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....#52 Latin texts 25 – City life, country life..#52 Litterae Latinae 25 – Vita urbana, vita rustica....

Today I'm reading a letter written by Pliny, in which he treats the differences between city life and country life. He does seem to favour one over the other though. Listen and find out!

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....#51– Latin texts 24 – Cicero's story about fraud..#51 – Litterae Latinae 24 – Ciceronis fabula de malo dolo....

Today's recording is of a passage from the third book of de Officiis in which Cicero tells a great story: The Roman eques Canius was looking to purchase a lakeside property. As luck would have it, he meets Pythius, a wealthy banker, who has just the thing, but Pythius is not selling…

 

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....#50 – Latin texts 23: Erasmus' perilous winter journey..#50 – Litterae Latinae 23: Periculosum Erasmi iter hiemale....

I've been getting e-mails asking me to record something by the 16th century humanist Erasmus. Since I enjoy his work and his eclectic Latin, I looked through a volume. I stumbled upon a letter of his that I've read together with several students the last couple of years. In it he describes a dangerous journey.

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#48 – Cicero on the Ring of Gyges | Latin texts 22..#48 – Cicero de anulo Gygis | Litterae Latinae 22

This episode of our series of recorded Latin texts is a story told by Cicero about a man by the name Gyges, who, after a violent rainstorm, finds a very special ring which gives him a superpower, not unlike that which was given to Bilbo and Frodo.

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#47 – Sallust on glory and virtue | Latin texts 21..#47 – Sallustius de gloria et virtute | Litterae Latinae 21

In the beginning of his work War with Catiline, or Bellum Catilinae, Sallust speaks of the glory and virtue of men. Each week we publish recordings of short Latin texts representing a wide variety of Latin authors (from antiquity to modern times). We will try to accommodate all levels of Latin, by recording both easier beginner texts and selections from the rich Latin literature. 

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#46 – Romulus the first Roman king | Latin texts 20..#46 – Romulus primus Romanorum rex | Litterae Latinae 20

The story of Romulus, the fabled first king of Rome, is one of the most famous passages from Latin literature, and has been treated by various authors from antiquity to the modern day. This particular version is a recording of the Romulus story as given by the Roman historian Aurelius Victor.

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#44 – Cincinnatus | Latin texts 19..#44 – Cincinnatus | Litterae Latinae 19

One of the most famous stories from Latin literature concerns Cincinnatus’ brief dictatorship, and his absence of lust for power. Authors of the empire would often look back to him as an example of the old Roman morals before they were “corrupted”. Listen to the Latin text recorded from the text book written by Sanford and Scott.

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#43 – Demosthenes and the donkey's shadow | Latin texts 18..#43 – Demosthenes et asini umbra | Litterae Latinae 18

Greek literature is a rich treasure trove of interesting and amusing anecdotes that posterity has often used to illustrate a particular point in an elegant and entertaining manner. Listen to this Latin audio passage in which Demosthenes tells the tale of the donkey's shadow to make an important point.

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#41 – Suetonius on Julius Caesar | Latin texts 16..#41 – Suetonius de Iulio Caesare | Litterae Latinae 16

Suetonius, most famous as author of a series of biographies of the Roman emperors, has a particulary amusing and engaging style, with an eye for detail, and a remarking ability to paint with words. In this recording you can listen to the Latin text in which Suetonius gives a detail physical description of Julius Caesar. Now that’s compelling Latin input to listen to! ;)

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#39 – Aurelius Commodus | Latin texts 14..#39 – Aurelius Commodus | Litterae Latinae 14

Aurelius Commodus is probably, at least these days, most known from the motion picture Gladiator, where he his played by Joaquin Phoenix. The fascination with this particular emperor goes back to the Roman historians. In this episode you can listen to a brief summary of Commodus’ life as it is given in the Epitome de Caesaribus.

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#37 – Two letters from Cicero | Latin texts 12..#37 – Duae epistulae Ciceronis | Litterae Latinae 12

It is a great turn of luck that so many of Cicero’s letters have come done to us. Many of these treat the contemporary political events—for which letters are an invaluable source of information. Today, however, you’ll listen not to the political considerations of the statesman Cicero, but to the worried words of Cicero the father, writing to his wife regarding their daughter Tullia’s health.

