CLAS151-23S1 (D) Semester One 2023 (Distance)

Greek and Latin for Absolute Beginners

15 points

Start Date: Monday, 20 February 2023
End Date: Sunday, 25 June 2023
Withdrawal Dates
Last Day to withdraw from this course:
  • Without financial penalty (full fee refund): Sunday, 5 March 2023
  • Without academic penalty (including no fee refund): Sunday, 14 May 2023


This course introduces Greek, Latin grammar to students by way of English grammar. At the end of the course students will understand the most important basic grammatical concepts in Greek and Latin and will have a working vocabulary of about 75 words in each language. They will be prepared to continue more intensive study in Greek and/or Latin.

Greek and Latin for Absolute Beginners prepares students to study Greek or Latin in CLAS135 or CLAS145 and allows them to sample a little of each language before they make a decision about which language to continue in semester two.

The course will be taught as interactive lectures with problem solving (exercise) sessions, as well as one workshop each week. The workshop will focus on applying the week’s learning to “real” but easy Greek and Latin from inscriptions, graffiti, signatures on vases, coins and other artefacts. Some of these sessions will focus specifically on aspects of the "afterlife" of Greek and Latin (impact on scientific vocabulary, influence on the letters adopted for languages of Pacific Island cultures, and the effects of colonisation). Some workshops will use examples from the Teece Museum and the Canterbury Museum collections.

Learning Outcomes

1. A basic knowledge of Greek and Latin grammar and inflections and a working vocabulary of around 75 words in each language.
2. Basic skills required for the translation of simple, edited ancient Greek and Latin sentences.
3. An insight into aspects of Greek and Roman history, literature, society and culture acquired by looking at inscriptions, graffiti, coins, texts and other artefacts.
4. Awareness of the afterlife of Greek and Latin: adaptation of the alphabet in other languages, use of Greek and Latin in scientific vocabulary and classifications of plants and animals, the spread of Greek, Latin, and words derived from these languages through colonisation.

University Graduate Attributes

This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attributes specified below:

Critically competent in a core academic discipline of their award

Students know and can critically evaluate and, where applicable, apply this knowledge to topics/issues within their majoring subject.

Employable, innovative and enterprising

Students will develop key skills and attributes sought by employers that can be used in a range of applications.

Biculturally competent and confident

Students will be aware of and understand the nature of biculturalism in Aotearoa New Zealand, and its relevance to their area of study and/or their degree.

Globally aware

Students will comprehend the influence of global conditions on their discipline and will be competent in engaging with global and multi-cultural contexts.


CLAS134, CLAS144, CLAS 143, CLAS 131

Course Coordinator

Alison Griffith


Gary Morrison


Assessment Due Date Percentage  Description
Participation 10% Class participation
Homework 20% Weekly homework
Worksheets 10% Workshop worksheets (Four)
Revision tests 30% Two in-class revision exercises ( 2 x 15% )
Examination 30% Online exam (two hours)

This course does not use a published textbook. All course materials will be supplied through the course page on Learn.

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $821.00

International fee $3,750.00

* All fees are inclusive of NZ GST or any equivalent overseas tax, and do not include any programme level discount or additional course-related expenses.

For further information see Humanities .

All CLAS151 Occurrences

  • CLAS151-23S1 (C) Semester One 2023
  • CLAS151-23S1 (D) Semester One 2023 (Distance)