Thank you for the experience.
Date published: 2017-01-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Breaking the old language barrier Professor Molinarius' presentation of the course materials is easy-going and close to the Guidebook arrangement to facilitate the student's following and absorbing the content of the course. Of course, at this point in time, I only have gone through 2 lessons, but I really like the professor's erudition presented without any shade of pedantry. My hat off to the Professor, and the people at The Great Courses!
Date published: 2016-12-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from For all Latin lovers, past and future This was superb. Of the 30 or so Great Courses, one of my favorites. Professor Mueller is terrific; clever and engaging at all time. I took Latin for 4 years in high school and once in college, and 55 years later, a loving another introduction. This is why I keep my entrances into Great Courses alive.
Date published: 2016-11-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Latin as Review 30 years ago I studied Latin and Greek toward a Masters Degree in Classics. Due to having a family (babies) at that time, I remain 2 courses short. These two courses are a wonderful review. Terry If possible, create some actual classroom settings. Droves of people would come.
Date published: 2016-11-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from What a Professor!! While the content of the course is definitely first-rate, Professor Mueller is what makes it a 'Great Course". His style is relaxing while at the same time teaching the nuts and bolts of this classical language. It is simply enjoyable listening to him present the information in the course, both the actual grammar of the language and the cultural aspects. I second the wish of other posters regarding providing a continuation of this course (as well as a continuation of the Greek 101 course also taught by Professor Mueller).
Date published: 2016-11-05
Rated 4 out of 5 by from The best course in latin I have completed.the first chapter and I noticed that the speaker knows how to present a difficult subject matter.
Date published: 2016-10-31
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Not my first try, but I'm sure it's the last! I have tried a couple times before with on-line resources. Youtube offers lots of lessons. None of them seemed to be serious to me. I found what appeared to be a serious free effort which had me scratching my head because the beginning material seemed to be way over my head. I finally broke down and ordered this one and I'm happy! I'm taking it very slowly, watching a lesson, letting it sink in a bit, then watching it again and doing the exercises. I'm only up to #5 right now, but I'm positive I've mastered the first 4 of them. I have a friend who is a retired Latin teacher and I showed her the manual and her comment after reading all the chapter titles was that it was totally unorthodox but she could see how it would work well. One of her comments was that she always waited until the very end of the first year or the beginning of the second to introduce the subjunctive mood and thought perhaps doing it RIGHT NOW like this series does is the right way to do it. I won't be ready to become a UN translator in Latin after completing this course, but I will have, at age 64, done something I could have done in high school in the late 60s and always regretted. Thank you, Great Courses :)
Date published: 2016-10-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent course - need Latin II, Latin III. When I was in high school, my big brother threatened me with my life if I did not take Latin- for the entire four years it was offered. I did, and it changed my life. With medical terms, biology, physiology, biomechanics, and so very much more. When I went for the GRE ( graduate records examination), I did exceptionally well- not so much, per se, in the sciences ( which I did, but anything dealing with English-I did great. My advisor said that " it must be your language studies". When I said I just took Latin in high school- his response was " Wow- well, no wonder!!" I have searched everywhere for a good review course- and this is it. Latin is like building a home on a very stable base. It helps with ALL of the Romance languages- French, Spanish, Portuguese, English, Italian- all easier with a background in Latin. This program is unique, and very professional. Great Courses needs desperately to do additional courses in Latin and Greek both. Not my opinion- a fact. I plan to take the Greek course as well.
Date published: 2016-09-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Latin 101 I had a desire to revisit the Latin language after 4 years of high school Latin. I enjoyed the professor and learned things I had not known before. It was very much worth the cost and time I spent with this course.
Date published: 2016-08-31
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Outstanding Intro or Review - yes, you must study! This is an outstandingly well-done presentation of the equivalent of the first year or so of college Latin, appropriate as either an introduction or a review. And of course - you will *not* learn Latin just by listening to the lectures. There is no royal road to language learning (if you're not a child), just as "non est regia [inquit Euclides] ad Geometriam via." Many hours of study will be needed if you truly want to learn. But I can't imagine a better path to follow, unless you plan to enroll at a university. Professor Mueller is excellent - unbelievably well-organized and beautifully spoken. He does tend to some over-the-top professorial mannerisms, but I honestly couldn't tell if they're natural to him or if he is putting us on. Either way, they help to hold our attention. The visuals are also remarkably clear and helpful - my kudos (singular) to those who put them together. Absolutely get the video. And the Course Guidebook is likewise praiseworthy - it is extensive, well-organized, and clearly presented. Do keep up with it and learn the material thoroughly after each lesson. While the initial lectures move relatively slowly, the pace picks up quite a bit as the course moves along, and you will be lost if you don't master the material as you go. Latin is a wonderful object of study in itself, and will help you understand English as well as other European languages. This course has my highest recommendation both for beginners and for any desiring a fine review.
