Latin Grammars, Dictionaries, and Methods

Reference Grammars

An Introduction to Latin Grammar; for the Use of Christ's-Hospital. 1785.

A Short Latin Grammar: Forming Part of a Popular System of Classical Education on the Plan Recommended by Mr. Locke. 1827. —Very short: only 83 pages.

A Short, Plain, Comprehensive, Practical Latin Grammar, Comprising All the Rules and Observations Necessary to an Accurate Knowledge of the Latin Language. By James Ross, 1829.

A Complete Latin Grammar for the Use of Students, by John William Donaldson, 1867.

The Principles of Latin Grammar: Comprising the Substance of the Most Approved Grammars Extant. By Peter Bullions; revised by Charles D. Morris, 1869.

A Grammar of the Latin Language, by the Rev. D. Yenni, S.J. New York, 1869.

The New Yenni Latin Grammar for High Schools and Colleges. Prepared by the Committee on Latin Studies, Spring Hill College, Mobile, Alabama. (Which is where old Yenni himself taught.) 1920.

An Elementary Latin Grammar, by Augustus Samuel Wilkins, 1876. —Another very short one.

A Latin Grammar, by Thomas Chase, 1882.

A Latin Grammar for Schools and Colleges, by Albert Harkness, 1881.

Gildersleeve's Latin Grammar, by Basil Lanneau Gildersleeve, Gonzalez Lodge, 1900.

An Introduction to Ecclesiastical Latin, by Rev. H. P. V. Nunn. Cambridge (England), 1922.

An Introduction to Vulgar Latin, by Charles Hall Grandgent. Boston, 1907.
Another copy.
Another copy.

The Comic Latin Grammar: A New and Facetious Introduction to the Latin Tongue. By Percival Leigh, 1840. —Instructive as well as amusing; some of the silly rhymes will make Latin declensions and conjugations memorable—in the traditional English pronunciation of Latin.

Fragments and Specimens of Early Latin. By John Wordsworth. Oxford, 1874. —Includes nearly 150 pages on early Latin grammar.

Instructional Methods

The Eton Latin Grammar, or An Introduction to the Latin Tongue, by W. Mavor. —Latin was taught at Eton by various books at various times, but they all have in common the traditional Oxford pronunciation of Latin, which is useful to know, since it’s still used for Botanical Latin.

Eton, 1809.
London, 1822

[From the preface to A Short Latin Grammar: Forming Part of a Popular System of Classical Education on the Plan Recommended by Mr. Locke:] It is not intended to disparage the Grammar now commonly distinguished by the epithet of “Eton.” On the contrary, we thankfully acknowledge our obligation to its Original Authors; and only lament that, from particular circumstances in its production, it has not been always of that use, for which it is essentially adapted. A short detail of the history of its gradual assumption of its present form will fully explain its incongruities.

It should be premised that this Grammar was originally compiled for the use of St. Paul's School, of which Dean Colet was the Founder, and William Lily the first Master. This original, though now very rare, and scarcely known to exist, except as the foundation of our modern grammars, was a notable production in its day: Cardinal Wolsey recommended it by a Latin Preface, in which a course of Classical Instruction was prescribed to all other Seminaries, and its use was enjoined “in every School throughout the whole kingdom.” Supported by such powerful patronage, as well as by its own unquestionable merits, we cannot be surprised at its extensive circulation, and adoption as a standard Introduction to the Latin- Language. Accordingly, we find, it was frequently reprinted, editions being quoted of 1510, 13, 20, 28, 30, 34, 37: The copy which we have consulted is dated Antwerp, 1530.

This early compilation, however different it may now appear in the editions commonly known by the name of Lily, Ward's Lily, Eton, &c. was at first as brief and simple as the present Publication, of which we acknowledge it the model. Colet's “Introduction to the Eight Parts of Speech” was comprised in fifty, and Lily's “Rudiments of Grammar,” or Rules of Syntax, in twelve pages, 12mo; both were composed in English, and the Examples were all translated: four pages more were occupied by Lily's Carmen Monitorium, four by the Heteroclites, and two and a half by Regulm Versificales; so that the whole Grammar consisted of not more than seventy-three pages.

