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A Level Latin Literature

Salve! I'm currently in Year 12 and I'm doing the A Level Latin course. My Latin teacher has told us to revise about the Literature content over the Easter holidays. However, I've got no idea about how to do that! I didn't do the Latin GCSE course because I was self taught and I've never done a Latin Literature exam paper before. Please would somebody be able to explain about how the exam paper will work and how I should prepare for that? Thank you very much in advance!
(edited 1 year ago)

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Original post by GA-Thrawn
Salve! I'm currently in Year 12 and I'm doing the A Level Latin course. My Latin teacher has told us to revise about the Literature content over the Easter holidays. However, I've got no idea about how to do that! I didn't do the Latin GCSE course because I was self taught and I've never done a Latin Literature exam paper before. Please would somebody be able to explain about how the exam paper will work and how I should prepare for that? Thank you very much in advance!


Hey! I also do Latin A-Level so perhaps I can be some help. So you can either be tested on your Prose or Poetry. I'm doing the Aeneid and Pro Cluentio - you should know your texts by heart before the exam.

The basic exam structure is more of essay-writing and comprehension. You get given a passage in Latin (with no translation) and respond to questions on the text. You may be asked to translate a few lines or give context on certain parts. However, the most important is the 10/15 mark, where you make a commentary on style and content on the texts you have studied.
Reply 2
Thank you very much :smile:
Reply 3
For the 10 / 15 mark questions, would I have to refer to the text as a whole or just to the given extract?
Original post by GA-Thrawn
For the 10 / 15 mark questions, would I have to refer to the text as a whole or just to the given extract?

Both 10/15 markers require reference to the extract - I think there are larger questions (30 markers) which cover the entire text, however that's a year 13 topic.

10 markers require extract analysis, however DO NOT require you to quote and translate the Latin, you can just quote the Latin.

Whereas, with 15 markers, you must quote and translate the latin directly.
Reply 5
Thank you very much
Hi fellow latin friends. Our Latin Prose literature teacher has bailed on us, we haven't completed the text and the rest of the notes make no sense anyway. We are studying Cicero's Pro Cluentio, and we are wondering whether anyone has any useful resources we can use for AS or A Level. Please, we are willing to pay.
Original post by hermionewakey
Hi fellow latin friends. Our Latin Prose literature teacher has bailed on us, we haven't completed the text and the rest of the notes make no sense anyway. We are studying Cicero's Pro Cluentio, and we are wondering whether anyone has any useful resources we can use for AS or A Level. Please, we are willing to pay.


Also studying Pro Cluentio here - your best bet is to fully understand the plot line and figure out all of the characters (e.g. which bloody Oppianicus Cicero is referring to, the Elder or his 10-year-old son/all the marriages in the book to figure out lines of inheritance). If you have that down you're basically sorted, one teacher at my school marked the AS for this year and said that half the candidates didn't have a clue about the actual storyline..
Thank you so much for your reply. Do you know where we could find the english translation so we can read the whole plot line by any chance?
Original post by BarnabyK
Also studying Pro Cluentio here - your best bet is to fully understand the plot line and figure out all of the characters (e.g. which bloody Oppianicus Cicero is referring to, the Elder or his 10-year-old son/all the marriages in the book to figure out lines of inheritance). If you have that down you're basically sorted, one teacher at my school marked the AS for this year and said that half the candidates didn't have a clue about the actual storyline..
Reply 9
I'm not sure if you're referring to the parts that you've got to read in English (not in Latin) or not, but be aware about them. They will help you with the general understanding of what's going on. You'll have to check the exams board's wesbite for that information.

Below is a link to a quizlet set, not made by me but by a very helpful mystery Latin teacher somewhere in the world. (I've checked her flashcards against my own notes and it's for the same course, everything is accurate and relevant, etc.) This is just the AS stuff, and I don't think that the final chapter is in here, but it's a great place to start. This is the translation, which is key in revising for Latin Literature. I hope that helps, let me know if there's anything else / any other texts that I may be able to help with

Good luck with your revision and Happy Easter!

Quizlet Set: https://quizlet.com/magistraosullivan/folders/cicero-pro-cluentio-as-latin?x=1xqt&i=3sl6es

A very helpful website for Pro Cluentio in both languages: (Note: The numbering stsyem on here is not the same as the exam board's numbering system) https://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.02.0010%3Atext%3DClu.%3Asection%3D1
This video from the Classical Association of Manchester is useful background to the story and has some recommended texts to read to help with understanding the case
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KjO0J0D07Rg

If you've an account with Z-lib.org, you can download the penguin classic "Cicero's Murder Trials" which has a full English translation of the case.
Original post by Theunisse
This video from the Classical Association of Manchester is useful background to the story and has some recommended texts to read to help with understanding the case
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KjO0J0D07Rg

If you've an account with Z-lib.org, you can download the penguin classic "Cicero's Murder Trials" which has a full English translation of the case.


