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Online Learning

Course Number: LA 210
Course Title: Introduction to Ecclesiastical Latin
Term: Fall 2014


Dr. Philippe Yates,

1. Course Description

Latin is at the root of many modern languages, including large sections of English. Historically it was the language of record and of scholarly discourse in Western Europe. It is also the primary language of the western part of the Catholic Church, which is even called the “Latin Church”. Latin is the normative liturgical, legislative and bureaucratic language of the Catholic Church. Many important historical, philosophical, theological and canonical texts are not translated, and translations are not always reliable. For all these reasons, an understanding of Latin is essential for any in-depth study of western history, canon law, liturgy, theology and philosophy – especially for those who would seek to understand the Catholic Church's contribution to western culture.

This course is designed to introduce the student to the basics of ecclesiastical Latin, which will also enable the student to begin to approach medieval and modern Latin texts. It is the first of three courses designed to give the student the skills to read modern ecclesiastical Latin (including that used in the Code of Canon Law) and medieval Latin theological and philosophical documents (such as St. Thomas' Summa).

2. Envisioned Learning Outcomes

Students will demonstrate an ability to read, understand and write basic Latin texts. In particular students will demonstrate among other abilities:

  • an ability to conjugate, understand and use the indicative tense of Latin verbs
  • an ability to conjugate, use and understand the major declensions of Latin nouns
  • an ability to use and understand pronouns and adjectives in Latin.

3. Course Schedule

Week 1: Pronunciation, Nouns and Prepositions


LA1A  Pronunciation of Ecclesiastical Latin

LA1B An Overview of Nouns

LA1C First Declension Nouns

LA1D An Overview of Prepositions


Collins, A Primer of Ecclesiastical Latin, p. 1-12.


Drills and Translation exercises

Week 2: Nouns, Esse – to be, Statements, Subject-Verb Agreement, Genitive of Possession


LA2A Second Declension Masculine Nouns

LA2B Present tense of the Copulative Verb sum 'to be'

LA2C Kinds of Sentences

LA2D Direct Statements

LA2E Agreement of Subject and Verb

LA2F Genitive of Possession


Collins, A Primer of Ecclesiastical Latin, p. 13-20


 Drills and Translation Exercises

Week 3: Nouns, Tenses of sum, Dative


LA3A Second Declension Neuter Nouns

LA3B Imperfect tense of sum

LA3C Future tense of sum

LA3D Dative of the Possessor


Collins, A Primer of Ecclesiastical Latin, p. 21-26


Drills and Translation Exercises

Week 4: Adjectives, Nominal Sentences and Syntax Questions


LA4A Adjectives: An Overview

LA4B First/Second Declension Adjectives

LA4C Agreement of Adjective and Noun

LA4D Nominal Sentences

LA4E How to Answer Syntax Questions (I)


Collins, A Primer of Ecclesiastical Latin, p. 27-33


Drills and Translation Exercises

Week 5: Verbs, Accusative, Dative, Parsing


LA5A Verbs: An Overview

LA5B Present-Stem System

LA5C Present Indicative Active: First Conjugation

LA5D Word Order

LA5E Coordination (Compound Sentences)

LA5F Accusative as Direct Object

LA5G Dative as Indirect Object

LA5H Ablative of Separation

LA5I Compounding of Verbs: Prepositions as Prefixes

LA5J Parsing


Collins, A Primer of Ecclesiastical Latin, p. 34-47


Drills and Translation Exercises

Week 6: Present Indicative Active, Direct Questions, Ablative


LA6A Present Indicative active: Second Conjugation

LA6B Present Indicative Active: Third Conjugation

LA6C Direct Questions (I)


Collins, A Primer of Ecclesiastical Latin, p.48-55


Drills and Translation Exercises

Week 7: Present Indicative Passive, Ablative


LA7A Present Indicative Passive: All Four Conjugations

LA7B Ablative of Personal Agency

LA7C Ablative with Certain Adjectives


Collins, A Primer of Ecclesiastical Latin, p. 56-63,


Drills and Translation Exercises

Week 8: Imperfect Indicative, Complex Sentences, Causal Clauses, Indirect Statements, Ellipsis


