Quotes About Latin
'liberate te ex inferis'...save yourself from hell.|
the primus inter pares or first among equals.
JM Latin English Dictionary This is the dream-come-true Latin Dictionary for all "Latin lovers" out there. Browse through this amazing pearl of Latin to English dictionary and enjoy moments of rich Latin terms, Latin phrases and Latin expressions.
The Death of the Republic By Chris Hedges [best journalist extant in my opinion] May 22, 2017 "Information Clearing House"
The deep state’s decision in ancient Rome—dominated by a bloated military and a corrupt oligarchy, much like the United States of 2017—to strangle the vain and idiotic Emperor Commodus in his bath in the year 192 did not halt the growing chaos and precipitous decline of the Roman Empire.
Commodus, like a number of other late Roman emperors, and like President Trump, was incompetent and consumed by his own vanity. He commissioned innumerable statues of himself as Hercules and had little interest in governance. He used his position as head of state to make himself the star of his own ongoing public show. He fought victoriously as a gladiator in the arena in fixed bouts. Power for Commodus, as it is for Trump, was primarily about catering to his bottomless narcissism, he'ism and lust for wealth. He sold public offices so the ancient equivalents of Betsy DeVos and Steve Mnuchin could orchestrate a vast kleptocracy.
Commodus was replaced by the reformer Pertinax, the Bernie Sanders of his day, who attempted in vain to curb the power of the Praetorian Guards, the ancient version of the military-industrial complex. This effort saw the Praetorian Guards assassinate Pertinax after he was in power only three months. The Guards then auctioned off the office of emperor to the highest bidder.
The next emperor, Didius Julianus, lasted 66 days. There would be five emperors in A.D. 193, the year after the assassination of Commodus. Trump and our decaying empire have ominous historical precedents. If the deep state replaces Trump, whose ineptitude and imbecility are embarrassing to the empire, that action will not restore our democracy any more than replacing Commodus restored democracy in Rome. Our republic is dead.
When the Roman Emperor Augustus—he referred to himself as the “first citizen”—neutered the republic, he was careful to maintain the form of the old republic. Lenin and the Bolsheviks did the same when they seized and crushed the autonomous soviets. Even the Nazis and the Stalinists insisted they ruled democratic states. Thomas Paine wrote that despotic government is a fungus that grows out of a corrupt civil society. This is what happened to these older democracies. It is what happened to us.
Our constitutional rights—due process, habeas corpus, privacy, a fair trial, freedom from exploitation, fair elections and dissent—have been taken from us by judicial fiat. These rights exist only in name. The vast disconnect between the purported values of the state and reality renders political discourse absurd.
Corporations, cannibalizing the federal budget, legally empower themselves to exploit and pillage. It is impossible to vote against the interests of Goldman Sachs or ExxonMobil. The pharmaceutical and insurance industries can hold sick children hostage while their parents bankrupt themselves trying to save their sons or daughters. Those burdened by student loans can never wipe out the debt by declaring bankruptcy. In many states, those who attempt to publicize the conditions in the vast factory farms where diseased animals are warehoused for slaughter can be charged with a criminal offense. Corporations legally carry out tax boycotts. Companies have orchestrated free trade deals that destroy small farmers and businesses and deindustrialize the country.
Labor unions and government agencies designed to protect the public from contaminated air, water and food and from usurious creditors and lenders have been defanged. The Supreme Court, in an inversion of rights worthy of George Orwell, defines unlimited corporate contributions to electoral campaigns as a right to petition the government or a form of free speech. Much of the press, owned by large corporations, is an echo chamber for the elites. State and city enterprises and utilities are sold to corporations that hike rates and deny services to the poor. The educational system is being slowly privatized and turned into a species of vocational training.
"... not to know Latin is to have missed an admirable training in precise and logical thought" (Simmons, xii).
"... the knowledge of Latin was the only light of learning that burned steadily through the dark ages that followed the downfall of the Roman Empire. Latin was the common language of scholars and remained so even down to the days of Shakespeare. Even yet [today] it is more nearly than any other tongue the universal language of the learned" (D'ooge, pp. 2-3).
"You live a new life for every new language you speak. If you know only one language, you live only once." (Czech proverb)
"The limits of my language are the limits of my universe." (Ludwig Wittgenstein)
"It seems to be impossible to live in constant communion with the first minds of antiquity and not imbibe something of the spirit of moderation, of self-control, of cautious wisdom, that breathes through their counsels" (Gildersleeve, 22).
"... it was the Romans, not the Greeks, who ensured the survival of that intellectual heritage underlying liberal learning and classical education. The Romans created much of the intellectual tradition we appeal to today" (Simmons, 61).
"Latin, as the language of law and imperium, made for cultural unity, its lapidary grandeur raising it far above the regional tongues evolving throughout the Dark and Middle Ages. Latin acted as a pan-European language" (Simmons, 83).
"Leonardo Bruni D'Arezzo, in his De Studiis et Literis,] claimed a "sound and thorough knowledge of Latin" to be "the foundation of all true learning," along with its being a "study marked by a broad spirit, accurate scholarship, and careful attention to details." The language must be learned completely. And, in doing so, educated men and women would also drink in "fine taste"... Reading was not to be broad or "inclusive," but good: it should consist of the best. For the best authors, Bruni wrote, supply students with "tests of correctness." They show us what is rightly admired and wisely emulated" (Simmons, 95).
"Within the two literatures of Greece and Rome are contained all the knowledge that we recognize as vital to mankind" (Desiderius Erasmus, late 15th century)."
"I've found Latin fluency more valuable myself than any other subject I ever studied: vocabulary, logic, world-building, history, culture, reasoning and general knowledge. I can read scientific texts in subjects I never studied...because to me the scientific jargon makes perfect sense" (C.J. Cherryh, 1999...http://www.cherryh.com/www/latin1.htm).
"Today when few can read the ancient languages, we neglect the surviving texts, that even now could astonish and instruct" (Why Study Classics article by Karl Maurer).
"In learning a language, the chief difficulty consists in making acquaintance with every idea which it expresses, even though it should use words for which there in no exact equivalent in the mother tongue; and this often happens. In learning a new language a man has, as it were, to mark out in his mind the boundaries of quite new spheres of ideas, with the result that spheres of ideas arise where none were before. Thus he not only learns words, he gets ideas too.
"This is nowhere so much the case as in learning ancient languages, for the differences they present in their mode of expression as compared with modern languages is greater than can be found amongst modern languages as compared with one another. This is shown by the fact that in translating into Latin, recourse must be had to quite other turns of phrase than are used in the original. The thought that is to be translated has to be melted down and recast; in other words, it must be analyzed and then recomposed. It is just this process which makes the study of the ancient languages contribute so much to the education of the mind.
"It follows from this that a man's thought varies according to the language in which he speaks. His ideas undergo a fresh modification, a different shading, as it were, in the study of every new language. Hence an acquaintance with many languages is not only of much indirect advantage, but it is also a direct means of mental culture, in that it corrects and matures ideas by giving prominence to their many-sided nature and their different varieties of meaning, as also that it increases dexterity of thought; for in the process of learning many languages, ideas become more and more independent of words. The ancient languages effect this to a greater degree than the modern, in virtue of the difference to which I have alluded" (from Arthur Schopenhauer, "On the Study of Latin" at http://www.udallasclassics.org/whyClassics.html#a).
"Even as mere languages, no modern European language is so valuable a discipline to the intellect as those of Greece and Rome, on account of their regular and complicated structure. Consider for a moment what grammar is. It is the most elementary part of logic. It is the beginning of the analysis of the thinking process...
"But the superiority of the literature itself, for purposes of education, is still more marked and decisive. Even in the substantial value of the matter of which it is the vehicle, it is very far from having been superseded... the treasure which they accumulated of what may be called the wisdom of life: the rich store of experience of human nature and conduct, which the acute and observing minds of those ages, aided in their observations by the greater simplicity of manners and life, consigned to their writings, and most of which retains all its value The speeches in Thucydides: the Rhetoric, Ethics, and Politics of Aristotle, the Dialogues of Plato: the Orations of Demosthenes: the Satires, and especially the Epistles of Horace, all the wntings of Tacitus: the great work of Quintilian, a repertory of the best thoughts of the ancient world on all subjects connected with education: and, in a less formal manner, all that is left to us of the ancient historians, orators, philosophers, and even dramatists, are replete with remarks and maxims of singular good sense and penetration, applicable both to political and to private life. and the actual truths we find in them are even surpassed in value by the encouragement and help they give us in the pursuit of truth" (from James Stuart Mill, "On the Study of Classics" at http://www.udallasclassics.org/whyClassics.html#c).
"Latin is now no longer a universal language; and the direct influence of ancient Rome, which once seemed like an immortal energy, is at last, like all energies, becoming slowly absorbed in its own results. Yet the Latin language is still the necessary foundation of one half of human knowledge, and the forms created by Roman genius underlie the whole of our civilisation... In Greece men first learned to be human: under Rome mankind first learned to be civilised. Law, government, citizenship, are all the creations of the Latin race. ( from J. W. Mackail, Professor of Poetry at Oxford (1906-11), official at the Ministry of Education (1884-1919), President of the British Academy (1932-6), translator, author of many works on ancient literature, especially Vergil. at http://www.udallasclassics.org/whyClassics.html#f).
