Latin & Greek for young and old.


JSST Greek & Latin Summer School Durham 2018


Courses will be offered in both languages at six levels:

  • Beginners (no previous knowledge required)
  • Post Beginners (some acquaintance with the language, but wanting to start again)
  • Intermediate Level 1 (pre-GCSE standard or similar)
  • Intermediate Level 2 (post-GCSE standard or similar)
  • Advanced 1 (up to A Level, Undergraduate or similar)
  • Advanced 2 (up to A Level, Undergraduate or similar)

Students will follow a course appropriate to their experience in one language, but in the advanced groups (and possibly the Intermediate Level 2) students can spend half of the week on each language. Other arrangements can be made on request, but it is not practical for beginners to embark on both languages simultaneously.


For beginners and intermediates we will be using the following text books: please note that both Text and Vocabulary AND Grammar and Exercises are needed.


Reading Latin 2nd edition Text and Vocabulary ISBN 978-1-107-61870-1 AND Reading Latin 2nd edition Grammar and Exercises ISBN 978-1-107-63226-4


Reading Greek 2nd ed. Text and Vocabulary ISBN 978-0-521-69851-1 AND Reading Greek 2nd ed. Grammar and Exercises ISBN 978-0-521-69852-8


Beginners and Post Beginners Latin and Greek
The beginners courses will be for those who have no previous knowledge of the language. Those with very little knowledge might join either post beginners or intermediate group 1 according to their needs. The post/fast beginners level is for those who want to resume study from or near the beginning and make rapid progress..

For Greek, the JACT course Reading Greek (C.U.P. 2nd edition) and, for Latin, Reading Latin (C.U.P. 2nd edition) will be used.  It is recommended that students purchase their own copies (2nd editions!) but a supply will be available.  It is important for students to consolidate the work of this intensive course soon afterwards.  An Independent Study Guide for Reading Greek and an Independent Study Guide for Reading Latin are published by CUP.


Intermediate Latin and Greek
The Intermediate groups will also use Reading Greek or Reading Latin and may progress onto other texts depending on the experience of students in each group.  In Level 2 students will be consolidating language skills and reading some original Greek or Latin passages.  Level 1 will start from the stage reached by students after approximately 1 year’s study and will concentrate on basic language skills. The following details might help to clarify the content of intermediate levels:


Intermediate Level 1 Latin
We will aim to cover as much of Section 4 of Reading Latin as possible, according to the demands of students on the course. The following grammatical points will feature: imperfect and pluperfect tenses; actives, deponents and passives; pronouns, relative clauses; locatives, uses of the ablative and genitive; participles (including ablative absolutes); infinitives and indirect statements; subjunctives (cum + subjunctive). We will also look at and analyse some of Cicero’s rhetorical techniques. More generally, we will reinforce existing knowledge as and when the text, or the class, demands.


Intermediate Level 1 Greek
The aim is to cover Reading Greek sections 6-7 (and, if possible, some of section 8) after a quick revision of section 5 (according to the needs of the group). There will be a strong focus on the grammatical features in these sections which include: imperfect, future and aorist tenses (indicative, active and middle), present optatives, present and aorist participles, infinitives and imperatives (active and middle); the main irregular verbs; further work on cases and types of nouns, adjectives and pronouns; prepositions, comparison of adjectives and adverbs.


Intermediate Level 2 Latin
In Intermediate Level 2 we will use a selection of literature and grammar suitable for the students who apply.  The level of difficulty is likely to be comparable with the texts of section 6 in Reading Latin and students should have already met the most common features of Latin grammar, although there will be plenty of time devoted to revision and there will even be a gentle introduction to prose composition in Latin. The literature will include both prose and verse.


