Introductory Ecclesiastical Latin A


Dr Callan Ledsham
Not Offered in 2020

This unit (and its complement AL9302C Introductory Ecclesiastical Latin B) introduces the basic grammar and vocabulary of ecclesiastical Latin, and develops the skills of translating ecclesiastical Latin into English. The unit 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 working through units 1–19 of John F. Collins, A Primer of Ecclesiastical Latin (Washington, DC: Catholic University of America Press, 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, practice translating, and discuss difficulties. Some time will also be reserved for in-class tests. Students taking the unit at graduate level are expected to develop competence beyond that expected of undergraduate students; for example, graduate level students should 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.




face-to-face 3-hour weekly classes in semester, or in intensive mode


  • ten translation exercises for homework (2,000 words) 20%
  • two 1-hour in-class examinations (2,000 words) 2 x 15%
  • one 2-hour examination (2,000 words) 50%

Set Text Recommended for Purchase

Collins, John F. A Primer of Ecclesiastical Latin. Washington, DC: Catholic University of America Press, 1985.


  • Allen, Joseph H., and James B. Greenough, eds. Allen and Greenough’s New Latin Grammar for Schools and Colleges: Founded on Comparative Grammar. Boston, MA: New York Ginn, 1931.
  • Hadas, Moses, and Thomas Suits, eds. Latin Selections/Florilegium Latinum: A Dual-Language Book. New York: Bantam Books, 1961. 
  • Hettich, Ernest L., and A. Maitland. Latin Fundamentals. Rev. ed. New York: Prentice-Hall, 1934.
  • Kennedy, Benjamin H. The Revised Latin Primer. Edited by James Mountford. New ed. 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. Edited by Newton Thompson. 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. Edited by Richard A. LaFleur. 5th ed. New York: Harper Perennial, 1995.