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#36 – Caesar and the pirates | Latin texts 11 ..#36 – Caesar et piratae | Litterae Latinae 11

Caesar and the pirates. What more could we want? This is often quoted anecdote is, of course, taken from the Roman historian Suetonius who wrote several biographies of the emperors. The story I recite today is taken from his biography of Jullus Caesar. Listen to the audio and find out how things turned out for the pirates.

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#34 – Never lose hope in your studies | Latin texts 10..#34 – In studiis numquam desperandum est | Litterae Latinae 10

Of all the motivational quotes and texts I have ever read, I thing Ringelbertius puts it best in this passage from his treatise on the best way to study. He truly hits the nail on the head when he emphasises the importance of never ever giving up in our pursuit of a worthy and good goal—in this case the learning of Latin. If you have been struggling with establishing a study habit—or any other for that matter— I suggest you listen to the audio of the Latin text on repeat.

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#32 – Sallust on the death of Catiline | Latin texts 8..#32 – Sallustius de exitu Catilinae | Litterae Latinae 8

Sallust is by far my favourite Roman historian. No other is able to combine nostalgia, moral judgement, and an engaging narrative style in such a powerful manner. The passage you’ll listen to now is taken from Sallust’s Bellum Catilinae. In the recording you can listen to the Latin text describing the demise of Catiline, the arch-nemesis of Cicero.

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#30 – Cicero's quest for the tomb of Archimedes | Latin texts 6..#30 – Cicero sepulchrum Archimedis indagat | Litterae Latinae 6

Marcus “Indy” Cicero goes on the quest to find the lost tomb of Archimedes. When even the natives did not believe his tomb was extant, Cicero, using a verse, sets out to prove them wrong. Unlike Indiana Jones, Cicero does not really get his hands dirty. Did he find it? Listen to the audio of this text taken from Cicero’s writings.

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#27 – Cicero on true and perfect friendship | Latin texts 3..27 – Cicero de vera et perfecta amicitia | Litterae Latinae 3

In his old age Cicero wrote set his hand to writing philosophical treatises. These are my favourite works penned by the Roman orator. Today you can listen to the audio of a passage taken from his work on friendship, where he discusses the nature of true friendship. Listen to the recording and follow along with the transcription!

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#25 – Tommaso Vallauri on Q. Curtius Rufus | Latin texts 1..#25 – Thomas Vallaurius de Q. Curtio Rufo | Litterae Latinae 1

Down through the centuries, many authors have penned histories of Roman literature in Latin. Whereas most of these works are often quite lengthy, the Historia critica litterarum Latinarum, book from which this text is taken is uncommon in its brevity. Written by Thomas Vallaurius, the passage treats the Roman historian Q. Curtius Rufus who wrote a compelling history of Alexander the Great’s deeds. While you listen to the audio you can follow along in the transcription.

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#22 – What price did Philoxenus pay for his outspokenness? | Latin texts..#22 – Libertas Philoxeni | Litterae Latinae

Of the many anecdotes from Greek history, this one is among the most amusing ones. The poet Philoxenus learns the hard way the price honesty can have in the presence of tyrants. But, given a second chance, does he change his ways, or remain true to himself? Listen to the Latin audio and find out!

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#21 – The life and death of Cicero (Lhomond) Part II | Latin texts..#21 – Ciceronis vita et mors (Lhomond) : Pars II

Hodie vobis recitabo alteram partem vitae Ciceronis qualis in libro Urbis Romae viri illustres a Carolo Lhomond scripto narratur. Utinam placeat. Si primam partem non audivistis, eam hic invenietis.

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#20 – The life and death of Cicero : Part I | Latin texts..#20 – Ciceronis vita et mors (Lhomond) : Pars I | Litterae Latinae

There are many biographies of Cicero—fewer in Latin, but of these, the short summary of his life composed by Charles Lhomond in the eighteenth century, is a great read for intermediate students, or anyone wanting to practice their Latin while learning about the Roman orator’s life. In this post you can listen to the Latin audio, and follow along in the transcription of the text from Lhomond.

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