Ancient Voices Summer School 2024

The Classical Association of Scotland is thrilled to open registration for the 2024 Ancient Voices Summer Programme!

  Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
10am – Noon Greek Beginners Latin Beginners Greek Improvers Latin Improvers
1pm – 2.30pm Sumerian Cuneiform School to University Workshops Sumerian Cuneiform Voices Past & Present
3pm – 5pm Ugaritic Aramaic Egyptian Hieroglyphs Hebrew
5.30pm – 7.30pm Latin Advanced  Greek Advanced

Following the success of our 2023 programme, CAS is proud to open registration on its 2024 Summer School. This will be held online (via Zoom) from Monday 8th July to Sunday 4th August. As in previous years, CAS aims to offer a range of courses at different levels, representing a friendly and low-pressure environment for learners to enjoy engaging with languages of the ancient past.

We are thrilled to be able to supplement our core Latin and Greek options once again with Aramaic, Hebrew, Hieroglyphs, Sumerian and Ugaritic. Indeed, this summer programme is a rare opportunity to try some lesser taught languages outside of a very narrow university context!

The CAS Ancient Voices programme is designed with a recognition that not everyone has the time or money to commit to the various intensive or residential language courses found during the summer months. Our intention is to offer a high quality of tuition in a contained way. The summer programme lasts four weeks, with a couple hours per week direct contact time and an expectation of some personal study between classes. We believe this approach balances accessibility, for those coming to the languages new, with scope to offer a challenge to those wanting to push their learning a little further.

Our classes are scheduled at different points across the week (see timetable above), which allows students to plan in advance, and also to try out multiple language streams across the course of the Summer programme, should they so wish. In previous years, we have been impressed by some students dipping a toe in several languages over the course of the month-long programme!

Classes are divided into three levels:

Beginners sessions offer a grammar and vocabulary based launch point, designed for those with little to no experience; Improvers offers a blend of grammar and textual learning for those who want to consolidate on the basics, and Advanced offers a fully textual launch point, reading directly across texts chosen by our class leaders. Each stream is led by an expert teacher from within either the school or university sector. Course details can be found below.

We believe that the Ancient Voices programme represents a uniquely good value for money, with accessibility in mind when pricing our language streams. Our streams are timetabled to avoid any clashes or crossovers, enabling students to mix and match as many different languages over the course of the month. As an incentive to engage with our Summer programme as much as possible, we offer a sliding discount for students registering on multiple streams:

    • 1 x Language Stream: £65.00
    • 2 x Language Streams: £120.00
    • 3 x Language Streams: £160.00

Registration is now open. For further information, please email [email protected]


Registration closes on Sunday 30th June 2024. We have chosen to close registration at this point, so that we may ensure that classes are viable before they begin.

This introductory course will cover the basics of the Latin language. After an overview of how an inflected language works, we will focus on developing the skills needed to master the fundamentals of Latin declension and conjugation. Students will gradually build their vocabulary and learn to translate simple sentences and short narrative texts in both directions (Latin to English and English to Latin). No prior knowledge of the language is required.

Our Improvers’ courses can adapt its focus on your learning foundation, though it would be expected to cover subjunctive mood and complex clauses. By the end of the course, you will be able to identify complex grammatical constructions and translate select Latin texts.

Our Advanced Latin course is is text-led with pause on particular grammatical features. The course will focus on the theme either women and warfare or animals and monsters, and consider a range of interdisciplinary sources from antiquity.

In our Beginners’ Courses, we start with the basics of language learning, looking at grammatical elements. By the end of the course you will be able to identify verb, noun and adjective forms and translated adapted texts.

Our Improvers’ courses can adapt its focus on your learning foundation, though it would be expected to cover subjunctive mood and complex clauses. By the end of the course, you will be able to identify complex grammatical constructions and translate select Greek texts.

Our Advanced Greek course is is text-led with pause on particular grammatical features. The course will consider a range of interdisciplinary sources from antiquity, with a finalised theme to be confirmed.

Our course in Aramaic presumes knowledge of other Semitic languages (ideally, Classical Biblical Hebrew) and therefore represents a more advanced introductory stream. This stream will rapidly cover introductory matters pertaining to Biblical Aramaic (i.e., Imperial/Middle Aramaic) and culminate with readings from the narratives of Daniel.

This fast-paced course will take you from understanding the basics of how texts in ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs are composed all the way to reading some wonderful examples for yourself. We will meet key grammatical essentials through the texts we explore which all focus around the idea of what the Egyptians imagined happened after their earthly lives had ended.

Our course in Hebrew will cover the basic introductory elements of Classical Biblical Hebrew (CBH) and will introduce students to the writing system and elementary matters pertaining to morphology, syntax, and lexicon.

Some know Sumerian as the language of the Anunnaki Gods, others as the world’s first written language.  Fascinating and intriguing, it is also the perfect ancient language for beginners!  For it abounds in simple so-called ‘building inscriptions’, in which rulers from the 2000s BC record their work on temples and palaces.  These use simple language, and one can learn to read them quite quickly.

The course will teach you to read some real, authentic Sumerian in a matter of weeks.  It will also give you glimpses of the larger world of more complicated writings, such as poetry, and of the problems which beset the understanding of Sumerian at a really detailed level.

CAS is proud to offer what we believe to be the only publicly accessible course in Ugaritic found in the UK. This course presumes some knowledge of other Semitic languages (particularly adventurous students are always welcome, however!). It will introduce students to the alphabetic cuneiform writing system and initial matters pertaining to morphology, syntax, lexicon, and vocalization of this Late Bronze Age epigraphic language.

This course consists of a series of workshops that will provide students with an overview of the opportunities, challenges and expectations connected to the study of Classics subjects at the university level. We will address key aspects of the transition from high school to university, considering both attitudinal and academic perspectives. This course is structured around hands-on and skills-building workshops, and is intended for students who wish to gain insight into what they will encounter when entering the discipline. The four workshops will cover the following topics: 1) Study skills: literature reviews, commentary exercises and essay writing; 2) How to work with languages; 3) How to work with texts; and 4) How to work with material culture.

Voices Past & Present will offer a glimpse into the landscape of ancient voices and how these translate into the present. The course will run for 4 weeks in 2 weeks sub-blocks, as follows:

Block 1: Hurrian
Week 1: Historical introduction to the Hurrians and Hittites
Week 2: Introduction to Hurrian language and linguistics
Block 2: The Celts & Modern Gaelic
Week 3: Historical introduction to the Celts
Week 4: Exploring the languages of Ireland and Scotland