• A Lifelong Joy of Latin

      This 25-minute lively and entertaining podcast covers Dr. Pierce's and Mrs. Fenstermacher's early memories about falling in love with Latin, and their life-journey decisions to pursue teaching Latin. Hear about the fun activities they do with their students, including the Roman Military Flag project, known as Vexilla. There are a few descriptions of trips they've taken with students to Italy to see Roman artifacts. The podcast ends with an update on Classics-centric cultural opportunities in our area and on the web.

Upper School
US Curriculum


Latin and Greek at Hackley is a lively combination of traditional grammar instruction and textual analysis with 21st century tools such as Glogster, Prezi, podcasts, and Flipped Classroom videos.
The Classics Department is dedicated not only to training its students to navigate the vagaries of Latin and Greek grammar, with an eye to the reading of ancient authors, but also to engaging with the history, art, myth, as well as the language, in competitive, nationally recognized academic contests.

Upper School Classics

List of 7 items.

  • Latin I

    6 meetings per seven-day cycle/3 credits

    This course presents basic Latin vocabulary and grammatical structures, such as declensions, conjugations, dependent clauses, the indicative mood, noun/adjective agreement, constructions of time and place, the active and passive voices. In addition to grammar and vocabulary, students are introduced to Roman history of the late Republican and early Imperial periods through the life of the poet Horace, whose poetry students will study in Latin 3. Considerable attention is paid to English derivatives from Latin vocabulary, myth, Roman culture, geography, art and archaeology. Emphasis is placed not only on reading but also on speaking Latin. Students will use extensive online resources-including vocabulary flashcards, drills, and other materials - which complement the textbook.
  • Latin II

    6 meetings per seven-day cycle/3 credits

     This course reviews the conjugations, declensions, and grammar learned in Latin I and then presents the subjunctive mood and subjunctive constructions, such as result clauses, indirect questions, and purpose clauses. Students encounter the ablative absolute, indirect statement, and other dependent clause constructions. Students begin to tackle authentic Latin in the form of excerpts from Horace’s poetry. Online resources remain an integral component of this course. The Oxford Latin Course, College Edition is an accelerated version of the series used in the Middle School Latin classes; this consistency of approach will ease the combination of rising 9th-graders with new students to Hackley in the Latin 3 class.
  • Latin III

    6 meetings per seven-day cycle/3 credits

    This course focuses primarily on the literature of the late Republican and early Imperial periods of Roman history. Following a comprehensive review of Latin grammar, students read excerpts from Caesar’s Commentarii, Cicero’s orations (studying rhetorical techniques, periodic sentence structure, and contemporary Roman history), Vergil’s Aeneid, and Catullus, as well as Horace and Ovid as time permits. Students will study the character of Julius Caesar and his role in the final years of the Roman Republic. Particular attention will be paid to rhetorical and poetic devices, such as hyperbole, anaphoraand tricolon, poetic meter, and poetic forms.
  • Latin IV

    6 meetings per seven-day cycle/3 credits

    Latin IV focuses on cementing grammar concepts and vocabulary through authentic Latin. Students will build on the reading from Latin III–Cicero, Caesar, and Vergil – and will explore the poetry of Ovid, Catullus, and Horace as well. Students will expand upon their knowledge of archaeological techniques. They will participate in a both a MOOC from the University of Southampton (UK) on the University’s dig at Portus, as well as on site excavation of our own Hackley dig site.Continued reading in LNM Volume 3 will expose students to the life of Desiderius Erasmus, Petrarch, and other Late Latin writers. Students will practice writing literary critical essays, expand their knowledge of late Republican and early Imperial history, and experience passage-based multiple choice questions; this will prepare students to meet the challenges of AP Latin: Vergil and Caesar.
  • AP Latin: Vergil and Caesar

    6 meetings per seven-day cycle/3 credits

    Prerequisite: Latin IV with a B average and recommendation of the Latin IV instructor or a B+ average in Latin III and recommendation of the Latin III instructor.
    Students will read selections from books 1-6 of Vergil’s Aeneid and from books 1-6 of Caesar’s de Bello Gallico, as directed by the AP syllabus. Through practice AP questions, writing literary critical essays, and the honing of translation skills, students prepare for the AP examination in May. In addition to stylistic idiosyncrasies and specialized vocabulary, students learn to examine word choice, literary devices, meter, word painting, and tone in their analysis. Themes such as Roman values, war and empire, leadership, views of non-Romans, history and memory, and human beings and the gods will be explored in the works of both authors. Students are encouraged to reduce their reliance on notes and vocabulary lists as they make the transition from translation to reading.
  • Greek

    5 meetings per seven-day cycle/3 credits

    Open to seniors (juniors will be considered with Department Head approval)

    Prerequisite: Latin II or higher with approval (initials on course selection sheet) of the Department Head; under certain circumstances, consideration will be given to other advanced language students.
    This is an intensive course in the elements of Classical Greek for students who have had success in other language courses. A strong command of grammatical terminology and the workings of an inflected language is mandatory. This course will prepare the student for further study at the college level.
  • Etymology: Greek and Latin in Current Use (Not offered 2020-21)

    3 meetings per seven-day cycle/2 credits

    Open to juniors and seniors only.

    This course explores many facets of the English language. Since at least 60% of English is derived from Greek and Latin, students study Greek and Latin roots, prefixes, and suffixes, and they learn how to use the dictionary effectively. Students learn common Latin phrases and abbreviations and work on a vocabulary-building “A to Z” project. Since vocabulary only grows when it is used, students learn to write more effective and informative prose, and they read mythology and ancient literature in translation. Students prepare 4 short oral presentations during the year on topics concerning the development and character of the English language; the topics range from homophones and homographs to dialects to pop music-ese to the origin of personal names. Students consolidate their word-wealth through word games, crossword puzzles, and regular “Jeopardy!”-type contests. Other topics to be addressed include scientific and medical terminology, loan words, euphemisms, place names, and literary terms. Selections from the PBS video series “The Story of English” will be examined.