Classics Courses

Classics Courses

Polis Greek and Latin at Ave Maria University

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Salve! χαῖρε! The faculty members of the Department of Classics & Early Christian Literature at Ave Maria University use this space to share about the life of the department. We also enjoy passing along links and quotations of general Classical interest.

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  • ROMA Summer 2014

    Program Details

    The Department of Classics & Early Christian Literature invites you to join us for an eight-credit course that explores Rome through its language and monuments from its pagan beginnings to its Catholic present. This unique summer program has two tracks: students who have passed LATN 102 will begin the summer with LATN 203, completing the elements of the language; students who have already passed LATN 203 or a higher course will begin the summer with LATN 304, studying texts from those Fathers of the Church who are so intimately linked to Rome. Once in Rome, both groups will explore monuments of classical and Christian antiquity with the help of carefully chosen texts pertinent to each site. Following the trip, students will sit for an oral exam online and complete a term paper based upon a text encountered during their time in Rome.


    Why Rome with Ave Maria?

    A personal encounter with the beauty of Rome in its classical and Christian monuments is of inestimable worth. The experience of walking through the catacombs or of seeing some of the most famous pagan and Christian art of Western civilization in the Vatican Museums will not soon be forgotten. Through precious meetings in the Eternal City with fellow scholars, clergy, Vatican officials, and AMU alumni, students will come to see first-hand the enduring importance of Latin not only as a means of accessing past monuments but even of engaging present circumstances. Moreover, this course is an exciting opportunity to advance in the major or minor in Classics, and it provides a marvelous complement to courses in Theology, Philosophy, History, and related fields.


    The Instructors

    Dr. Andrew Dinan and Dr. Joseph Yarbrough are once again delighted to lead students through an exploration of the City of Rome in conjunction with the study of Latin, its ancient and Catholic language. Dr. Dinan has taught at Ave Maria University for 9 years since completing his Ph.D. at the Catholic University of America, and he currently serves as Chair of the Department of Classics & Early Christian Literature. His research has largely been devoted to the classical heritage of the early Fathers of the Church. Dr. Yarbrough has taught at AMU for five years since completing his Ph.D. at Cornell University. His first stay in Rome, when he studied with Reginald Foster, a Latin secretary in the service of the Vatican, has been an inspiration to share with his own students the excitement of a personal encounter with Rome’s monumental history.


    The Virtual Classroom

    The first four weeks of the course will be taught online. Students and instructors will meet in a virtual classroom conducting readings and discussions almost as they would in a classroom at Ave Maria. Online participation will require a computer equipped with a web camera. This format will enable students to participate while living at home and perhaps even while pursuing summer employment.


    iBook for iPad Course Reader

    In Rome students will use a unique electronic textbook designed and written by AMU Classics Faculty. To access this iBook, students are strongly encouraged to acquire a suitable device: iPad Air ($499), iPad 2 ($349 refurbished), iPad Mini with retina display ($399), or iPad Mini ($299). (To see a copy of last year’s iBook course reader, download the file linked here to an Apple desktop machine, iPad or iPad Mini.) These devices allow students to take notes (typed or via audio recording); to take photographs and video of sites visited; to store maps and itineraries; to carry electronically otherwise bulky Latin dictionaries and Italian phrasebooks; and to communicate (via WiFi) with family and friends at home.


    Cost & Travel

    The total price for 8 credits of tuition, 10 nights’ lodging in Rome, all meals, admission to all sites, museums, and tours, transportation in Rome, and the iBook Course Reader is $3995. Students are responsible for their own airfare. Students who would like to fly from Miami with Dr. Dinan and Dr. Yarbrough should contact Dr. Dinan by Friday, January 24. All other students are responsible for their own travel arrangements to and from Rome.


    Lodging in Rome

    Students and instructors will reside at the Casa per ferie Santa Maria alle Fornaci, which is owned by the Trinitarian Fathers, a religious order founded by St. John de Matha in 1198 A.D. Students will stay in double rooms with twin beds that are en suite, air conditioned, and equipped with WiFi. The residence adjoins a beautiful early-18th century church, where students can attend Mass and Eucharistic adoration.



    An application, available for download here, should be sent to by December 6, 2013. A non-refundable deposit of $850, payable to “Ave Maria University,” is due by January 4, 2014 to Andrew Dinan, 5050 Ave Maria Blvd., Ave Maria, FL 34142. Interested students are invited to visit our webpage for more information and photos from last year’s trip.



    May 13 - June 6 – online for LATN 203 or LATN 304

    Monday, June 9 – depart for Rome

    Tuesday, June 10 – Ianiculum & churches in Trastevere

    Wednesday, June 11 – St. Paul: Beheading & Burial Sites

    Thursday, June 12 – Audience with Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke at the offices of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura

    Friday, June 13 – Inside the Apostolic Palace with Msgr. Daniel Gallagher of the Vatican Secretariat of State’s Office of Latin Letters

    Saturday, June 14 – Day Trip: Monte Cassino, Roccasecca, Fossanova

    Sunday, June 15 – Via Appia & Catacombs

    Monday, June 16 – Roman Forum, Colosseum, Capitoline Museum

    Tuesday, June 17 – Day Trip: Ostia, Rome’s ancient port

    Wednesday, June 18 – General Audience with Pope Francis

    Thursday, June 19 – Vatican City: St. Peter’s Tomb & Museums

    Friday, June 20 – depart from Rome

    Thursday, July 3 – submission of term paper


    For more photos from Rome 2013, please see here and here.