Thanks for that. I'm pretty clued up on the text already, but it's interesting to see how badly OCR seem to have messed up here...
Original post by hermionewakey
Hi fellow latin friends. Our Latin Prose literature teacher has bailed on us, we haven't completed the text and the rest of the notes make no sense anyway. We are studying Cicero's Pro Cluentio, and we are wondering whether anyone has any useful resources we can use for AS or A Level. Please, we are willing to pay.

hey, also doing pro cluentio (i've got my prose lit exam in about two months so rip lmfao), i've put some links and stuff below, i hope they help

this video focuses on context:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7wXBsXdtlvY
theres 4 other videos on massolit (however a subscription is needed, tho if your school has one you can make a free account)
i have an account and am happy to record them and send if wanted? the videos cover the first three charges and context of previous trial, the fourth charge, cicero's defense stragety, and how plausible the depiction of Oppianicus and the claims of Cicero are

Not sure if you need literary analysis stuff but this should cover analysis for the AS texts and other sections translations and stuff:
https://quizlet.com/SophBarrett04/folders/cicero-pro-cluentio?x=1xqt&i=2hm000

also if you're doing the whole a level sections, and don't already have it, the ocr textbook Cicero Pro Cluentio a selection by Matthew Barr has analysis for the group 2 texts as well as AS and a list of vocab from the whole text plus context

i hope someone finds any of this at least vaguely helpful? sorry if its not. also good luck with latin as/a level!
Does anyone know what prominent themes may come up in the Cicero 20 markers?
Reply 14
Original post by hermionewakey
Does anyone know what prominent themes may come up in the Cicero 20 markers?

all i know at this point is sassia = bad
Original post by hermionewakey
Does anyone know what prominent themes may come up in the Cicero 20 markers?

From the 20 markers I've done in class, one was "the pro cluentio was one of the most sensationalist speeches of its day, what would you say were the reasons for this?"
For this one we looked at the previous trial and the context Cicero gives in his speech when he refers to it + what the jury would know (it was one of the most famous cases of court corruption so everyone would know about the Iudicium Iunianum) + Cicero's portrayal of people and their reputation (in particular Habitus vs Oppianicus and Sassia) PARTICULARLY FAMILIAL TIES LIKE HOW HE OFTEN REFERS TO SASSIA BY SAYING "MATER" AND HABITUS AS "FILIUS" and also examples in the language of speech where Cicero uses dramatic words or style to exaggerate/emphasise a point, then also yoy can mention Ciceros own reputation as he rose up the ranks bc he became praetor the same year the pro cluentio happened

The other question was "Ciceros defence is all attack, how far do you agree"
And basically this one is a bit more straightforward, just give examples and debate back and forth of times when Ciceros attacking people, and state your own opinions
Original post by Sophbarrett04
From the 20 markers I've done in class, one was "the pro cluentio was one of the most sensationalist speeches of its day, what would you say were the reasons for this?"
For this one we looked at the previous trial and the context Cicero gives in his speech when he refers to it + what the jury would know (it was one of the most famous cases of court corruption so everyone would know about the Iudicium Iunianum) + Cicero's portrayal of people and their reputation (in particular Habitus vs Oppianicus and Sassia) PARTICULARLY FAMILIAL TIES LIKE HOW HE OFTEN REFERS TO SASSIA BY SAYING "MATER" AND HABITUS AS "FILIUS" and also examples in the language of speech where Cicero uses dramatic words or style to exaggerate/emphasise a point, then also yoy can mention Ciceros own reputation as he rose up the ranks bc he became praetor the same year the pro cluentio happened

The other question was "Ciceros defence is all attack, how far do you agree"
And basically this one is a bit more straightforward, just give examples and debate back and forth of times when Ciceros attacking people, and state your own opinions

For the first question, how did you answer that without needing examples of other speeches at that time? Isn’t that what the question is hinting towards or have I got the wrong impression?
Reply 17
Original post by hermionewakey
For the first question, how did you answer that without needing examples of other speeches at that time? Isn’t that what the question is hinting towards or have I got the wrong impression?


It's a badly worded question imo - however you do need knowledge of the prior 3/4 trials against the Fabricii, their freedman, and Oppianicus the Elder for the 20 markers.

Often, it is *very* dangerous to disagree with the wording in a 20 marker as you'd have to make a damn good counter-argument as to why such a speech isn't 'effective/sensationalist/enthralling/etc'
Reply 18
This is a total hijack, but how is everyone feeling for the Unseen paper on Monday? Are we hoping for a hexameter or pentameter!?
Original post by BarnabyK
This is a total hijack, but how is everyone feeling for the Unseen paper on Monday? Are we hoping for a hexameter or pentameter!?


personally terrified haha especially since the grade boundaries will be higher and you can never tell how you think its gone. I feel like the papers go from being manageable to completely impossible! What about you?

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