Latin Annual Course

The Latin Annual Course spans two semesters. It begins in the fall semester and prepares students for the final Latin examination (at the end of the spring semester). The Latinum is equivalent to the Latin Matura at the Swiss Gymnasium.

The first course semester provides an introduction to the Latin language (morphology and syntax) and to translation technique on the basis of simple texts from antiquity and the Middle Ages.  It also offers insights into fundamental topics of Roman culture. The course is based i.a. on an educational resource designed for this course (Latinum electronicum) with grammar, example sentences and lesson texts. In addition, interactive exercises for grammar, vocabulary training and for the lesson tests as a concluding self-check are available online. Thus, familiarity with Latin grammar and basic vocabulary is acquired; moreover, the resource trains the ability to translate simple Latin texts.

The second course semester serves aims to consolidate, deepen and extend Latin language skills. Texts by Caesar or Cicero and from Ovid's Metamorphoses provide the basis. Topics include Latin prose, hexameter poetry, and the fundamentals of Roman culture (emphasis placed on the late Roman Republic and the Augustan period). During readings, special attention is paid to the linguistic analysis of the texts and accurate translation; the autonomous handling of dictionaries is practiced. The reading phase is also used to review select grammatical phenomena; individual practice is made possible with the help of the Latinum electronicum.

During the course, a tutorial is offered with the possibility of repeating and practicing class contents. During the lecture-free period before the spring semester, specific grammar chapters can be reviewed and practiced in small groups.

The Latin examination takes place at the end of the spring semester (May/June). It consists of a four-hour written exam on a Cicero text (translation from Latin to German with access to a dictionary, questions on the text and/or the reading) and a 20-minute oral exam on a text passage discussed during the second semester (translation without dictionary, questions on the text and/or the reading). The course is validated with 12 credits as a free elective. The examiners are lecturers of Latin at the university and/or at the Gymnasium.

Possibility of a repeat examination: before the beginning of the next fall semester (August/September).

Latin Representative of the Faculty of Phil.-Hist.

Lecturer of the Latin Annual Course

Advanced courses - Maintaining language skills

The subject area Latin Philology offers regular reading courses in which important texts of Roman literature (e.g. Caesar, Virgil, Ovid, Augustine) are read. The courses are open to Latinum graduates and are each validated with 3 credits (as free electives) upon successful completion. They aim i.a. to consolidate the language skills acquired in the Latinum course by means of text examples and to introduce well-known texts of world literature in the original Latin.

Nam quod in iuventute non discitur, in matura aetate nescitur.


Latin Summer School at the University of Basel

The Latin Summer School will not be held in 2024.

The University of Basel has been offering a Latin Summer School for the acquisition of the Latinum since 2007. The target groups of the course are:

  • Students of the University of Basel who need the Latinum for their Bachelor's or Master's studies, as well as all other students of the University of Basel who want to take the opportunity of an intensive course to enrich their studies in a time-efficient way and to acquire an additional qualification
  • Students who are already enrolled at another university
  • students who are not (yet) enrolled at the University of Basel, but who would like to acquire the necessary knowledge of Latin before beginning their studies at the University of Basel or at another university
  • all other interested students who would like to acquire the Latin proficiency certificate

The Latin Summer School is an equivalent to the Latin Matura at the Gymnasium in terms of language level, reading of authors and knowledge of Roman culture and is fully recognized as a Latinum.

The summer school usually starts in calendar week 27 (beginning of July) and lasts ten weeks (classes on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, in the morning - probably with accompanying tutorial in the afternoon). A cultural program complements the lessons.

The course includes a language learning phase and a reading phase (Ovid, Cicero). Thanks to the intensive and individual learning support in a small group, the demanding learning goal can be achieved with regular course attendance. The Latinum electronicum is available as a practice option.

The course ends with the examination (written and oral) in calendar week 34. Participants must be available for the oral examination in calendar week 36 (dates are subject to change). Examiners are university and/or high school Latin instructors.

Credit of 12 credit points (ETCS) - in the free area, analogous to the Latin year course - is possible for those successful graduates who study at the Philosophical-Historical Faculty of the University of Basel in the following semester.

Continuing courses - securing and maintaining acquired language skills:
Each semester, Latin Studies offers a reading course in which basic texts of Roman literature are read. The course is open to Latinum graduates and is validated with 3 CP (in the free area) upon successful completion. One of the aims of the reading course is to consolidate the language skills acquired in the Latinum by means of textual examples and to present well-known texts of world literature in the original.

Prof. Dr. Cédric Scheidegger Lämmle will be happy to answer any questions regarding the content of the course. For administrative questions, please contact Mareike Schlotterbeck .

Basel, July 2024

Latin Officer of the Faculty of Phil.-Hist.

Technical Secretariat