To sign up for classes, new students will need to submit an admissions application (found on the admissions page). Returning students can either sign themselves up for classes on Populi or email the registrar.
All of these courses can be taken either for personal interest (i.e., not as part of the diploma programs) or for one of our diploma programs, which are Vatican approved and cosponsored by the Pontifical Institute for Higher Latin at the Salesianum in Rome.
This course will consist primarily of guided reading and guided practice in speaking and listening centered around Hans Ørberg’s famous introductory textbook Lingua Latina per se Illustrata: Familia Romana, by active-Latin instructors the world over. These sessions will prepare you, the student, to complete other exercises online which will fill out the learning experience and reinforce what you have learned. We will complete chapters 1-15 of the textbook. At the end of this experience, you should be able to sustain your part of a simple conversation in Latin, and write a simple Latin paragraph, about the content of the textbook or about similar topics using the same vocabulary and structures (which also appear very frequently in liturgical and Scriptural Latin).
This course will consist primarily of guided reading and guided practice in speaking and listening centered around Hans Ørberg’s famous introductory textbook Lingua Latina per se Illustrata: Familia Romana, by active-Latin instructors the world over. These sessions will prepare you, the student, to complete other exercises online which will fill out the learning experience and reinforce what you have learned. We will complete chapters 16-26 of the textbook. At the end of this experience, you should be able to sustain your part of a simple conversation in Latin, and write a simple Latin paragraph, about the content of the textbook or about similar topics using the same vocabulary and structures (which also appear very frequently in liturgical and Scriptural Latin).
This course will consist primarily of guided reading and guided practice in speaking and listening centered around Hans Ørberg’s famous introductory textbook Lingua Latina per se Illustrata: Familia Romana, by active-Latin instructors the world over. These sessions will prepare you, the student, to complete other exercises online which will fill out the learning experience and reinforce what you have learned. We will complete chapters 27-35 of the textbook. At the end of this experience, you should be able to sustain your part of a simple conversation in Latin, and write a simple Latin paragraph, about the content of the textbook or about similar topics using the same vocabulary and structures (which also appear very frequently in liturgical and Scriptural Latin).
Writing is a uniquely powerful tool for fixing knowledge in memory. This course will take you through a series of guided practice sessions in writing Latin. You will quickly review noun and verb forms, then produce Latin of your own, featuring the most important syntactic features of the language. Active exercises will help you internalize the mechanics of indirect discourse, purpose and result clauses, etc. Original writing in Latin, plus translation exercises into Latin from English, will make up the bulk of class assignments. This course is introductory, suitable for students who have studied Latin grammar but never taken a Latin prose composition class before.
Verba volant, scripta manent! Quicumque studeat grammaticam Latinam scribendo recensere, sua deinde propria scripta elaborare, has scholas participet, quo firmius elementa praecipua syntaxis Latinae mandet atque condat memoriae. Oratio obliqua, formulae necessitatis, elementa finalia et consecutiva, cetera recensebuntur, nec deerunt exercitia vertendi ex Anglico in Latinum sermonem. Tirones in arte scribendi, dummodo elementa grammatica sat bene perspecta habeant, imprimis ad scholas invitantur.
Ovid’s Metamorphoses is one of the best and most influential epic poems of antiquity. The ambitious poem seeks to cover virtually all of Greek and Roman mythology from the creation of the world all the way to the reign of Augustus in one continuous narrative. Although the poem is useful for mythographers it is much more than a simple anthology. Instead Ovid artfully weaves together each tale with a single thread, the transformative power of love. In this course students will read and discuss three selections from the Metamorphoses: Echo and Narcissus (love of the false self), Pyramus and Thisbe (tragic human love), and Baucis and Philemon (pious love of the gods). Much like Vergil’s Aeneid, Ovid’s original Latin reveals a wealth of beauty and meaning which is often overlooked in translation. Students will practice reciting the epic meter and discuss the poetic artistry of the language. Latin will be the primary language of instruction for the course although English may be occasionally used for pedagogic expediency. Reading Latin poetry can be challenging and the course will offer a text which includes grammatical notes and vocabulary assistance.
Metamorphoses Ovidii sunt inter ea opera poetica antiquo tempore scripta quae sunt fama clarissima et maxime legenda. Auctor vere audet tractare omnes fere mythologicas fabulas tam Graecas quam Romanas a mundo condito usque ad Augusti principatum et id quidem singula continua narratione. Cum mythographorum studium certe moveat opus Ovidianum, tamen habetur plus quam florilegium solum. Quin potius poeta ille Romanus summa cum arte fabulas suas contexit singulo continuo filo quod est amoris potentia ad tranformandum. Hinc ‘Carmen Epicum de Amore’ saepe vocatur. Hac in schola discipuli lecturi ac disputaturi sunt tres fabulas e Metamophosibus sumptas quae sunt Echo et Narcissus, Pyramus et Thisbe ac Baucis et Philemon. Poesis Ovidiana, velut Vergiliana, in alias linguas aegre redditur et non nisi ab Latine legentibus apertius consideratur et intellegitur. In recitando hexametro discipuli sese exercebunt et discent animavertere figuras et alia artificia poetica quae Latine legentes delectant. Latino semone scholae plerumque habebuntur quamquam interdum tempore deficiente ad sermonem descendetur Anglicum. Fieri potest ut carmina Latina sint lectu difficillima. Inde suppetet in usum discipulorum editio quae notis, definitionibus et aliis auxillis grammaticis est instructa.
Students will read Book I of Virgil’s Aeneid in which they will encounter and then discuss, in Latin and in English, the central themes of the epic: pietas, fate, suffering, leadership. In addition to reading the Latin text itself, students will write summaries in Latin of assigned passages to develop their linguistic skills.
