A seagull at the beach on the south fork of Long Island
« All Posts by this Blogger
Book arts workshop, with tools to print our book

To fulfill my language requirement at Dartmouth, I decided to take the introductory Latin 1-3 sequence. I loved the language and department so much that I continued by taking "Topics in Latin: The Landscape of Latin Literature" (Latin 10.01)—which also counted towards my literature (LIT) graduation requirement. 

While most of our coursework revolved around learning the language, we had a few in-class excursions to the local graveyard, the Hood Museum, the Rauner Special Collections Library, and the Book Arts Workshop. In this post, I will recap some of our Latin excursions!

Latin 1 brought us to the local graveyard, where we made squeezes—reverse paper impressions—of the inscriptions on gravestones. To do this, we took a piece of paper and hit a specially made brush against the inscription. The result is a hyper-accurate replica of the inscription—similar to some funerary inscriptions we translated in class.

Gravestone with "squeeze," white paper hit into the impression of the engraving

After squeezing gravestones at the cemetery we journeyed to the Hood Museum for Latin 2! In this course, we learned about the coin-making process and translated some classical coins. The museum has an incredible collection of ancient coins that students can handle directly.

ancient coins from the Hood Museum

Latin 3, the finale of the introductory Latin sequence, takes students to the Rauner Special Collections Library, where we spent time finding our in-class readings in ancient books. It is incredible that the Rauner Library allows students to see and handle these archives directly.

Image of Ovid's writing

Latin 10.01 was the most hands-on of the Latin courses I have taken thus far. Similar to Latin 3, we had trips to the Rauner—and our final project even involved us finding prose within ancient books. Additionally, we went to the Book Arts Workshop in Baker Library for numerous classes. There, we made iron gall ink, wrote with quills on various materials that authors of our texts would have used (like parchment), and even printed and made our own books!

Our Latin 10 class writing with feather quills

I have thoroughly enjoyed my time in these courses both as a student and as a Learning Fellow (students who attend class and facilitate coursework)! Also, if you haven't seen my previous blog post, various Latin professors bring their dogs to class, which is a major plus.

Lizzy the yellow lab puppy on the floor of our classroom

Posts You Might Like