UCL Summer School


De Europææ Britanniæ Litteris Latinis [The Latin Literature of European Britain]

Key Information

Module code
Taught during
Session Two
Module leader
A. Gratius Avitus
Yes. Please refer to module pre-requisites below.
Assessment method
Essay (70%), Presentation (30%)
Download syllabus (PDF)
De Europææ Britanniæ Litteris Latinis [The Latin Literature of European Britain]

Module overview

Britain has produced one of the richest and fully autochthonous treasures of Latin literature in the whole of Europe: ranging from the legends of King Arthur and Merlin to the constitutional landmark of the Magna Carta, and from the philosophical explorations of More's Utopia to Bacon's Novum Organum or the scientific mainstay of Newton's Principia Mathematica, alongside a wealth of engaging letters constantly exchanged with continental Europe.

This module comprises an academic introduction to the British production in Latin, with an overview of its periods and genres (Ijsewijn, Lapidge, Rigg). It dwells on detailed commentary and discussion of specific key texts (Monmouth, More, Francis Bacon). It further explores the rich connections the use of Latin allowed with the rest of Europe, mostly in the form of epistolary correspondance (e.g. between More and Erasmus).

All teaching, coursework, and assessment, will be in Latin. Students will be progressively coached into confident usage.

Learning outcomes

Upon successful completion of this module, students will:

  • Be familiarised with the periods and genres of the British Latin lore, and the European background
  • Have explored a wide range of Latin legend, history, politics, philosophy and science arising in Britain
  • Be able to engage in academic discussion and commentary of British Latin works
  • Have developed skills to access Latin culture directly in Latin
  • Have enhanced their awareness of the cultural connection between Britain and the rest of Europe

Module prerequisites

This is a level one module (equivalent to first year undergraduate). No prior content knowledge is required, or previous speaking Latin experience; but students should have a solid knowledge of Latin morphology and syntax, and confidently possess a vocabulary above the general AS Level Latin standard (http://www.ocr.org.uk/Images/221507-as-level-gce-latin-h043-defined-vocabulary-list.pdf), gained for instance by completing the Session 1 module, Latin Usage: Idiomatic Proficiency & Teaching.

Module hours

Classes (usually three or four hours per day) take place on the Bloomsbury campus from Monday to Friday any time between 9am and 6pm.


  • 15-minute presentation, for instance on a biographical or historical point (30%)
  • 1,500-word essay, for instance on a work or passage (70%)

Module leader

A. Gratius Avitus has a Licenciatura in Classical Philology (Zaragoza, focus on language), an MA in Classics (London, focus on literature), and an MA in Sanskrit (Delhi, focus on philosophy), plus a recognised language teacher training qualification (International House, ITTI, London) and more than two decades of teaching experience at UCL for Spanish, Latin, Greek, Sanskrit, and Classical Culture, and participation in the MA in Translation of the University of Westminster. He has contributed to conversational Latin language methods, and is currently preparing his own, as well as a book on the enduring history of Latin. He regularly attends international Latin conferences, where he has delivered lectures, and has also published in Latin. His fluency in the language is widely acclaimed.

Application information

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