LA8A Imperfect Indicative Active: All Four Conjugations

LA8B Imperfect Indicative Passive: All Four Conjugations

LA8C Subordination (Complex Sentences)

LA8D Causal Clauses

LA8E Indirect Statements (I): Object Clauses

LA8F Ellipsis


Collins, A Primer of Ecclesiastical Latin, p. 64-73


Drills and Translation Exercises

Week 9: Future Indicative, Infinitive, Ablative


LA9A Future Indicative Active: Frist and Second Conjugations

LA9B Future Indicative Passive: First and Second Conjugations

LA9C Future Indicative Active: Third and Fourth Conjugations

LA9D Future Indicative Passive: Third and Fourth Conjugations

LA9E Infinitive as Subject

LA9F Ablative of Respect


Collins, A Primer of Ecclesiastical Latin, p. 74-83


Drills and Translation Exercises

Mid-term exam covering weeks 1-7

Week 10: Perfect Indicative, Relative Pronouns/Interrogative Adjectives


LA10A The Perfect active System: Three Tenses

LA10B Perfect Indicative Active: All Four Conjugations

LA10C Relative Pronoun/Interrogative Adjective: quī, quae, quod.

LA10D Uses of the Relative Pronoun

LA 10E Use of the Interrogative Adjective


Collins, A Primer of Ecclesiastical Latin, p. 84-88


Drills and Translation Exercises

Week 11: Pluperfect and Future-Perfect Indicative, Ablative, Direct Quotations


LA11A Pluperfect Indicative Active: All Four Conjugations

LA11B Future-Perfect Indicative Active: all Four Conjugations

LA11C Ablative of Cause

LA11D Direct Quotations


Collins, A Primer of Ecclesiastical Latin, 89-94


Drills and Translation Exercises

Week 12: Possum, Complementary Infinitive, Perfect Indicative Passive


LA12A The Auxilliary Verb possum 'be able'

LA12B Complementary Infinitive

LA12C Object Infinitive

LA12D The Perfect-Passive System: Three Compound Tenses

LA12E Perfect Indicative Passive: All Four Conjugations

LA12F uses of the perfect passive Participle


Collins, A Primer of Ecclesiastical Latin, p. 95-102


Drills and Translation Exercises

Week 13: Pluperfect Indicative Passive, Future Perfect Indicative Passive, Ablative Absolute, Temporal Clauses, Synopsis of a Verb


LA13A Pluperfect Indicative Passive: all Four Conjugations

LA13B Future-Perfect Indicative Passive: All Four Conjugations

LA13C Ablative Absolute

LA13D Temporal Clauses

LA 13E Synopsis of a Verb


Collins, A Primer of Ecclesiastical Latin, p. 103-110


Drills and Translation Exercises

Week 14

Finish outstanding exercises and prepare for final exam.

Week 15

Final exam covering weeks 1-14 of LA510.


  • Drills and Translation Exercises: 60%
  • Midterm Exam – 20%
  • Final Exam – 20%


  • John Collins, A Primer of Ecclesiastical Latin, $23.95, ISBN # 9780813206677



BA students will be graded on their weekly drills and translation exercises. These must be provided in written form for the English and Latin. The Latin must also be recorded in a common format such as mp3. MA students will in addition have two further more extended exercises as mid-term and final exams. Students who have difficulty with research and composition are encouraged to pursue assistance with the Online Writing Lab (available at


A 94-100; A- 90-93; B+ 87-89; B 84-86; B- 80-83; C+ 77-79; C 74-76; C- 70-73 D 60-69; F 59 and below

For translations into English students will be graded on the accuracy of their translation into English (95%) and the style of English (i.e. does the translation read like English or like a translation of Latin) (5%). For translations into Latin, the accuracy and correctness of the Latin translation will count for 95% of the mark and the pronunciation of the Latin (5%). Hence translations into Latin must be recorded as well as written. Any student using a set translation of standard texts rather than providing their own translation will be given a mark of 0 for the exercise. A repeat of the offense may lead to an investigation for academic dishonesty (see below).


