Top positive review
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sapere aude - dare to be wise
on 10 November 2005
It's easy to approach a book on a “dead” language with a feeling of scepticism about its usefulness or interest. However, the enduring mass appeal of Rome's classical period is evidenced by the recent mass media success of the epic Gladiator film and the launch of BBC/HBO's Rome series on TV both sides of the Atlantic. Anyone who has come to this page with even a passing interest in the Latin language and the ways of ancient Rome should persevere and hit the buy now button - you won't be disappointed.
This book is immediately accessible with alphabetical listings of its quotes, usually accompanied by a brief description of the origins of the phrase and current usage/appearance in everyday English. A general index of quotes by topics - eg Love, Time, Rage and even a section on famous mottoes enhances the usefulness of this book. If you are ever stuck for a word or phrase to express how you are feeling, pick up this book - you may be surprised how often the English translation is as succinct as its Latin counterpart.
There is also a preface on Latin pronunciation and a concise section on the Latin writers to further enhance the reader’s understanding of the culture and sub-text of the time.
In summary this book will be appeal to anyone who has an interest in Rome, the culture of the time, the Latin language or even the evolution of our own language. It is accessible to anyone regardless of whether your previous Latin experience has been reading Asterix the Gaul or Caeser’s De Bello Gallico; and equally as rewarding to both readers.