Latin was the language spoken, read, and written by the ancient Romans from before the ascendancy of Rome as a dominant power in the Mediterranean in third century B. C. until after the fall of Rome in the fifth century A. D. It remained a powerful common language in Medieval, Renaissance, and Early-Modern Europe.
Although Latin is today primarily a read, not a written or spoken language, it is still spoken not only as a common language in the Vatican but also by many Latin enthusiasts around the world. Latin has had a profound effect on the modern languages of Europe since it is the immediate ancestor of the so-called Romance Languages: Italian, French, Spanish, Portuguese, and Romanian.
Latin has also had an enormous influence upon the vocabulary of the English language. Latin is the original source of the majority of English words – 60% of all English words and 90% of those English words more than two syllables long come ultimately from Latin.
York offers three levels of Latin beyond the elementary level. At the elementary level, you will gain a solid, fundamental knowledge of forms, vocabulary, syntax, and pronunciation that will prepare you to read Latin texts in both prose and poetry.
The intermediate and advanced courses in the language will expand and deepen your knowledge and open up to you the fascinating literature and culture of the ancient Romans, who in addition to conquering a fair swath of territory in the ancient world, produced some of the most brilliant and influential works of literature, art, architecture, legal theory, philosophy, and engineering the world has ever seen.