Centre for Continuing Education

Latin Course: Letters of Pliny the Younger

Latin. Learn Latin with us.

Level B2 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR)

This Latin course studies selected letters of Pliny the Younger in class, reviewing the grammatical constructions and syntax, and discussing the letters in their cultural and historical perspective. The letters provide a fascinating insight into aspects of Roman life and times during the imperial period.


By the end of this course, you should be able to:

  • read and translate complete works of original Latin in the form of unedited letters
  • discuss the differences of style and idiom of Latin epistolary writing
  • recognise and discuss the use of a more relaxed grammatical structure than used by Caesar and Cicero
  • discuss the cultural and historical context of the letters, and their role in understanding the events of Imperial Rome.

Intended audience

Suitable for intermediate and advanced-level (B2) Latin readers who have completed around 200 hours of recent study, and who wish to develop their knowledge and appreciation of Latin through the intensive study of classical texts.

Delivery style

Delivered as a series of interactive workshops where active participation is encouraged. You are encouraged to study the upcoming material before each meeting.

Prescribed text

Platner, SB 1894, Selections from the Letters of the Younger Pliny, Leach, Shewell and Sanborn (Nabu Press reprint, 2010), ISBN 9781141076734, may also be available online.

Optional text

Kennedy, BH 1965, Kennedy’s Revised Latin Primer, rev. edn, Pearson, ISBN 9780582362406.

Morwood, J 1999, A Latin Grammar, Oxford University Press, ISBN 9780198601999.

Radice, B 1976, The Letters of the Younger Pliny, Penguin Classics, ISBN 9780140441277.

Please Note

Selected Language and Culture courses that teach spoken language may include use of language immersion (course instruction in the selected language) as part of the training strategy.


  • Expert trainer
  • Small class size (~20 max)

Language courses are offered in four terms each year, approximately in January, April, July and October.

What others say.

  • Our tutor is a born teacher whose knowledge of the subject, meticulous preparation and student-focused instruction is nothing short of outstanding. I look forward to taking other classes with this tutor.

Latin Course: Letters of Pliny the Younger

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What others say.

  • This course is one of the very few opportunities to learn Latin. For those who have completed Latin grammar courses, there is a wealth of Roman literature to study which gives insight into ancient history and culture - so the course differ from other language courses where the aim is to learn to speak the language.
  • Course content was interesting. The tutor was very helpful, well prepared and stimulating teacher, who provided good communication and ongoing support.
  • The tutor was excellent. They were a wealth of knowledge about Latin and the historical context of Pliny's letters. I found every lesson stimulating, thought-provoking and enjoyable. In the workshop format that is utilised, all students are encouraged to participate and give their opinions. I would highly recommend this course to anyone with a love of language and a historical curiosity.