"The elements of Latin exhibit a peculiarly plain concrete case of language as a structure. Provided that your mind has grown to the level of that idea, the fact stares you in the face" (from Alfred North Whitehead, a great British mathematician and philosopher. This passage is from Ch. V. "The Place of Classics in Education", in The Aims of Education and Other Essays. New York: The Free Press, 1929. Found at http://www.udallasclassics.org/whyClassics.html#g).
"Of its very nature Latin is most suitable for promoting every form of culture among peoples. It gives rise to no jealousies. It does not favour any one nation, but presents itself with equal impartiality to all, and is equally acceptable to all. Nor must we overlook the characteristic nobility of Latin's formal structure. Its 'concise, varied, and harmonious style, full of majesty and dignity', it makes for singular clarity and impressiveness of expression.
"There can be no doubt as to the formative and educational value of the language of the Romans and of great literature generally. It is a most effective training for the pliant minds of youth. It exercises, matures and perfects the principal faculties of mind and spirit. It sharpens the wits and gives keenness of judgment. It helps the young mind to grasp things accurately, and develop a true sense of values. It is also a means for teaching highly intelligent thought and speech.
"'It is a matter of regret', We said, 'that so many people, unaccountably dazzled by the marvellous progress of science, are taking it upon themselves to oust or restrict the study of Latin and other kindred subjects ... Yet in spite of the urgent need for science, Our own view is that the very contrary policy should be followed. The greatest impression is made on the mind by those things which correspond more closely to man's nature and dignity, and therefore the greater zeal should be shown in the acquisition of whatever educates and enobles the mind" (from Pope John XXIII, "APOSTOLIC CONSTITUTION ON PROMOTING THE STUDY OF LATIN. At http://www.udallasclassics.org/whyClassics.html#j).
"...if I were asked what, of all the things I was ever taught, has been of the greatest practical use to me, I should have to answer: the Latin Grammar.
"An early grounding in the Latin Grammar has these advantages:
"1. It is the quickest and easiest way to gain mastery over one's own language, because it supplies the structure upon which all language is built.
"2. Latin is the key to fifty per cent. of our vocabulary—either directly, or through French and other Romance languages.
"3. Latin is the key to all the Romance languages directly, and indirectly to all inflected languages. The sort of argument which continually crops up in correspondence upon the teaching of Latin is: "Why should children waste time learning a dead language when Spanish or what-have-you would be much more useful to him in business?" The proper answer, which is practically never given, is the counter-question: "Why should a child waste time learning half a dozen languages from scratch, when Latin would enable him to learn them all in a fraction of the time?"
"4. The literature of our own country and of Europe is so studded and punctuated with Latin phrases and classical allusions that without some knowledge of Latin it must be very difficult to make anything of it.
"5. There is also the matter of derivation, as distinct from vocabulary. I cannot help feeling that it is wholesome, for example, to know that "civility" has some connection with the civitas; that "justice" is more closely akin to righteousness than to equality; and that there was once some dim and forgotten connection between reality and thought" (from Dorothy Sayers. "Latin grammar: the most practical subject" --Dorothy Sayers was an English writer of detective novels and a superb translator of, and good commentator on, Dante. Her father, who taught her Latin, was the dean of Christ's Church, Oxford. Found at http://www.udallasclassics.org/whyClassics.html#h).
“Until the twentieth century, anyone in England who had any kind of education at all had an education in the classics,” [Jasper] said. “Until the university reforms of the eighteen-seventies, all education at Oxford and Cambridge was in that tradition. And, yes, it is true that a lot of English literature is influenced by the classics. Dr. Johnson wrote poems in Latin. Marlowe translated big chunks of the Aeneid, and his ‘Dido, Queen of Carthage’ contains bits out of its fourth book. Milton wrote a lot of poems in Latin, and the whole style of ‘Paradise Lost’ is really unintelligible unless one knows Latin and is familiar with Latin epics. Dryden and Pope were the greatest of translators from the Latin and Greek. Pope made his name and fortune translating Homer, and his best poems are explicit imitations of classical poets. He wrote these marvellous poems called ‘Imitations of Horace.’ People like Wordsworth, Coleridge, and Shelley were all very keen on Greek. Keats was perhaps an exception. He wasn’t a gent—he was mostly self-educated—but he picked up as much Greek as he could. In fact, it may have meant more to him because he learned it himself. Tennyson was tremendously keen on Virgil and wrote a very fine poem on him. Arthur Hugh Clough wrote English poems in hexameters. Matthew Arnold was a considerable scholar of the classics, and Gerard Manley Hopkins wrote poems in Latin, which you have no doubt seen in the back of the collected poems. Eliot knew the classics pretty well, too. He was very much interested in Heraclitus and Virgil. There’s not much Greek and Latin in his poems, though—there’s more French. Louis MacNeice read Greats at Merton. The truth is that if you want to study English literature at all, even that of the twentieth century, you have to know some of the classics...
"...a good classical education will produce a mind that is capable of stretching itself. A less rigorous education will produce a less elastic mind...
"Studying that world [Greece and Rome] is bound to be educational, because most people are imprisoned in the tyranny of the present; they imagine that things must always have been the way they are now" (From Jasper Griffin, "On a Classical Education." Found at http://www.udallasclassics.org/whyClassics.html#n --- Jasper Griffin is an Oxford classicist, educated at Christ's Hospital and Balliol College, Oxford [founded by one of my ancestors-Colby] and the author of (among other things) a splendid book called Homer on Life and Death).
"You asked me what is the good of reading the Gospels in Greek.
(from Czeslaw Milosz (1911-2004) found at http://www.udallasclassics.org/whyClassics.html).
"But I have never gone away from them. How can an educated person stay away from the Greeks? I have always been far more interested in them than in science." —Albert Einstein
"All the more strange, then, is it that we should wish to know Greek, try to know Greek, feel for ever drawn back to Greek, and be forever making up some notion of the meaning of Greek, though from what incongruous odds and ends, with what slight resemblance to the real meaning of Greek, who shall say?" — Virginia Woolf
"I would make them all learn English: and then I would let the clever ones learn Latin as an honor, and Greek as a Treat." — Sir Winston Churchill
"I would make them all learn English: and then I would let the clever ones learn Latin as an honor, and Greek as a Treat." — Sir Winston Churchill
"It took Latin to thrust me into bona fide alliance with words in their true meaning. Learning Latin...fed my love for words upon words, words in continuation and modification, and the beautiful accretion of a sentence...." — Eudora Welty
"It allows you to adore words, take them apart and find out where they came from." — Theodore Geisel (Dr. Seuss)
"I continue to keep myself busy with Greek and Latin, and perhaps I'll always keep myself busy with them. I love the perfume of those beautiful languages; Tacitus is for me like bronze bas-reliefs, and Homer is beautiful like the Mediterranean: both have the same pure blue waves, the same sun, and the same horizon." — Gustave Flaubert
"We are all Greeks! Our laws, our literature, our art, have their roots in Greece." — Percy Bysshe Shelley
"One of the regrets of my life is that I did not study Latin. I'm absolutely convinced, the more I understand these eighteenth-century people, that it was that grounding in Greek and Latin that gave them their sense of the classic virtues: the classic ideals of honor, virtue, the good society and their historic examples of what they could try to live up to." — David McCullough, Historian and author
"To read the Latin and Greek authors in their original is a sublime luxury...I thank on my knees him who directed my early education for having in my possession this rich source of delight." —Thomas Jefferson to Dr. Joseph Priestly January 27, 1800.
"I think myself more indebted to my father for this than for all the other luxuries his cares and affections placed within my reach." — Thomas Jefferson, on his classical education.
"The Romans were a notoriously practical culture. In comparison the Greeks were highly inquisitive of the world about them almost to the point of being interested in the mathematical method of this or that problem rather than its actual result. Great deals of knowledge were also amassed in Egypt which with its thousands of years of investigation had gathered a considerable body of knowledge in a number of scientific areas, including the heavens. The greatest library of the age was at the famous city of Alexandria in Egypt (see image) (from Maria Milani, at http://www.mariamilani.com/ancient_rome/ancient_roman_libraries.htm).
The Saturnalia was by far the most popular holiday in ancient Rome. The poet Catullus (Poems, 14.15) called it the optimus dierum (the best of days). It lasted from three to seven days (it kept getting longer as the years went by). In the end, the celebration occurred during the period December 17-25. Climaxing on December 25, the Dies Natalis Solis Invicti (the Birthday of the Unconquered Sun), the festival, in honor of the god Saturn, included customs that should be familiar to us all: intoxication (egg nog), going from house to house singing (caroling), sexual license (Christmas office parties), eating human-shaped cookies (gingerbread men), and exchanging inexpensive gifts (secret Santa gift exchanges). Children received toys as gifts.(by John Knighton. http://newstoa.info/spip.php?page=article&id_article=146).
No other language has managed to interwoven itself in the lives and cultures of Western Europe as the Latin language. Its vocabulary, spelling and sounds are still very much alive in the Literature and tongues of various peoples in Europe (Free Latin Dictionary).
D'ooge, Benjamin L. Latin for Beginners. Boston, Ginn & Co., 1909.
Gildersleeve, Basil Lanneau. Essays and Studies. Baltimore: N. Murray, 1890.
Simmons, Tracy Lee. Climbing Parnassus: A New Apologia for Greek and Latin. Wilmington, Delaware, ISI Books, 2012.
Free Latin Dictionary best according to Benny Lewis
Advice for Learning Foreign-Language Vocabulary This is for learning Latin, but it has a lot of great tips.