Holy Apostles College & Seminary is committed to the goal of achieving equal educational opportunities and full participation in higher education for persons with disabilities who qualify for admission to the College. Students enrolled in online courses who have documented disabilities requiring special accommodations should contact Bob Mish, the Director of Online Student Affairs, at or 860-632-3015. In all cases, reasonable accommodations will be made to ensure that all students with disabilities have access to course materials in a mode in which they can receive them. Students who have technological limitations (e.g., slow Internet connection speeds in convents) are asked to notify their instructors the first week of class for alternative means of delivery.


Students at Holy Apostles College & Seminary are expected to practice academic honesty.

Avoiding Plagiarism

In its broadest sense, plagiarism is using someone else's work or ideas, presented or claimed as your own.  At this stage in your academic career, you should be fully conscious of what it means to plagiarize. This is an inherently unethical activity because it entails the uncredited use of someone else's expression of ideas for another's personal advancement; that is, it entails the use of a person merely as a means to another person’s ends.

Students, where applicable:

  • Should identify the title, author, page number/webpage address, and publication date of works when directly quoting small portions of texts, articles, interviews, or websites.
  • Students should not copy more than two paragraphs from any source as a major component of papers or projects.
  • Should appropriately identify the source of information when paraphrasing (restating) ideas from texts, interviews, articles, or websites.
  • Should follow the Holy Apostles College & Seminary Stylesheet (available on the Online Writing Lab’s website at
  • Students should not use any books or sheets from any source whatever, whether published or privately produced, that purport to give the answers to the exercises and drills of the course.

Consequences of Academic Dishonesty:

Because of the nature of this class, academic dishonesty is taken very seriously.  Students participating in academic dishonesty may be removed from the course and from the program.


Even though you are not required to be logged in at any precise time or day, you are expected to login several times during each week. Because this class is being taught entirely in a technology-mediated forum, it is important to actively participate each week in the course. In a traditional classroom setting for a 3-credit course, students would be required, per the federal standards, to be in class three 50-minute sessions (or 2.5 hours a week) and prepare for class discussions six 50-minute sessions (or 5 hours) a week. Expect to devote at least nine 50-minute sessions (or 7.5 quality hours) a week to this course. A failure on the student’s part to actively participate in the life of the course may result in a reduction of the final grade.


An Incomplete is a temporary grade assigned at the discretion of the faculty member. It is typically allowed in situations in which the student has satisfactorily completed major components of the course and has the ability to finish the remaining work without re-enrolling, but has encountered extenuating circumstances, such as illness, that prevent his or her doing so prior to the last day of class.

To request an incomplete, distance-learning students must first download a copy of the Incomplete Request Form. This document is located within the Shared folder of the Files tab in Populi. Secondly, students must fill in any necessary information directly within the PDF document. Lastly, students must send their form to their professor via email for approval. “Approval” should be understood as the professor responding to the student’s email in favor of granting the “Incomplete” status of the student.

Students receiving an Incomplete must submit the missing course work by the end of the sixth week following the semester in which they were enrolled. An incomplete grade (I) automatically turns into the grade of “F” if the course work is not completed.

Students who have completed little or no work are ineligible for an incomplete and must receive the grade that they have earned. Students who feel they are in danger of failing the course due to an inability to complete course assignments should withdraw from the course.

A “W” (Withdrawal) will appear on the student’s permanent record for any course dropped after the end of the first week of a semester to the end of the third week. A “WF” (Withdrawal/Fail) will appear on the student’s permanent record for any course dropped after the end of the third week of a semester and on or before the Friday before the last week of the semester.


Dr. Philippe Yates studied classical Latin at school in England from the age of 7 to 14. He used Latin in his undergraduate and graduate studies and in the research for his doctoral thesis, taking courses in Latin for Canon Law and Medieval Latin along the way. In addition to Latin, he teaches philosophy, canon law and church history. He lives in Olean NY with his wife Cookie and dog Pica.

He may be contacted at:

(860) 632-3010