Latin Placement Exam


  1. This exam is for students interested in enrolling in Latin 201 or above.
  2. Keep in mind that you are not being graded on this exercise. The department uses it to determine what level of Latin course you should take and, what is equally important, the kind of review you will need.
  3. This diagnostic exercise will not exempt you from the Language Requirement.
  4. First answer a few questions about your training in Latin. Then translate as accurately as you can both Latin passages and answer the grammar questions appended to each. Do not use a dictionary or any grammatical help other than what is provided in the vocabulary lists. Guess at words you do not know. Spend about 1/2 hour on each passage. If you can’t answer a grammar question immediately, quickly move on to the next question or passage. You may go back and check your work.
  5. When you are done, click on the SUBMIT button at the end of the page.

Good luck. The department looks forward to meeting you in September.

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Part I

A story about a 13th century crow with a sense of humor.

Gregorius habebat corvum, qui poterat loqui more humano et maximus erat ioculator. Surgebat enim noctu et vocabat ex hospitiis hospites peregrinos, dicens,
Quis vult venire Bononiam? Veniat, veniat, veniat! Celeriter! Celeriter! Venite, venite.

Portate res vestras! Eamus! Eamus ad navem! Ad navem! Ad navem! Guberna! Guberna!

Surgebant igitur novi hospites, qui ignorabant iocos et mendacia istius corvi, et cum rebus suis per totam noctem in ripa fluminis expectabant navem: et mirabantur a quo taliter delusi essent, cum neminem ibi audirent.

corvus, -i m. crow
loquor (3) (deponent) to speak
mos, moris m. manner, way
ioculator, -oris, m. jokester
surgo (3) to rise
noctu (adv.) at night
hospitium, -ii, n. room
hospes, hospitis, m. guest
peregrinus, -i, m. pilgrim
Bononia, ae, f. Bologna
guberno (1) literally, to steer; loosely, to go forth
ripa, -ae f. bank
flumen, -inis, n. river
miror (1) (deponent) to wonder
deludo (3) to trick, to delude
ibi (adv.) there

Part II

Yet another story about talking crows.

In order to gain favor—and a reward—from the victor of the battle of Actium (be it Marc Antony or Caesar, i.e., Octavian, soon to be Caesar Augustus), two rogues, Rufus and Scaeva, train a pair of talking crows to utter two different greetings. Upon Caesar's victorious return to Italy, Rufus brings him the appropriately trained crow, following whose performance, as expected, Caesar rewards Rufus generously for being such a loyal supporter. When Rufus fails to share the money with his pal, though, Scaeva tells Caesar about the ruse.

Scaeva Caesarem petiit et se fraudatum esse querebatur. “Praeterea,” inquit, “est alter corvus, hoc doctior, qui pro tanta mercede tibi donari debuit. Si hominem hunc corvum quoque adferre cogas, operae pretium facias.”

(Rufus is summoned to bring the other crow, whereupon…)

Scaeva avem blande vellicavit et corvus continuo verba quae didicerat expressit: “Ave, victor, imperator, Antoni!”

Luckily for Rufus, Caesar merely insists that he split his reward with Scaeva.

peto (3) (petiit=petivit) to seek
fraudo (1) to rob
queror (3) (deponent) to complain
praeterea furthermore
doctus-a-um learned
merces, mercedis, f. expense
adfero (irreg.) to bring (forth)
cogo (3) compel
operae pretium facias translate, it would be worth your while
avis, avis, f. bird
blande (adv.) gently
vellico (1) to pinch
continuo (adv) immediately
disco (3) to learn
answer should be a numeral