Studies & Degrees in Latin

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Latin Study Programs

Level: Undergraduate Associate     Location: Madrid

Aside from building a time machine to travel back in time particularly during the reign of the Roman Empire and witness firsthand the glorious years of ancient Rome, perhaps the next best thing would be to learn the language. Latin, that is. Building a time machine is a bit farfetched, but to learn and understand Latin is absolutely possible. In fact, there are a lot of learning institutions offering Latin courses nowadays. Imagine being able to read Vergil’s Eclogues or Cicero’s Philippics and other masterpieces in their original Latin text – wouldn’t that be something? The ideas and philosophies of these great minds have stood the test of time and have been vastly influential to our modern day thinking in areas of politics, laws and governance, medicine, and other fields -- proofs that their works deserve merit and deserve to be intricately understood. The only way to do that would be to be able to read them the way they were originally written. Additionally, modern day mottos and slogans are in Latin. Examples are: ‘simper fidelis’, or ‘esse quam videri’, of course if you know Latin, they would not sound gibberish anymore. Cool, right? Moreover, there are connoisseurs of literature who derive great pleasure in able to read the works of many Roman poets and authors in their original texts that translations can never do justice. A learned man once said that “poetry is that which is lost in translation.” How truer can that be?

Latin is considered the parent language and grassroots of the evolution of many of the most widely spoken languages around the world today, like Spanish, French, Italian, Romanian, and Portuguese. Even the English language has a large percentage on its vocabulary borrowed from Latin. To understand the etymology of these languages, learning the mother tongue from where they were derived is vital. Moreover, many of the greatest works of literature from Dante to Goethe to Shakespeare are abundant with classical allegories and allusions, which will not be well-appreciated without the familiarity with the edicts of classical writing. Understanding the past is undoubtedly fundamental to being educated and that being educated should not be centered to the technical skills alone but should also include cultural enhancement in the learning process. Studying the classical languages could provide an avenue for that.

During the eighteenth century, Latin is the language used in many academic discussions. Learning this language is therefore important to those who are in the field of History. Likewise, studying Latin is to those who are in the clergy of the Roman Catholic Church since this is the formal language of the Vatican and State papers, decrees, as well as correspondence are in Latin. Being knowledgeable in Latin is likewise useful in everyday life since this is widely used in a lot of medical and legal terms.

Furthermore, there are quite a number of career possibilities for those who have studied Latin, like writing, teaching, and translation. Moreover, expertise on the subject matter is a good starting point in pursuing further studies on the other Roman languages.