Academic Latin: An Introduction to Research Methodology

Course Description: 

This course is meant to equip all students enrolled at the Medieval Studies Department with a basic knowledge of Latin as a “technical language” still used today in academic environments. To this purpose, the course will provide an overview of several types of source publications and secondary literature from various fields and of the Latin terminology attached to these, starting from common phraseology and abbreviations still present in academic parlance (such as i.e., e.g., viz., alumnus, idem, ibidem, passim, et al.), going through practical issues such as identifying and handling relevant bibliographic data of publications issued in Latin (dates, places, names, titles of critical editions or scholarly works composed in Latin), managing technical descriptions in Latin as still used in research instruments such as source inventories (Bibliotheca Hagiographica Graeca, Bibliotheca Hagiographica Latina, Bibliotheca Hagiographica Orientalis, Clavis Patrum Graecorum, Clavis Patrum Latinorum etc.), manuscript catalogues, or various online bibliographic/textual databases.
This course is mandatory for the 1 YR MA and 1st year Interdisciplinary Historical Studies students (i.e., 2 YR MA students) enrolled at the Medieval Studies Department, but it is also open to 1st year PhDs of the Medieval Studies Department and the 1st year Interdisciplinary Historical Studies students on History track. The course consists of nine 90 min. classes during the pre-session, from September 5 to September 16, 2016.

Learning Outcomes: 

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
Know the meaning of the basic Latin terminology as used in academic writing, critical editions of sources in various languages, and in various research instruments; decipher, identify, and handle bibliographic information in Latin, and to transform them into Academic English; decipher, identify, and handle information from sources written in the students’ respective source languages; analyze secondary literature and research tools that make use of Latin in an academic context; analyze primary source materials, i.e., to select relevant primary source materials and read them in the source language with an awareness of the linguistic and cultural background implied.



Given the specific nature of this course, there will be no readings as such. However, at the beginning of every class, the instructors will provide with handouts which contain practical illustrations of the problems discussed in class. The few readings indicated below should provide a basic theoretical background for the discussion. More detailed bibliography will be provided in class during every meeting.



Attendance in class is required (min. 80 %). Students are expected to consult thoroughly the information given in the handouts. Student performance will be assessed throughout the course by means of short practical exercises within class, which they are expected to perform during each session. There will be no post-class assignment, except for the first weekend of the course.

Note: This introductory course is mandatory for all the MA students enrolled at the Department of Medieval Studies, irrespective of their research topic/further choice of source language. According to the regulations of the MA Program, the award of the MA title is conditional upon obtaining a “Pass” grade from the present course.

NB: A feedback box is available in the room where the sessions take place. At the end of every session, each student will be asked to write a short anonymous feedback and leave it in the box.

(1)  Assessment type 1 (50% of the final result): in-class exercises. Students should be able to properly use the materials provided by the instructors in order to solve the tasks.

(2) Assessment type 2 (25% of the final result): re-cap in-class exercises. Students should be able to decipher, identify, and handle information required, based on the previous sessions’ discussions.

(3) Assessment type 3 (25% of the final result): weekend assignment. Students should be able to decipher, identify, and handle information required, based on the first week’s sessions.