George SharpleyCourses in Classical Latin

with George Sharpley
[email protected]

Next courses start week commencing 23rd September 2024

Courses are taught on weekday evenings (6.30-7.45pm).

Recordings of each session will be available for 3 weeks afterwards.

There will be various starting levels. See the different courses below:

Accelerated Latin for beginners

We read excerpts from writers such as Cicero, Virgil, Livy, Suetonius and other classical authors, whose voices weave a narrative of the history of Rome, starting with the early myths and legends, and reaching the rule of early emperors. Along the way we explore historical, cultural and social aspects of their times, and you’ll be able to enjoy the poetry of Virgil, Ovid and others. The language content assumes participants are beginners, but many on this course are rusty returners. Expect a steeper climb into the grammar than you’ll find in some beginners’ courses. The course we follow is my Complete Latin Course.

Existing groups may also be (re)starting at the same time, so if you are more experienced let me know and I will try to find the best fit for you.


Latin for complete beginners

Depending on the student intake at the start-up points, there may be an additional beginners’ course, this one geared for total beginners. This course follows Get Started in Latin.

The classes focus on key language skills for newcomers, with an engaging narrative to help practise each topic. This course is suitable for students of both classical and medieval literatures.


Read a Latin story!

A fun course, following a story, which starts at a very basic level and rises rapidly through the gears. Ideal for revision!


Reading Latin poems

A short course to learn the principles of reading aloud the verse of Virgil, Ovid and others. (This course is free.)

Course details and fees

The course fee for 2024/5 is £98 for the 10 weeks.

The courses are online. You do not need to download any software, although you’ll need to be able to access the internet.

Recordings of online classes are available for at least three weeks afterwards.

Courses start in September and January.

To enrol or get more information, contact George ([email protected]).

Enrollers will be sent relevant bank details for payment of the fee (£98 for the 10 weeks). You will also need to purchase the coursebook, although PDFs will be made available for the first two weeks.

Reading Latin poems is a shorter course, and is free. 

Course teacher: George Sharpley

“I have worked in languages all my life, and Latin in particular. A former university teacher of Latin, I’ve created different sorts of learning materials and course-books. I am especially hooked on the poetry, which I try to share where I can. It’s ironic that a language which has not exactly been on many people’s lips these past two thousand years should stand out for the beauty of its voice. Come and hear for yourself!”


“Chasing Shadows”

A stage-play adapted from Ovid’s Metamorphoses

Click here for more

The Song of Arms and a Man (performance)

“A brilliant dramatisation – warm, witty, bloody and cruel – and a sensational performance.” Prof. Tim Whitmarsh (at Cambridge)

“The Song of Arms and a Man was an enthralling and unique dramatisation of Virgil’s Aeneid … very easy to follow regardless of how much or little Latin each person knew … I cannot recommend this performance enough.” Safa Malik, The Virgil Society Newsletter, May 2023 (at King’s College, London

“ Phenomenal. Lots of our students were in the audience – thank you for inspiring them. I was spellbound.” Guildford High School (at Charterhouse)

The Latin Qvarter’s presentation of Virgil’s Aeneid is read by Emma Kirkby, Matthew Hargreaves, Ben Cartlidge and Maria Roddis. George Sharpley’s adaptation of a rarely heard masterpiece echoes the ancient culture of public performance of poetry, and is accompanied with live ancient music by aulos-player Callum Armstrong. The performance brings the thrilling epic alive, telling the story of Aeneas’ struggle to fulfil his destiny as founder of Rome – from his escape from the burning ruins of Troy to his asylum and heart-breaking affair with the Carthaginian queen Dido and then his reluctant war with the inhabitants of his fated homeland of Italy. Selections of Virgil’s epic verse are read in the original Latin interspersed with an English narration which tells the whole story of the poem. This innovative and acclaimed presentation was first performed in Gloucester in 2018, and since at Bristol, Oxford, Charterhouse, Cambridge, King’s College London, and is coming to University College London (10th November 2023)