Centre for Continuing Education

Latin Course: Letters of Pliny the Younger

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If you want to learn Latin our Latin classes are ideal for adult learners to enjoy a practical and social experience while you learn. Learn Latin the smart way with Latin courses at CCE, the University of Sydney.

This Latin course studies selected letters of Pliny the Younger, which provide a fascinating insight into various aspects of Roman life and times during the imperial period, and include Pliny’s first-hand account of the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 AD.


Develop knowledge and appreciation through the intensive study of Pliny’s letters in their social, historical and archaeological context.

To read at the required level with fluency and enjoyment. To also have deepened their knowledge of Roman life and times during the imperial period.

Suitable for

Intended for intermediate and advanced-level readers wishing to develop their knowledge and appreciation through the intensive study of original material. Enrolling students should have studied the Oxford Latin Course books 1-3 , or have undertaken equivalent studies.


The course will be delivered as interactive workshops where active participation is encouraged. The class will work through the prescribed text in class, reviewing the grammar and syntax, and discussing the letters in their context.

A list of Pliny’s letters to study will be provided before each meeting. Students should prepare the upcoming material before each meeting. This is an essential part of consolidating knowledge and understanding.

Prescribed Text

Fisher, M.B. and Griffin, M.R. (2009). Pliny’s Letters. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
ISBN 9780521202985

Recommended Reading

The following texts may also assist students who undertake this course:

Kennedy, B.H. (1965). Kennedy’s Revised Latin Primer. Pearson.
ISBN 9780582362406; or:

Morwood, J. (2006) A Latin Grammar. Oxford: 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)
  • Central location

Language courses are offered in four terms each year, approximately in January, April, July and October. Try our Language Proficiency Calculator to work out which language level is right for you.

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.