To account for the enlarged form and altered language in which the matter of the same has since appeared, we may add the following particulars. With a view to supply a more complete manual for advanced students, Lily soon after composed a Grammar in Latin, in which he was assisted by Dean Colet and Erasmus. This work, first published in 4to. was at a later period printed in 12mo., and bound up with the former English work. In this combined form, however, the original destination of each part was unhappily forgotten, in so far that the whole was not adapted either for the novice or the scholar. As a simple elementary book, its use was subsequently found to involve such serious inconvenience, that, for the relief of both Master and Pupil, William Haine was induced to publish, annexed to the Grammar, his "Syntaxis, fyc. construed." This addition much increased the value of the volume to younger learners, as making it accessible to all without the constant assistance of oral interpretation: and the Eton editors, who performed the last operation on this unfortunate subject, by modernizing the language and reducing the two grammars into one, still further improved the whole in point of neatness and compactness, if not in general usefulness. They connected with the English Introduction those parts of the Latin work which were properly additional, retaining the Latin Syntax as the more complete, and preserving with these, as a necessary appendage, Haine's interverbal translation.

Such being the history of the successive changes of this noted little work, we conceive that no further apology is necessary, either for its manifest defects, or for an anxious endeavour on our part to supply for them, in some degree, a remedy.

The Eton Latin Grammar, by the Rev. George Taylor.

London, 1828.

The Eton Latin Grammar, by T. W. C. Edwards.

26th edition, 1855.
29th edition, 1858

The Eton Latin Grammar.

Part 1: Elementary. By A.C. Ainger and H.G. Wintle, 1885.
Part 2: For Use in Higher Forms.  By Francis Hay Rawlins and William Ralph Inge, 1888.

Latin Lessons, by Edmund Burke and Homer C. Newton. Boston: Athenaeum Press, 1906. —Exercises designed to supplement a Latin grammar.

A First Latin Book for Catholic Schools, by Roy Joseph Deferrari. Washington: Catholic Education Press, 1921. —Teaches the “Roman” or reconstructed classical pronunciation, but with a section on the “Italian” or ecclesiastical pronunciation used throughout the Catholic Church today.

The Correct Pronunciation of Latin According to Roman Usage. Philadelphia: St. Gregory Guild (no date, but dated by the librarian to 1937). —Aimed especially at singers, but comprehensive and useful for anyone who wants to learn the ecclesiastical pronunciation of Latin.


Latin only

Robertus Stephanus (Robert Estienne). The Prince of Lexicographers, as one edition of his magnum opus calls him, produced a work that, with various revisions, was the standard reference for two centuries, which is a pretty good run for any scholar.

Thesaurus Linguae Latinae seu promptuarium dictionum et loquendi formularum omnium ad Latini sermonis perfectam notitiam assequendam pertinentium: ex optimis auctoribus concinnatum. Paris, 1573.

Tomus I. A-C.

Tomus II, D-K.

Tomus III. L-R.

Tomus IIII. S-Z.

Roberti Stephani Lexicographorum Principis Thesaurus Linguae Latinae. Basel, 1740.

Tomus I. A-C.

Tomus II. D-K.

Tomus III, L-P.

Tomus IV. Q-Z.

Latin to English

Harpers' Latin Dictionary, edited by Ethan Allen Andrews, Charlton Thomas Lewis, Charles Short. New York, 1884.—This is the most comprehensive Latin-English dictionary to be found on line. There are a couple of later editions in Google Books, but in very poor scans. You will almost certainly find what you're looking for in here.
A very good scan of the 1879 edition.

The Universal Latin Lexicon of Facciolatus and Forcellinus: A new edition, in which the appendix of Cognolatus has been incorporated; the Italian significations rendered into English; the work of Tursellinus on the particles of Latin speech; Gerrard’s Siglarium Romanum; and Gesner’s Etymological Index are added; and the whole enriched with a copious appendix. By James Bailey. London: Baldwin and Cradock, 1828. —Certainly a near competitor to Harpers’ above. Many entries are defined only in Latin, but those are usually derivative forms.

Vol. I.

Vol. II.

