Why so quiet?

I’ve been working on a big project. A few really. Here are some things to look forward to from me over the rest of this year:

  • Via Latina: Words (August)
  • Imitatio Christi: The Imitation of Christ (September?)
  • Even more Gesta Romanorum! (ongoing)
  • de Senectute commentary (ongoing, hopefully early 2015)
  • Suetonius’s Vita Neronis (ongoing, hopefully late 2015)

I’m looking for an artist who can do illustrations for a project for next year. Sadly, I’m not a big budget enterprise, but the timetable is long.

Numbering the Gesta

Since the Gesta Romanorum are numbered and the numbering is a mess, I thought I’d put together a spreadsheet of various numbering systems. Oesterley seems to be the most authoritative previous editor, so I’m going with what he’s done already. No sense in reinventing the wheel. A big problem with this is that it almost seems better suited for a database than a spreadsheet. It would make for a pretty cool website, but that’s my direction of nerdiness.

Latin textbooks for younger students

This page is a collection of thumbnail reviews of several Latin texts, good, bad and ugly for younger students—perhaps middle-school aged and younger. I’ve linked titles to either the publisher’s website or amazon.com, depending on which I felt was better.

Latin for Children
3 volume set with ancillary reader and instructional DVDs

Strengths: Simple progression of the language allows parents to teach their children as they go. Skips many difficult concepts that younger students don’t need. Grammar intense and tied into Shurley grammar.
Weaknesses: Older students may feel the book is too simple for them. Lack of reading at first and some infelicities in the Latin that is written. Make sure you get newer editions if you buy used.

Minimus and Minimus Secundus
2 volume set with teachers manuals and audio CDs

Strengths: Feeds into Cambridge Latin. Reading intense. Lots of cartoons and kid-friendly graphics. Plenty of information on Roman Britain, so it can be tied in with history too.
Weakness: Less emphasis on grammar. Books are very short (about 80 pages)

Prima Latina
Latina Christiana
Latin’s Not so Tough
I know less about these, but I understand they’re more to the grammar side—as most curricula for younger students are. Students of mine have made fun of the video portions of Latina Christiana. I’ll flesh these out as I have time and exposure.

Latin is Fun
The author of this curriculum is a well-regarded Latinist. It is a little more to the reading side, though grammar is not neglected. It’s not strictly for younger students but could be a little more difficult to get.


De la Terre à la Lune

front_cover_smallSometimes a story so fantastic comes along that someone comes along to try to make it reality. De la Terre à la Lune is one of those. When Jules Verne published it in 1865, he had no idea that just over 100 years later man would walk on the moon.

No really, we did. And that fact alone gives this book an unusual feel. You can read it as an adventure story or as a comparison to the actual events. (Hint: NASA didn’t use a cannon, but they did launch from Florida.)

As always, a public domain English translation is matched up against the French original, because who wants just the translation? I’ve not yet prepared it, but the ebook will be at Scribd when I do. Just remember to buy a copy of a super fun story for yourself.

Gesta Romanorum 116

This one is hip deep in medieval Christian imagery. Itʻs not just a fun story, but a moral tale too. Well, I suppose all of the Gesta Romanorum are, but this one especially. In case you need more Gesta in your life, I’ve bundled all of them up into one collection at Scribd. (And if you think this isn’t headed to a book when I’ve got enough of these, you’re wrong.)

Gesta Romanorum 116 – de Unicornu Et Puteo Et Peccatore by sipes23

Consolatio Philosophiae

So you’re in jail. The authorities want your life as payment for your crime. What do you do? Personally, I might pretend to read for a bit while freaking out on the inside. Boethius? Dude writes a philosophical treatise with a mention of a game show metaphor for life: the Wheel of Fortune.

No need to sweat just the translation. We’ve got the whole glorious Latin text AND English translation in one convenient volume over at Amazon. Open Source Classics keeps it dirt cheap as usual. A very generous preview (50% I think, and cheap for full access) of an e-book is at Scribd (NOTE: not yet, I’m working on it still). I’m not going the Kindle route just yet because of the parallel text.

Il Principe

front_coverAs if the nightly news weren’t enough, the politicians all seem to be following the same playbook. Time to even the score by reading their playbook. Open Source Classics delivers again.

Niccoló Machiavelli was having a down stretch in his career. In order to get back in the good graces of the Medici family, he wrote a how-to manual on politics.

If you’re here, you don’t want to read just some rotten old translation (but you want that too, of course). No, you want the original Italian text too. Amazon to the rescue. A very generous preview (50% I think, and cheap for full access) of an e-book is at Scribd. I’m not going the Kindle route just yet because of the parallel text.


Utopia, Vtopia. Let’s not call the whole thing off. The first volume of the Open Source Classics series is St. Sir Thomas More’s Utopia. (St. Sir! How many other people get to say that?) It’s first because I love Utopia.

What’s not to love? Attacking King Henry VIII was so politically dangerous that More had to write in Latin and publish on the continent. So More went and did it. Then there’s the over the top description of what the Utopians do.

If you’re looking for the original Latin of More’s Utopia and an English translation, this is for you. Just head on over to Amazon for a copy. A very generous preview (50% I think, and cheap for full access) of an e-book is at Scribd. I’m not going the Kindle route just yet because of the parallel text.