College of Arts and Sciences

Classical Studies


Latin is your ticket to gladiatorial games and the games of love in ancient Rome. Studying Latin also sharpens your verbal and analytical skills—skills that are valuable in all kinds of careers and that employers are looking for. Latin gives you direct access to the roots of technical terms used in health professions, so it’s even better than a course in derivative medical terminology. The Romans made Latin popular in the ancient era, but Latin was also used throughout medieval Europe in law and religion. Still today Latin is used in Vatican documents and the spoken Latin movement has followers around the world.

In our elementary Latin program you will learn to read Latin. Right from the start you will work with ‘real’ Latin—both literature and grafitti. In intermediate and advanced courses you study Roman literature with faculty who do research on a range of topics from ancient Rome and medieval Europe. Professor Leach investigates the social world of Roman writers such as Cicero and Pliny. She also writes about Roman art, for example, how wall painting tells mythological stories in different ways than poetry. Professor Bannon works on Roman law and society, and her current research focuses on water rights, irrigation, and aqueducts. She studies both literature and legal writings to explore Roman's ideas about the economy and the natural environment. Professor Balint is an expert in medieval Latin, with research on authors of the twelfth century. She has written about rhetoric, philosophy, and the emotions in medieval Latin literature.

Getting started

If you studied Latin before coming to IUB, you may be able to jump right into a literature course at the 300 or 400 level. Otherwise, you can begin in our elementary Latin sequence. The first year (L100, L150) focuses on grammar while the second year courses introduce Roman history with Caesar (L200) and Latin poetry with Vergil (L250). Students who have completed their foreign language requirement in another language may apply to take our intensive introductory sequence (L300, L400). Be sure to take the on-line Latin placement exam to find the right course for you!

Review our Latin course offerings and degree requirements to plan for your major or minor and class schedule.


Latin students can get study help from our graduate Latin instructors. For more personalized help, we have a peer tutoring program in which advanced undergraduate Latin majors work with you by private arrangement. Our “tips for tutors” page explains how tutoring works.