Pupils of the three language sections of the EES have the option of beginning their study if Latin by enrolling in a course on the Latin language and classical civilization for 1.5 hours per week in years S2-3. Pupils learn the basics of Latin, a highly inflected language, and discover many aspects of ancient Rome : its daily life, its history and politics, and language and literature. Through reading classical texts, pupils discover common linguistic and cultural roots underlying modern European culture. The study of Latin, through its partly philological approach, also introduces pupils to a general appreciation of the structure of languages.
Pupils may subsequently choose to continue their course of Latin study in the S4-5 cycle, in an option of 3 hours per week, completes their study of the grammar and syntax of classical Latin, and brings them into close reading of a variety of ancient texts, including histories (e.g., Livy, Caesar), and poetry (e.g., Virgil, Horace).
At the end of the S5 year, pupils sit the "Kleines Latinum" examinations of the European Schools (a written examination harmonized across all schools, consisting of translation of a text of about 50 words, for which the use of a dictionary and a table of forms, the Conspectus grammaticalis, is authorized, and an oral examination covering both translation and grammatical, literary, and historical aspects of a text previously studied in class). These examinations provide the B-mark for the second semester of S5.
Pupils may again choose to re-enroll in Latin for the S6-7 cycle as one of the four-period options leading to the baccalaureate examinations. In S6, the objective is to consolidate solid understanding of Latin texts, while situating them in their social, historical, and literary contexts. Pupils may study history with Sallust and Tacitus, philosophy with Seneca, rhetoric with Cicero, and poetry with Horace, Virgil, Ovid, and Catullus.
The preparation of the baccalaureate in S7 is based on a harmonised programme of Latin texts organised around a particular author or theme, common to all the European schools (the Pensum europaeum) and set anew for each year. For the baccalaureate examination (three hours, written option only), pupils are required to translate an unseen text by the Pensum author, and to respond to questions concerning a set text from the Pensum, relating to content, social, historical, or literary context, literary analysis and appreciation, and/or comparison and contrast with other works, whether literary, visual, or architectural. Use of a dictionary and the Conspectus grammaticalis is authorized for this examination.