Reading Medieval Latin


A friend gave me today the book Reading Medieval Latin by Keith Sidwell from 1995. It is a reprint from 1997. Do you know this publication? What do you think about it in that case?


Staff member
It consists of a large number of excerpts illustrating points, styles and genres of Mediaeval Latin. It has a couple of very useful appendices which discuss the differences.

The passages range from easy to fiendishly difficult, and the difficulty level isn't marked.

I personally find it easier to read a whole book by a single author so I can get used the style, but Reading Mediaeval Latin is good if you want to see lots of different examples of a given genre.

Big Horn

Active Member
I have been looking for a dictionary covering the 12th through 16th centuries. I'm interested in works covering grammar and syntax as well.


Staff member

Big Horn

Active Member
I don't know exactly which centuries are covered by the following, and they are not always as detailed as I'd like them to be, but they've still been useful to me, so I'll give them to you in case you don't know about them yet:
Thanks for the information. I was not familiar with the first but I was happy to see it. It reminds me of the Collins Gem edition—pithy and quick to put into play. I do wish there were a physical edition in the same format—then it would be as quick as the CG—but one can't have everything. It can only be a sede mecum.

I am familiar with the Du Cange. However, later editions are supposedly wanting in editorial management and the reprints of the early editions are not pleasant to read. I saw one online at it was smeary and ranged from difficult to read to impossible. There is a six volume edition available, but it's more than two hundred years old; many books of that age are less than sturdy.

The following look interesting. The book on ecclesiastical Latin seems handy to use. While my interest is in secular subjects, there's bound to be overlap; indeed, it seems to be mostly overlap. I was able too look inside and was favorably impressed. It's a shame that it was missing the little Roman numerals indicating the century.

I'm not sure if The Dictionary of Medieval Latin from British Sources includes the last fascicle: I don't believe that it does.

Etymological dictionaries are very helpful. I have the book by Ernout and Meillet, but there is a more current dictionary.

I appreciate the suggestions and welcome any additional.