Date published: 2016-06-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great start to learning Latin I have studied several modern (French, Russian and Spanish) over the years, both in classrooms and self-study, but never an ancient language. I started learning Latin from a textbook, but it just wasn't working and was boring. So glad I purchased Professor Mueller's Latin 101 course. Mueller is an animated, enthusiastic teacher and makes learning Latin a lot of fun. He breaks the grammatical points into small bits and drills you on them. The accompanying textbook (which repeats the grammatical points and gives you extra exercises) is very helpful. In my past language studies, I don't remember a teacher or textbook explaining certain grammatical points (for example, the use of verb moods) as effectively as does Professor Mueller. I don't expect that I will be reading the Aeneid without a dictionary after completing the 18 hours of lectures, but I will have a great foundation for further study. Highly recommended.
Date published: 2016-04-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Reality Check There's learning ABOUT a foreign language, then there is learning a foreign langue. The latter is a serious educational task that generally requires a professional educator and years of study. Bright college students majoring in Latin take about 3 years to master the language, corresponding to about 750 hours of study. So, what is the likelihood that 18 hours of video instruction will be enough to learn Latin? Well that's for you to decide. When I bought this when it was first released, I never really thought that I would learn latin from this course alone, but was still a bit naive about how much study it was going to take. Given the limits of 18 hours of video, I think TGC and professor Mueller did an excellent job. This course has the highest of the company's production values, and it got me inspired to get Wheelock's Latin and make a real attempt at self-study (which, sadly, stalled after about 10 chapters). If you spent 500 hours studying Latin years ago, you will probably love this course, as it will bring back to life dormant abilities. If you are a language genius, you might actually be able to read basic ancient latin texts by the end of this course. Myself, with no background in Latin, nor genius for language, hit the wall after about 7 lectures, in spite of watching them twice and doing all of the homework. If you are serious about learning Latin from scratch, two or three years of college Latin courses is what you need, unless sufficiently motivated for a long course of self-study, such as an hour a day for two years. (I would have also suggested DuoLingo, but they don't yet have a Latin program.) But if you have a burning desire to learn ABOUT this remarkable ancient language, this video course is just what you need.
Date published: 2016-03-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Worth the effort As with many of the reviewers of this course, I have a couple of years of Latin instruction, long ago. This course was a great review, refresher, and instruction on completely new material. And fun, too, with the application of some effort. But my main point in this review is that, whatever your goal, you have a master teacher in this course. I enjoyed his Latin course so much that, totally without any practical reason, I purchased his new Greek language course - it is fun, too. One lesson in, and I am now almost able to write the Greek alphabet without prompts! I've also picked up a few refreshers on English grammar from Latin, and probably will from Greek, too. For me, though, it is the master teacher of these courses that made Latin, and the one lesson in Greek that I have had, well worth the effort. Good return on investment..
Date published: 2016-03-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Latin the mother of romance languages This course has become part of my daily routine. I am now retired and reliving my life through cultural practices like reading and learning. Life is better when lived in reverse and enjoyed while old ( Movie quote). I would recommend this course to any lover of languages.
Date published: 2016-02-09
Rated 4 out of 5 by from latin 101 I have been procrastinating for years and now I have started this course and I am very excited about it. I had Latin growing up and going to Catholic School but not enough to really use it. I am taking my time and I know I will enjoy it. I have only watched the first lesson but I like the way the professor teaches, can't wait till next lesson.
Date published: 2016-01-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Latin 101 This is a good course. Having studied Latin at school, I decided to take a nostalgia trip and see if I remembered anything. As a personal preference, I believe it would be easier to teach the first and second conjugations initially as it makes it easier to memorize the endings. However, I do understand why he started with the third, because once you have mastered the third, the others are easy. I think that for a new student of Latin, the professor's method makes it a little harder to get into Latin, but one's perseverance pays off. I highly recommend this course.
Date published: 2016-01-28
Rated 1 out of 5 by from You can't learn Latin by watching videos... I don't know why I purchased this - you can't possibly learn Latin by watching these videos. Don't waste your money.
Date published: 2016-01-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from An engaging and subtly wry pedagogical style The lecturer (more like an archaeologist conducting a detailed, interactive tour of a great museum), Dr Hans-Friedrich Mueller, casting himself as MOLINARIUS (Latin for English miller and German Mueller), has a wonderful pedagogic style that one won't tire of. I happen to be a 50-year aficionado of Latin, but I can't help thinking that even the novice who comes to this course out of mere curiosity is going to see the beauty of the language, both as spoken by MOLINARIUS and in how the ancient texts call out to us over the millennia, as well as in how the language forms the foundation of English grammar and vocabulary. The early introduction of third-conjugation verbs, rather than starting with "amo, amare, amavi, amatus", as well as of the subjunctive mood, is a variation that will startle veterans of earlier instruction, but is well founded and won't be noticed by new recruits. Whether you want to refresh or expand your high-school knowledge of the language, as I do, or you're simply curious about this iconic antecedent of the modern languages of the West, get the course and let the animated and engaging MOLINARIUS (Classical Latin had no lower-case letters) lead you through the basics of Latin 101. And hope for Latin 102 (FIAT LINGUA LATINA CII).
Date published: 2016-01-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from First rate intro to Latin Excellent in every way. The professor understands the value of review and repetition and paces it well. Also, his introduction to the material is very logically presented. In contrast to how Latin is traditionally taught (1st conjugation first, 1st declension first, etc...), he introduces us to the third conjugation and third declension first, which makes the others easier to learn later. This course makes me hope that other languages may be offered by equally talented teachers in the future.
Date published: 2015-09-25
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