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Latin Grammar: Grammar Vocabularies, and Exercises in Preparation for the Reading of the Missal and Breviary Paperback – January 1, 1976

4.1 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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  • Latin Grammar: Grammar Vocabularies, and Exercises in Preparation for the Reading of the Missal and Breviary
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  • Second Latin: Preparation for the Reading of Philosophy, Theology and Canon Law
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  • A Primer of Ecclesiastical Latin
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About the Author

Cora Carroll Scanlon and Charles L. Scanlon, A.M., were two linguistic authors of the mid-twentieth century. Cora Carroll was employed with the Milwaukee State Teachers College, while Charles L. served Marquette University. They authored two introduction textbooks to Latin, entitled Latin Grammar for the Reading of the Missal and Breviary and Second Latin, both published in 1944 and 1948 by the B. Herder Book Company, respectively. The works were also printed by TAN in 1976.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 350 pages
  • Publisher: Tan Books (1976)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0895550024
  • ISBN-13: 978-0895550026
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #285,390 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Robert W. Flammang on March 10, 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If, like me, you want to teach yourself Latin so that you can read the Vulgate and the Breviary, then you have only two choices of introductory texts here at Amazon: Scanlon & Scanlon's "Latin Grammar" and John F. Collins "A Primer of Ecclesiastical Latin". Both texts are intended for classroom use.
Collins slowly introduces you to Latin grammar while building up your Latin vocabulary. Scanlon & Scanlon tend to push you through the grammar more quickly, relying on cognates early on to help you cope with the vocabulary. Scanlon & Scanlon supply accent marks in all their texts and vocabularies to show you which syllable to accent; this is very helpful if you are teaching yourself. Collins provides macrons to mark long vowels in his texts and vocabularies; these suffice to let you figure out for yourself where the accent is, and they help you appreciate the meters used in classical poetry. For those who care about such things, physically Collins is clearly superior, with larger pages and larger type and plentiful margins. Scanlon & Scanlon comes with a splendid vocabulary in the appendix, small but complete, for reading the Breviary, the Missal, and the Gospels.
My approach to teaching myself Latin is "Teach me the grammar, give me a dictionary, and let me at the text". So I much prefer Scanlon & Scanlon to Collins. If you want to take the grammar more slowly though, you'll probably prefer Collins.
Honorable mention goes to Gavin Betts who wrote an excellent textbook, "Latin: A Complete Course (Teach Yourself)", that is intended for self-teaching. Unfortunately, its emphasis is almost entirely classical.
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Format: Paperback
This remarkable book is a good place to start for anyone trying to learn ecclesiastical Latin, especially those who are interested in understanding the Mass or the Divine Office. This is the first of a two book series written for seminarians and novices who may have had no previous knowledge of Latin and needed to learn it fairly quickly (the second book is called Second Latin).
This book won't make you an expert Latinist, but it is most useful for anyone who desires a reasonable understanding of the language, particularily if you are interested in understanding the Latin used in the liturgy. Readings from the Gospel of St. John are introduced in later lessons (the second book focuses more on the use of Latin in theology and cannon law). This first book does a decent job of covering Latin grammar completely; although, the explanations of grammatical constructs are a bit brief. It was written in 1944 and so presumes that the reader has had some exposure the the Latin Mass, but it won't be much of a hinderance if one hasn't had any exposure to the Latin Mass.
Overall, this is a wonderful introduction to the Latin used by the Church, and I heartily recommend it to anyone.
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This book is excellent preparation for reading ecclesiastical Latin. For reading the Vulgate, the extensive vocabulary at the back makes it a handier reference than a standard Latin dictionary. The emphasis here is on reading: all exercises are Latin into English - none are English into Latin. It lacks diacritical marks, although it does mark the accented syllable. Readers seeking a primer to prepare them to read church Latin appear to have few choices, but this is a good one.
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This book has a specific goal in mind for the student and gives the student all of what they need to get to the goal as efficiently as possible. This book doesn't go into a lot of extra explanation of the Language, relying instead on giving the forms in a simple style and then going into exercises to get the student using the forms. As someone who was already litterate in Latin and a Latin teacher before coming to this book I found it a quick read both in the English and Latin sections and really appreciated the focused nature. All the of the grammar sections were review for me thus the places I benifited most were in the building of my Latin vocabulary.

The name probably could have been better as "Latin Grammar" on the cover is a little misleading but was probably unintentional. I imagine that anyone not already literate or fluent in Latin will need a teacher to help them with this book or it would be very slow going. Other then that it is a great resource and the Latin-English glossary in the back can act as your default travel dictionary.
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Scanlon's work is more valuable today than it was "in the day" when it was first published. Though lacking a website, fine art and other bells and whistles, this Latin course satisfies the traditional Catholic's need to attain proficiency sufficient to prayerfully attend the traditional Latin Mass and read the Roman Breviary. I used it years ago when I taught myself Latin. I'm using it today to teach my own son as well.
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Scanlon's grammar contains an excellent little dictionary as an appendix. It contains all the vocabulary of the Roman Missal and Breviary. I actually sliced it out of the grammar and use it constantly when reading the Latin liturgical texts.

The primer by Collins is more helpful than Scanlon because it provides more insights and explanations about grammatical points. For someone with an interest in grammar and a good grasp of English grammar, the Collins primer will help with the Latin as well as English.
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