Latin 302: Winter, 2010

Latin 302: Winter, 2010

(Aeneas, right, arriving at the court of Dido, left)

Instructor: Christopher S. Mackay
E-Mail: (
Office/phone: Tory 2-54/492-3344
Office hours: MWF 12-1 (making an appointment is a good idea) or by appointment

Purpose of the course

  1. The purpose of this course is the acquisition of a sound grasp of the principles of Latin syntax through the careful reading of Book Four of Virgil's Aeneid, the most famous poem of Classical Rome. This will enable the student to advance confidently to the independent reading of Latin.
  2. Learn the basic principles of scanning Roman poetry through the comparatively straightforward meter of dactylic hexameters.

Text book

Virgil: Aeneid IV, ed. Keith MacLennan (Britol Classical Press, 2007) About $25.

Course procedure

An assignment is given for each day, and students are to prepare that section. If we are not able to read all of the text in class, students should ask questions about difficult passages. Students will then be expected to be fully conversant with the passages read in class. This means they will be expected to identify all inflectional forms and explain the syntax of those forms.

Class participation

Attendance is obligatory and attendance is taken every day. There is no reason to be elsewhere. Students are allowed one unexcused absence for the term. Each unexcused absence beyond that results in a reduction of the final grade by one step (e.g., a B will become s B-). Acceptable excuses include official school activities that necessitate absence from campus (e.g., participition in university sports events or debate team), funerals of relatives (with proof presented in the form of a program), major debilitating illnesses. If you have to be absent for such a reason, inform the instructor as soon as possible (in advance if possible). Having something better to do (including a job) or having something else to do for another course is not an acceptable excuse.


Testing (90% of final grade)
There will be a quiz every Monday (except the first and the week of the midterm) on the preceding week's reading (there are no make-up quizzes and the one lowest score will be dropped; 20% of overall grade). There will be one midterm (35%) and one final examination (35%; tentatively scheduled for Tuesday, April 20 at 9 am). The content of the midterm and final will be discussed in class (and what is expected will be made clear from the quizzes).

Scansion work (10% of final grade)
There will be four take-home assignments of scanning a number of lines.

Deferred Final Exam

The sole date for taking a deferred final examination is May 3, 2010.

Student Accomodation

NB Students who require accommodation due to a disability involving mobility, vision, hearing, learning or mental or physical health should discuss their needs with Specialized Support and Disability Services (SUB 2-800; 492-3381 [phone]/492-7269 [TTY]).

Nine-point conversion

Students will receive a percentage score for all graded work. At the end of term these percentage marks will be weighted on the scale indicated above to give an overall percentage mark. This will then be converted to the letter-grade system according to the following equivalents.

Letter Grade Percentage
A+ 100-97
A 96-93
A- 92-90
B+ 89-87
B 86-83
B- 82-80
C+ 79-77
C 76-73
C- 72-70
69-67 D+
66-60 D
59 or lower F

Academic Dishonesty

This is a big no-no. The University has the following statement on how it deals with academic dishonesty.

"The University of Alberta is committed to the highest standards of academic integrity and honesty. Students are expected to be familiar with these standards regarding academic honesty and to uphold the policies of the University in this respect. Students are particularly urged to familiarize themselves with the provisions of the Code of Student Behavior and avoid any behavior which could potentially result in suspicions of cheating, plagiarism, misrepresentation of facts and/or participation in an offence. Academic dishonesty is a serious offence and can result in suspension or expulsion from the University." (U of A Calendar §23.4.2c)

Cheating can consist of a number of offenses, which can be summarized (for present purposes) as

  1. getting information during and exam from an impermissible source
  2. taking an exam for someone else or having someone else take an exam for you
  3. plagiarism
  4. submitting as one's own work that has received "substantial editorial or compositional assistance" from someone else (i.e., if you get someone else to work up your ideas for you)
  5. submitting in one course written work (or a substantial portion thereof) submitted for credit in a previous course.
For details, see Code of Student Behavior §30.3.2(2)a-d.

Be particularly careful about plagiarism, which is defined as "submit[ting] the words, ideas, images or data of another person as the student's own" (Code of Student Behaviour §30.3.2(1)). Students sometimes have trouble determining how and when to cite ideas that they have read in books (or at times heard in class). As the consequences for plagiarism can be dire, it's always best to consult the instructor in cases of doubt.

Like the University, I have a zero-tolerance policy for plagiarism (as well as cheating). I will not hesitate to seek the highest possible penalty against anyone caught committing these offenses or helping others to commit them. Ignorance of what constitutes academic offenses is not an acceptable defense. Refer to the Code of Student Behaviour in the Calendar (pages 743-766) for a full description of academic offenses and their possible penalties. If you have any questions, see me or refer to the University's "Don't cheat" sheet.

For Those Who Don't Like the Syllabus

The University of Alberta cares deeply about being internally recognized for excellence in course information delivery, and accordingly has issued the following regulation, presumably on the grounds that after twenty-two years of university-level instruction, I might not know how to draw up a suitable syllabus:

Every course outline should contain the following statement: "Policy about course outlines can be found in §23.4(2) of the University Calendar" (Calendar §23.4(2).b).
You can't say you weren't warned.
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