Learning Greek/Latin public domain textbooks, dictionaries, blog for the autodidact
Latin I: The Easy Way by C.J. Cherryh
Loeb Classical Library all the classics in English and Latin/Greek
DOML Medieval texts in Latin and English
I Tatti Renaissance texts in Latin and English
Lingua Latina a series of exceptional textbooks by Hans Orberg. He uses a very unique method of teaching Latin. If you want to try this method, be sure to purchase Lingua Latina Per Se Illustrata, Pars I: Familia Romana, A College Companion: Based on Hans Oerberg's Latine Disco, with Vocabulary and Grammar (Lingua Latina) by Jeanne Marie Neumann, plus a good paperback Latin dictionary to get you started. You should be able to build up enough vocabulary to proceed to reading Latin authors.
Aristarchus.it a set of working tools for research and teaching in the subject area of Greek and Latin ancient world. Available in English
Vis-Ed Review These are vocabulary study cards for French, German, Spanish (generally, choose the bilingual Spanish-English edition rather than the classical Spanish edition), Greek (both classical and biblical), Hebrew (biblical), Italian, Latin, and Russian. Each, very inexpensive set includes about 1,000 flash cards (1 1/2"x 3 1/2" each) and a study guide containing simple instructions and a mini-dictionary, all packaged in a sturdy box. Extra helps, such as the principal parts of irregular verbs, are shown on the cards. Many words (in the Spanish set reviewed) have related forms that appear as nouns, verbs, and adjectives, so all are shown on the cards. For instance, the noun "el calor" (heat) has an adjectival form—"caluroso/a" which is also on the card. The foreign language is printed in black on one side, and the English equivalent is printed on the reverse in green. Use these cards to review and expand vocabulary for any of the above languages.
After you have learned 3,000 to 4,000 Latin words and gained a familiarity with the grammar, you should be able to proceed to reading Latin authors. I find this a much better way to continue (rather than going through many textbooks). Seneca and Vergil are good ones to start with. And I recommend the Loeb editions at first.
Hacking Latin memrise course for those who want familiarise themselves with the basics of spoken Latin.
Latin words list - Ovid and Caesar memrise course
Common Latin Phrases memrise course
Latin Grammar memrise course
Diederich's Latin Vocabulary memrise course
Livy Vocabulary memrise course
200 Latin Phrases memrise course
Level 2 Vocabulary memrise course
Complete Ovid Metamorphoses Vocabulary memrise course - This is the complete Ovid Met vocab. New levels for each book will be released shortly. There are 15 books in the entire Metamorphoses, each with about 700 lines of Latin. This is very useful for all A2 level students.
Lingua Latina Pars I Familia Romana memrise course
Aeneid memrise course - Virgil : Aeneid XII (lines 697-765, 887-952) GCSE Latin Set Text, Verse Note: The translations are of what the word means in context. e.g. 'cognosco' means 'get to know', but I have put the translation as 'have a sense of, become aware of', as this is what the word means in the context of the story.
Intermediate Latin memrise course
Sententiae Antiquae memrise course - For practicing your Latin skills
Reading Latin Vocabulary memrise course - The learning vocabulary of Jones and Sidwell's 'Reading Latin', grouped by section.
Latin and Greek Roots memrise course
Aeneid memrise course - This course will test you on all of the vocabulary in the passage assigned to the OCR Latin GCSE course 2012-14 (Literature, Poetry, Vigil's Aeneid Lines 607-765 & 887-952). The vocab is split into 20 sections and in the order of the english translation.
Virgil's Aeneid memrise course - vocabulary in alphabetical order
Vergil Aeneid memrise course - Vocabulary for Vergil's Aeneid, starting with book One
Hard Little Words memrise course
Cicero: Verres et Cleomenes memrise course
50 Essential Verbs memrise course
Prefixes and Suffixes memrise course
G.LA.DI.VS blog in Latin
Arepo Books offers books in Latin and other foreign languages such as German, French and Italian. We bring rare and out of print books back at reasonable prices.
Advanced Papyrological Information System Greek and Roman documents
American Classical League founded in 1919 for the purpose of fostering the study of classical languages in the United States and Canada
The Ancient Etruscans, Their Origins, Culture and Downfall "The historical role of Etruria and its people, the Etruscans, was one of alphabet, manufacture, art and religion rather than of politics. Their younger neighbours, the Romans, assimilated much of the Etruscans, including their territories, but certainly not their socio-political structure."
Aquae Urbis Romae, The Waters of the City of Rome
Attalus - Over 25,000 links to Greek & Latin authors on the web Greek and Roman history 322 - 36 B.C. - site contains detailed lists of events and sources for the history of the Hellenistic world and the Roman republic. It includes links to online translations of many of the sources, as well as new translations of some works which have not previously been easily available in English... detailed information about the written sources for Greek and Roman history in the period between the conquests of Alexander the Great and the start of the Roman Empire. Its geographical scope is Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East
Centre for the Study of Ancient Documents
Classical Language Instruction Program audio clip of scholars reading classical works in Latin and Greek; excellent way to learn about hexameter
CLASSICS page of links
Classics, a definnition Wikipedia
Classics Unveiled Roman mythology, culture, history, and Latin language
The Confessions of St. Augustine an electronic edition, some in Latin, much in English
Corpus Scriptorum Latinorum Latin texts in typing font, no aids; translations sometimes available separately. Medieval and Renaissance texts included.
Diotima women and gender in the ancient world
Educational Resources: Classics
Electronic Resources for Classicists
Evolution of Alphabets shows the evolution of Cuneiform, Phoenician, Greek, Arabic, Aramaic, Hebrew, Cyrillic and Latin alphabets into their modern versions
Forma Urbis Romae Project enormous marble map of Rome carved between 203-211 CE and covered an entire wall inside the Templum Pacis in Rome
Forum Romanum Includes Corpus Scriptorum Latinorum, Private Life of the Romans, Surgical Instruments in Greek and Roman Times, and Outlines of Roman History.
Greco-Roman Authors, Classics Archive "Select an author from the list below to see a list of works by that author. Then, select one of the titles to view the work or follow the "Read discussion" link to participate in a discussion about the work" -- large selection of authors available, including Aeschylus, Aesop, Homer, Horace, Josephus, Livy, Aristotle, Ovid, Julius Caesar, Cicero, Plutarch, Tacitus, many more
Hadrian's Wall "the most important monument built by the Romans in Britain. It is the best known frontier in the entire Roman Empire and stands as a reminder of past glories of one of the world's greatest civilisations. Designated a World Heritage Site in 1987, Hadrian's Wall ranks alongside the Taj Mahal and other treasures of the great wonders of the world"
Internet Medieval Sourcebook history and full texts
Internet Renaissance Sourcebook includes history and full texts
IntraText Digital Library: Lingua Latina free Latin texts for reading online or downloading
Latin Literature links to full text works
Latin the Way Romans Learned it
Latina litteratura free online texts for reading or downloading in Latin
Maria Milani we try to cover as many aspects as possible of all that is Rome or Roman
Notes on Roman Politics pages on different historical and cultural topics, including Roman slavery; the rebellion of Spartacus; Julius Caesar, Antony, Octavian, and Cleopatra; Augustus and Tiberius; Caligula; Roman Republican government; Roman social classes; the Roman army; chariot racing; gladitorial games; theatrical entertainment; and more
Okeanos ancient near eastern studies [okeanos means primeval ocean in ancient Greek)
*Perseus Digital Library, Primary Texts in original languages. Texts come with many aids, including vocabulary, in the right column. Clicking on any word in the text brings up all kinds of information.
Perseus Latin and Greek Vocabulary Tool "Did you ever wonder how many words Virgil uses in the Aeneid? Ever think about whether Aeschylus or Sophocles has a bigger vocabulary? How about what words someone needs to know to read Caesar or Xenophon?"
Reading Classics Gateway
Resources for Language Students dictionaries and web resources
Retiarius: Commentarii Periodici Latini Latin only online journal
The Roman Empire in the First Century a PBS special report -- the empire, the people, the social order, life in those times
Roman Imperial Forums about the forums built by Rome's Emperors with special focus on their restoration; includes 3D movie tour of two forums; available in Italian and English
Rome, Ancient - Military Equipment
Rome, Ancient - The Romans BBC
Seven Wonders of the Ancient World
*Textkit resources for studying Latin and Greek... aimed at autodidacts... the books cannot be browsed online, only downloaded... see Perseus Digital Library for many of the same titles.
The Latin Library Latin texts, most public domain, available for reading online or downloading. Large font.
Trajan's Column an in-depth study of the column and the practices of Roman stone carvers; includes huge database of images, cartoons of the carvings and much more
Vindolanda Tablets records of life in Roman Britain in the area of northern England around Hadrian's Wall during the first and second centuries AD
VRoma "a virtual community for teaching and learning classics" - includes a MOO called "Eamus VRomam!"
A Survey of the Manuscripts of some Ancient Authors Greek and Latin
The Tertullian Project by Roger Pearse. Tertullian was the first Christian writer to write in Latin... His writing is aggressive, sarcastic and brilliant, and at points very funny even after 2000 years... His erudition was immense. Much of what he read is lost, but what remains gives a picture of wide reading, which was celebrated even in antiquity.
"He who lives only to benefit himself confers on the world a benefit when he dies." -Tertullian, quoted by Jung.
Nec ratio enim sine bonitate ratio est, nec bonitas sine ratione bonitas ... -Tertullian
Reason without goodness is not reason, and goodness without reason is not goodness.
