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Department of History and Philosophy of Science


Whether an experienced classicist or someone struggling through the early stages of their latinity, all may find the following texts useful in their work. Latin may have been a lingua franca of the medieval and early-modern world, but it was also coopted by specialists who seem to have had a vocabulary all of their own.

General Latin language texts


  • Lewis, Charleton T., and Short, Charles. A Latin Dictionary. Oxford, 1879. Known simply as 'Lewis and Short'. If you want to purchase a dictionary, make it this one. Its definitions incorporate meanings not only from classical sources, but also as late as the early-modern period.
  • Glare, P. G. W., ed. Oxford Latin Dictionary. Oxford, 1982. The most comprehensive single volume dictionary for classical Latin.
  • Thesaurus linguae latinae. Leipzig, 1900-. In many volumes, up to the letter 'P'.


  • Kennedy, Benjamin H., Mountford, Sir James, ed. The Revised Latin Primer. Longman, 1962. Known simply as 'Kennedy'. The best quick reference for most questions.
  • Greenough, J.B., et. al., eds. Allen and Greenough's New Latin Grammar: Founded on Comparative Grammar. New York: Aristide D. Caratzas, 1903. More involved than Kennedy, but still quite easy to use. Allen and Greenough online.
  • Ruck, Carl. Intensive Latin: First Year & Review. Durham: Carolina Academic Press, 1997. Those who start Latin later in life (i.e., not in grammar school) begin with something like Wheelock. This is totally the wrong way around since adults learn in a completely different way than small children. Graduate students diving in for the first time, or needing serious review (read, 'relearning') should use Ruck's unorthodox, but effective manual.
  • Woodcock, E. C. A New Latin Syntax. Bristol, 1985.

Specialized resources

Regional Latin

  • Latham, R. E. Revised Medieval Latin Word-List: From British and Irish Sources. London: The British Academy, 1965. A compend of the larger (incomplete):
  • Dictionary of Medieval Latin from British Sources. Oxford, 1975–.
  • Mayhew, A. L., ed. 'The Promptorium Parvulorum: The First English-Latin Dictionary', Early English Text Society extra series, 102 (London: K. Paul, Trench, Trübner & Co, 1908). A Middle English to Latin dictionary.
  • Lexicon mediae et infimae latinitatis polonorum, 8 vols. Cracow, 1953–. Now up to the letter 'L'. It is of special interest because Polish Latin became remarkably deviant, and because Copernicus wrote in it, causing much confusion among his translators.


  • Mantello, F. A. C., Rigg, A. G. Medieval Latin: An Introduction and Bibliographical Guide. Washington: The Catholic University of America Press, 1996. Immensely useful collection of short articles with pinpoint bibliographies, all organized under a comprehensive selection of topics. The study aid that this webpage can only pretend to imitate.
  • Niermeyer, J. F. Mediae latinitatis lexicon minus, 2 Vols. Leiden, 1976. Revised ed. 2002.
  • Du Cange, Charles, Du Fresne, Sieur. Glossarium mediae et infimae latinitatis. Graz: Akademische Druck-U. Verlagsanstalt, 1954 [1610–1688].
  • Capelli, Adriano. Lexicon Abbreviaturum. Milan: Ulrico Hoepli, 1990. The essential guide to medieval Latin ligatures.
  • Bischoff, Bernard. Latin palaeography : antiquity and the Middle Ages. Cambridge, 1990.


  • Deferrari, Roy Joseph. A lexicon of St. Thomas Aquinas: based on the Summa theologica and selected passages of his other works. Washington: Catholic University of America Press, 1948. A concordance with quotations long enough to see the context.
  • Gracia, Jorge. Suarez on Individuation, Metaphysical Disputation V: 'Individual Unity and Its Principle'. Milwaukee, Wisc.: Marquette University Press, 1982. Helpful for its glossary of terms used by Suarez with illustrative quotations.

Natural philosophy

  • Goclenius, Rudolphus. Lexikon Philosophicum: quo tanquam clave philosophiae fores aperiuntur. Hildesheim: Georg Olms, 1964 [1613]. Lexicon Philosophicum online at the Gallica website, where many other useful electronic books may be found.