Primus Liber Aeneidos, a Vergilio scripti, a discipulis legetur atque tractabitur. Sententiae maximi momenti–de pietate, fato, passione, ducatu–Latine et Anglice disserentur. Carmen non solum legetur, summaria quorundam versuum sed etiam Latine scribentur ut facultates linguae augeantur.
In this course we will gain familiarity with De Rerum Natura, an epic philosophical poem from the 1st century B.C. written by Lucretius. Lucretius endeavors, through the poem, to introduce the Epicurean philosophical school to the Roman people, and to use the beauty of poetry to make that introduction pleasant and easy. His poem was deeply influential both on philosophers like Cicero and poets like Virgil, and enjoyed a revival in the Renaissance.
We will read and discuss selections from each book in Latin, while students will be asked to read the remainder in English as homework. By the end of the course students should know the general structure of Lucretius’ work, the basics of Epicurean philosophy, and familiarity with his general archaic poetic style and meter.
His in scholis cognoverimus carmen epicum philosophicumque, nomine ‘De Rerum Natura,’ a Lucretio Caro saeculo primo ante Dominum scriptum. ille versuum pulchritudine ad scientiam Epicuri Philosophi ferendam populo Romano nixus est. vim quidem habuit et in Ciceronem et in Virgilium non minorem quam in artibus renascentibus studiosos.
Exempla ergo sex ex libris eius una legemus disseremusque. domi autem anglice legentur ceteri versus cuiusque libri. ceterum, notae erunt non solum forma ac figura Lucretii operis, sed etiam nux illius philosophiae et latinitas antiqua.
In this course we shall read Julius Caesar, Gallic War, Book I with a view to comprehension and appreciation of Caesar’s style; we shall also have in-class discussions on a variety of topics (ancient ethnography, propaganda, Empire, etc.)
Hoc in cursu legetur C. Julii Caesaris Commentariorum de Bello Gallico librum I ita ut textus ipse recte capiatur atque modus dicendi scriptoris bene perpendatur. Adde quod sermocinabimur de variis (ethnographia, propaganda, Imperio, etc.)
Reading, memorization, and performance of scripted dialogues had been an important part of Latin education in the Middle Ages. In the 16th and 17th centuries, humanists wrote many dialogue collections as part of their international program to teach good Latin and solid morals, and also to critique contemporary society. We will read selections from some of the most famous of these works, including Corderius’s Colloquia, Juan Luis Vives’s Exercitatio linguae latinae, Erasmus of Rotterdam’s Colloquia Familiaria, and Jacobus Pontanus’s Progymnasmata. Assignments will include reading, composition, memorization, and translation exercises.
Mos erat tam apud mediaevales quam apud temporis renatarum artium scriptores ut pueri in Latinis litteris erudiendi dialogos a magistris suis scriptos legerent, memoriae mandarent, et coram aliis agerent. Humanistae qui saeculis 16o et 17o floruerunt multos colloquiorum dialogorumque libros exaraverunt quo melius discipuli integra Latinitate imbuerentur necnon bonis moribus, et ut contra vitia incommoda ineptiasque saeculi inveherent. Proponentur in hac schola excerpta ex notissimis huius generis auctoribus, nempe ex Corderii Colloquiis, ex opere Iohannis Ludovici Vives cui titulus est Excercitatio linguae latinae, ex Erasmi Rotterdamensis Colloquiis familiaribus, ex Iacobi Pontani Progymnasmatibus. Pensum huius scholae lectione compositione recitatione versione comprehendetur.
We read approved authors from the great tradition of dogmatic manualists and discuss the key passages, structure, style, and highlights of their works.
Auctores probati e magno Manualistarum in re dogmatica agmine leguntur, eorumque operum loci, compagines, stilus, fastigia tractantur.
1. Ultimately, the Church wills the use of Latin, as Pope Saint John XXIII particularly expressed.
2. Latin is our collective birthright. All families are based on shared parentage and shared language. Latin is the language of the Catholic family, and as such, it enables human fraternity within the Church.
3. Latin is the language of the universal, of inclusion and of equality among people – regardless of national origin or socioeconomic status.
4. No one can understand Catholic theology deeply without Latin. Two thousand years of Catholic theologians articulated the Faith in and through Latin, creating a Latin technical vocabulary still in everyday use throughout the whole Church.
1. During the COVID-19 pandemic, many people, including many homeschoolers, turned to distance-learning to learn new skills. Many also turned to mobile language-learning apps for the first time (People flocked to language apps during the pandemic – but how much can they actually teach you? | Shelley Hepworth | The Guardian and How learning a new language can help during the COVID pandemic | Berlitz).
2. This year VSI is celebrating the 60th anniversary of its namesake document, Veterum Sapientia – an Apostolic Constitution issued by Pope John XXIII (the father of Vatican II, which modernized the Church’s liturgy) to promote the significance of Latin for the Church.
3. This month, the Vatican Congregation for Catholic Education approved VSI’s diploma program. Vatican certification further underscores the ongoing importance of Latin training for the Church at all levels.
1. Completion of the VSI DLE program will fulfill the Latin requirements for clergy established by the Church.
2. VSI is officially accredited through the Vatican’s Pontifical Institute for Higher Latin (PIAL) housed at the Pontifical Salesian University in Rome.
3. Our instructors have proven track records of effectiveness teaching both clergy and laity.
4. We offer online as well as in-person teaching, serving the growing need for distance learning.
5. Our courses are affordable.
6. Our courses are lively and engaging.
7. We offer tailored and convenient courses meeting the needs of religious communities and busy parish priests.