Nihil enim mali necessarium. Nothing that is evil is necessary. Est sapor et in paucis. There is power also in brevity. The Internet Classics Archive
Palaeography learning materials (free course) U. of Lon'.
Links to Palaeography
A Loeb Classical Library Reader by Judith Moore. Jump in. Feel the shift in energy and tone from Aristophanes on sex to Xenophon on stranded mercenaries in Babylon.
"Every society has its rules and norms, and they just happen to be different in various societies. The Greeks were actually pretty prudish, except in some contexts, they did allow open expression of sexuality in some religious context and in comedies. They didn't have a sexualized culture in the same way that we do.
"It's always in service of larger themes. But it must have been all the funnier because the outlets were so restricted. I think that modern western culture is overloaded with erotic imagery in advertising and sexual situations in literature and television and films. It's just not special. Among the Greeks, twice a year, you could see comedies that had a pretty open expression of sexual situations and language, but only then."
The Georgics of Virgil: Bilingual Edition John Dryden called Virgil's Georgics, written between 37 and 30 BCE, "the best poem by the best poet." The poem, newly translated by the poet and translator David Ferry, is one of the great songs, maybe the greatest we have, of human accomplishment in difficult -- and beautiful -- circumstances, and in the context of all we share in nature. The Georgics celebrates the crops, trees, and animals, and, above all, the human beings who care for them. It takes the form of teaching about this care: the tilling of fields, the tending of vines, the raising of the cattle and the bees. There's joy in the detail of Virgil's descriptions of work well 'e, and ecstatic joy in his praise of the very life of things, and passionate commiseration too, because of the vulnerability of men and all other creatures, with all they have to contend with: storms, and plagues, and wars, and all mischance.
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Bibliotheca Scriptorum Graecorum et Romanorum Teubneriana the most thorough modern collection ever published of ancient (and some medieval) Greco-Roman literature... consists of critical editions by leading scholars (now always with a full critical apparatus on each page
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Unit 1 1. Hic est Sorex. Hic est Gaius. 2. Sorex: “Ego sum Sorex. Non sum Gaius.” 3. Ita est. 4. Gaius: “Tu es Sorex. Gaius non es.” 5. Ubi estis? Hic sumus. Ibi sunt Gaius et Sorex. Sorex: Ubi sumus? Quid hoc est? Gaius: Quid est? He peers through the doorway of a seemingly aban'ed house. Flamma! Sorex: Optime, haec est flamma. Et hoc, quid est? Gaius: Mensa est. Sorex: Ita est. Haec mensa est. Ibi sunt flamma et mensa. Singular Plural Person Person Person sum – I am es – you are est – he, she, it is sumus – we are estis – you are sunt – they are Vocabulary flamma flame, fire hic m, haec f, hoc n this mensa table ego I (emphasizing) ubi where tu you ibi there optime adv. very good, excellent quid? what? et and, also hic here ita est so it is (meaning YES) Unit 2 Gaius: Sed quid hoc est, Sorex? Est-ne mensa? Sorex: Haec non est mensa. Gaius: Est-ne flamma? Sorex: Haec flamma non est. Gaius: Littera-ne est? Sorex: Ita est. Haec non est flamma, non est mensa, sed est littera. Gaius:Huc ades, Sorex! Haec est A littera. Quid est A? Sorex: A est Aulus. Rapax: Suddenly standing behind them: Ita! Nam Aulus ad-est. Sorex: Quis es? Non-ne ab-est Aulus? Rapax: Ego Aulus sum. Non absum. Huc adeste! Sorex runs away. Gaius: Quid est, Sorex? Sorex: Apage! Praestat abesse. Rapax looks threateningly so Gaius also runs away. Vocabulary ad-esse to be present, help, aid Huc ades! Come here! ab-esse to be absent sed but littera letter (of the alphabet) nam for, because quis? who? Apage! Run away! huc to here, hither praestat It’s better Unit 3 Slaves Mordax and Staphyla are sent to find Gaius the missing son of their master. Quid hic videtis? Hic est Mordax. Nonne hoc videtis? Video. Et haec est Staphyla. Ibi Sorex apparet, ut videmus. Mordax: Quid est hoc? Quid video? Huc ades, Staphyla! Staphyla: Quid vides, Mordax? Mordax: Ibi est Sorex. Yelling: Sorex, appare! Mordax et Staphyla adsumus. Te videmus. Staphyla: Salve, Sorex. Hic apparet. Gaius: Ubi est Gaius? Apparet. Mordax et Staphyla eum vident. Staphyla: Salve multum! Ut vales? Gaius: Non bene valeo, quod te video. Sorex monet: Tacere debemus, quod Aulus Rapax prope est. Staphyla: Quis? Gaius: Hahae, Rapax adest. Mordax: Tacete! Sorex et Staphyla parent; sed Gaius: Quid? Tu me admones? Tu me admonere non debes; vale, Mordax! Valete, Sorex et Staphyla! He runs away feeling insulted. Vocabulary (ad)monere remind, admonish apparere appear videre see me me valere be healthy, be able to te you (object) debere have to, owe, thanks to bene adv. good tacere be silent multum adv. much, a lot parere obey quod because ut as, how Singular Plural 1. Person 2. Person 3. Person moneo mones monet monemus monetis monent Imperative mone! monete! Infinitive monere Unit 4 Quid est hoc? Haec est puella. Haec est Staphyla. Quid Aulus Rapax videt? Puellam videt. Staphylam videt. Licinia: “Ibine est villa?” – “Ita,” ait Gaius; “videsne villam, Staphyla?” Staphyla respondet: “Video. Sed ubi est Aulus Rapax?” Gaius: “Abest. Huc adeste!” He points to letters on the wall of the building. “Quid hic videtis?” Staphyla respondet: “Te.” Licinia ridet. Sed Gaius: “Quid tu hic vides, Licinia?” Puella respondet: “Video, video… littera.” Tum Gaius ridet: “Hahae! Quid ais? ‘Video littera’.” Licinia non iam ridet: “Tace, praeceptor! Litteram video.” Ita est: Licinia videt, littera non videt. Rapax tacet quod sportulam videt. Ecce, ridet; iam sportulam habet. Vocabulary praeceptor school teacher ridere laugh sportula picnic basket Ecce! See!, Look! puella girl ais you say villa country house ait he, she, it says habere have, hold iam already, at once respondere respond, answer Non iam not anymore tum then Case question examples Nominative Who? What? littera Licinia Accusative Whom? What? litteram Liciniam Puella litteram videt. [Puella is the subject; litteram is the object] Unit 5 Video cibum et vinum. Hic est cibus. Haec est aqua. Hoc est vinum. Quid vides? Video cibum. Video aquam. Video vinum. ,,Cibus” est ,,Aqua” est ,,Vinum” est masculinum. femininum. neutrum. Rapax: Quis tu es? Esne tu Lucius Lupus? Mordax: Ego non sum Lupus dominus, sed Mordax servus. Rapax: Non servum, sed dominum videre volo. Mordax: Frustra ades, quod dominus domi non est. Rapax: Et domina Albia? Ubi est haec? Mordax: Dominus et domina absunt. Rapax: Quid ais? Quis domi est? Mordax: Ego et Staphyla domi sumus, ut vides. Domi esse debemus. Sed otium habemus. Rapax: Ubi est Staphyla? Staphylam non video. Mordax: Num tu es dominus? Nonne ego satis sum tibi? Apage! Vocabulary cibus food, meal frustra adv. in vain vinum wine domi adv. at home aqua water cur why dominus master satis enough domina mistress tibi for you servus slave otium free time num an interrog. particle, usually implying that a negative answer is expected Unit 6 Laudo te, domine. Cur non taces? Tacere debes. Te moneo: Tace! Cur non cantas? Cur cantare recusas? Te obsecro: Canta! Cur non cantatis? Cantate! Rapax: Heus tu, Lupe! Lucius: Tibi ego non sum Lupus, quod tibi sum dominus. Quid est? Rapax: Me specta, amice! Lucius: Obsecro, quid est hoc? Rapax: St, tace! Nam haec est sica. Ubi sunt servus et serva? Lucius: Mordax et Staphyla! Lucius: …. domi non sunt. Circumspectant. Rapax: Optime. Etiamne Albia domina abest? Lucius: Ita. Rapax: Laudo. Quid ergo cessamus? Da! Lucius: Quid? Rapax: Etiam rogas? Da mihi argentum, Lupe; argentum, inquam, desidero. Lucius Lupus non cessat argentum dare. Vocabulary sica dagger rogare ask, ask for laudare laud, praise dare give obsecro I plead, I beseech inquam I say desiderare desire, miss inquit he says cantare sing amicus friend, chum recusare reject, refuse argentum money, silver spectare watch etiam also, even cessare dither, wait ergo so, therefore mihi for me Singular Plural 1. Person laudo laudamus 2. Person laudas laudatis 3. Person laudat laudant Imperative lauda! laudate! Infinitive laudare – laud, praise Unit 7 Possum te videre, Gai. A L. Lupus: Argentum dare debeo; cessare non possum. Lucius argentum dat; cessare non potest. B L. Lupus is shown how well his son Gaius is doing at school by teacher Corvus. Corvus: Vide, Gai, hodie pater adest. Salve, Luci! Lucius: Salve, Corve! Corvus: Potesne, Gai, inclinare verbum "posse"? Gaius: Non possum. Corvus: Quare non potes? Gaius: Non possum, quia hic adest. Lucius: Quid ait? Corvus: Non potest, quia tu ades. Lucius: Non potest an recusat? — Gaius tacet. Corvus: Si taces, te laudare non possumus. Ergo responde, si te rogamus! Gaius: Satis possum hoc verbum inclinare: Valeo, vides, cantat, rogamus, estis, possunt… Nonne nunc me laudare potestis? — Lucius et Corvus Gaium laudare non possunt. Non respondent, sed tacent. Vocabulary possum can, be able to an or (in questions) verbum word si if hodie today nunc now quare why pater father quia because inclinare conjugate Singular Plural Person Person Person possum potes potest possumus potestis possunt Infinitive posse can, be able to Unit 8 hic poeta A 1. Cogito, ergo sum. 2. Lucius et Albia convivium habere cogitant. Etiam Corvum invitant. Sed Gaius cogitat: "Hic conviva mihi non placet." Num Corvum timet? B Martial and Sabidius Martialis poeta est. Hic poeta Sabidium quendam non amat. Cum convivium habet, Sabidium non invitat. Rogas, quare? Martialis tibi respondat: "Non amo te, Sabidi, nec possum dicere, quare. Hoc tantum possum dicere: non amo te." Vocabulary poeta m poet placere to please conviva m guest, eating companion cum (conjunction) when convivium feast, meal nec, neque and not invitare invite tantum adv. only amare love quendam a certain vexare vex, annoy dicere say, tell cogitare think, intend inclinare conjugate timere to fear Nouns that describe people, take their gender from the person irrespective of their ending: Men are masculin (m), women are feminin (f); [natural gender] Hic poeta - this poet Haec puella - this girl Unit 9 bonus bona bonum cibus bonus aqua bona vinum bonum Cibus est bonus. Aqua bona est. Vinum malum non est. Da mihi Bonam aquam Sed desidero cibum bonum! video. vinum bonum. B Aulus Rapax goes to his girlfriend Cleobula with his loot. Mordax is following him. Rapax: Argentum habemus. Sed periculum est magnum. Lucium non timeo, nam est timidus; sed servum firmum timeo. Ades mihi! Cleob.: Non possum. Nam ego meam vitam ita amo ut tu tuam, amice care. Rapax: Si me amas, ades mihi! Obsecro. Cleob.: Non possum, inquam, quia infirma sum et vita mea mihi cara est. Apage! Rapax: Vide, Cleobula! Adest servus. Potesne mihi consilium bonum dare? Cleob.: Da mihi argentum tuum et occulta te hic! Aulum occultat. Iam Mordax adest, sed Aulum non videt. Vocabulary bonus, a, um good meus, a, um my malus, a, um bad, evil mi amice (vocative) my friend carus, a, um dear, expensive tuus, a, um your, thy magnus, a, um big vita life parvus, a, um small periculum danger, peril firmus, a, um strong, firm consilium advice, plan, decision infirmus, a, um weak occultare to hide timidus, a, um timid, fearful Apage! Get lost! In Latin adjectives follow the noun they describe in gender, case and number: Amicus carus tibi adest. A dear (male) friend helps you. Amica cara tibi adest. A dear (female) friend helps you. Amicum carum invitamus. We invite a dear (male) friend. Vinum bonum desidero. I want a good wine. Amicus mihi carus est. The (male) friend is dear to me. Amica mihi cara est. The (female) friend is dear to me. Vinum est bonum. The wine is good. Unit 10 Littera una: Haec est littera. Litterae multae: Hae sunt litterae Oculus unus: Hic est oculus. Oculi multi: Hi sunt oculi. Verbum unum: Hoc est verbum. Verba multa: Haec sunt verba. The search for the robber Rapax. Ubi est argentum? Ubi est Rapax? Frustra Mordax servum investigat. Etiam multi servi frustra laborant. L. Lupus contentus non est: “Servi stulti sunt; sed servae meae callidae sunt.” Ergo servae callidae investigare debent. Albia Lucium laudat: “Quam bona semper sunt consilia tua!” Staphyla serva Cantharam amicam habet. Etiam haec serva est neque Cleobulam ignorat. – Ita servae callidae Aulum investigant. Sed quis Aulum superare potest? Servae infirmae, servi timidi sunt. Vocabulary oculus eye laborare work, suffer multus, a, um many, much investigare seek, look for contentus, a, um content, satisfied superare vanquish stultus, a, um stupid, daft semper always callidus, a, um clever plus (comparative form of multum) more ignorare not know quam as, how non ignorare know well Singular Plural m f n Hic servus bonus This good slave Haec mensa parva This small table Hoc consilium malum. This bad plan Hi servi boni These good slaves Hae mensae parvae These small tables Haec consilia mala These bad plans -i -ae = f Singular
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Latin for Language Learners: Review Latin has been squeezed out of the curriculum and recently excluded from the plan for foreign languages at primary school. Unless the trend is reversed English education will be poorer.
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Quotable: The Poetic Benefits of Latin While drama also taught me the various names used to describe the form and structure of poetry, it was Latin that really taught me how poetry worked. It was in Latin lessons that we studied in detail why that word was next to that one, how having a verb at the beginning of a line affected the feeling of the poem, or why an unusual word gave a unique flavour to the piece of writing. The rigour of translating from Latin to English, and having to think about how to convey the effect of structure, word order, alliteration and so on, helped me understand poetry like nothing else. In one lesson our Latin teacher even got us to write our own poems in English, so that the process of creation would help us understand the Latin poetry we were reading.
Latin Loan Words in German Lateinische Lehnwörter--DEUTSCH - LATEIN: A Glossary of Latin-Based Words in German and English
Latin in German
German Months from Latin
In the Metamorphoses of Apuleius, also known as The Golden Ass, we have the only Latin novel which survives entire. It is truly enchanting: a delightful romance combining realism and magic.
The hero, Lucius, eager to experience the sensations of a bird, resorts to witchcraft but by an unfortunate pharmaceutical error finds himself transformed into an ass. He knows he can revert to his own body by eating rose-petals, but these prove singularly elusive; and the bulk of the work describes his adventures as an animal. He also retails many stories that he overheard, the most charming being that of Cupid and Psyche (beginning, in true fairy-tale fashion, “Erant in quadam civitate rex et regina”). Some of the stories are as indecent as they are witty, and two in the ninth book were deemed by Boccaccio worthy of inclusion in the Decameron. At last the goddess Isis takes pity on Lucius. In a surprising denouement, he is restored to human shape and, now spiritually regenerated, is initiated into her mysteries. The author’s baroque Latin style nicely matches his fantastic narrative and is guaranteed to hold a reader’s attention from beginning to end.
The Loeb Classical Library edition of Apuleius is in three volumes.
Augustinus (354–430 CE), son of a pagan, Patricius of Tagaste in North Africa, and his Christian wife Monica, while studying in Africa to become a rhetorician, plunged into a turmoil of philosophical and psychological doubts in search of truth, joining for a time the Manichaean society. He became a teacher of grammar at Tagaste, and lived much under the influence of his mother and his friend Alypius. About 383 he went to Rome and soon after to Milan as a teacher of rhetoric, being now attracted by the philosophy of the Sceptics and of the Neo-Platonists. His studies of Paul’s letters with Alypius and the preaching of Bishop Ambrose led in 386 to his rejection of all sensual habits and to his famous conversion from mixed beliefs to Christianity. He returned to Tagaste and there founded a religious community. In 395 or 396 he became Bishop of Hippo, and was henceforth engrossed with duties, writing and controversy. He died at Hippo during the successful siege by the Vandals.
From Augustine’s large output the Loeb Classical Library offers that great autobiography the Confessions (in two volumes); City of God (seven volumes), which unfolds God’s action in the progress of the world’s history, and propounds the superiority of Christian beliefs over pagan in adversity; and a selection of Letters which are important for the study of ecclesiastical history and Augustine’s relations with other theologians.
Bede “the Venerable,” English theologian and historian, was born in 672 or 673 CE in the territory of the single monastery at Wearmouth and Jarrow. He was ordained deacon (691–2) and priest (702–3) of the monastery, where his whole life was spent in devotion, choral singing, study, teaching, discussion, and writing. Besides Latin he knew Greek and possibly Hebrew.
Bede’s theological works were chiefly commentaries, mostly allegorical in method, based with acknowledgment on Jerome, Augustine, Ambrose, Gregory, and others, but bearing his own personality. In another class were works on grammar and one on natural phenomena; special interest in the vexed question of Easter led him to write about the calendar and chronology. But his most admired production is his Ecclesiastical History of the English Nation. Here a clear and simple style united with descriptive powers to produce an elegant work, and the facts diligently collected from good sources make it a valuable account.
Historical also are his Lives of the Abbots of his monastery, the Letter to Egbert (November 734), his pupil, so important for our knowledge about the Church in Northumbria, and the less successful accounts (in verse and prose) of Cuthbert.
The Loeb Classical Library edition of Bede’s historical works is in two volumes, the second of which includes Lives of the Abbots and Letter to Egbert.
Boethius (Boetius)—Anicius Manlius Severinus—Roman statesman and philosopher (ca. 480–524 CE), was son of Flavius Manlius Boetius, after whose death he was looked after by several men, especially Memmius Symmachus. He married Symmachus’s daughter, Rusticiana, by whom he had two sons. All three men rose to high honours under Theodoric the Ostrogoth, but Boethius fell from favour, was tried for treason, wrongly condemned, and imprisoned at Ticinum (Pavia), where he wrote his renowned The Consolation of Philosophy. He was put to death in 524, to the great remorse of Theodoric. Boethius was revered as if he were a saint and his bones were removed in 996 to the Church of S. Pietro in Ciel d’Oro, and later to the Cathedral. The tower in Pavia where he was imprisoned is still venerated.
Boethius was author of Latin translations of Aristotle, commentaries on various philosophical works, original works on logic, five books on music, and other works. His The Consolation of Philosophy is the last example of purely literary Latin of ancient times—a mingling of alternate dialogue and poems. His Theological Tractates are also included in this volume.
Caesar (C. Iulius, 102–44 BC), statesman and soldier, defied the dictator Sulla; served in the Mithridatic wars and in Spain; entered Roman politics as a “democrat” against the senatorial government; was the real leader of the coalition with Pompey and Crassus; conquered all Gaul for Rome; attacked Britain twice; was forced into civil war; became master of the Roman world; and achieved wide-reaching reforms until his murder. We have his books of commentarii (notes): eight on his wars in Gaul from 58–52 BC, including the two expeditions to Britain in 55–54, and three on the civil war of 49–48. They are records of his own campaigns (with occasional digressions) in vigorous, direct, clear, unemotional style and in the third person, the account of the civil war being somewhat more impassioned.
This edition of the Civil War replaces the earlier Loeb Classical Library edition by A. G. Peskett (1914) with new text, translation, introduction, and bibliography. In the Loeb Classical Library edition of Caesar, Volume I is his Gallic War; Volume III consists of Alexandrian War, African War, and Spanish War, commonly ascribed to Caesar by our manuscripts but of uncertain authorship.
Cicero (Marcus Tullius, 106–43 BCE), Roman lawyer, orator, politician and philosopher, of whom we know more than of any other Roman, lived through the stirring era which saw the rise, dictatorship, and death of Julius Caesar in a tottering republic. In his political speeches especially and in his correspondence we see the excitement, tension and intrigue of politics and the part he played in the turmoil of the time. Of about 106 speeches, delivered before the Roman people or the Senate if they were political, before jurors if judicial, 58 survive (a few of them incompletely).
In the fourteenth century, Petrarch and other Italian humanists discovered manuscripts containing more than 900 letters of which more than 800 were written by Cicero and nearly 100 by others to him. These afford a revelation of the man all the more striking because most were not written for publication. Six rhetorical works survive and another in fragments. Philosophical works include seven extant major compositions and a number of others; and some lost. There is also poetry, some original, some as translations from the Greek.
The Loeb Classical Library edition of Cicero is in thirty volumes.
The correspondence of Fronto (c. 100–176 CE)—a much admired orator and rhetorician who was befriended by the emperor Antoninus Pius and taught his adopted sons Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus—offers an invaluable picture of aristocratic life and literary culture in the second century. His letters reveal Fronto’s strong stylistic views and dislike of Stoicism as well as his family joys and sorrows. They portray the successes and trials of a prominent figure in the palace, literary salons, the Senate, and law courts, and they give a fascinating record of the relationship between the foremost teacher of his time and his illustrious student Marcus Aurelius, his chief correspondent.
The Loeb Classical Library edition of Fronto is in two volumes.
Aulus Gellius (ca. 123–170 CE) is known almost wholly from his Noctes Atticae (Attic Nights), so called because it was begun during the nights of an Attic winter. The work collects, in twenty books (of Book VIII only the index is extant), interesting notes covering philosophy, history, biography, all sorts of antiquities, points of law, literary criticism, and lexicographic matters, explanations of old words, and questions of grammar. The work is valuable because of its many excerpts from other authors whose works are lost; and because of its evidence for people’s manners and occupations. Some at least of the dramatic settings may be genuine occasions.
The Loeb Classical Library edition of Attic Nights is in three volumes.
The poetry of Horace (born 65 BCE) is richly varied, its focus moving between public and private concerns, urban and rural settings, Stoic and Epicurean thought. Here is a new Loeb Classical Library edition of the great Roman poet’s Odes and Epodes, a fluid translation facing the Latin text.
Horace took pride in being the first Roman to write a body of lyric poetry. For models he turned to Greek lyric, especially to the poetry of Alcaeus, Sappho, and Pindar; but his poems are set in a Roman context. His four books of odes cover a wide range of moods and topics. Some are public poems, upholding the traditional values of courage, loyalty, and piety; and there are hymns to the gods. But most of the odes are on private themes: chiding or advising friends; speaking about love and amorous situations, often amusingly. Horace’s seventeen epodes, which he called iambi, were also an innovation for Roman literature. Like the odes they were inspired by a Greek model: the seventh-century iambic poetry of Archilochus. Love and political concerns are frequent themes; here the tone is generally that of satirical lampoons. “In his language he is triumphantly adventurous,” Quintilian said of Horace; this new translation reflects his different voices.
The bite and wit of two of antiquity’s best satirists are captured here in a new Loeb Classical Library edition, a vivid and vigorous translation facing the Latin text.
Persius (34–62 CE) and Juvenal (writing maybe 60 years later) were heirs to the style of Latin verse satire developed by Lucilius and Horace, a tradition mined in Susanna Braund’s introduction and notes. Her notes also give guidance to the literary and historical allusions that pepper Persius’s and Juvenal’s satirical poems—which were clearly aimed at a sophisticated urban audience. Both poets adopt the mask of an angry man, and sharp criticism of the society in which they live is combined with flashes of sardonic humor in their satires. Whether targeting common and uncommon vices, the foolishness of prayers, the abuse of power by emperors and the Roman elite, the folly and depravity of Roman wives, or decadence, materialism, and corruption, their tone is generally one of righteous indignation.
Juvenal and Persius are seminal as well as stellar figures in the history of satirical writing. Juvenal especially had a lasting influence on English writers of the Renaissance and succeeding centuries.
Livy (Titus Livius), the great Roman historian, was born at or near Patavium (Padua) in 64 or 59 BCE; he may have lived mostly in Rome but died at Patavium, in 12 or 17 CE.
Livy’s only extant work is part of his history of Rome from the foundation of the city to 9 BCE. Of its 142 books, we have just 35, and short summaries of all the rest except two. The whole work was, long after his death, divided into “decades” or series of ten. Books 1–10 we have entire; books 11–20 are lost; and books 21–45 are entire, except parts of 41 and 43–45. Of the rest only fragments and the summaries remain. In splendid style, Livy—a man of wide sympathies and proud of Rome’s past—presented an uncritical but clear and living narrative of the rise of Rome to greatness.
The Loeb Classical Library edition of Livy is in fourteen volumes. The last volume includes a comprehensive index.
Lucretius (Titus Lucretius Carus) lived ca. 99–ca. 55 BCE, but the details of his career are unknown. He is the author of the great didactic poem in hexameters, De Rerum Natura (On the Nature of Things). In six books compounded of solid reasoning, brilliant imagination, and noble poetry, he expounds the scientific theories of the Greek philosopher Epicurus, with the aim of dispelling fear of the gods and fear of death and so enabling man to attain peace of mind and happiness.
In Book 1 he establishes the general principles of the atomic system, refutes the views of rival physicists, and proves the infinity of the universe and of its two ultimate constituents, matter and void. In Book 2 he explains atomic movement, the variety of atomic shapes, and argues that the atoms lack colour, sensation, and other secondary qualities. In Book 3 he expounds the nature and composition of mind and spirit, proves their mortality, and argues that there is nothing to fear in death. Book 4 explains the nature of sensation and thought, and ends with an impressive account of sexual love. Book 5 describes the nature and formation of our world, astronomical phenomena, the beginnings of life on earth, and the development of civilization. In Book 6 the poet explains various atmospheric and terrestrial phenomena, including thunder, lightning, earthquakes, volcanoes, the magnet, and plagues.
The work is distinguished by the fervor and poetry of the author.
The Saturnalia, Macrobius’s encyclopedic celebration of Roman culture written in the early fifth century CE, has been prized since the Renaissance as a treasure trove of otherwise unattested lore. Cast in the form of a dialogue, the Saturnalia treats subjects as diverse as the divinity of the Sun and the quirks of human digestion while showcasing Virgil as the master of all human knowledge from diction and rhetoric to philosophy and religion.
The new Latin text is based on a refined understanding of the medieval tradition and improves on Willis’s standard edition in nearly 300 places. The accompanying translation—only the second in English and the only one now in print—offers a clear and sprightly rendition of Macrobius’s ornate Latin and is supplemented by ample annotation. A full introduction places the work in its cultural context and analyzes its construction, while indexes of names, subjects, and ancient works cited in both text and notes make the work more readily accessible than ever before.
Written to celebrate the 80 CE opening of the Roman Colosseum, Martial’s first book of poems, “On the Spectacles,” tells of the shows in the new arena. The great Latin epigrammist’s twelve subsequent books capture the spirit of Roman life in vivid detail. Fortune hunters and busybodies, orators and lawyers, schoolmasters and acrobats, doctors and plagiarists, beautiful slaves and generous hosts populate his witty verses. We glimpse here the theater, public games, life in the countryside, banquets, lions in the amphitheater, the eruption of Vesuvius. Martial’s epigrams are sometimes obscene, sometimes affectionate and amusing, and always pointed. Like his contemporary Statius, though, Martial shamelessly flatters his patron Domitian, one of Rome’s worst-reputed emperors.
Shackleton Bailey’s translation of Martial’s often difficult Latin eliminates many misunderstandings in previous versions. The text is mainly that of his highly praised Teubner edition of 1990 (“greatly superior to its predecessors,” R. G. M. Nisbet wrote in Classical Review).