  • Hyrtl, J. Onomatologia anatomica. Vienna, 1880.
  • Field, E. J., Harrison, R. J. Anatomical Terms: Their Origin and Derivation. Cambridge, 1947.
  • Quemada, Bernard. L'introduction a l'etude de vocabulaire medical. Besancon: Faculte des lettres, 1955. The word lists inside seem to contain more French than Latin, but the bibliography looks helpful.

Astrology and astronomy

  • North, J. D. Richard of Wallingford: An edition of his writings. Vol. 3. Oxford, 1976. Pages 277–289 contain a glossary of terms relevant for matters of geometry, astronomical observation, and especially the mechanical parts and motions of instruments.
  • le Boeuffle, A. Astronomie, astrologie: lexique latin. Paris, 1987.

Mathematics and mechanics

  • The Archimedes Project: From Hero to Hutton, this website boasts key texts on mechanics in the West. Both searchable text and page images can be viewed.


  • Orbis Latinus. Braunschweig: Klinkhardt & Biermann, 1971. Latin place names rendered in their modern equivalent. Orbis Latinus online.

Natural history

  • Stearn, W. T. Botanical Latin: History, Grammar, Syntax, Terminology and Vocabulary. London, 1966. 4th edition, Newton Abbot, 1992.


  • Souter, Alexander. A Glossary of Later Latin to 600 A.D.. Oxford, 1949. Aimed chiefly at Patristic literature, with a large number of Greek loan words in their Latinized form.
  • Muller, Richard. Dictionary of Latin and Greek Theological Terms: Drawn Principally from Protestant Scholastic Theology. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1985. Heavily dependent on Altenstaig and limited by the fact that there are no references in the entries, but an excellent quick reference for the general sense of a term.
  • Altenstaig, Johannes. Lexicon Theologicum. Koeln, 1619. Originally published in 1517 as Vocabularis theologiae this work is an excellent gauge for theological terms at the dawn of the Reformation. A Georg Olms reprint (1973) is available.
  • Biblia Sacra: Iuxta Vulgata Versionem. Stuttgart: Deutsche Biblegesellschaft, 1969. A modern critical edition with apparatus.
  • Harden, J. M. Dictionary of the Vulgate New Testament. London: S.P.C.K., 1921. Contains very brief definitions and Scripture references, as well as noting matters such as hapax legomena.
  • Stephanus, Henricus. Concordantiae graecolatinae Testamenti Novi. Found in many 16th century editions and a key to the Vulgate translation.


  • Quicherat, L. Thesaurus poeticus linguae latinae. Paris, 1922. Georg Olms reprint, 1967.
  • Stephanus, Henricus. Ciceronianum lexicon graecolatinum. Paris, 1557. Gives the Ciceronian Latin equivalents of Greek words.

Greek resources

  • Liddell and Scott. An Intermediate Greek-English Lexicon. Oxford, 1889. The only dictionary you will need for Greek words appearing in Latin texts. There is, of course, the Liddell and Scott full version.
  • Bauer, Arndt, Gingrich, Danker. A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1958. Known simply as 'Bauer'. The standard dictionary for all words in the New Testament.
  • Smyth, Herbert W. Greek Grammar. Harvard, 1920. Known simply as 'Smyth'. The standard comprehensive grammar.
  • Ingram, William H. 'The Ligatures of Early Printed Greek'. Greek, Roman, and Byzantine Studes 7 (1966) 371-389. Even those familiar with Greek will often be at pains to read the simplest words printed in early-modern texts since early typesetters attempted to mimic the variations of miniscule hands. This article contains an essential table of characters and their expansions.
  • Nestle-Aland. Novum Testamentum Graece. 27th Edition. Stuttgart: Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, 1993. A modern critical text with dense apparatus. The most comprehensive single volume New Testament.
  • Rahlfs, Alfred. Septuaginta. Stuttgart: Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, 1979. A modern critical text with apparatus.

This bibliography is by no means exhaustive. In fact, we have adhered to a rule of listing only those things we actually use with some regularity, or at least once in a while. But if readers are aware of some essential resource not listed here, particularly in one of the specialist categories, please send an email to the Latin Therapy group and we will consider including a citation.