Latin: Yesterday, Today and Forever

317 TUTOR: Gillian Hovell

Learn Latin through the words and phrases we use in English every day, mottoes and inscriptions and through the most famous quotations from Roman literature. You will be surprised at how many you already know. Find out just how much of your job or hobby is deeply dyed with the colour of Latin and by joining this course, add that colour, depth and meaning to your life today. Also, find out how and why Latin travelled through the millennia and centuries so that there is not a part of our modern lives that is not coloured by words from the Romans.

1 AM
AM course

Course Notes

This course offers a fresh way to learn Latin through the words and phrases that we use in English every day. As we explore mottoes, inscriptions and the famous quotations of Roman literature, you'll be surprised how much you find you already know, for Latin in embedded in the English language.

This course will follow how and why Latin travelled through the millennia and we shall each find out how Latin is relevant to our own lives; for our professions and our hobbies are all given colour and depth and meaning through the words we have inherited from the Romans and their colourful lives.

Latin is full of patterns in its words and we shall use these to learn about the basic Body of Latin, that is, the nouns. We shall discover how the verbs work in Latin too. Adjectives and adverbs add depth to our translations. These are the fundamental building blocks of Latin; we shall see that from these all the other parts of speech follow.

While we obviously cannot learn ALL of Latin in this short course, you will discover how to unravel the words you see in short inscriptions, mottoes, etc.

By learning how to use Latin dictionaries and other aides, you will become equipped to tackle translations once you leave the course. The art of translation is a time to play with and explore the English language as much as the Latin.

No prior experience or background reading is required.

Please note that students can gather and collect Latin mottoes, inscriptions etc to bring to the course for us to explore during the week. Please send these to Marlborough College to be forwarded to the tutor at least two weeks prior to the course.

Essential Equipment

- Having a Latin dictionary would be helpful (Oxford or Collins Latin dictionaries are the most suitable)

- A brilliantly designed Latin Grammar tea towel which includes a vast amount of grammar is used as a great class aide: Students can each buy one at the start of the course for £6 (huge discount on RRP)

(The following agenda is flexible and includes time for discussion and debate)


- Welcome and Introduction to course

- A brief history of Latin - Why is Latin still part of our lives?

- Latin all around us and in our lives


- Getting to grips with Latin grammar by using Latin words and phrases around us

- The Body of Latin (Nouns)


- A Piece of the Action: Verbs

- Tools of the Trade: How to use that dictionary and other aides


- Adverbs

- Adding colour: Adjectives

- Latin names in botany and biology


- The Art of translation: from Winne the Pooh to the Latin Bible: Latin-English and English-Latin

- Moving on - Latin after the course

Course Tutor

Gillian Hovell

Gillian Hovell

About Gillian


After graduating with 2-1 (Hons) in Latin and Ancient History from Exeter University, Gillian worked in BBC Television and went on to become an award-winning freelance writer, author and public speaker, specialising in archaeology, prehistory and in the Greek and Roman eras. She is a lecturer at York University and at the British Museum and presents in the media.

Having led and supported community archaeology projects in a hands-on way (hence 'The Muddy Archaeologist'), Gillian now actively digs at major sites in the UK and Europe (from Orkney's prehistoric Ness of Brodgar to Roman Pompeii and Vindolanda and sites and eras in between).

She also teaches courses and lectures in the UK and beyond for The Arts Society, summer schools (such as Marlborough), museums (including the British Museum and the Ashmolean in Oxford and, of course, local museums), schools and audiences ranging from the WI to the national media.

A month-long Arts Society lecture tour of Australia was so successful in 2018 that another was planned for 2021(Covid delay to 202/3)and one to New Zealand in 2022.

Gillian travels widely in her work and lectures and guides on tours and cruises around the UK and the Mediterranean for companies such as Andante, Voyages to Antiquity's cruises (including exclusive 'Muddy Archaeologist Groups'), Smithsonian Journeys, Ciceroni Travel, Academy Travel, ASA (Australians Studying Abroad) Tours, Paideia Institute and Saga specialist archaeology tours, and she used to run her own tour company,Visiting the Past Tours.Her lecture tours cover every era and destination from the Neolithic in Orkney & Roman Britain, to the Greeks and Romans and ancient civilisations throughout the Mediterranean.

Gillian shares her passion for ancient history in person, in books & freelance writing, in the field, in the media and on-line. She engages with folk in social and professional environments and inspires them to see that archaeological finds and sites are full of human life and passion. Gillian changes the way that people see their work and leisure, human nature and the world around them. Gardens, food, professions, art, architecture, even the words we speak, are given fresh new dimensions.

For history and archaeology are not just about the past, they're everywhere, and they add colour, depth and meaning to every aspect our lives today.

Even if you don't yet know that you're interested in ancient history, archaeology or Latin, Gillian can fire your imagination and inspire you to new visions.



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All courses run for 5 days

WK 1 11 Jul - 15 Jul

WK 2 18 Jul - 22 Jul

WK 3 25 Jul - 29 Jul

WK 4 1 Aug - 5 Aug

Morning Courses

9.15AM to 12.15PM

Afternoon Courses

1.45PM to 4.30PM

All Day Courses

9.15AM to 4.30PM