Credit points


Campus offering

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THEL503 Latin B or equivalent

Teaching organisation

This unit involves 150 hours of focused learning. The total includes formally structured learning activities such as lectures, tutorials, online learning, video-conferencing or supervision. The remaining hours typically involve reading, research, and the preparation of tasks for assessment.

Unit rationale, description and aim

This unit involves a study of Medieval Latin through reading and translating original texts from the seventh century onwards. These will include poetry, saints’ lives, homilies and other extracts from the Church fathers. The emphasis will be on reading medieval Latin in its literary and historical contexts.

This unit is designed to further develop the knowledge and skills acquired in THEL503 Latin B. It will illuminate the way in which the Latin that is being learnt has real-world application to interpretive issues or resolving ambiguities in Latin texts. It is often the case that English translations of the Latin text either obscure its clarity or make explicit elements of translation that are only implicit in the original.

Learning outcomes

To successfully complete this unit you will be able to demonstrate you have achieved the learning outcomes (LO) detailed in the below table.

Each outcome is informed by a number of graduate capabilities (GC) to ensure your work in this, and every unit, is part of a larger goal of graduating from ACU with the attributes of insight, empathy, imagination and impact.

Explore the graduate capabilities.

On successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

LO1 - work in a fully online environment to demonstrate a knowledge of medieval Latin (GA5; GA10);

LO2 - read and translate complex medieval Latin texts into English (GA4, GA5)

LO3 - explain the historical context of the texts encountered in the course (GA4);

LO4 - identify and analyse different literary genres characteristic of Medieval Latin (GA5).

Graduate attributes

GA4 - think critically and reflectively 

GA5 - demonstrate values, knowledge, skills and attitudes appropriate to the discipline and/or profession 

GA10 - utilise information and communication and other relevant technologies effectively.


Topics will include:

  1. an introduction to medieval Latin grammar and morphology,
  2. an overview of literary genres typical of medieval Latin,
  3. a survey of regional characteristics in orthography, grammar and lexicon,
  4. an introduction to the literary genres encountered in medieval Latin.

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

This unit involves 150 hours of focused learning, or the equivalent of 10 hours per week for 15 weeks. The total number of hours includes structured online learning activities, including activities such as lectures, tutorials, online learning (including group work), video-conferencing, or supervision. The remaining hours typically involve individual reading of texts, memorizing paradigms and increasingly complex vocabulary, research, and the preparation of tasks for assessment.

The unit is normally offered in a fully online mode. Students interact with each other and with academic staff through formally structured and sequenced online learning activities that support the achievement of the learning outcomes. Students are asked to demonstrate understanding of vocabulary, grammar, and syntax, integrating new information with existing knowledge. They then apply what they have learned in translation exercises. Collaborative and peer learning are also emphasized, as students collaborate and support each other in raising and responding to questions of grammar, syntax, and translation.

THEL504 recognises students as adult learners who engage best when learning outcomes are clear and they are given the opportunity to be responsible for their own learning. In many ways, the student is the one who drives the learning forward, and their active participation in this unit is essential. Formative and summative assessment tasks assist the students to chart and maintain progress throughout the unit. Particularly, informal assessment by instructors and through peer-review in the online environment is designed to give students clear feedback about progress and support them to learn throughout the unit, and staged summative assessment also provides important feedback opportunities. Learning and assessment is thus designed to be a collaborative, engaging and supportive experience, which helps students to develop relevant knowledge, skills, and graduate attributes. 

Assessment strategy and rationale

Assessment is based on quizzes, weekly forum participation and a final research essay. Quizzes are designed to test retention and understanding of grammatical concepts. Forum participation involves translation of large portions of Latin texts taken from a variety of medieval Latin authors and genres. This is designed to enable students to engage with real Latin as a group and to learn from one another. Students should read the responses of fellow students and comment on difficult aspects of the translation process. This will help prepare students for the final assignment, a research essay which will give them the opportunity to focus on one significant text and analyse its literary genre, historical context and the issues which arise when it is translated into English. 

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Assessment Task 1: Quiz (x 5)

This enables students to test their understanding of medieval Latin grammatical concepts.

25% (5% each)


GA5, GA10

Assessment Task 2: Fortnightly Forum Participation (x 5). This assessment enables students to actively engage with Latin texts and one another.

25% (5% each)

LO1, LO2

GA4, GA5, GA10

Assessment Task 3: A research essay which investigates the significance of the literary genre and the historical context of a selected medieval Latin text and analyses key issues which arise when it is translated into English.  


LO2, LO3, LO4

GA4, GA5, 

Representative texts and references

Harrington, K.P. and Pucci, J. Medieval Latin. 2nd ed. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1997.

Niermeyer, J.F. Mediae Latinitatis Lexicon Minus, Leiden: Brill, 1976

Mantello, F.A.C. and Rigg, A.G., eds. Medieval Latin: An Introduction and Bibliographical Guide. Washington DC: Catholic University of America Press,1996.

Sidwell, K. Reading Medieval Latin. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995.

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