In the summer of 2016 William Turpin (Swarthmore College, Classics) and I hope others will offer a fourth free online Latin translation course, using either Google Hangouts or Zoom. I will be posting user-friendly editions of the Latin texts, which are interesting in themselves, and they are important documents in the history and culture of the early middle ages. They are written in relatively straightforward, intuitive Latin.

The course is intended above all for those who have completed a year or so of classical Latin at the college level, or the equivalent in high school. It should also be suitable for those whose Latin may be a little rusty, or for more accomplished Latinists with an interest in medieval Latin. The intention of this course is to replicate to the extent possible the experience of a student in (say) a college Latin class at the early intermediate level, minus the quizzes, tests, and continuing assessment; there is no mechanism for awarding credit or certificates of attendance. The most immediate model, in fact, may be an informal reading group devoted to a particular ancient or medieval text. The basic premise is that a small community of interested participants can both encourage and enhance what is essentially a private encounter with a text.

Google Hangouts and Zoom will allow eight active participants (i.e. people who may wish to translate a particular section of text) and an unlimited number of auditors, who will be able to follow on YouTube and submit questions and comments using the messaging function. The sessions will also be archived on YouTube. We will provide a webpage for interested participants to sign up for particular sections of the text; such participants will then be invited to translate and to raise questions or comment as seems appropriate. The “instructors,” and other active participants will offer assistance and comments as necessary, just as in an ordinary class with participants sitting around a table. Questions may be addressed to wturpin1@swarthmore.edu