These volumes replace the earlier Loeb edition with translation by Walter C. A. Ker (1919).
Ovid (Publius Ovidius Naso, 43 BCE–17 CE), born at Sulmo, studied rhetoric and law at Rome. Later he did considerable public service there, and otherwise devoted himself to poetry and to society. Famous at first, he offended the emperor Augustus with his Ars Amatoria (Art of Love). He was banished because of this work and some other reason unknown to us, and dwelt in the cold and primitive town of Tomis on the Black Sea. He continued writing poetry—a kindly man, leading a temperate life—and died in exile.
Ovid’s main surviving works are the Metamorphoses (here in two volumes), a source of inspiration to artists and poets including Chaucer and Shakespeare; the Heroides, fictitious love letters by legendary women to absent husbands and lovers; the Amores, elegies ostensibly about the poet’s love affair with his mistress Corinna; the Ars Amatoria, not moral, but clever—and in parts, beautiful; the Fasti, a poetic treatment of the Roman year of which Ovid finished only half; and the dismal works written in exile: the Tristia, appeals to persons including his wife and also the emperor; and the similar Epistulae ex Ponto. Poetry came naturally to Ovid, who at his best is lively, graphic and lucid.
In the Metamorphoses, his most influential work, Ovid weaves a hexametric whole from a huge range of myths, which are connected by the theme of change and ingeniously linked as the narrative proceeds from earliest creation to transformation in Ovid’s own time.
The Loeb Classical Library edition of Ovid is in six volumes.
The rollicking comedies of Plautus, who brilliantly adapted Greek plays for Roman audiences c. 205–184 BCE, are the earliest Latin works to survive complete and are cornerstones of the European theatrical tradition from Shakespeare and Molière to modern times.
This first volume of a new Loeb Classical Library edition of all twenty-one of Plautus’s extant comedies presents Amphitruo, Asinaria, Aulularia, Bacchides, and Captivi with freshly edited texts, lively modern translations, and ample explanatory notes. Accompanying the plays is a detailed introduction to Plautus’s œuvre as a whole, discussing his techniques of translation and adaptation, his use of Roman humor, stage conventions, language and meter, and his impact on the Greco-Roman comedic theater and beyond.
The Younger Pliny was born in 61 or 62 CE, the son of Lucius Caecilius of Comum (Como) and the Elder Pliny’s sister. He was educated at home and then in Rome under Quintilian. He was at Misenum at the time of the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 (described in two famous letters) when the Elder Pliny died.
Pliny started his career at the Roman bar at the age of eighteen. He moved through the regular offices in a senator’s career, held two treasury appointments and a priesthood, and was consul in September and October 100. On this occasion he delivered the speech of thanks to the Emperor Trajan which he afterwards expanded and published as the Panegyricus. After his consulship he returned to advocacy in the court and Senate, and was also president of the Tiber Conservancy Board. His hopes of retirement were cut short when he was chosen by Trajan to go out to the province of Bithynia and Pontus on a special commission as the Emperor’s direct representative. He is known to have been there two years, and is presumed to have died there before the end of 113. Book X of the Letters contains his correspondence with Trajan during this period, and includes letters about the early Christians.
Pliny’s Letters are important as a social document of his times. They tell us about the man himself and his wide interests, and about his many friends, including Tacitus, Martial, and Suetonius. Pliny has a gift for description and a versatile prose style, and more than any of his contemporaries he gives an unprejudiced picture of Rome as he knew it.
The Loeb Classical Library edition of Pliny the Younger is in two volumes; the second contains Books VIII–X of his Letters as well as the Panegyricus.
Quintilian, born in Spain about 35 CE, became a widely known and highly successful teacher of rhetoric in Rome. The Orator’s Education (Institutio Oratoria), a comprehensive training program in twelve books, draws on his own rich experience. It is a work of enduring importance, not only for its insights on oratory, but for the picture it paints of education and social attitudes in the Roman world.
Quintilian offers both general and specific advice. He gives guidelines for proper schooling (beginning with the young boy); analyzes the structure of speeches; recommends devices that will engage listeners and appeal to their emotions; reviews a wide range of Greek and Latin authors of use to the orator; and counsels on memory, delivery, and gestures.
Donald A. Russell’s new five-volume Loeb Classical Library edition of The Orator’s Education, which replaces an eighty-year-old translation by H. E. Butler, provides a text and facing translation fully up to date in light of current scholarship and well tuned to today’s taste. Russell also provides unusually rich explanatory notes, which enable full appreciation of this central work in the history of rhetoric.
Sallust, Gaius Sallustius Crispus (86–35 BCE), a Sabine from Amiternum, acted against Cicero and Milo as tribune in 52, joined Caesar after being expelled from the Senate in 50, was restored to the senate by Caesar and took part in his African campaign as praetor in 46, and was then appointed governor of New Africa (Numidia). Upon his return to Rome he narrowly escaped conviction for malfeasance in office, retired from public life, and took up historiography. Sallust’s two extant monographs take as their theme the moral and political decline of Rome, one on the conspiracy of Catiline and the other on the war with Jugurtha.
Although Sallust is decidedly unsubtle and partisan in analyzing people and events, his works are important and significantly influenced later historians, notably Tacitus. Taking Thucydides as his model but building on Roman stylistic and rhetorical traditions, Sallust achieved a distinctive style, concentrated and arresting; lively characterizations, especially in the speeches; and skill at using particular episodes to illustrate large general themes.
For this edition, J. C. Rolfe’s text and translation of the Catiline and Jugurtha have been thoroughly revised in line with the most recent scholarship.
Roman secondary education aimed principally at training future lawyers and politicians. Under the late Republic and the Empire, the main instrument was an import from Greece: declamation, the making of practice speeches on imaginary subjects. There were two types of such speeches: controversiae on law-court themes, suasoriae on deliberative topics. On both types a prime source of our knowledge is the work of Lucius Annaeus Seneca, a Spaniard from Cordoba, father of the distinguished philosopher. Towards the end of his long life (?55 BCE–40 CE) he collected together ten books devoted to controversiae (some only preserved in excerpt) and at least one (surviving) of suasoriae.
These books contained his memories of the famous rhetorical teachers and practitioners of his day: their lines of argument, their methods of approach, their idiosyncrasies, and above all their epigrams. The extracts from the declaimers, though scrappy, throw invaluable light on the influences that coloured the styles of most pagan (and many Christian) writers of the Empire. Unity is provided by Seneca’s own contribution, the lively prefaces, engaging anecdote about speakers, writers and politicians, and brisk criticism of declamatory excess.
Seneca is a figure of first importance in both Roman politics and literature: a leading adviser to Nero who attempted to restrain the emperor’s megalomania; a prolific moral philosopher; and the author of verse tragedies that strongly influenced Shakespeare and other Renaissance dramatists.
Seneca’s plays depict intense passions and interactions in rhetoric that is equally strong. Their perspective is much bleaker than that adopted in his prose writings. His plots are based on mythical episodes, in keeping with classical tradition. But the political realities of imperial Rome are also reflected in an obsessive concern with power and dominion over others. The Octavia is our sole surviving example of a Roman historical play; set at Nero’s court, it was probably written by an admirer of Seneca as statesman and dramatist.
John G. Fitch has thoroughly revised his two-volume edition of Seneca’s Tragedies to take account of the textual and interpretive scholarship that has appeared since its initial publication. His translation conveys the force of Seneca’s dramatic language and the lyric quality of his choral odes.
Greek Elegiac Poetry
From the Seventh to the Fifth Centuries BC
The Greek poetry of the archaic period that we call elegy was composed primarily for banquets and convivial gatherings. Its subject matter consists of almost any topic, excluding only the scurrilous and obscene. In this completely new Loeb Classical Library edition, Douglas Gerber provides a faithful translation of the fragments and significant testimonia that have come down to us, with full explanatory notes.
Most substantial in this volume is the collection of elegiac verses to which Theognis’s name is attached (the Theognidea). Drinking and merry-making are frequent themes in these poems; there are also more reflective and philosophic pieces and love poems. Together they offer an interesting picture of an aristocratic man’s views about life, friendship, fate, and daily concerns. Also notable in this volume is the martial verse of the Spartan Tyrtaeus and the poetry of Solon, Athens’s famous lawmaker.
Silius (T. Catius Silius Italicus), 25–101 CE, was consul in 68 and governor of the province of Asia in 69; he sought no further office but lived thereafter on his estates as a literary man and collector. He revered the work of Cicero, whose Tusculan villa he owned, and that of Virgil, whose tomb at Naples he likewise owned and near which he lived. His epic Punica, in 17 books, on the second War with Carthage (218–202 BCE), is based for facts largely on Livy’s account. Conceived as a contrast between two great nations (and their supporting gods), championed by the two great heroes Scipio and Hannibal, his poem is written in pure Latin and smooth verse filled throughout with echoes of Virgil above all (and other poets); it exploits with easy grace, but little genius, all the devices and techniques of traditional Latin epic.
The Loeb Classical Library edition of Silius Italicus is in two volumes.
Statius published his Thebaid in the last decade of the first century. This epic, recounting the struggle between the two sons of Oedipus for the kingship of Thebes, is his masterpiece, a stirring exploration of the passions of civil war. The extant portion of his unfinished Achilleid is strikingly different in tone: this second epic begins as a charming account of Achilles’s life.
Statius was raised in the Greek cultural milieu of the Bay of Naples, and his Greek literary education is reflected in his poetry. The political realities of Rome in the first century are also evident in the Thebaid, in representations of authoritarian power and the drive for domination.
This two-volume edition of the epics, a freshly edited Latin text facing a graceful translation, completes D. R. Shackleton Bailey’s new Loeb Classical Library edition of Statius. Additionally, Kathleen M. Coleman has contributed an essay [in Thebaid, Volume 1, Loeb no. 207] on recent scholarship on the two epics.
Suetonius (C. Suetonius Tranquillus, born ca. 70 CE), son of a military tribune, was at first an advocate and a teacher of rhetoric, but later became the emperor Hadrian’s private secretary, 119–121. He dedicated to C. Septicius Clarus, prefect of the praetorian guard, his Lives of the Caesars. After the dismissal of both men for some breach of court etiquette, Suetonius apparently retired and probably continued his writing. His other works, many known by title, are now lost except for part of the Lives of Illustrious Men (of letters).
Friend of Pliny the Younger, Suetonius was a studious and careful collector of facts, so that the extant lives of the emperors (including Julius Caesar the dictator) to Domitian are invaluable. His plan in Lives of the Caesars is: the emperor’s family and early years; public and private life; death. We find many anecdotes, much gossip of the imperial court, and various details of character and personal appearance. Suetonius’s account of Nero’s death is justly famous.
The Loeb Classical Library edition of Suetonius is in two volumes. Both volumes were revised throughout in 1997–98, and a new Introduction added.
Tacitus (Cornelius), famous Roman historian, was born in 55, 56, or 57 CE and lived to about 120. He became an orator, married in 77 a daughter of Julius Agricola before Agricola went to Britain, was quaestor in 81 or 82, a senator under the Flavian emperors, and a praetor in 88. After four years’ absence he experienced the terrors of Emperor Domitian’s last years and turned to historical writing. He was a consul in 97. Close friend of the younger Pliny, with him he successfully prosecuted Marius Priscus.
(i) Life and Character of Agricola, written in 97–98, specially interesting because of Agricola’s career in Britain.
(ii) Germania (98–99), an equally important description of the geography, anthropology, products, institutions, and social life and the tribes of the Germans as known to the Romans.
(iii) Dialogue on Oratory (Dialogus), of unknown date; a lively conversation about the decline of oratory and education.
(iv) Histories (Loeb volumes 111 and 249, with an index in 322), probably issued in parts from 105 onwards. A great work that originally consisted of at least twelve books covering the period 69–96 CE, only Books I–IV and part of Book V survive, dealing in detail with the dramatic years 69–70.
(v) Annals (in Loeb volumes 249, 322, and 312), Tacitus’s other great work, originally covering the period 14–68 CE (Emperors Tiberius, Gaius, Claudius, Nero) and published between 115 and about 120. Of sixteen books at least, there survive Books I–IV (covering the years 14–28); a bit of Book V and all Book VI (31–37); part of Book XI (from 47); Books XII–XV and part of Book XVI (to 66).
Tacitus is renowned for his development of a pregnant concise style, character study, and psychological analysis, and for the often terrible story which he brilliantly tells. As a historian of the early Roman empire he is paramount.
The Loeb Classical Library edition of Tacitus is in five volumes.
The African Tertullian (Q. Septimus Florens Tertullianus) (ca. 150–222 CE), the great Christian writer, was born a soldier’s son at Carthage, educated in Greek and Roman literature, philosophy, and medicine, studied law, and became a pleader, remaining a clever and often tortuous arguer. At Rome he became a learned and militant Christian. After a visit to churches in Greece (and Asia Minor?) he returned to Carthage and in his writings there founded a Christian Latin language and literature, toiling to fuse enthusiasm with reason; to unite the demands of the Bible with the practice of the Church; and to continue to vindicate the Church’s possession of the true doctrine in the face of unbelievers, Jews, Gnostics, and others. In some of his many works he defended Christianity, in others he attacked heretical people and beliefs; in others he dealt with morals. In this volume we present Apologeticus and De Spectaculis.
Of Minucius, an early Christian writer of unknown date, we have only Octavius, a vigorous and readable debate between an unbeliever and a Christian friend of Minucius, Octavius Ianuarius, a lawyer sitting on the seashore at Ostia. Minucius himself acts as presiding judge. Octavius wins the argument. The whole work presents a picture of social and religious conditions in Rome, apparently about the end of the second century.
Gaius Valerius Flaccus, a Latin poet who flourished in the period ca. 70–90 CE, composed in smooth and sometimes obscure style an incomplete epic Argonautica in eight books, on the quest for the Golden Fleece. The poem is typical of his age, being a free rehandling of the story already told by Apollonius Rhodius, to whom he is superior in arrangement, vividness, and description of character.
Valerius’s poem shows much imitation of the language and thought of Virgil, and much learning. The chief interest of the epic lies in the relationship between Medea and Jason, especially the growth of Medea’s love, where Valerius is at his best. The long series of adventures and various Roman allusions suggest that the poet meant to do honour to Vespasian (to whom the epic is dedicated) with special reference to that emperor’s ships in waters around Britain.
Valerius Maximus compiled his handbook of notable deeds and sayings during the reign of Tiberius (14–37 CE). The collection was very popular in the Renaissance and has recently attracted renewed scholarly attention. Yet to date there has been no modern English translation of Memorable Doings and Sayings. This work is now added to the Loeb Classical Library, a freshly edited Latin text facing D. R. Shackleton Bailey’s pleasing and authoritative translation.
Valerius arranges his instructive examples in short chapters, each focused on a particular virtue, vice, religious practice, or traditional custom—including Omens, Dreams, Anger, Cruelty, Bravery, Fidelity, Gratitude, Friendship, and Parental Love. The moral undercurrent of this collection is readily apparent. But Valerius tells us that the book’s purpose is practical: he decided to select worthwhile material from famous writers so that people looking for illustrative examples might be spared the trouble of research. Whatever the author’s intention, his book is an interesting source of information on Roman attitudes toward religion and moral values in the first century.
Velleius Paterculus, who lived in the reigns of Augustus and Tiberius (30 BCE–37 CE), served as a military tribune in Thrace, Macedonia, Greece and Asia Minor, and later, from 4 CE to 12 or 13, as a cavalry officer and legatus in Germany and Pannonia. He was quaestor in 7 CE, praetor in 15. His Compendium of Roman History (in two books) is a summary of Roman history from the fall of Troy to 29 CE. As he approached his own times he becomes much fuller in his treatment, especially between the death of Caesar in 44 BCE and that of Augustus in 14 CE. His work has useful concise essays on Roman colonies and provinces and some effective compressed portrayals of characters.
In his 76th year (13–14 CE), the emperor Augustus wrote a dignified account of his public life and work, the Res Gestae Divi Augusti, of which the best preserved copy (with a Greek translation) was engraved by the Galatians on the walls of the temple of Augustus at Ancyra (Ankara). It is a unique document giving short details of his public offices and honours; his benefactions to the empire, to the people, and to the soldiers; and his services as a soldier and as an administrator.
Varro (M. Terentius), 116–27 BCE, of Reate, renowned for his vast learning, was an antiquarian, historian, philologist, student of science, agriculturist, and poet. He was a republican who was reconciled to Julius Caesar and was marked out by him to supervise an intended national library.
Of Varro’s more than seventy works involving hundreds of volumes we have only his treatise On Agriculture (in Loeb no. 283) and part of his monumental achievement, De Lingua Latina (On the Latin Language), a work typical of its author’s interest not only in antiquarian matters but also in the collection of scientific facts.
Originally, On the Latin Language consisted of twenty-five books in three parts: etymology of Latin words (books 1–7); their inflexions and other changes (books 8–13); and syntax (books 14–25). Of the whole work survive (somewhat imperfectly) books 5 to 10. These are from the section which applied etymology to words of time and place and to poetic expressions (books 4–6); the section on analogy as it occurs in word formation (books 7–9); and the section which applied analogy to word derivation (books 10–12).
Varro’s work contains much that is of very great value to the study of the Latin language. The Loeb Classical Library edition of On the Latin Language is in two volumes.
Virgil (Publius Vergilius Maro) was born in 70 BCE near Mantua and was educated at Cremona, Milan and Rome. Slow in speech, shy in manner, thoughtful in mind, weak in health, he went back north for a quiet life. Influenced by the group of poets there, he may have written some of the doubtful poems included in our Virgilian manuscripts. All his undoubted extant work is written in his perfect hexameters.
Earliest comes the collection of ten pleasingly artificial bucolic poems, the Eclogues, which imitated freely Theocritus’s idylls. They deal with pastoral life and love. Before 29 BCE came one of the best of all didactic works, the four books of Georgics on tillage, trees, cattle, and bees.
Virgil’s remaining years were spent in composing his great, not wholly finished, epic the Aeneid, on the traditional theme of Rome’s origins through Aeneas of Troy. Inspired by the Emperor Augustus’s rule, the poem is Homeric in metre and method but influenced also by later Greek and Roman literature, philosophy, and learning, and deeply Roman in spirit. Virgil died in 19 BCE at Brundisium on his way home from Greece, where he had intended to round off the Aeneid. He had left in Rome a request that all its twelve books should be destroyed if he were to die then, but they were published by the executors of his will.
The Loeb Classical Library edition of Virgil is in two volumes.
Send comments to email@example.com, Professor Colby Glass, PhDc, MLIS, MAc, Professor Emeritus