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Harrius Potter et Philosophi Lapis (Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Latin edition) (Latin) Hardcover – July 4, 2003
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• "Spellbinding, enchanting, bewitching stuff." --Mirror --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
J. K. Rowling was born in Chipping Sodbury in the UK in 1965. Such a funny-sounding name for a birthplace may have contributed to her talent for collecting odd names. Jo always loved writing more than anything and in 1996, one year after she finished it, Bloomsbury bought her first novel, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone.
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Top Customer Reviews
Sensing that such was the case, I bought this book for a specific reason. I had studied Latin in my younger years and, having recently taken it up again, I wanted to teach myself to read and understand a longer work directly without translating it (even subconsciously) in my mind.
The simple but engaging subject of this book, together with the impeccable Latin in which it is written, proved to be a perfect combination for my puspose. As I turned the pages of Harrius Potter, the dictionary became less and less necessary, until I realized that I was able to *taste* the language directly off the page.
Apart from this personal anecdote, I enjoyed Harrius Potter for many reasons. The Latin is simple yet quite elegant; virtually all verb-moods and tenses are employed along the most orthodox rules of the "consecutio temporum," together with all the pronouns and a good syntactical variety of clauses and case-usage. The necessary neologisms are tastefully chosen in a way that does not sound far-fetched. The size of the book is manageable, and the story is truly a jolly good one.
Actually, had it not been for its being available in Latin, I probably would not have read any of Rowling's novels - as I have now found out, she is a truly great storyteller deserving of the notoriety she has earned. And if anything, the Latin language bestows Harrius Potter even more of a timeless aura.
I sincerely hope that more works such as this will become available in the near future.
I would like to see the other books in the series put into Latin, although I know that is too much to hope for; however, these books would be a wonderful study series if translated in accord with the level of the book in English, each becoming more complex.
Since this is the first modern book that I've read in Latin, the thing that initially surprised me most is the fact that it could be done at all. It's a testament to the timeless quality of J. K. Rowling's writing, as well as to the brilliance of her translator, Peter Needham, that the book reads beautifully and fluently despite the occasional appearance of twentieth-century problems such as Uncle Vernon's car (autocinetum), the trafffic jam (vehicula impedita) in which it gets stuck, and motorcycles (birotulae automatariae), flying and earth-bound.
What I began to realize as I read Needham's delightful translation is that reports of the demise of Latin have, as they say, been exaggerated. One of my Greek professors used to joke about a student of his who went on to study at Oxford after getting a degree in classics here in the U.S. The report came back that his tutor at Oxford was pleased with this student's Latin, to which the response from his teachers here was, "That's high praise coming from a native speaker." As you read Needham's translation, it seems indeed that Latin is his native tongue.
That Harry Potter could be translated so convincingly into Latin also says a lot about the indebtedness of our culture to the Romans--the Romanness of European culture if you will--even this far down the road from Cicero and Caesar. In ways so deep and broad that we entirely overlook them, our culture is unthinkable without the Romans. Indeed, despite advances in science, technology, and general knowledge, Roman culture still feels remarkably modern and offers enough points of similarity and contact with our own that it's not absurd to imagine Harry Potter transposed to ancient Rome.Read more ›
I was really astounded to find out just how much vocabulary I've retained and how quickly the grammar is coming back. Props to Peter Needham for translating this into Latin in a readable manner. I've still got a ways to go on this one, but I look forward to picking up the second book in the series as soon as it's available. Anyhow, enjoy!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I bought this for my classroom to show how widely translated the book has been. Students are always intrigued to see the different versions. Read morePublished 16 days ago by Monica
I am trying to learn some Lating while trying to read this book :-)Published 3 months ago by Gjuro Predrag Kladaric
This is a great book because I dropped Latin after high school to pursue other languages, and I love reading this and figuring out Latin again when I"m boredPublished 7 months ago by casey
I've been reading Harrius Potter to practice Latin, and I like it even more than I liked the original book. Fantastic read and fantastic practice. I recommend this to all.Published 8 months ago by Latinist
Way too hard for all but advanced students-and even then it's still no fun. Why wouldn't it be translated into easy Latin just as the English is simple? Read morePublished 10 months ago by Amazon Customer