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The Cambridge Latin Course is set firmly in the cultural context of the Roman world in the first century AD. In Book I, the story begins in the city of Pompeii, shortly before the eruption of Vesuvius. Book I forms a coherent course in its own right and is often studied as a complete introduction to the Latin language and Roman civilisation. The age of students taking this course ranges from 8 to 85!

The main language features of Book I include:

Nominative, accusative and dative cases, singular and plural, of nouns of the 1st, 2nd and 3rd declensions

Present, imperfect and perfect tenses, all persons, of verbs of the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th conjugations

Word order

Personal pronouns

Intransitive verbs

Comparatives and superlatives


The main civilisation topics include

Roman families


Daily life

The town of Pompeii

The forum

The theater

Slaves and freedmen

Life and death


The baths


Local government and elections

The eruption of Vesuvius; destruction and excavation of Pompeii