Cambridge Latin Course

Cambridge Latin Course

The Cambridge Latin Course (CLC) is a series of textbooks published by Cambridge University Press, used to teach Latin to secondary school students. First published in 1970, the series is now in its fifth edition, and has sold over 3.5 million copies.[1] It has reached high status in the UK, being the most successful Latin course in the country[2] and used by 85% of Latin-teaching schools.[1]



Book I

The first book tells the adventures of Caecilius, a banker and paterfamilias in Pompeii from the reign of Nero to that of Vespasian. Sometimes the book deviates, to talk about Caecilius's two slaves, Grumio and Clemens, and their frequent humorous mishaps. The book ends when Mount Vesuvius erupts, and Caecilius is killed in Pompeii. The book also discusses Metella, and her slave Melissa, Metella being Caecillius's wife. However, the book (liber) leaves the reader wondering whether Caecilius' son, Quintus, survived, as indeed he did.

Book II

The beginning of the second book is set in Roman Britain near Fishbourne Roman Palace under Agricola, where Quintus meets (convenit) Salvius and King Cogidubnus. The books starts off by meeting a new family, a Roman aristocrat, Salvius, who is a successful lawyer and senator in Rome. His family includes his wife, Rufilla, and many slaves (servi), some of whom are Britons, others foreign. In the second half of the book, Quintus tells King Cogidubnus about his journey to Alexandria, where Quintus was reunited with Clemens, and there he met Barbillus. Clemens is now a free man and Quintus buys him his own shop.

Book III

The third book picks up in the Roman province of Britain, in the city Bath in particular. Cogidubnus falls ill and goes to the baths at Bath, and Salvius, seeing his chance, hatches a plot with the baths' owner, Lucius Marcius Memor, to kill him. Quintus foils the plan, much to Salvius' dismay. When Cogidubnus eventually dies in captivity, Salvius writes a false will for him.

Book IV

In the fourth textbook, the setting moves to Rome, a few years after the events in Britain. Quintus is absent, but Salvius, his ally Haterius, and several other Roman aristocrats, as well as some ordinary citizens (plebs), star. Salvius coordinates the downfall of Paris, a famous pantomime actor and Domitia, the emperor's wife, whose affair was exposed.

Book V

The final book is set in Rome, after Agricola has successfully conquered Scotland. We are introduced to various acquaintances of the emperor, including Glabrio, an adviser to the emperor. Glabrio accuses Salvius of the forgery of Cogidubnus' will, while Domitia accuses him of plotting her exile. Quintus is present at Salvius' trial. Salvius is convicted and sentenced.

Recurring characters

  • Lucius Caecilius Iucundus, banker, father of Quintus, usually referred to as Caecilius.
  • Quintus Caecilius Iucundus, son of Lucius Caecilius Iucundus and Metella.
  • Metella, Caecilius' wife, Quintus' mother.
  • Grumio, their adventurous cook, who is often drunk.
  • Poppaea, Grumio's lover, also a slave, appeared to have a short fling with Clemens at one time.
  • Lucrio, Poppaea's elderly master
  • Hermogones, stole money from Caecilius and was later convicted in court
  • Clemens, a loyal, clever slave whom Quintus frees later. He then sets up a glassware shop in Alexandria
  • Cerberus, the Iucundus family dog that dies in Pompeii.
  • Melissa, a very beautiful slave girl bought by Caecilius. It is sporadically suggested that she has some relationship with Clemens.
  • Syphax, a slave trader, presumably from the Middle East.
  • Felix, a former slave of Caecilius, saved infant Quintus from a robber
  • Marcus, Roman citizen, brother of Quartus
  • Quartus, Roman Citizen, brother of Marcus
  • Sulla, scribe who finds himself in the middle of a feud between Marcus and Quartus
  • Julius, friend of Caecilius
  • Marcus Holconius Rufus, Politician & Patron of Pompeii whom Caecilius befriends
  • Gaius Salvius Liberalis, a wealthy, devious senator
  • Rufilla, Salvius's wife, relative of Quintus
  • Bregans, a lazy British slave
  • Loquax, slave known for singing
  • Anti-Loquax, twin of Loquax, known for dancing
  • Volubilis, Egyptian cook, slave of Salvius
  • Varica, Salvius' slave manager
  • Philus, learned slave of Salvius
  • Domitillia, deceptive slavegirl of Rufilla
  • Barbillus, a wealthy Alexandrian
  • Rufus, Barbillus' son and heir, searched for by Quintus
  • Eupor, Rufus's Greek friend
  • Tiberius Claudius Cogidubnus, King of the Regnenses tribe in Britain, friend of Salvius
  • Belimicus, a greedy Briton, chief of the Cantiaci and rival of Dumnorix
  • Dumnorix, an honest Briton, chief of the Regnenses and rival of Belimicus
  • Lucius Marcius Memor, a lazy, greedy, obese haruspex (soothsayer)
  • Cephalus, Memor's assistant
  • Modestus, a simple, clumsy, Roman soldier stationed in Britain
  • Strythio, a friend and fellow soldier of Modestus
  • Vilbia, native Briton, admirer of Modestus
  • Bulbus, admirer of Vilbia
  • Q. Haterius Latronianus, friend and client of Salvius, an architect in Rome
  • Euphrosyne, a Greek philosopher
  • Paris, a pantomime actor
  • Myropnous, a dwarf pipe player, friend of Paris
  • Domitian, emperor of Rome
  • Domitia, his wife, in an affair with Paris
  • Epaphroditus, a freedman of the emperor
  • Manius Acilius Glabrio, aristocrat
  • Gaius Helvidius Lupus, his friend
  • Martial, a famous poet
  • Sparsus, senator
  • Clemens, a relative of the emperor
  • Flavia, his wife
  • Polla, their daughter, in love with Helvidius but betrothed to Sparsus
  • Titus, their son, made heir to the emperor
  • Publius, their other son, also made heir to the emperor

See also

  • Minimus — Latin text for younger students from same publisher


External links

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