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Harrius Potter et Philosophi Lapis (Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Latin edition) Hardcover – July 7, 2003

4.7 out of 5 stars 51 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

   • "I've yet to meet a ten-year-old who hasn't been entranced by its witty, complex plot and the character of the eponymous Harry." --Independent 

   • "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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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Series: Harry Potter (Book 1)
  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens; Tra edition (July 7, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1582348251
  • ISBN-13: 978-1582348254
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 1 x 8.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #139,985 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Tom Leoni on July 20, 2005
Format: Hardcover
As far as length and complexity, Harrius Potter provides a much-needed middle-ground between the simple works such as Fabulae Mirabiles and the less challenging of the Classics.

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.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a smooth and clever translation, perfect for the person who wants an enjoyable quick read to refurbish fluency in the language. The bright style of the original is preserved, and it is obvious that the translator has his own sense of humor as well, playing with words and phrasing without sacrificing accuracy. This book would make an excellent supplementary text for students at about second-year level.
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.
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Format: Hardcover
Great book, great translation.

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.
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Format: Hardcover
I just picked up a copy myself, and I can't stop singing the praises. The Latin is quite managable, though as another reviewer points out, a dictionary is probably a good thing to have around to help with some of the interesting non-classical words.
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!
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By A Customer on January 19, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Despite what the person from Huntington said, Latin sentences do not always end with a verb. Nevertheless, it is true that they didn't use capitalization. However, they did not use punctuation marks or spaces between words, either, in Classical Latin. Let's thank the translator for not being too true to the original or else it would be even more difficult to read.
In my opinion, capitalizing words would have been nice, making it easier to read. Also, I agree that a glossary should have defintely been added. Not everyone wants to drag a Latin dictionary around everytime they read it.
Despite these things, I have enjoyed the book so far and I think the translator did a pretty good job. The book gets four stars for that and an extra one just because someone had the guts to do it.
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