Roman Oratory

LATN 4083 / Spring 2016


Cicero Denounces Catiline in the Senate - Fresco in the Palazzo Madama, Rome, by Cesare Maccari, 1889

Instructor: Dr. Charles E. Muntz
Time: MWF 11:50-12:40
Place: KIMP 214
Dr. Muntz's Office: 407 Old Main 
Office Hours: 
Phone: (479) 575-5891 


This class will examine one of the greatest statesmen and thinkers of the ancient world, Marcus Tullius Cicero. Cicero was deeply involved in Roman politics during the last generation of the Roman Republic, from the rise of Pompey the Great to his own death at the hands of Mark Antony in 43 BCE. We will be reading the speech he delivered defending his sometime-protégé Marcus Caelius Rufus against the charge of murder in 56, a tour de force of Roman oratory that cuts deeply into the politics of the time.


Translation: We will be reading as much Cicero's Pro Caelio as possible. If we finish the entire speech before the end of the semester I will provide some additional excerpts from Cicero's writings. In preparing for each class it is important to go over the day’s assignment very carefully and learn all new vocabulary. Do not use a translation or Perseus to help translate the Latin, and avoid writing notes or vocabulary in your text. 

Quizzes: There will be six in class quizzes covering grammar, vocabulary, and translation, on the dates listed below. These quizzes will be cumulative, but I will drop the lowest quiz grade. 

Prose Composition: On quiz days instead of translating we will do prose composition exercises. These won't be graded, but be prepared to present your Latin to class.

Final Exam: There will be a comprehensive final exam on Wednesday, May 11, 10:15 am. It will cover grammar, vocabulary, and translation - basically a giant quiz. There will also be a passage to translate on sight.

Attendance: Regular attendance is important. I will allow each student to miss up to three classes without penalty to cover things such as illness or religious observances. Please email me in advance if you are going to miss class. Absence on quiz days  will only be excused for emergencies. For each absence after the first three I will lower the final grade by 10 points. If you do have to miss a class, make sure you meet with another student to find out what you missed! 

Grading Breakdown:
Quizzes: 50%
Final Exam: 50% 

Reading Materials 

Required Texts:
Englert, Walter. Cicero: Pro Caelio. Bryn Mawr Commentaries. ISBN 0929524659

Optional Texts:
Simpson, D. P. Cassell's Latin Dictionary. ISBN 0025225804
    This is a very good intermediate Latin dictionary, although you may use another if you prefer.

Allen and Greenough's New Latin Grammar. ISBN 1585100277
    This is the standard one volume grammar of Latin - very useful to have, especially if you plan to continue with Latin. There are many different printings which are virtually identical, except this one has an updated section on Latin meter.

In Mullins Reference Section:
Oxford Latin Dictionary. REF PA2365.E5 O9 
    Commonly known as the OLD, this is the standard large Latin dictionary, although it is severely flawed.

Lewis, C. T. and C. Short. A Latin dictionary founded on Andrews' edition of Freund's Latin dictionary. REF PA2365.E5 A7.
    Commonly known as Lewis & Short, this used to be the standard large Latin dictionary, but is even more severely flawed. Older printings are labeled Harper's Latin Dictionary. This one is available in several smart phone apps (I have SPQR on my iPhone).

Smith, W. English-Latin Dictionary. PA2365.E5 S6. The most comprehensive English-Latin dictionary.

Thesaurus Linguae Latinae. PA2361 .T75. Known as the TLL, this is the ultimate Latin dictionary, although it is far too cumbersome for everyday use and only goes up to P. It is scheduled to be completed around 2050 (if we're lucky). 

Super resource if you need to look up a person or topic (much better than Wikipedia or other web sources):
The Oxford Classical Dictionary (Off campus link)


Academic Integrity: As a core part of its mission, the University of Arkansas provides students with the opportunity to further their educational goals through programs of study and research in an environment that promotes freedom of inquiry and academic responsibility. Accomplishing this mission is only possible when intellectual honesty and individual integrity prevail.

Each University of Arkansas student is required to be familiar with and abide by the University’s ‘Academic Integrity Policy’ which may be found at Students with questions about how these policies apply to a particular course or assignment should immediately contact their instructor.

Equal Access: University of Arkansas Academic Policy Series 1520.10 requires that students with disabilities are provided reasonable accommodations to ensure their equal access to course content. If you have a documented disability and require accommodations, please contact me privately at the beginning of the semester to make arrangements for necessary classroom adjustments. Please note, you must first verify your eligibility for these through the Center for Educational Access (contact 479-575-3104 or visit for more information on registration procedures).

Inclement Weather: Classes will be held unless the University cancels them.

Miscellaneous: Please turn off and put away all cell phones and any other non-course related items and finish any food you might be eating before coming into class. Drinks are acceptable. Please remain seated during class - if you need to use the lavatory, do so before or after class.

Emergency Procedures 

Many types of emergencies can occur on campus; instructions for specific emergencies such as severe weather, active shooter, or fire can be found at  

Severe Weather (Tornado Warning): Follow the directions of the instructor or emergency personnel. Seek shelter in the basement or interior room or hallway on the lowest floor, putting as many walls as possible between you and the outside. If you are in a multi-story building, and you cannot get to the lowest floor, pick a hallway in the center of the building. Stay in the center of the room, away from exterior walls, windows, and doors.

Violence / Active Shooter (CADD):

  • CALL: 9-1-1
  • AVOID: If possible, self-evacuate to a safe area outside the building.  Follow directions of police officers.
  • DENY: Barricade the door with desk, chairs, bookcases or any items.  Move to a place inside the room where you are not visible.  Turn off the lights and remain quiet.  Remain there until told by police it’s safe.
  • DEFEND: Use chairs, desks, cell phones or whatever is immediately available to distract and/or defend yourself and others from attack.

Daily Reading
(These will be filled in as we progress through Cicero)

Week 1
January 20: Introduction

January 22: 1

Week 2
January 25: 2-3

January 27: 4-5

January 29: 6-7

Week 3
February 1: Quiz 1

February 3: 

February 5: 

Week 4
February 8: 

February 10: 

February 12: 

Week 5
February 15: Quiz 2

February 17: 

February 19:

Week 6
February 22: 

February 24:

February 26:

Week 7
February 29: Quiz 3 

March 2: 

March 4: 

Week 8
March 7:

March 9: 

March 11: 

Week 9
March 14: Quiz 4!

March 16: 

March 18: 

Spring Break!

Week 10
March 28: 

March 30: 

April 1: 

Week 11
April 4: 

April 6: 

April 8: 

Week 12
April 11: Quiz 5

April 13: 

April 15:  

Week 13
April 18: 

April 20: 

April 22: 

Week 14
April 25: Quiz 6

April 27: 

April 29:

Week 15
May 2: 

May 4: