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Learning Latin the Ancient Way
Latin Textbooks from the Ancient World


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  • Date Published: February 2016
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107474574

$ 30.99

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About the Authors
  • What did Greek speakers in the Roman empire do when they wanted to learn Latin? They used Latin-learning materials containing authentic, enjoyable vignettes about daily life in the ancient world - shopping, banking, going to the baths, having fights, being scolded, making excuses - very much like the dialogues in some of today's foreign-language textbooks. These stories provide priceless insight into daily life in the Roman empire, as well as into how Latin was learned at that period, and they were all written by Romans in Latin that was designed to be easy for beginners to understand. Learners also used special beginners' versions of great Latin authors including Virgil and Cicero, and dictionaries, grammars, texts in Greek transliteration, etc. All these materials are now available for the first time to today's students, in a book designed to complement modern textbooks and enrich the Latin-learning experience.

    • Provides a unique resource for Latin students and teachers
    • All texts composed by Romans in antiquity, but with a solid scholarly underpinning
    • Fun, enjoyable stories with authentic insight into Roman life, with a wide range of different kinds of materials as well as illustrations
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    • Honourable Mention, 2017 PROSE Award for Classics

    Reviews & endorsements

    'Fascinating … these ancient phrasebooks have some wonderful peculiarities.' Times Higher Education

    '… this is a very useful book, and the author deserves special thanks. Much interesting information on the sources and recent research is concisely presented in a field often obscure even to experts. Moreover, the attractiveness of the presentation and analysis of the texts will hopefully encourage students to undertake further research in the field.' Peter Kuhlmann, Bryn Mawr Classical Review

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    Product details

    • Date Published: February 2016
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107474574
    • length: 197 pages
    • dimensions: 246 x 174 x 10 mm
    • weight: 0.4kg
    • contains: 4 b/w illus.
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction
    2. Texts
    3. Grammatical works
    4. Glossaries
    5. Prose composition
    6. Alphabets
    7. Transliterated texts
    8. Texts with the original Greek
    9. Texts without word division
    10. Overview of the ancient Latin-learning materials

  • Author

    Eleanor Dickey, University of Reading
    Eleanor Dickey has taught in Canada and the United States, and is currently Professor of Classics at the University of Reading. She is a Fellow of the British Academy and of the Academia Europaea and has published widely on the Latin and Greek languages and how they were studied in antiquity, including Greek Forms of Address (1996), Latin Forms of Address (2002), Ancient Greek Scholarship (2007) and The Colloquia of the Hermeneumata Pseudodositheana (2012–15). She has extensive experience of teaching both Latin and Greek at all levels, in French as well as in English, and has brought this experience to bear on her adaptations of the ancient Latin-learning materials for modern students.


    • Honourable Mention, 2017 PROSE Award for Classics

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