This unit (and its complement AL9301C Introductory Ecclesiastical Latin A) introduces the basic grammar and vocabulary of ecclesiastical Latin and develops the skills of translating ecclesiastical Latin into English. The course will proceed with a general introduction to ecclesiastical Latin, and an explanation of the pedagogical technique used in class. Thereafter, the core mode of instruction will be continuing on from the point reached in AL9301C. Typically this means from around unit 19 of Collins, A Primer of Ecclesiastical Latin (Washington: Catholic University of America, 1985). Students are strongly advised to have a copy of Collins’ primer in class. Classes will be a mixture of lectures presenting new material and tutorials to drill material, revise previous material, practise translating, and discuss difficulties. Some time will also be reserved for in-class tests. Students taking the level at graduate level are expected to develop a level of fluency and competence beyond that expected of undergraduate students; for example, graduate level students are expected to develop a working active knowledge of the ecclesiastical Latin (i.e., to put English into Latin), in addition to the primarily-passive reading skills that are the focus of the undergraduate curriculum. They will undertake a translation project during the semester of translating a piece of ecclesiastical Latin prose into English, with comments on those nuances of the Latin that are problematic or force difficult choices on a translator.

Unit code: AL9302C

Unit status: Approved (New unit)

Points: 24.0

Unit level: Postgraduate Elective

Unit discipline: Languages

Proposing College: Catholic Theological College

Show when this unit is running

Learning outcomes


Identify and recall the paradigms of ecclesiastical Latin;


recognise the grammatical function and (where appropriate) declension/conjugation of terms in the vocabulary in the unit, illustrating where relevant a knowledge of irregular, aberrant and multivalent terms;


Parse ecclesiastical Latin into English equivalents/cognates


Translate the ecclesiastical Latin vocabulary lexically into contemporary English, and vice versa, in a manner that illustrates an awareness of relevant issues of idiom, register and the biblical/sacral/sacerdotal context involved in the translation of ecclesiastical Latin.

Unit sequence

Normally taken after its complement, AL9301C


A traditional class consisting of lectures, seminars, translation exercises and drills. Option A: Learners will engage with weekly lecture input, lectures, seminars, translation exercises and drills to achieve the learning outcomes Option B: Learners will engage in intensive mode with lecture input, directed reading activities, translation exercises and drills to achieve the learning outcomes

Indicative Bibliography

  • Allen, Joseph Henry, and James Bradstreet Greenough, eds. Allen and Greenough's New Latin Grammar for Schools and Colleges: Founded on Comparative Grammar. Boston: Ginn, 1931.
  • Collins, John F. A Primer of Ecclesiastical Latin. Washington: Catholic University of America Press, 1985. (Recommended for purchase)
  • Falconer, V. I. Father Falconer's Latin Course: A Course in "Latin into English" Translation. Melbourne: Michal O’Callaghan, 2001.
  • Goldman, Norma, and Ladislas Szymanski. English Grammar for Students of Latin: The Study Guide for Those Learning Latin. Ann Arbor: Olivia and Hill, 1993.
  • Hadas, Moses, and Thomas Suits, eds. Latin Selections/Florilegium Latinum: A Dual-Language Book. New York: Bantam, 1961.
  • Hettich, Ernest L., and A. G. C. Maitland. Latin Fundamentals. 3rd ed. New York: Prentice-Hall, 1934.
  • Kennedy, Benjamin H. The Revised Latin Primer. Harlow: Longman, 1962.
  • Lowe, Joyce E. Church Latin for Beginners: An Elementary Course of Exercises in Ecclesiastical Latin. London: * Burns, Oates & Washbourne, 1923.
  • Scanlon, Cora C., and Charles L. Scanlon. Latin Grammar: Grammar, Vocabularies, and Exercises in * * Preparation for the Reading of the Missal and Breviary. 1959. Reprint, St. Louis: B. Herder, 1994.
  • Sihler, Andrew L. New Comparative Grammar of Greek and Latin. New York: Oxford University Press, 1995.
  • Valentine, Charles. W. Latin Through English: A Basic Vocabulary of Latin Words with English Derivatives and Other Most Common Latin. London: Macmillan, 1960.
  • Wheelock, Frederic. Wheelock's Latin. 5th ed. New York: Harper Perennial, 1995. (numerous editions)


Type Description Word count Weight (%)
Written Examination

Two in-class examinations (1,500 words total)

0 20.0
Project Report or Project Journal

Translation project of a long ecclesiastical Latin text (1,000 words)

0 25.0
Written Examination

One two-hour examination (2,000 words)

0 40.0

Translation exercises for homework (1,500 words total)

0 15.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by John Capper on 1 Nov, 2018

Unit record last updated: 2019-01-31 13:32:48 +1100