seeking Latin self-teaching book

pskuhlman at JUNO.COM pskuhlman at JUNO.COM
Tue Nov 27 18:49:38 UTC 2001

        One possibility is "Latin for Reading" by Knudsvig & Craig,
University of Michigan Press.  Order both textbook and teacher's manual.
It is a college level text.  The authors have thought through very
clearly the process of learning to approach a Latin sentence and make
sense of it.  Obviously learning Latin is a lot easier if you know what
grammatical terms such as indirect question and sequence of tenses are in
English, but this text certainly does not assume familiarity with them.
        The best beginner's Latin grammar I know is "Latin Grammar" by
Robert J. Henle, S.J., Loyola University Press.  A good advanced grammar
"Gildersleeve's Latin Grammar" by Gildersleeve & Lodge.
        If you are serious about learning Latin, invest in a good
dictionary up front.  The Oxford Latin Dictionary is very good and has a
clear format, but is limited to ancient Latin.  Lewis and Short's "A
Latin Dictionary" also published by Oxford is more useful to the reader
interested in both ancient and later Latin.  Both are lexicons with
citations from Latin authors.
        I recommend Cicero's letters to his friends (Epistulae ad
familiares, Epistulae ad Atticum)as the very best way to get a sense of
the language as it must have been spoken.  Shackleton Bailey did some
wonderful translations (out of print?) of these letters which are perfect
for reading after you've worked on reading a letter yourself.  If you
can't locate these translations, the Loeb facing page translations are
okay. If you can get a hold of Erasmus's "Colloquia Familiaria", these
are great fun and a good way to get Latin in your "ear".  (Mine is a
photocopy made from a borrowed book while I was living in Rome.)  How
else will you learn how twelve examples of "blandior salutatio inter
        Please feel free to have your correspondent contact me with any

Patricia Kuhlman
Brooklyn, NY
pskuhlman at

On Tue, 27 Nov 2001 11:59:02 -0500 Mark.Mandel at LHSL.COM writes:
> A correspondent says:
> >>>
> I have been enjoying the Latin stuff so much I am thinking about
> taking a
> class in it if I can find one.
> Do you know of a good self teach Latin primer if I don't find a
> place to
> take it as a class?
> <<<
> Any advice?
> -- Mark, now 53 years old and the joker is weird!

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