Intermediate Level 2 Greek
At this level a combination of grammar and literature will be on offer, both tailored to the students’ needs. The grammar will also depend on students' experience and requests, but is likely to cover much of what is contained in sections 8-11 of Reading Greek: completion of the cases and types of nouns, adjectives and pronouns; uses of the genitive and dative, optatives, time phrases, principal parts, further work on infinitives and imperatives,   -mi verbs, relative clauses, passives, genitive absolute. A short prose text may also be translated and discussed. Possible authors are Plato, Xenophon, Herodotus or one of the Attic orators. Suggestions from students are very welcome (there is a space on the application form). 


Advanced Latin and Greek
The advanced groups will read two texts which will be chosen to avoid what students have already read or are currently studying. It is important for students to provide detailed information about their reading on the academic application form in order to achieve this. Decisions about the choice of texts are usually made about a month before the start of the course when most of the applications have been received. Groups will be allocated to a different tutor for each text and it will be possible to study one Latin text and one Greek text or both texts in one language. There is a space on the application form for suggesting authors or particular texts, but we cannot guarantee their selection. Advanced 1 will have a greater focus on grammar arising from the texts, Advanced 2 will be for more confident readers.




Description: Copy of St John's2                                                           


St. John’s College is ideally situated, very close to the cathedral and within a few minutes walk of the centre of Durham.  The college buildings were originally 18th C town houses. There are terrace gardens leading down to riverside walks, sitting rooms, a TV lounge, a pool table and a bar (18+).  The library will be available for study at all times, although books may not be taken out.

There are single and twin-bedded rooms, all with fitted hand-basins. A hospitality tray with tea and coffee is provided in every room.  Bath, shower and toilet facilities are within easy reach of every room. There are also a limited number of single rooms with en suite facilities in a new building. These will cost £110 extra and early application is recommended to secure one, although priority will be given to those with specific needs. St. John’s will provide towels, soap and bed linen. A card operated washing machine and drying room will be available. The college is extremely well maintained and offers a comfortable and convenient environment for work and relaxation. The dining room has recently been extended and refurbished.

If participants want to come prior to the start of the course or leave at a later date, it is possible to book Bed and Breakfast accommodation in advance at £37.00 per night for any extra nights before or after the course, in a single standard guest room. The rate for extra nights in the en-suite rooms will be £50.00 per night. The same facilities can be available for parents/relatives delivering or collecting students.  Further details and booking are available from the St John's Housekeeping Office (0191 3343877). Please book with St John's directly, not through the Summer School.


The full course fee for 2018 is £635 for a shared (usually double) room, £670 for a single room. In addition there are a limited number (38) of single en suite rooms available in the new building for which the fee is £780. These prices include all tuition fees and full board and lodging.  For non-residents the cost will be £515 which includes all tuition fees and all meals except breakfast.


All applicants are required to pay a deposit of £100 either by cheque (cheques made payable to ‘Durham Classical Summer School’) or online, which will be refunded if the application is unsuccessful or withdrawal becomes necessary before cancellation charges apply (7 days before the course, after which the full cost of residence at St. John’s will apply, although the college is prepared to take individual circumstances into account). Similar terms will apply for anyone who has to leave early.

We are able to offer a number of bursaries thanks to the subsidies from our sponsors. It is hoped that adequate assistance will be available for everyone who needs it. Grants can also be obtained from elsewhere and we would urge everyone to apply to LEA, school or university as well as to the Summer School so that we can distribute our limited funds to those who are most in need.



Students will be expected to attend the whole course, but may negotiate late arrival or early departure if circumstances dictate (please see Daily Timetable below).

During each day there will be three teaching sessions with time for private study and relaxation in between.  Each session will last for one hour and will demand considerable preparation by students.  In the evenings there will be lectures and other events, and there will be two free afternoons when there will be opportunities to visit local museums and sites. A field trip to Hadrian’s Wall will be organised on Tuesday. There will also be a series of optional afternoon classes on various topics such as grammar, metre or Medieval Latin.

Arrival and reception will be between 2.00 and 6.00 p.m. on Saturday 21st. Please inform the director if you have to arrive earlier or later. A limited number of rooms are available on Friday evening if anyone wishes to arrive early. See the accommodation section for B&B at the college.

The Summer School ends with lunch on Saturday 28th July. Students should be free to leave shortly after 12.00 noon, but if travel arrangements dictate otherwise an earlier departure may be negotiated. A packed lunch can be provided on request.



Saturday 21st      
2.00 -6.00        arrival + register, settle in rooms
6.30                 evening meal
7.15                 welcome, fire drill and briefing: meet your tutor
8.00 - 9.00       introduction and lecture


Sun. 22nd, Mon. 23rd, Wed. 25th , Thurs. 26th  
8.00 - 8.30       breakfast
9.15                 Session 1
10.15               coffee + private study
11.45               Session 2
12.45               lunch
1.30 - 4.00       private study/optional sessions
4.00                 tea
4.30 - 5.30       Session 3
6.30                 evening meal
7.15                 lecture


Tues. 24th
8.00 - 8.30       breakfast
9.00 - 10.00     Session 1
10.00               coffee + private study
11.00 - 12.00   Session 2
12.00               lunch

1.00                optional free trip to Hadrian’s Wall or free afternoon

6.00                 return from Hadrian’s Wall
6.30                 evening meal
7.30                 evening poetry reading


Fri. 27th   
8.00 - 8.30       breakfast
9.15                 Session 1
10.15               coffee + private study

11.45               Session 2

12.45               lunch: free afternoon/ possible visits include Newcastle (esp. The Great North Museum)/Segedunum/Arbeia/Oriental Museum/Botanical Gardens/Durham Cathedral etc.
6.30                 evening meal
8.00                 musical-historical-linguistical-dramatical-seriocomical-poetical-adlibical performance by members of the course


Sat. 28th (half day)               
8.00 - 8.30       breakfast
9.15                 Session 1
10.15               coffee + private study
11.00               Session 2
12.00               lunch and depart



Durham is on the main north-east railway line. London is less than three hours away and Edinburgh is less than two.  There are easy connections with most other parts of the country, including a direct service to Bristol and the south-west.  The city lies just to the west of the A1M and there are regular long-distance bus services.  From the rail station there is a regular  bus service to Palace Green (the cathedral) from where St John’s is a short walk. The last bus from the station on Saturday is at 5.10pm (Cathedral Bus Timetable pdf ). It is also easy to hire a taxi at the station. Walking from the station takes about 20 minutes. A map is available at Durham Tourist Information  


Traffic restrictions from the market place onto the peninsula are in operation.  Everyone who drives to college will pass the registration number recognition system (operating between 10am and 4pm Mon – Sat) and will need to register at the college reception (by giving the porter your registration number) to avoid an automatic fine. Further details can be found at Local Government Information

If anyone feels it is essential to travel by car, St John's can secure a limited number of week-long permits to use Durham University car parks (most about 15 minutes walk from St. John’s).  These will not guarantee a space, but will allow us to park if we can find one. All permits will have to be issued on request in advance.

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Please note that although JSST has appropriate statutory insurance cover for employers' liability and for public/ products liability, this does not extend to health, travel or property insurance for students as course participants. Nor does JSST have insurance which covers students for death, injury, illness or disease, or for loss or damage to their property.

Students should therefore consider whether they wish to take out insurance before the start of the course for incidents in which JSST has no legal responsibility. Travel insurance which will provide the necessary cover can usually be obtained instantly by telephone from your household insurer or via the internet.


The Hellenic Bookservice will bring a large range of new and secondhand books for sale on Wednesday 25th.  
If you want to ask them to bring specific books, contact Monica Williams at the
Hellenic Bookservice, 89 Fortess Rd. Kentish Town, London NW5 1AG;
Telephone 0207 267 9499; fax 0207 267 9498;   


Please make sure that you bring some warm clothes because the weather in the North East can turn cold even in the height of summer. There will be opportunities for swimming in the public baths not far from the College and if you wish to swim, please bring what you need. There will be an optional field trip to Hadrian’s Wall for which sensible, flat-soled shoes and a waterproof are recommended.



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