Ad Alpes: a Tale of Roman Life, new edition


Civis Illustris
In cooperation with my friend Daniel Pettersson, the founder of, I have prepared a new edition of a quite interesting text book, Ad Alpes: a Tale of Roman Life by H. C. Nutting. A lot of things combine to make this book particularly appealing, in my opinion: the content is quite varied, the quality of the Latin is consistently very good, and of about the same difficulty throughout, and it is fairly long (about 200 pages). All together, this makes for perfect extensive reading for a student who has learned all the basic grammar but who now wants practice to get up to speed when reading, and to expand their vocabulary.

For this new edition, we have reset the text, but kept the font and the layout from the original. This has enabled us to make some light editing, such as correcting a few typos, reviewing macrons and spelling (such as raeda instead of rēda), and a introducing a few modernizations to the English vocabulary.

For more information, please visit where you also will find a preview of the first chapter. You can also preview the book directly at Amazon, of course:


Staff member
There would seem to be a few more changes from the original than adding macros and correcting typos. The beginning of the original was:

The new version has:

Perlabitur has been changed to progrediebatur, consistentes has been eliminated. Tres has been changed Quinque, "in hac terra ... habitamus" to "in hanc terram ... iter fecimus", and "parentes nostros" to "parentes meos".

Incidentally, are there any plans for the book to be available on Kindle?


Civis Illustris
There would seem to be a few more changes from the original than adding macros and correcting typos. ...
Ah, the story was originally serialized in The Classical Journal in 1921, and it is that version you compare with. But two years later, Nutting greatly revised the text, making all those changes you mention, and published it as a book under the title Ad Alpes: a Story of Roman Life (1923). And then, a couple of years later, there was an updated and further expanded edition, Ad Alpēs: a Tale of Roman Life (1927), with added macrons, footnotes, and vocabulary. It is this 1927 version we have based our new edition on. Our editing has been very light in comparison to the changes between the 1921, 1923, and 1927 versions.
Incidentally, are there any plans for the book to be available on Kindle?
No, there is no Kindle edition planned at the moment.

Gregorius Textor

Civis Illustris
Kudos to the folks at Latinitium for discovering and republishing this book. The main plot develops at a leisurely pace, the stories within the story are interesting, and in addition to classical Latin and Greek stories, there are some Biblical stories narrated by the character Anna, described as "a maid from Palestine." The characters are realistic and appealing, and the slave Stasimus provides incidents of comic relief.

H. C. Nutting wrote Ad Alpes to reduce the serious difficulties of students going directly from Caesar to Cicero in their third year (of high school?): much new vocabulary, long and complex sentence structure, unfamiliar content and context, limiting reading speed to "a few lines a day", by a process of "divide and conquer": Ad Alpes "concerns itself chiefly with the matter of vocabulary" (preface, pp. 3-4 of the 1927 edition). It seems a useful approach to me, and currently at about my level.

I have been reading the scanned PDF version available at Internet Archive. In the PDF version, it is very awkward to turn to the vocabulary at the end of the book (and I think the same difficulty might be experienced with Kindle or other sorts of e-text), so I would recommend to anyone having more bookshelf space than I do, to buy the hardcopy version. The new edition is also available from other book dealers than Fortunately, footnotes glossing rarely used terms are placed where they should be, at the bottom of the page.