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Cassell's Standard Latin Dictionary, Thumb-indexed 1st Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
The dictionary has two sections, a Latin-English side, and an English-Latin side. The Latin-English side contains a primary vocabulary of classical Latin, most words used and found in writings between 200 BCE and 100 AD/CE. There are also proper nouns (names, places). Spelling was flexible in the ancient world; the spelling here follows the conventional modern spellings, with cross-references for significant variances. Words indicate definitions, declension or conjugation as appropriate, and some pronunciation guides. Latin authors are also indicated (in abbreviation) for almost every word.
The English-Latin side is primarily useful for prose composition into Latin of the classical type. Because of the natural growth of language due to progress of technology and ideas, many English words will not be found, as there are no Latin equivalents. Latin equivalent words are taken largely from Cicero, Caesar and Livy, with some additions from legal and ecclesiastical Latin.
There are additional sections for standard Latin abbreviations, the Roman calendar, bibliographies for word lists, atlases, general antiquities, and Latin language guides. This is the best choice for a Latin dictionary for almost any purpose. Even high-end scholars will want the Cassell's for ready and easy reference.
For any student who wants to appreciate the Latin language, and how it changed over time, Cassell is by far the best buy (short of purchasing the [more expensive]Oxford Latin Dictionary).
I'm happy to report that I've found it to be just perfect for my purposes. The book is constructed well, and doesn't seem like it's going to fall apart with heavy use. Nearly all of the word entries have examples of usage from Cicero, Virgil, Horace, etc., which has come in handy once or twice.
The only thing I've found lacking from this dictionary is that some of the more "colorful" language that crops up from time to time, notably in Catullus 16, 41, and 57, has been left out. Otherwise, it has my vote (for what that's worth).
I have only one quibble (which is the only reason I do not give five stars). The editors have shied away from marking hidden vowels long or short. They have marked vowels long or short only as they have been strictly shown to be by scansion of Latin poetry or in obvious compounds. In this they have taken a very conservative approach. The best that one can say is that at least they have been consistent. One can accept that there is scholarly disagreement in certain cases, and that editors might not wish to commit themselves. On the other hand, if I am a relative beginner, and I want to know whether a particular vowel in a certain word should be long or short, where else should I look except in my dictionary?
But this is a relatively minor quibble (and many other dictionaries have the same problem). Overall, this dictionary is certainly better than any of its rivals at this level, and is highly recommended.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Not everyone cares about English, better yet Latin. To those who do I honestly recommend this book.Published 11 days ago by samuel t. cole
I was hesitant at first, what with the totally orange cover, but having used this for a week or so now, I can say that it this is a wonderful dictionary. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Nickolas Massar
Some different pronunciation of i. Noun delensions is different from standard long i of school. Bantam is more accurate.Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
This book is a must-have for anyone interested in seeking out their own etymologies.Published 4 months ago by Ronnie Gonzalez