Books, dictionaries and texts

Most texts and materials on this site have to do with the Latin language, including its perception in popular culture: movies, tattoos, inscriptions, engravings, bits of ancient philosophy, online Latin resources and company names. There is also information about learning Latin and Greek: textbooks, dictionaries, DVDs and software that can be used in a homeschooling environment.


Previously unknown works by St. Augustine discovered

 
This story did not get the news coverage that I believe it deserved:

Not all sensational finds come out of the ground! Augustine scholars will be delighted at the news of 6 previously unknown sermons’ being discovered through a library “excavation” in Erfurt’s Bibliotheca Amploniana. Isabella Schiller and colleagues from the Austrian Academy of Sciences discovered these works while studying an 800-year-old manuscript in the summer of 2007.

Concealed in a medieval parchment manuscript amongst 70 other religious texts are ca. 26 sermons attributed to Augustine, 3 of them on brotherly love and alms-giving. These were known previously only by their titles cited in Possidius’ Indiculum. One sermon is on the martyrs Perpetua and Felicitas, and another on the recently martyred Cyprian, the latter of which condemns the copious drinking that took place on saints’ feast days. The final sermon deals with resurrection of the dead and biblical prophecies.


Unknown works of Saint Augustine found

Latin letters of C.S. Lewis

 
Tuesday, April 15, 2008, 22:16 - Books, dictionaries and texts, Church (Christian, Ecclesiastical etc.) Latin
Posted by Administrator
I pretty much knew that C.S. Lewis was a good Latinist. He sort of had to be one, given his education. Plus, Lucretius is know to have influence the writer in his early years. So, when I saw a book called "The Latin Letters of C S Lewis" it caught my attention. Unfortunately, there is not much Latin about it :( It is just a translation. Thus far I was unable to locate the original Latin text of the letters.

The history behind this publication is as follows, in case anyone's interested:

In September 1947, after reading The Screwtape Letters in Italian, Fr. Giovanni Calabria was moved to write the author, but he knew no English, so he addressed his letter in Latin. Therein began a correspondence that was to outlive Fr. Calabria himself (he died in December 1954 and was succeeded in the correspondence by Fr. Luigi Pedrollo).

List of Audio and video resources for learning New Testament Greek

 
Friday, April 11, 2008, 19:22 - Books, dictionaries and texts, Ancient Greek Language
Posted by Administrator
To my surprise, there is a plethora of free audio-visual resources available to anyone interested in learning New Testament Greek ("koine").

1. Elementary Greek with Dr. James Voelz. Audio recordings of classes at Concordia Seminary.
Go to iTunes and type Elementary Greek in the search box. Can be easily downloaded.

2. New Testament Greek with Jeff Jenkins. Videos of 'regular' classes.

3. Learning to use the Greek New Testament.
Nicely produced videos. These QuickTime files can be very conveniently downloaded.

4. Mastering New Testament eSources
Audio only, but very useful. Ted Hildebrandt has his Vocabulary Builder mp3s available online. I don't know how this compares to Pimsleur's New Testament Greek Vocabulary, but being free it cannot be that bad!

5. Readings of the Bible in Greek, Hebrew and Latin.
I find the Latin pronounciation a little bit unusual, but that unfortunately is true for just about any pronunciation you'll hear from anyone.

Latin and Greek Courses by Assimil (the "sans peine" series) -- a review

 
Wednesday, March 12, 2008, 16:37 - Books, dictionaries and texts, Ancient Greek Language, Learn Latin Language, Reviews
Posted by Administrator
Got a chance to have a look at these:

Assimil - Le Latin Sans Peine
Assimil - Le Grec Ancien Sans Peine

One needs to realize that the Greek and Latin courses are strikingly different. I believe, the Latin one is older. It resembles other Assimil courses designed for modern languages. Le Latin Sans Peine operates under a whimsical assumption that a somewhere a country exists where one frequently hears conversations such as this:

- Quanti costat locusta?
- Decem francis!
- Nimio constat.

If you happen to concur with the writers of this textbook, and also happen to know where knowledge of this kind of Latin might serve you well, good luck and bon voyage. Even as the course progresses you do not see much in terms of real Classical Latin that you perhaps wish to read one day. This is the same problem that exists the Rosetta Stone Latin course exhibits. At least in Assimil there is enough wit and solid grammar.

The Greek Assimil course is more in tune with the needs of Classical education. The audio tracks sound almost eerily authentic. I am no expert, but it sure seems that if you want to learn Attic pronunciation this is one of the best ways to do it.

As far as I know, these two courses are not available in English. It would be great to see them translated, especially the Greek one. And even if you don't know French, but are serious about learning Ancient Greek listening to the audio tracks would probably be most beneficial.

See also: Rosetta Stone review

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