A Latin-English and English-Latin Dictionary for the Use of Schools, by Charles Anthon. New York, 1873.

A Complete English-Latin and Latin-English Dictionary for the Use of Colleges and Schools, by Joseph Esmond Riddle. London, 1870.
1843 edition. —Although the 1870 edition above is designated “New Edition” on the title page, this one seems page-for-page identical; so the revisions must have been very minor, if any were made at all, and this is a much better scan.

A New and Copious Lexicon of the Latin Language, compiled chiefly from the Magnum Totius Latinitatis Lexicon of Facciolati and Forcellini, and the German works of Scheller and Luenemann. Edited by F. P. Leverett. Boston: Wilkins, Carter, & Co., 1848. Bound with An English-Latin Lexicon, prepared to accompany Leverett’s Latin-English Lexicon.

A New Edition (1850) of the above, embracing the classical distinctions of words, and the Etymological Index of Freund’s Lexicon.

English to Latin

English-to-Latin dictionaries are far harder to come by these days than Latin-to-English dictionaries, but they were common in the nineteenth century and before.

A Copious and Critical English-Latin Lexicon, by Joseph Esmond Riddle, Thomas Kerchever Arnold. London, 1872.—Probably the most comprehensive English-to-Latin dictionary ever published.
1857 New York edition.
1852 edition.

A Copious and Critical English-Latin Dictionary, by William Smith, Theophilus D. Hall. New York, 1871. —A near competitor to Riddle and Arnold above. Smith and Hall, in fact, found Riddle and Arnold to be “of no use except in the way of suggestion” in compiling their own dictionary. The critical reader may make her own judgment.
The same at Google Books.

An English-Latin Lexicon Prepared to Accompany Leverett's Latin-English Lexicon. Boston, 1845.

A New English-Latin Dictionary: Carefully Compiled from the Most Celebrated English Writers; Rendered in Classical Latin. By John Entick. London, 1783.

A Latin-English and English-Latin Dictionary for the Use of Schools, by Charles Anthon. New York, 1873.

A Complete English-Latin and Latin-English Dictionary for the Use of Colleges and Schools, by Joseph Esmond Riddle. London, 1870.

A Phraseological English-Latin Dictionary for the Use of Eton, Harrow, Winchester, and Rugby Schools, and King's College, London; by Charles Duke Yonge. London, 1855.

Latin Synonyms

These books are of great use in Latin composition; unlike an English thesaurus they explain the differences in shades of meaning between the synonyms, so that it is easier to pick exactly the word wanted.

The Synonymes of the Latin Language, alphabetically arranged; with critical dissertations upon the force of its prepositions, both in a simple and a compounded state. By John Hill. Edinburgh, 1804.

Latin Synonyms, with Their Different Significations: And Examples Taken from the Best Latin Authors. By M. J. B. Gardin Dusmenil. Translated into English, with additions and corrections, by the Rev. J. M. Gossett. Third edition. London, 1825.
Second edition (1819), in a very good scan at

Dictionary of Latin Synonymes for the use of schools and private students. By Lewis Ramshorn. From the German, by Francis Lieber. Boston: Charles C. Little and James Brown, 1839. —This is a stereotype of the Cambridge edition: “Stereotyped and printed by Folsom, Wells, and Thurston, printers to the university.” Succeeding editions appear to be from the same plates and therefore identical.
1841 edition at Google Books.
1856 edition.

Hand-Book of Latin Synonymes, by Edgar S. Shumway. Boston, 1898. —A much smaller book than the others, arranged by the English significations to be rendered into Latin; excellent for early studies in Latin composition.

Horae Latinae: studies in synonyms and syntax. By the late Robert Ogilvie, who is now even later. London, 1901.

Sacrarum profanarumque phrasium poeticarum thesaurus, recens perpolitus et numerosior factus. By Johann Buchler. London, 1642.

Gradus ad Parnassum, sive, Novus synonymorum, epithetorum, phrasium poeticarum, ac versuum thesaurus. By a Jesuit (identified by the librarian as Paul Auler). London, 1720. —Notable for having every vowel marked as short or long, and for having once been the property of John Adams.