The Quotations and the Readings can give us a limited but still direct sense of Rome, and of the way some Roman writers thought about Rome. As further help with Latin, or simply as a way of gaining acquaintance without actually learning Latin, we here give some reading suggestions.
Language and Dictionaries. Styles of Latin teaching have varied much over the years. If you find something you like, by all means use it. Here are some older standard ones, for comparison
Frederick M Wheelock. Latin. 3ed Barnes and Noble 1963. A classic textbook
W Michael Wilson. Latin: Essentials of Grammar. 1958. Handy for paradigms
Cassell's New Latin Dictionary. Funk and Wagnalls 1959. The medium dictionary
Our Authors. For more of what you have been reading, the first place to go is the volumes for that author in the Loeb Library series. Here are those volumes, plus some useful alternatives:
H J Edwards. Caesar: The Gallic War. Harvard [Loeb] 1917
J C Rolfe. Cornelius Nepos. Harvard [Loeb] 1929
C E Bennett. Horace: Odes and Epodes. Harvard [Loeb] 1927
Charles E Passage. The Complete Works of Horace. Ungar 1983. In metrical English
J C Rolphe. Quintus Curtius: History of Alexander. 2v Harvard [Loeb] 1971
J C Rolphe. Sallust. Harvard [Loeb] 1921
History and Society. Roman history and institutions have been analyzed at great length. Here are a few places to get started on a serious but intelligible exposure to those subjects:
Oxford Classical Dictionary. 2ed Oxford 1970. A handy first reference any subject
M Cary. History of Rome. 0000. A good and generally grownup introduction
Edward N Luttwak. The Grand Strategy of the Roman Empire. Johns Hopkins 1976
Social and Economic History
Thomas Wiedemann. Greek and Roman Slavery. Johns Hopkins 1981
Warmington. Remains of Ancient Latin
Modern Author: The Twelve Tables.
Hans Julius Wolff. Roman Law: An Historical Introduction. Oklahoma 1951
Black's Law Dictionary. Ignore the pronunciations of the Latin phrases
Envoi. The achievement of the Romans is very different from that of the Greeks. The Roman achievement is often less prized, especially by those who teach college courses in ancient civilization. But for those who want to expose themselves to the way the world actually works, an awareness of Rome is very useful. Rome is a small society that strategically overreached itself; a city trying to absorb a world, and to make up for numbers by valor and insight. In doing so, it left behind a tradition of management that has been of great use in the building of larger, stronger, and better provisioned nations in later times, and one model for the inclusion of more than one people in a polity.
More can be done in both these directions, but it helps, in making that effort, to know what has already been done; both the part that worked and the part that did not. Enthusiasm is to be avoided in these matters. There is no real point in going through life thinking of yourself as a soldier in Caesar's Tenth Legion. But knowing a little about Rome is a good training for the powers of judgement which you will later use in the modern world. Good luck with that effort.
10 Dec 2005 / Contact The Project / Exit to Reference Page