Accessibility statement

Medieval Documentary Latin (beginners)

Short course fees 2020/21 

£95 University of York students

£105 University of York staff/public


The course is aimed at absolute beginners with no knowledge of Latin.


  • 8 x 2 hour classes; groups of up to 20 participants; Terms 1 and 2.

  • The same course content will be repeated in Term 2, subject to demand. It is therefore not suitable for those who already attended classes in Term 1.


The aim of the module is to provide an introduction to the basic principles of Latin grammar, and palaeography (or the study of medieval handwriting).  The target audience will be students of History, Archaeology, and those who wish to become archivists or have an interest in ancient texts.

Students will learn the basics of how to translate a range of medieval documents including wills, charters and land grants. There will also be opportunities to read, transcribe and edit extracts of these documents from original manuscript images. Ideally, some of the documents used during the course will be original manuscripts (in collaboration with the university archive).


At the end of LFA Medieval Documentary Latin students should be able to:

  • Have a grasp of basic Latin grammar.

  • Be familiar with a range of legal documents used in Medieval times.

  • Be able to recognise a number of Medieval scripts.

  • Be able to transcribe and edit a basic piece of documentary Latin.

Evaluation and certification 

A certificate of attendance is available on request.