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 2015

    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 Instructor

    Dr. Joseph Yarbrough is 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. He has taught at AMU for six 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.


    Electronic Course Reader & Other Resources

    In Rome students will use a unique electronic textbook designed and written by Dr. Yarbrough. To access this reader, students are strongly encouraged to have with them a mobile electronic device such as an iPad, iPhone, Kindle, or any number of Android tablets and phones. 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 direct from Miami to Rome on Alitalia with Dr. Yarbrough should contact Dr. Yarbrough by Friday, January 23. All other students are responsible for their own travel arrangements to and from Rome.


    Lodging in Rome

    Students and instructor 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 5, 2014. Students who have been accepted should send a non-refundable deposit of $850, payable to “Ave Maria University,” to Dr. Joseph Yarbrough, 5050 Ave Maria Blvd., Ave Maria, FL 34142 before January 5, 2015.


    May 11 - June 5 – online for LATN 203 or LATN 304

    Tuesday, June 9 – depart for Rome

    Wednesday, June 10 – land in Rome; Ianiculum & churches in Trastevere

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

    Friday, June 12 – Case Romane on the Caelian Hill

    Saturday, June 13 – Day Trip: Monte Cassino, Roccasecca, Fossanova

    Sunday, June 14 – Via Appia & Catacombs

    Monday, June 15 – Apostolic Palace in the Vatican City

    Tuesday, June 16 – Patriarchal basilicas and other major churches of Rome

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

    Thursday, June 18 – General Audience with Pope Francis

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

    Saturday, June 20 – depart from Rome

    Friday, July 3 – submission of term paper and final exam due


    For  photos from Ave Maria University’s trip to Rome in Summer 2013, please see here and here.

    For photos from the trip in Summer 2014, please see here and here.